The Haunted House Experiment

Thanks to Skip Gibson for sharing his story! Skip is a paranormal investigator and has worked with The Society for Psychical Research on various cases. This story is about Skip’s experiences while investigating the historic Bolton Mansion in Levittown, Pennsylvania.  

When Skip was taking a psychology class in college, one of the assignments was to come up with an original experiment.  He decided to study people’s reactions when they stayed overnight in an allegedly haunted house.  He chose the Bolton Mansion, a historical house in his town that has a reputation of being haunted.  Built in 1687, the Bolton Mansion has twenty-seven rooms and was home to the highly respected Pemberton family for many generations.

By the time Skip was to conduct his experiment in 1971, the house had been vandalized and needed extensive repairs.  For safety precautions, the participants had to sign waivers and emergency personnel had to be kept on standby.  Skip documented reactions of fifty-six believers and non-believers, ranging from 18-70 years old.  The whole project lasted several months and included the assistance of staff from Drexel, Temple, Princeton, and Pennsylvania University, as a well as a grant from the psychical research society.

The locals knew about some of the ghost stories surrounding the Bolton Mansion.  Some have heard and seen the spirit of a black woman calling for help from one of the windows.  There is also the story of the ghost of a woman who is constantly searching for a lost child who disappeared while wandering the grounds.  The night that they did the experiment, no one had any paranormal experiences, although Skip did notice something interesting.  The people who believed in ghosts were less afraid than those who stated that they did not believe in the paranormal.

After the initial experiment was complete, Skip and the various university staff continued to study the house.  They wanted to see if they could capture anything on film.  They did an initial walk-through of the premises to make sure that they could map out how they would proceed through the house.  This was done so that they would never enter the same room twice.  They had a special kind of film back then that was revolutionary for the time.  It would pick up heat, electrical charges, and radioactive energy.  Since the film was highly sensitive, they sealed the house up for thirty days before filming to make sure that the rooms had had a chance to cool down.  They took three shots of each room.

Some of the pictures came back showing dry rot in the wood.  Others showed funny shapes like a glowing, white triangle with some sort of tail.  They did manage to catch fully developed apparitions on the second and third floors of the house.  In one of the rooms on the third floor, they captured an image of a man wearing a civil war uniform, standing with his back to the camera.  Then another photo revealed the figure of a woman holding up her skirts as she walked up the stairs.  None of these apparitions were visible at the time that the pictures were taken.

There is some historical information that supports the two figures that appeared in these pictures.  A family diary kept in the Bucks County Courthouse in Doylestown, PA later revealed that there had been two suicides in the house.  One of the Pemberton sons who had fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War had returned home to ask forgiveness of his family.  When his request was refused, he hung himself from the landing on the third floor.  His body had been discovered by a young female servant.  Three weeks later, the same servant shot herself.  It was rumored that she and the son had been in love with one another.  Suicide was considered both a sin and a scandal at the time and public knowledge of this would have been suppressed.  At the time that the pictures were taken, neither Skip, nor the rest of the university staff knew about the events that had occurred in the house.

Sources:

http://www.boltonmansion.org/history-of-the-pemberton-family.html

http://www.boltonmansion.org/history-of-the-mansion.html


Do You Have a Ghost Story?

Send me an email to theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview.  I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

Want even more Ghost Stories?

I have launched a ghost story magazine via Patreon called The Spirit Hour.  For a dollar a month, you get complete access to all the stories in the ghost story magazine, so that you can read them whenever you want.  A new ghost story will be posted once a month. 

Also, check out The Ghost Post’s YouTube channel for audio recordings of The Ghost Post.  It’s perfect for camping out, sleepovers, or anytime you just want to hear a ghost story on the go. 

For more ghost stories, paranormal phenomena, and updates, follow Tara Theresa Hill on Facebook and on Twitter at @TaraTheresaHill

Are you one of the following: A paranormal writer, artist, or investigator?

Or

Do you have a paranormal-themed business or Facebook group?

Then check out my new paranormal advertising group, The Paranormal Hotspot: The Market for All Things Paranormal. There is no set promotion day, so you can promote your business, art, or group every day for free. You can also post links to sites where you sell your products or services. Our mission is to help paranormal businesses, artists, writers, and investigators connect with fans and consumers!

Get Your Ghost On!

Check out our CafePress store featuring The Ghost Post’s official mascot, Spook.  We’ve got awesome coffee mugs, t-shirts, and more!

