Tag Archives: Haunted House

Turkish Haunted House

Background Information: 

The informant is an older person who grew up in Central Turkey in the 40s and 50s. They have now been living in the US for the last 30 years. They are describing things from their childhood. The informant remembers part of this story and was told the rest by her siblings and parents. 

Main Content: 

ME: Could you tell me about the haunted house that you lived in?

NA: Yeah, so when I was a little kid we used to live in this house. And after the lights went off at night, they would hear something on the walls, it also sounded like there was something in the house, and my father used to get up and get the, those days, there was no electricity I guess, and would get the lamps and go around the house. He couldn’t find anything, the windows were closed, the doors were closed, nobody was there. They used to tell this to the Imam, and the Imam, they know everything (laugh), they say “Oh, these are Jinn (Evil Spirits from the Quran)”. And then you know Uncle Jengis? Uncle Jengis’s mother she used to tell us that she was seeing the Jinn and spanking them, but it didn’t work. How could this happen? I’m thinkinking now that she must have had a nightmare. 

ME: Yeah, who knows? Did you guys do anything else to try and get rid of the Jinn. 

NA: Well, I mean, I was very young, and I hardly remember, but they were very scared. They couldn’t get rid of them, so we moved. They couldn’t take it anymore and moved. And then I think after that, my father used to rent out the house. 

Context: 

This conversation happened over a Facetime call.

Thoughts:

It sounds to me that these stories are very legitimate, especially if the informant’s family decided to move out because of the Jinn. Especially in a small town, this would be incredibly unsettling and scary, and I understand why they would want to leave, especially after the Imam couldn’t get rid of the Jinn. I also think that its interesting that the Imam described the ghosts in the house as Jinn, which are included in the Quran, but they originated as Pre-Islamic Arabic folklore. The actions of this Jinn fit the bill of what is described in the Quran. In the Quran, Jinn are often described as possessive beings that will take over houses and start occupying them, causing terror on it’s inhabitants during the nightime. It also makes sense that the Imam didn’t really try to do anything to get rid of the Jinn, because there are no described ways to get rid of them in the Quran. 

The Whaley House

Context: Z is a 21 year old Filipino American man. Growing up with a close community of Filipino friends and family. Z went to an elementary school within California. This story was collected over a Discord audio call.

Z: “The one that I thought of the other day, which is ‘spooky’ but not really, is The Whaley House. Which is like the only ghost house I know of, like, a unified school district takes everyone in the school district out of class to go visit it for like a week. There’s like a bunch of weird stories, and I don’t know a lot of the history off of the top of my head, but I know there was a family that lived there in the 1800s, and they all had some untimely deaths. Then there was some guy who was hanged who got buried in the graveyard adjacent to it.” 

Intv: “So there were just a ton of stories surrounding the place?”

Z: “Oh yeah, and you know one thing that I think really contributed to that, were the people who would always be walking around in period dress, like era accurate garb to the 1800s and you’d wonder if you saw a ghost. You know, it’s supposedly one of the most haunted houses in America, but I’ve never seen a ghost there, and I don’t know if I really believe in all of it. I think it’s probably just an old house, but it at least made an old house fun.” 

Analysis: I find it very interesting that the Unified School District of San Diego actually pulls  children out of class for a week to go and study the myths of The Whaley House. While some historical activities are present (like children learning how early settlers panned for gold) it really is a week that glorifies to the children of San Diego just how important culturally folklore can be. As Old Town and The Whaley House are two major tourist attractions within an already tourist heavy city. 

The Woman in the Kitchen

Background: The informant recalls an experience in an old home of hers in San Jose, CA, in 2016.

JO: Well, I’ve told you before about the possible haunting of my old house when I still lived there.

Me: Right. Is there anything specific you can share that you recall from this time?

JO: At the time we still lived there, our neighbor had told us about how a previous resident passed away in the house. From time to time, the kitchen door leading to the garage would randomly open. Everybody would be upstairs, all of us in our own rooms and we’d hear the door downstairs open. My mom’s boyfriend went down to check it out but he saw nobody down there. While residing in the house, I overheard a conversation between my mom and her boyfriend about how my mom saw an elderly woman in the kitchen.

