The Old House

I had so many “goosebumps” stories this month, I had a hard time narrowing them down to only one a day.  So this bonus post will be my actual Throwback Thursday.  With Halloween only one day away, I thought a haunted house story would be most appropriate.

I was seven and a half years old when I wrote this.  I was in the third grade, and while we didn’t use cursive writing yet, we had the cursive alphabet on a border around the classroom.  When I was little, I thought cursive was just the fanciest writing ever.  (Which is funny because after years of longing to learn how to write cursive, I now almost exclusively print.)

Anyway, thankfully, my handwriting improved, and my storytelling did, too.  This “story” (if you can even call it that!) is hilarious!  As a little kid, I apparently had a knack for setting up the story and concluding it, but there was never a middle!  (Nowadays, I struggle to keep the conflict and resolution under 95,000 words!)

Anyway, in case you can’t read my “chicken scratch” as my teacher would’ve called it, I’ve typed out the translation below, and I’ve also corrected “scull” to be “skull.”

One other thing of noteworthiness, please take note of how I used an excessively bold, fancy, O in “Once” at the beginning of the story.  When I was little, if a book had the fancy O, I just knew an awesome story would follow.

Once upon a time, there was an old house.  Nobody lived in it for it was haunted.  A skull [scull] was in it and old bones, too.  And whenever anybody went in it, the bones came together and ate [eat] the people or else a ghost spooked them out by saying, “BOO!” because they didn’t want anyone in their [there] house.  They knew how to do everything.   Ghosts and spooks lived there because it was a ghost town.  Then the ghosts did not spook anymore people.

They could live there now and everyone in Ghost Town wanted to live there and the ghosts and them made friends.  And they lived happily ever after.  The End

Let’s talk…  Did my story make you laugh?  Did you used to notice the fancy O at the beginning of “Once upon a time?”  Would you have been afraid to go in this old house before the ghosts made friends with everybody? 

The Worms Crawl In, The Worms Crawl Out…

I promised to tell you today why the Slumlord’s House was the worst place I’ve ever lived, and I must admit I’m a little tentative about sharing this with you because I know I’ll probably sound like a kook.  But I’m just going to rip it off like a Band-Aid.  The Slumlord’s House was haunted.  There.  I said it.  Please withhold judgment until you read what happened.  (If by chance it wasn’t actually haunted, then it was the freakiest house ever for several reasons.)


The very first morning we woke up in the Slumlord’s House, we found hundreds of dead, crunchy worms on the dining room floor.  (And every single morning thereafter, we woke up to at least 200 dead worms.  Once we were away for a week and came home to thousands of dead worms, so many that you couldn’t even see the floor in places!)  They crawled in every night and died.  I have no explanation for this and have never heard of anything like this before.  But let me tell you, it was gross!

The doorbell didn’t work when we moved into the Slumlord’s House.  Yet, every so often my son, my sister, or I would awaken to the loud, very distinct sound of a doorbell ringing.  It was so loud when it happened that it sounded as if it were in each of our bedrooms.  Actually it sounded like someone was standing next to your head with a large gong, and after the initial ring, there would be a long echo of the reverberation!  It generally only happened at night, and when it did, it usually would interrupt a deep sleep.  Quite often, I’d immediately bolt up, thinking someone was actually next to my bed causing the ruckus.  But when it happened, it only happened to one of us at a time.

We had a late night guest once who was in the living room alone while my sister and I were in the kitchen.  He suddenly called out, “I’ll get it,” and we went in the living room to see what he was talking about.  He got up to answer the doorbell and of course found that there was no one there.  He swore up and down that there hadn’t been a doorbell on TV, but we knew what had happened.

Several months after we moved in, my son fixed the actual doorbell, and as it turned out, it sounded nothing like the doorbell each of us heard.  Plus the “ghost bell” kept ringing after that, as well.  Still, the worms crawled in and died.

We had two cats at the time we lived there, Miles who was very fat, and Zsa Zsa who was super fluffy.  These cats generally slept with my sister, and their litter box was in her bathroom.  Both my son and I kept our bedroom doors closed when we slept.  And the cats had both always previously loved to be on the couches with us when we were in the living room.

However, soon after we moved into the Slumlord’s House, Miles lost all his weight and became a bag of bones, and Zsa Zsa lost all of her beautiful, long hair!  Both cats refused to leave the floor under the TV.  They no longer would get on the couches, nor would they sleep with Michelle.  They raced to her room to use their box, then ran back to their spot under the TV.  When we finally moved a year later, Miles gained back his weight and Zsa Zsa’s fur grew back within the first month! They both immediately went back to sleeping with Michelle and sitting with us on the furniture, and they both started playing again and running throughout the new house.  During the year, more and more worms still crawled in and died.

During the time we lived there, we never told anyone what we were experiencing.  We didn’t want them to think we were crazy, and we were also embarrassed about the nasty worms.  (By the way, we checked all the door seals, and they seemed fine.  To this day, we don’t know why those worms wanted in, nor why they died once they entered.  At one point we jokingly wondered if there was a dead body underneath our house!)

I was often “pinned” in my bed.  It felt like someone was sitting on the bed leaning on me and holding down the blankets so I couldn’t sit up.  I finally started saying out loud, “Either tell me what you want or get out of here and leave me alone!” and when I did, I could get out of bed with no problems.  My sister only had this happen a couple of times, and my son only once.

But once we had company in from Canada, and we didn’t tell her about our poltergeist.   She slept in Jeremy’s room, and the next morning, we asked her how she slept.  She replied, “Fine except for the cats that kept jumping on the bed and sitting on me.  They got so bad that a couple of times they woke me up.  But I couldn’t even get them to move off the covers and let me sit up.  It was like I was pinned to the bed.”  (She went to bed before us and woke after us, and her door was closed all night, so there was no way the cats could have gotten in the room she was using, not that they ever went in there anyway.)

There were frequent times that lights and other electrical appliances flipped off or on by themselves, and cabinet doors and dresser drawers would open when we weren’t home.  And, of course the worms kept crawling in and dying.

Finally, I was home alone with my son one day.  I was cooking and facing the stove when a tall lady with long black hair walked through the kitchen.  Actually, she floated.  I saw her out of the corner of my eye and thought at first it was my sister, but I was unsure of why she was home and how she’d gotten so tall.  I turned around just in time to see her turn the corner where my son saw her seemingly pass through a wall and leave.

I didn’t get a chance to talk to my sister before my son and I left to run an errand. Meanwhile, my sister and a friend came home and they, too, witnessed the same tall, raven haired lady walk through the house and disappear.  By the time the four of us got together that night and compared notes, it was quite creepy how similarly we’d all seen the same apparition.  Not to mention the dead worms.

So, judge me if you will, but I know what we experienced, and it stopped as soon as we moved.  In addition to being unnerving, it was actually quite stressful to say the least, and we were all happy to get out of there as soon as our lease was up!

So tell me, do you believe in ghosts or haunted houses?  What would you have done if you moved into a house like the Slumlord’s House and encountered so many dead worms on a daily basis?