Spook Giant Coffee Mug
Spook – Coffee Mug – Copyright 2017

 

 

Advertisements

The Ghost from Upstairs

Thanks to Laura from Upstate New York for sharing this story with me!

When Laura was ten years old, her parents moved into a three-family house in Upstate New York.  It had originally been a large Victorian house, but the owner had broken it up into separate apartments, so that she could rent them out.  The top floor was empty at the time that Laura’s family moved in.  It was a studio apartment meant for either a single person or a couple with no kids, so Laura’s parents chose the larger, two-bedroom on the first floor.  The landlord lived in the basement.

The living room was located toward the front of the house and the kitchen had a backdoor that the family could use to go down into the garden.  While the house looked pretty, with its tall, elegant windows and high ceilings, the floors were uneven and the narrow hallways shot off at weird angles.  The strangest part of the house was the hallway closet.  Laura discovered it on moving day.  While her parents were busy carrying boxes into the house, Laura ran about exploring everything.  Inside of the closet was an old wooden staircase that ended one flight up at a blackened wall.  Despite the light from the hanging bulb, the stairwell remained cast in shadow.

“What’s behind this wall?” Laura asked her mother.

“Back when the house was unified, those stairs led up to the third floor.  They built a wall across it when it was renovated.  I don’t want you climbing up there.  The stairs are original to the house and they look rickety.  You could fall through and hurt yourself.”

By early fall, the airy house turned bitter cold.  No matter how much heat the landlord sent up, it was never enough.  They didn’t want to complain, so they insulated the windows, used space heaters, and kept the curtains closed all day.  Even with all the lights on, the house was much darker than it had been in the summer.

Laura liked to sit at the kitchen table to do her homework.  One afternoon while her mother was napping, she was reading a book when she became aware of someone watching her.  She looked up expecting to see her mother, but didn’t see anyone.  She went back to her book, only to see a shadow go by out of the corner of her eye.  This happened a few times until Laura decided to go check the hallway.

“Hello?  Mom?” she called out.

Laura stood in the darkened hallway waiting for an answer.  She was thinking of going to check on her mother when she heard light footsteps scamper across the floor.  They were moving away from her, but she hadn’t seen anybody standing there.  Suddenly freezing, Laura rubbed her arms.  She went back into the kitchen, pulled on a sweater, and dragged a space heater up to her chair, so that she could finish her homework.  After that incident, she always did her work in the chair nearest to the wall facing away from the hallway.

Another time, Laura woke up in the middle of the night to see a ball of light moving about her room.  It appeared to be about the size of a soft ball, was solid-looking, and had a golden color.  Laura sat up in bed wondering if she should call for her parents.  She didn’t feel threatened by whatever this thing was, although she knew this wasn’t normal.  The ball of light lasted for about a minute before fading away.

Since moving into the house, Laura had often had trouble sleeping.  Sometimes she even had strange dreams.  One night, Laura dreamt that a little, blonde-haired girl wearing a blue dress with long, puffy sleeves came into her room.  She began playing with Laura’s toy tea set.

Laura watched her for a few seconds before clearing her throat.  “Hello.  Who are you?” she asked.

The little girl put down the teapot she was holding, turned to Laura, and dipped into a little curtsy.  “My name is Emily.  I’m looking for my mother.  Have you seen her?” 

“I’m sorry,” said Laura.  “No.  I don’t think she’s here.”

The little girl giggled.  “Of course, she is!  She never leaves the house except to go into the garden.  Perhaps, she is there now.” 

The little girl ran out of the room so fast that Laura didn’t even have a chance to respond.  Laura opened her eyes to find herself sitting up in bed.  She could hear little footsteps moving along the hallway and a faint voice calling, “Mama!  Where are you?”  After a few seconds, the sound faded away and the house was silent once more.  Hoping she had imagined everything, Laura turned over and went back to sleep.  By morning, she had written it off as a dream.

When she got home after school, Laura was surprised to find her bedroom door closed.  She was pretty sure that she had left it open that morning.  Opening it, she quickly walked across the room toward her tea set.  A gift from her grandmother, it was porcelain with a pattern of pink roses sprayed across it.  Laura hadn’t played with in it years, but since it was pretty, she liked to keep it set up on her old doll table.  She always left the teapot in the center of a circle of four teacups and saucers.  The tea set was still there, but all the cups had been turned upside down.

