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 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. 

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

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The Back Room

When I was a little girl, Grandpa Freddie lived in the basement apartment of my Aunt Marianne’s house.  I knew that Grandpa’s wife, Tessie, had passed away three years before I was born.  Grandpa Freddie wasn’t happy talking about Grandma Tessie, so I would pester my mother for stories about her.  Mom told me that Grandma Tessie loved reading, bird-watching, singing, and helping people.  Tessie was a family nickname for Theresa.  Mom said it was too painful to name me after her mother, so she gave me “Theresa” as a middle name instead.

Grandpa Freddie watched me after school and on weekdays during summer vacation.  For some reason, I was always scared of the back room by the kitchen.  The bathroom was located at the end of the small room where they kept the washer and dryer.  It was almost always dark in the back room and I was convinced that something was waiting to grab me.  I would come out of the bathroom and rush through the archway to get back to Grandpa’s kitchen.

At some point, I concluded that if there was a ghost there, it was probably Grandma Tessie.  If that was true, then I shouldn’t be afraid of her.  She was an ancestral spirit and if anything, she would be protective of me.  I stopped running out of the bathroom area, but there was still a sad atmosphere about the place.  Sometimes I would even get the sensation of being watched.

I later learned that the watched feeling might have been an electromagnetic field caused by the washer and dryer, but somehow, I was not convinced.  Years after Grandpa Freddie died, I told my mother about the strange vibes that I would get in the back room.  Then Mom told me this story.

One day, when she was already sick with cancer, Grandpa found Grandma Tessie passed out in the bathroom.  When he tried to pick her up, he saw that she was dead and in his fright, he started shaking her and calling her name.  Miraculously, she came out of it and he took her to the hospital.  She eventually passed away some months later.

Residual hauntings occur when there is no consciousness behind the paranormal activity.  It is the remaining energy imprint from either a repetitive event or a tragedy that took place, not an individual soul that can interact with people.  I did not know that my grandmother had almost died in the bathroom by the back room and yet, I always felt odd in that area.  I think that I picked up on the intense energy that my grandfather must have left behind in that room when he found his wife dying.

What do you think?  Could this be a type of residual haunting?  Have you or someone you know ever experienced a residual haunting before?  Let me know in the comments.

If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send me an email to to set up an interview.  I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

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

Sharing Space with The Dead: Life in a Historic Masonic Home

Thanks to my friend, Jeanine, for this story about her old college dorm!

Jeanine went to Dominican College in the 1990s.  At one point, she lived in a dormitory that was actually a former German Masonic residence.  Built in 1909, the building functioned as a place for retired Masons and their family members until 1983.  If a Mason was too sick or old to work, he could live there rent free.  Also, if a Mason left behind a widow and young children, this institute made sure that they were provided for after his death.  The building was converted into a dorm when Dominican College took it over in the early 1980s.

One of the rooms that Jeanine stayed in was the site of a double suicide that occurred in 1933.  As the story goes, John Ellich and Marie Kiefer had secretly eloped while living on site at the residence.  When the board found out, they decided to separate the couple by sending one of them away to live in another Masonic home.  Already in their golden years, John and Marie locked themselves in her room and committed suicide together.  Jeanine saw a male ghost in her room whom she believes might have been John Ellich.  Other friends have reported seeing Marie’s ghost.

Jeanine and her friends had numerous paranormal experiences during their time in the historical building.  Every weekend, one would smell rose-scented perfume wafting down the hallway that had no known source.  Students would hear knocking on their dorm doors, but answer them to find no one standing there.  Thinking it was their classmates trying to play a trick on them, they’d step outside to investigate, only to hear the ghostly sound of children’s laughter receding down the hall.  The building was especially creepy at night when the paranormal activity was at its height.  Even if you didn’t have a roommate, most people tried to find someone to bunk with so that they wouldn’t be alone.

Some of the creepiest areas of the building and its surrounding grounds were the porch area, the campus cemetery, the elevator, the laundry room and the basement.  At the front of the building was a screened in porch that was always uncomfortable.  It could be ninety degrees outside, but the temperature would drop sharply to freezing once you were inside the porch enclosure.  As if the place needed anything else to add to the spooky atmosphere, there’s even an old graveyard dating from around the 1900s located somewhere on the property.

Jeanine told me that no matter what button you pushed for some unknown reason, the Masonic Hall’s elevator always went automatically to the basement.  Jeanine and her friends used to do their laundry in pairs because you would often get the sense that you were being watched.  Strange banging noises and screaming would ensue only to cease as quickly as they began.

There was a section of the basement that was closed off, but still accessible if one tried hard enough.  One time, Jeanine and a friend thought it would be fun to explore it.  They saw what looked like morgue slots lining the wall and decided to each take a turn climbing inside.  Jeanine says she has no idea what possessed her to do that, nor would she ever do something that crazy now.  She could have gotten stuck or worse, but she was young and it seemed adventurous at the time.

As soon as her friend closed the door on her, she heard loud wailing and scratching noises coming from all around.  Banging on the door behind her head, she started screaming for her friend to let her out.  Thankfully, the slot popped open and she and her friend ran back upstairs.  Jeanine avoided that area of the basement after that incident.

If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send an email to Tara Theresa Hill at to set up an interview. 

I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 



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.


Footsteps after Dark

Thanks to my mother, Lady Rhea of Magickal Realms from Bronx, NY for this story.

Lady Rhea is a third degree, Wiccan high priestess.  For over forty years, she has held circles, crafted candle magick, and has performed various types of psychic readings.  She has done Ouija board readings and done other types of oracle-based rituals.  However, in this case, she did not try to make contact.  Her New Age store was located in the Bronx’s City Island at the time of this ghostly encounter.

It was February 2013.  Lady Rhea was alone in the basement glittering candles.  It was 8:30pm and the store was closed.  Rhea was the only one in the store at this time.  She paused in her work as she heard loud, heavy footsteps walking across the floor upstairs.  They went down the aisle, turned the corner to the basement stairs, came down three steps and stopped.  From the angle of her work table, Rhea could not see who was standing on the staircase.  Picking up her Exacto knife and a pan of glitter, she crept up to surprise the intruder.

Only, she didn’t see anyone there.  Cautiously, she went up the steps to investigate the store.  The front door was still secure.  She turned on all the lights, checked the two bathrooms, and any other possible hiding places, but again she found the place empty.  Rhea called one of her friends to come pick her up and take her home early.  After this unnerving incident, she refused to stay in the store by herself at night again.

Later in 2014, a photographer was interested in filming the store for a potential show.  He took two pictures of the basement area to show where Lady Rhea created her candles and manufactured other products.  After the photoshoot was done, Rhea received a call from him saying that she might be interested in seeing what his camera had captured in the basement.  Rhea’s heart thudded when she viewed the photos.  One picture was a normal shot, but the very next shows the shadowy outline of a tall man.

Another time, someone who was doing psychic readings at the store took a picture of the entrance to the basement along with other pictures of the store.  The picture of the basement showed the area shrouded in fathomless, dark, grey smoke.  This was when the lights had been turned on and there was no one smoking nearby.  They had not left any incense burning either.  Between these and other problems, the store was relocated to Westchester Square in the summer of 2014.