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.