From then on, Laura often came in to find her toys moved around.  This didn’t bother her.  Even if she was a ghost, Emily was younger than Laura.  If Emily wanted to play with Laura’s toys when she was at school, she didn’t mind.

After a year, Laura’s family decided not to stay there.  On top of the poor heating, they had started having trouble with the plumbing.  Laura’s father had found a new job and her mother had gotten a raise, so they were able to purchase a nice house in the area.  The moving van was waiting with the furniture and they had already packed their suitcases into the car.  The three of them were doing a last sweep to make sure that they hadn’t missed anything, when suddenly they heard footsteps moving across overhead.

“Did you hear that?” asked Laura’s mother.

Laura’s father looked at the ceiling.  “Yeah, it almost sounded like someone walking around up there, but that’s silly.  The top floor is empty.  I’ll let the landlord know.  Maybe some raccoons got in there or something.”

“I don’t think so,” said Laura.

She had tried to tell her parents that the house was haunted before, but they always rationalized everything away.  Laura couldn’t help but gaze up at the third-floor windows as her family descended the stairs for the last time.  For just a moment, she thought she saw Emily and a woman in an old-fashioned dress staring back at her.  Laura raised her hand in parting.  The little girl and her mother waved back, then they disappeared.


 Do You Have a Ghost Story?

Send me an email to theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview.  I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

Want even more Ghost Stories?

I have launched a new ghost story magazine via Patreon called The Spirit Hour.  I’ll be uploading a new ghost story or the next part of a continuing story every week.  For only one dollar a month, you get complete access to all the stories that I post on Patreon. 

Also, check out The Ghost Post’s YouTube channel for audio recordings of The Ghost Post.  It’s perfect for camping out, sleepovers, or anytime you just want to hear a ghost story on the go. 

For more ghost stories, paranormal phenomena, and updates, follow Tara Theresa Hill on Facebook and on Twitter at @TaraTheresaHill

Are you one of the following: A paranormal writer, artist, or investigator?

Or

Do you have a paranormal-themed business or Facebook group?

Then check out my new paranormal advertising group, The Paranormal Hotspot: The Market for All Things Paranormal. There is no set promotion day, so you can promote your business, art, or group every day for free. You can also post links to sites where you sell your products or services. Our mission is to help paranormal businesses, artists, writers, and investigators connect with fans and consumers!

Get Your Ghost On!

Check out our CafePress store featuring The Ghost Post’s official mascot, Spook.  We’ve got awesome coffee mugs, t-shirts, and more!

Spook Logo, White T-Shirt, Copyright 2017
Spook Logo, White T-Shirt, Copyright 2017

 

My Beloved Bambi

 

Bambi Photo
My dog, Bambi. Original Artwork by Jan Mina, 2013

For anyone who knows the loss of a familiar or animal companion.

Bambi and I were inseparable from the moment we met.  He was a handsome Sheltie dog with light brown fur and a white front ruff.  I was eight years old and recovering from the chicken pox when my parents got him for me.  Bambi was an intelligent, loving, well-behaved, and extremely gentle dog.  He never bit anyone and was deeply protective of our family.  He slept with his head on my legs from the first night that we brought him home until the day that I left for college.

During my sophomore year, he fell ill and became progressively sicker.  Then one night during my spring semester finals, I had a strange dream.  I was standing on the edge of this beautiful field.  Long green grass waved in the wind.  A blue butterfly with a wingspan the size of a large notebook appeared by my shoulder and started dancing around me.  Surprised, I started whirling around with it.  At some point in the dream, the blue butterfly smiled and kissed me on the forehead.  I watched as it flew off to join a cloud of other butterflies that had gathered in the field.  My heart was heavy because I knew that I could not follow the joyful little spirit.

When I woke up that morning, I knew that Bambi had passed away even before my mother called me.  I told her about the dream and said that he had come to say goodbye to me in my sleep.  The months that followed were a dark time for me.  I mourned Bambi so deeply that my husband (then boyfriend) bought me a stuffed animal that looked like him to sleep with at night.

I started seeing Bambi’s spirit frequently after I graduated and moved into my first apartment.  I have had four apartments so far and he has followed me to each one.  I will turn around and suddenly see him out of the corner of my eye or enter a room and find him sitting on the floor just as he used to when I was a little girl.  Sometimes I even see him resting next to my darling cat, Diana.  Bambi has the most benevolent soul and his presence always brings me a sense of incredible comfort and peace.  Even through death, we are still connected and always will be.

 

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.

 

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…