The House that Never Sleeps

Thanks to Renee for contributing this story!

On Englewood Avenue in Teaneck, New Jersey there is an old, white house with high levels of paranormal activity.  Renee states that her family has known very little peace since buying the house in 1960.  The spirits are particularly disturbing at night.  After everyone has gone to bed, you can hear doors opening and closing and sounds of a loud party going on downstairs.  However, if you brave your fears and check below, the noise stops.  Family members have reported seeing dark shadows walking around and incidents of waking to find ghostly figures standing by their beds.

Built in 1917, the house was part of Dr. Gaylord’s extensive property.  The original house included six bedrooms, four bathrooms, a powder room, and a kitchen.  Renee’s family built on additional rooms.  Most of the negative activity takes place in the newer parts of the house.

One account that Renee shared with me happened when she was a child.  She and her siblings were playing outside.  A little boy appeared and asked if he could join in their game.  After a while, Renee’s mother went into the yard and called for her kids to come inside.  They turned to say goodbye to their new friend, only to see him vanish.  They never saw him again.

A man resembling President Ulysses S. Grant has been said to appear inside of the house or on the grounds.  The scariest part is all that you see is his head floating by as if he is walking, but there is no body attached.  The family has found flags and bullets on the property.  While the former president could not have been in the house being it was built after his death, there is evidence that he knew the Gaylord family and perhaps had visited their estate before.

Big bursts of activity usually occur around the holidays.  One Thanksgiving, Renee’s sister saw the face of a red-headed man and she screamed.  Later on that same night, she was carrying a bowl of gravy when a portrait suddenly fell off the mantel, causing her to drop the platter she was carrying and scald herself.  Renee’s aunt was visiting and mentioned that she wanted to see a ghost.  The red-headed man must have taken this as a challenge because she woke up to see his face leering above her bed.  Unable to get back to sleep, she went to stay in a hotel.

Unlike other places where the spiritual phenomena fluctuate, this house continues to have a high level of activity.  It would seem that both the living and the dead residents are constantly vying for space.  Thankfully, most hauntings are not as intrusive as this one.

 

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I Thought I was Alone: Marillac Hall, Part 2

I woke up early the next day to get ready for the start of Welcome Back Weekend.  My room wasn’t one of the suites, so I had to use the hallway bathrooms.  Gathering my things, I headed for the shower.  My dorm room faced the stair landing, so that I could see people coming up or going down the stairs.

I was still feeling a bit drowsy, when I noticed a young woman descending the stairs in front of me.  At first I thought her brown garment was a robe, but I quickly saw that it was actually a dress.  She was swaying back and forth as she glided down the steps.  “Gee, she’s going awfully slow!” I thought to myself.  If I had been more in a hurry, I would have tried to pass her, but instead I kept up my steady pace.

She reached the third floor ahead of me, but continued going down.  As my view turned the corner, I could see down into the next stairwell.  She glanced up at me before continuing on her way.  I didn’t think much of it at the time.  I reached the end of the stairs a moment later and stood on the landing.  An odd feeling made me look back.

She was gone!  I couldn’t even see her going down the stairs anymore and she had only been a few feet ahead of me.  She should have still been visible.  I lingered there for a couple of minutes before heading to the bathroom.

“If I’m the only one on the fourth floor right now, then who was that?” I mumbled to myself.  It was like she just appeared out of nowhere.  The woman hadn’t made a sound.  She had been wearing a long, dark-colored dress.  Her hair had been pinned up in an old-fashioned manner.  Staring into the bathroom mirror, it hit me.  I had seen a ghost.  More than that, I had just followed a ghost down the stairs.

I thought back to the words of Hans Holzer, a famous paranormal investigator.  He said that ghosts were people too and that it was important to treat them as such.  Be courteous, but honest about your expectations of sharing living space with them.  Taking a deep breath, I looked into the mirror and said aloud, “Listen.  You can’t keep popping up out of the woodwork like this.  I have to live here.  You know I can see you, but I won’t get much studying done if you keep spooking me like that.”

Thankfully after this incident, the rest of the students moved in and the ghosts were less noticeable.  Even so, every night that I had to stay up late, I would repeat my entreaty asking the peaceful, but strong spirits of Marillac Hall to stay hidden so that I could do my homework.  Fortunately, they were quite obliging spirits.  Well, most of the time…