JO: She said she didn’t know this woman, and this woman was not solid. Like, this elderly woman was nearly transparent.

Me: That’s so creepy.

JO: I know. But my mom told her boyfriend to not say anything about it to us [JO and her siblings]. I think she just didn’t want us to be scared of our own home. We’ve moved out since then, thankfully. I’m still convinced that house was haunted and nothing will change my mind.

Context of performance: Recorded over a facetime call.

Thoughts: I think this experience is interesting because I still remember when the informant was telling me of these experiences, as it was happening when she lived there. Having been to the house once before, I can offer the memory that I remember feeling a bit unsettled upon setting foot in the home due to a weird energy.

“The Haunted Lesbian Dwelling”

JF: So I lived in this house, um, in the suburbs of Georgia. It was built in the 50s or 60s, and it was a modern house at the time. And it looks really interesting now because it’s like an outdated style of house, but looks modern.

Me: Right.

JF: It’s just a weird house. I called it the “Haunted Lesbian Dwelling”. Um, so essentially when I was in this house, I had extremely bad depression. I wasn’t eating some days, sleeping all the time. I’d like, go to middle school.

JF: *laughs*

JF: It was terrible, I was so sad there. So anyway, the people who lived there before were two lesbians who currently owned the house cuz they don’t like the city. And two people had died in the house, of natural causes–

Me: The lesbians?

JF: No, not the lesbians. they were still alive. They just didn’t like living in the city and were renting out the house. But there were two families who’d lived there prior to the lesbians, we were told they died of natural causes. Well, we were told that, at least.

Me: What was it like there? What made it haunted?

JF: It was a very creaky house, we thought it was just old at first. But then things started to move on their own. And my mom just thought we were fucking with her. There was a wing of the house where things would just move, my mom would come back in the house and see things just moved, but my brother and I weren’t even home, so we couldn’t have moved it. Lights started to flicker– and these were just things that happened maybe because it was an old house. But, it happened in such a pattern that my parents were convinced it was haunted.

Me: Besides the things moving, lights– was there anything else that convinced your parents of this?

JF: Well, that and my dad said he heard voices of children in the walls when we weren’t home. My mom too. And I didn’t notice any of this shit the whole time, cause I was just in bed for most of this.

Me: Was there any reason you called it the “haunted lesbian dwelling” besides the fact lesbians owned the house?

JF: Nope, just thought it had a ring to it. And it was haunted. It was an accurate descriptor, so sue me!

Context: Collected during an in-person conversation.

Thoughts: I feel like this type of ghost story is classic to America. Older but not too old house has people die in it (whether of natural causes or not), and subsequent things such as lights flickering or objects moving occur. Minor, not too insane occurrences, but eerie enough to feel like a haunting.

Bob and Mary Still Live Here?

Context: The event happened some time during 1997. The informant was a young volunteer missionary for her church working in rural North Carolina. Part of her work involved knocking on doors and talking to people. Although most people were not interested in her message, virtually everyone they contacted was kind and respectful. The visit described in the following story was unlike any other that she encountered during her 18-months service as a missionary.

Text: 

Me: Tell me something strange that happened to you. Where were you and what happened? 

Informant: So I was a missionary for, um, a year and a half, and you get assigned to a place, uh, where you don’t know where you’re going to end up. You could end up in Russia, Japan, Argentina, or North Carolina. And I happened to have ended up in North Carolina. So they sent me there for a year and a half. And you spend about two to four months in each town, and you get transferred to different towns. And your main, main goal, main purpose there is to teach people who are interested, teach them about our church. And during the time I was a missionary, I eventually arrived at this old house in Sailsbury, North Carolina.

Me: What was so special about this house?

Informant: Ok, so we are at this old house with the antique furniture. I’m like 21 years old. I have this young lady, a companion, with me who is very scared and nervous and doesn’t say a thing. And I’m making small talk with the people who live at the house, asking them about their house. And they start in on ghost stories

Me: Ghost stories! Now we’re getting somewhere!

Informant: I had no idea what I was getting into. And with the most normal looks on their faces and the most sincere tone of voice, no exaggeration, no drama. Um, very matter of fact, um, they start telling me, oh yeah, there’s ghosts in this house. And I kind of froze. And I said, oh, *laughs* that’s interesting.

