Author Archives: Jacob Nunes

Dad’s Haunted House

My dad, Andrew Nunes, was able to share with me his experience inside his childhood home.

Andrew: “Well, um, I was home at my house in Ferndale. And…uh nobody else was there. It was a big old Victorian house and it was always making weird noises and you can hear wind blow through it and all kinds of crazy stuff. But one night, I’m lying there on the couch, and I know nobody’s home. And uh you know I’m from big family. And so I hear the front door, plain as day, open up. Someone comes in, slams the door and I hear someone run up the stairs. And it was so clear that I just figured it had to be, you know, one of our brothers and sisters that had run up the stairs. But I’m waiting for them to come back down, usually they’d run upstairs and then come back down, so I’m sitting there and had been a while like… So then I started yelling, ‘Whose here?!’, you know, cause I know somebody’s been in. And so I’m like, ‘Ah dang it’. So I go up the stairs, and I go through every room and nobody (strong emphasis on “nobody”) is up there. Nobody had come in. And then I’m like…I could feel the hairs on my arm stand up and on the back of my neck. And I’m like, “it’s that ghost in the house again”. And I’m like freaking out man.  So I’m like, I go back down and turn the TV. up really loud and I sit on the couch like, ‘What are they going to do to me next time?’ (chuckles during this sentence).  And, you know, everybody has a ghost story about that house about something happening. Um, you know, somebody creaking the floor, somebody slamming a door. It happened so often, and there was so many people living in the house, that you would think it was somebody else and then you’d figure out, ‘Hey that happened to me too’. But nobody was there. So I’d heard about the guy who used to lived there and that he had, uh, went for a walk on the beach, and no one ever saw him again. So we always figured it must be him haunting the house. But he never really did anything mean or anything so (starts laughing) so we went on with our little ghost and you know, ‘Hey it’s the ghost again’. And uh nobody worried too much about it.”


What was striking to me was the way in which my dad told the story. He seemed to be telling as though it was a joke or an anecdote rather than something that caused him fear. It was also amusing to hear that everyone in his household new about the ghost but just accepted its presence as almost a mundane occurrence. He even began to chuckle and laugh during his explanation of the story, almost as though if it were only a silly memory rather than a traumatizing event. His family even had their own legend of why the house was haunted with the story of the previous owner going to the beach only to never return.

In his story, I picked up on some motifs that occur in many ghost stories. For example, the story takes place in his Victorian house, which immediately brings to mind a house that is gothic in architecture and is something that has been around for many generations. There was also the fact that the previous owner mysteriously vanished. With this fact in mind, my dad’s family believed that old owner was the cause of the paranormal activity occurring throughout the house. This seems to be motif that occurs in most ghost stories, the man who does not die a, so called, “good” death and, as a result, wanders the earth in the form of an apparition. The motif of the ghosts making noises was also present, as he heard the door open and the floor creaking, almost as if there was someone actually present, even though the house was empty.

Promise After Death

My mother, Jennifer, was able to share with me an encounter with an apparition of her grandmother.

Jennifer: “Well, it was with my grandmother and we were really close. And, we always said that if one of us died first we’d come back and let the other one know if everything was okay. So she passed away on September 24th 1994. And I remember about a week after she passed away, I was just about to fall asleep, and someone came and grabbed my hand. And that was our symbol; we’ll grab your hand to let you know that everything is okay. At that point I was grief stricken so I had forgotten about the pact that we had. And (pause) as I was laying there somebody came and grabbed my hand; I realized that it was her. And telling it was okay. That same night, my dad, her son, um he has this sterling silver little baby cup that has a music box built in, and it’s in his china cabinet and it’s been there forever and it’s never been wound or player or anything. And that same evening, um, the same cup that he gotten when he was a baby started playing for no reason. So we think it was my grandmother coming back and letting everybody know she was okay.”

During the interview, I noticed how casual and calm she was in telling her story. I assumed at first that she would get emotional because she was delving into an emotional event in  her life. It turns out she reacted quite the opposite. It was almost like the experience gave her comfort because she realized that her grandmother was safe and “okay” in death. One of the motifs that I found in her story was the idea of the ghost coming back for unfinished business. My mother and her grandmother had made a pact to let each other know that they were fine after death. When her grandmother died, her ghost seemed to have returned to uphold the deal she made with my mother. I also noticed how my mother didn’t confirm that it was the ghost. She seemed to say that they “believe” it was a ghost rather than confirming that it “was” a ghost.