Author Archives: Brooke Overend

New Orleans, Louisiana- Ghost Story

This story is from my roommate Lindsay who is from New Orleans, Louisiana.  She is always causally telling me about how her house is haunted so I decided to ask her about one specific story that makes her think that.  This story is from two years ago, about six months after she and her family moved into her new house.

“Ok, so one night I was the last one up at my house, it was a school night and I was downstairs alone watching TV and I decided to go upstairs to go asleep.  Before I was like going in every room and turning off the lights.  Then I went to the hallway, it’s like the big hallway in the front of our house.  Um, and I turned off those lights.  There’s a big stairwell in that hallway, and I was standing right by the stairwell and I turned off the lights.  And I felt something grab my arm, like right on my shoulder.  It was like a quick but very strong grab.   And for a second I thought I was going crazy but then I thought there’s no way, I actually felt that.   But anyway, I decided not to tell anyone because, um, I don’t know, they wouldn’t believe me obviously.  So then the next week my house was on a historical house tour for New Orleans.  And the people we bought our house from were going through the house cause we had just renovated it and what not.  And they asked me, well has anything weird happened.  And I said yah we have had a couple of things here and there, some lights turning on and weird sounds but I didn’t mention my experience by the stairwell.  So anyway the woman asked if anyone had been grabbed.  I was like what are you talking about.  And she said that she had been grabbed in the same spot on occasion when she had lived there, right by the stairwell in the front hall or whatever.  I of course freaked out because I hadn’t told anyone about what happened and so I told her that it happened to me.  She wasn’t shocked at all or even freaked out, which was weird but I was definitely scared.  So yah, it hasn’t happened again but other weird stuff like the lights and sounds still happens all the time. “

The family who used to own Lindsay’s house had lived there for generations.  Apparently numerous family members had lived in the house their whole life and passed away there as well.  Also, over the generations two of the family members had committed suicide in the house, one was murdered after being followed in by a robber and two children died in their bedrooms from mysterious illnesses.  When Lindsay’s family bought the home the previous owners told them it was haunted and suggested they get an exorcism because the spirits of their dead relatives would not be happy a new family was moving in.  Lindsay’s dad is very Catholic and took this to heart, having his family priest perform not one, but two exorcisms on the house prior to move in.

Along with the supposed spirits from the previous owners dead family members Lindsay’s house was a hospital during the civil war.  Many soldiers died in the house during the war.  Due to slavery and being a central spot for the Civil War, New Orleans is said to be a haunted city to begin with.  When you add in a Civil War hospital and numerous deaths on the grounds, the spooky nature of the house grows immensely.  It is common for ghosts to appear when there has been some kind of injustice or unfinished business.  For this reason, it makes sense that ghosts would linger around an old hospital or house where many family members died.

I believe that this story is true because the old owners validated it even though Lindsay had not said a word to anyone about being grabbed.  She is not a superstitious person and to this day does not fully understand how to explain what she felt that night at the staircase.  However, the supposed ghostly happenings with lights and doors slamming that happened after Lindsay was grabbed may just be her imagination or an easy way to describe phenomena that would would have otherwise dismissed.



Cleveland, Ohio- Ghost Story

 “So, um about two years ago I would say I decided to have a sleepover at my friend Jenny’s house.  Jenny had always told me her house was haunted but I never believed her cause I am not the kind of person who believes in ghosts.  Wait, I guess not her whole house just the living room.  So to test the theory we decided to sleep in the living room that night instead of her bedroom. So we went to bed and there was a cello in the room.  Her little brother played the cello.  And so we went to bed and woke up at about 2am I would say, to the music of a cello and we freaked out obviously, but we figured it must just be in our minds so we went back to bed.  About two hours later we woke up to the sound of the cello again, same sound, same rhythm.  That time we freaked out even more and literally stayed up the rest of the night because we were so scared. It had to have been a ghost.  The whole entire next day weird stuff was happening.  Doors were opening and closing, even sliding doors, which like wind, cannot affect.  Adding to that, the sound of the cello was in the back of my mind the whole day.  When Jenny’s dad got home from work that night we told him our whole story and he didn’t really believe us but he did tell us what happened to the previous owners of the house.  I guess the dad to a family of five who used to live in the house-committed suicide in the living room.  I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or what, but I do know that the sound of a cello will always haunt me.”   

My roommate Mahsaw told me this story about her friend Jenny’s house in Cleveland, Ohio.  When I first asked Mahsaw if she knew of any good ghosts stories or personal experiences I honestly did not expect her to have one.  Mahsaw is a biology and chemistry double major and is very much so into explaining the world through science.  Ghosts on the other hand are phenomena that are somewhat unexplainable.  Although this experience happened two years ago, when Mahsaw was a high school senior, she still believes that it was a spirit who was playing the cello.  It is interesting that even after reflecting on the situation a scientist chooses to explain her experience with a ghostly encounter rather than a more rational justification.

The haunting may have been heightened by the fact that the girls believed they were sleeping in a haunted room and therefore searching for any unexplained activity to validate their theory.  However, some common reasons for ghosts are unresolved business or dissatisfaction with things that happened while living.  When someone commits suicide, like the previous owner of Jenny’s house, it is because they are unhappy with the life he or she is living.  For this reason, the deceased person may return as a ghost in order to resolve issues before being able to rest.  Also, it is common for ghosts to remain in the homes they lived in because this is where they spent a majority of their time and there are strong emotions associated with a home.  I believe that the haunting was real for these reasons.  It makes sense for a father who committed suicide to stay around in order to fulfill his duties of watching his house and trying to get peace before passing on to the other side.