Me: That is interesting. Tell me more.

Informant: And they start pointing things out and they say, yeah, the rocking chair over there on the porch. He said, the old owners, the original owners of the house were, let’s say, you know Bob and Mary, and you know Bob comes and he’ll just sit on the porch. We’ll just see him out there in the evening, every now and again, I mean, just rocking in the rocking chair. I said, oh really? They said, yeah. And then they tell me that they see Mary, she walks over — and see that tree over there? Um, and that little street? So Mary just goes walking across the yard. And then, uh, they’re up in the attic. So we hear them up there, they’re kind of moving things around and we often hear that. 

Me: How did you react to this?

I wasn’t really scared because I don’t believe in ghosts, and I believe that if you don’t believe in things, you won’t see them. But my companion was petrified. She was sitting in her chair frozen, and I looked over at her, and I could tell that she was scared out of her wits. Um, and I tried to change the subject, but they kept going on in this very matter of fact way, telling me about all of these times they had seen Bob and Mary, and they said, they’re just part of the house. And we just, um, we just, you know, we’ve gotten used to it and like, it was no big deal. And so I started to kind of laugh, to laugh off the situation because I can see how nervous my companion was, and I didn’t want her to be scared. 

And it’s dark in this house. They had turned the lights down. I mean, it was just like one of those old, um, it’s different in North Carolina. It’s just different in the South, just older houses with, you know, the dim lighting. And so I started to laugh a little bit and said, oh *laugh* that’s kinda funny. You know, houses have stories, you know, something like that to laugh it off.

Me: But they took it seriously, didn’t they?

Informant: Super seriously! The man turned to me and he said, do you think we’re lying? That we’re just making all of this up? And I said, oh no, no, no. I didn’t want to offend them. Um, I tried to handle it as best as I could without offending them. And these people were not, um — I met a lot of people out in the country who were very, uh, very poor and very uneducated. And these people were not that. These people were middle-class and educated. They were intelligent people with a lot of books around, and you could tell they were educated. 

But anyway, that guy just turned on me and basically accused me of saying that he was lying. And so I could tell that this was just going to be uncomfortable. So as soon as it, you know, seemed okay to leave, we, uh, thanked them for their hospitality and left and never went back to that house again. 

But when we got back to the car and we’re driving back, my poor little companion was just shaking. She had never left home before. This was one of her first experiences away from home, and she was utterly terrified. *chuckle* And while we were in the house, I could see her kind of looking around the room a little bit to see if maybe Bob and Mary were going to show up. And she had been worried that they were just gonna, you know, come into the room and take a chair.

Me: And how did you feel about it?

Informant: I was definitely shaken up, too. Not that I thought I was going to see a ghost, but, uh, it’s just really — it was a strange situation to have intelligent, educated people sit there and tell you in your face that they have ghosts in their house and see them frequently. And, uh, it’s hard to know what, what to say. So my conclusion is I don’t, I don’t know. I don’t think they were lying, but at the same time I thought about it a lot afterwards. And I thought I would never see a ghost in that house because I guess, because I’m not a believer. *laughs* So, um, maybe it’s if you’re open to it and you let yourself go there, maybe you’ll see something, but, um, I don’t think I ever would. So that’s my ghost story.

Thoughts: This story surprised the informant and myself because neither of us expected belief in ghosts to be associated with middle class, educated people. In this case, it is educated, middle class people who see ghosts on a regular basis. An important element in the story is the man’s irritation, and his accusation that the informant thought he was lying. This would indicate how deeply he held his beliefs in ghosts. Another interesting element is how nonchalant the residents were regarding ghosts in their house. They grew accustomed to it, somewhat ritualizing it. The informant didn’t know how widespread these types of beliefs are in the South. The story presents a conflict of belief: the missionary doesn’t believe in ghosts, but the residents accept ghosts as part of daily life. I personally do not believe in ghosts but found the entire discussion between the resident and the missionary fascinating. I certainly would have liked to question the residents myself and find out more details about their belief in ghosts — and more about Bob and Mary.