Despite the fact that we live in a house built in 1850, I’ve always reassured myself that it can’t possibly be haunted. That’s because it’s a barn. The old farmhouse next door was once part of our property, and together the two buildings plus hundreds of acres made up an old dairy farm in our part of upstate New York.
It’s a well-known fact that the old farmhouse is haunted by the ghost of old Mr. Keane, the farmer responsible for the old Keane Dairy Farm. It’s said that he hung himself over there and that you can hear him dragging his peg leg around the attic at night.
But my logic about our house seemed sound when I told my children the only hauntings that could occur here would have to be conducted by the ghosts of dead cows who once grazed the surrounding pastures and spent their nights snoozing in our barn.
And it’s held true. Mostly.
We’ve lived here nine years and it’s only been in the past couple that my older son has mentioned some strange occurrences. The first took place in the basement about a year ago. I’ve never been fond of the basement, despite the fact that it used to house a restaurant and bar back when the upper level was a bed and breakfast. It’s just too dark. Standing at one end on a gloomy day even at at noon, one almost can’t see the other end of the 2,000 square foot room.
And then there’s the abandoned kitchen and a supply room that still has it’s original dirt floor. *shudders*
Honestly? I make excuses not to go in either one.
Anyway, about a year ago my son was downstairs playing Xbox late one night when he heard whistling from the nether reaches of the basement. At first, he thought his ears were playing tricks on him. He removed the headset he uses to play Call of Duty and listened. And there it was again. A faint whistling from the darkness at the other end of the basement.
Well, I didn’t raise stupid children. You wouldn’t have to scream, “No! Don’t go into the supply room!” if my kids were in a horror movie. My son did what any smart person would do and got the hell out of there.
Then a few months ago he was in his bathroom brushing his teeth. The shower curtain was closed and he swore he heard it rustle. “The only way I can describe it,” he said, “is that it made the exact sound you would expect if someone were hiding in there.”
He told me he had to brace himself to pull back the shower curtain in one quick motion while the house stood deathly silent all around him.
“Was it one of those horror movie moments?” I asked him. “Where you feel like you’re actually IN a scary movie and something’s going to jump out at you?”
“It WAS,” he said. And he wasn’t laughing.
I don’t know if we have a ghost or not, but if we do, it seems to have a special affinity for Kenneth. The rest of us haven’t seen or heard a whisper.
But Kenneth is always a little nervous when prowling the halls - or the basement - after dark.
Prophecy of the Sisters and its follow-up, Guardian of the Gate. You can follow her on Twitter, and michellezink.com.