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The Soldier At White Brook Road

 

As I mentioned in a previous story, "Goodbye Tessie", I started working for a small book publishing company in South-Western New Hampshire early 2009. The main business was run from the owners' attic, while we had a warehouse in the nearby city. When I started working there, I was enamored by the history of the place, the fantastic structure of the building, and the classic New England feel maintained by my bosses. Antique furniture, hardwood floors, the gorgeous use of space, low ceilings on the second floor, large, unfinished attic, a beautiful "colonial garden" out back - I had no idea that the place even come with a residual haunt.

The longer I worked at the company, the higher opinion my bosses developed of me, and quite regularly, they would ask me to put in a few extra hours when they had errands to run, to watch the house. Both were relatively elderly, especially the husband (92 and still running a business at that time - yikes!), so there were often doctor's visits to be kept and shopping usually took them at least several hours. I was left behind many afternoons, with just myself and the dogs (dog, after Tessie passed), to answer the phones and finish up my tasks in silence. The house was often so quiet you could hear a pin drop in the front living room - I could hear cars passing on the road outside, and the occasional huffs of the bored dogs. Otherwise, all was silent.

The first time I heard anything strange, I admit that I panicked. I need to describe the layout of the house a little so this makes more sense, so bear with me a little! The house has one door to the outside on each side of it - two with very beautiful, large porches, and two with stone steps leading down brick paths. Only one door was in use, given the occupants' old ages, and that was on the North side of the house, leading to the driveway. It was late November and I had been asked to stay until seven in the evening, with a promise of a home-cooked dinner. The house was locked up tight as a drum with me in the third floor attic. I had been alone only about an hour when I heard a door slam - a very hard, very serious slam - at the front of the house, the South side.

This door, in my experience, had only been used when big things were brought into or out of the house, and was otherwise locked from the inside with two deadbolts and a heavy wooden bar. I had a set of keys to the house, and there was no key to open that door from the outside, as far as I knew. At first I thought it was the dogs mucking about, maybe they had knocked something over, but quickly realized that Tessie was at her usual station underneath my desk, and Sadie was standing at the top of the attic stairs, slowly wagging her tail and looking expectantly down the steps.

I got up, and walked towards the top of the staircase with the office phone in my hand, ready to dial 911 in case of burglars. I loudly called out a "Hello? Ron?" Ron was the warehouse manager, at that time, and sometimes stopped by the house to see if anyone needed anything before headed home for the day, and it was about that time. No answer except for heavy steps making their way down the central hallway on the first floor, from the South door up to the North side of the house. These steps sounded like old, heavy, scrappy boots, clump-clump-clump. I've heard it so many times since, that it's engrained in my mind.

The steps stopped, and I heard the door separating the mudroom from the rest of the house open with its very distinctive, rattling wood-and-iron sound, and then it was silent again. The mudroom also had four doors - One was that North exit, the door used to get to the driveway; one was to the basement, one was to the kitchen (the direction from which the steps had come), and the other was to a staircase leading to the second floor. It was this latter door that I then heard rattle open and hit the wall behind it with considerable force - these doors are old, and make a considerable amount of noise. The footsteps slowly climbed the steep steps and stopped outside the first bedroom at the second floor landing. Both Sadie and Tessie were standing with me now at the top of the attic steps, and they wagged their tails before they began to bark furiously. I called out "Hello?" again over the dogs barking, taking slow steps down the attic stairs, towards the bedroom where the footsteps had stopped.

I made it down to the small landing at the bottom of the attic stairs, and peeked around the corner, where I could see right into that bedroom - a small room of maybe 10x8, long and narrow, with a day bed on the left and a row of closets on the right wall. There was nothing there. No one. Not believing it, and being pretty excited, I jumped the three steps from the landing onto the second floor and ran into that room - nobody. No one in the closets, and no one was under the bed. It was empty. Those steps were so loud and distinct that I would have heard them going anywhere else in the house - absolutely. They had stopped outside that door.

Confused, and a little freaked, mostly excited, I called the dogs outside to stay with me while I smoked a cigarette. We were still outside when Ron, the warehouse manager, pulled up into the driveway. He took one look at me and laughed in that old New Hampshire drawl, "Oh so you met Benjamin did you?" Ron then proceeded to tell me about a soldier that had been a working tenant at this house after the Revolution, and was a bit on the crazy side until his death.

Benjamin apparently worked on the property until he died in the early 1800's, and his quarters were on the East side of the house - the small bedroom I had heard the steps walk into, which was originally joined with the other small bedroom right next to it on that side of the house. Benjamin is heard coming in the South door, clomping through the lower floor, through the kitchen, where he makes his way (noisly) up to his old quarters. He was reputedly a drunk, and a very sad, eccentric man until his death. He is buried in the small family graveyard just down the dirt road headed out to the properties disused pastures. According to Ron, Benjamin has been heard by everyone that ever worked in the office, and that his pattern never deviates.

Despite having been terrified with my initial interraction and thought of "Oh no! Burglars!", I was oddly relieved that this wound up being nothing more than a residual haunt, adding even more character to the charming New England home. I remained working at this company, in this office, staying late several times a month, for another two years. Benjamin would make his presence known every once in awhile, and when my replacement experienced him during our training, I was able to laugh about it much like Ron laughed at me.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, reddysteady, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Argette (guest)
+4
5 years ago (2012-11-03)
Beautiful story, wonderfully told. Nothing like a New England ghost! The story gave me a cozy feeling, as well as a scary one.
LouSlips (10 stories) (979 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-08-10)
Mizmimi,

I call my puppy Liberace...he's the pianist!

Twitch, twitch

Lou
MizMiMi02 (guest)
 
5 years ago (2012-08-10)
Actually, I call my car Einkie, but I do on occasion call my spaghetti sauce gravy. I mostly do it just to send my husband into a fit of eye twitches, just for laughs. Lol
LouSlips (10 stories) (979 posts)
+3
5 years ago (2012-08-09)
Miracles,
Sleep?... You must be doing it wrong.:P...50-50-50

Lou
Miracles51031 (36 stories) (4802 posts) mod
+1
5 years ago (2012-08-09)
Lou - I could use one of those right now, but I'd be asleep in a heartbeat 😉
LouSlips (10 stories) (979 posts)
+3
5 years ago (2012-08-09)
Yeah, but it is a massage chair... So speaking out has its perks.

Lou
Miracles51031 (36 stories) (4802 posts) mod
+1
5 years ago (2012-08-09)
reddy - occasionally we need a "time out chair" though 😉 or at least the adult equivalent of one 😆
LouSlips (10 stories) (979 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2012-08-09)
Yeah, Red. It keeps the online group grope to a minimum... Some folks can get a little over indulgent... Not me, of course.

;) Lou
reddysteady (5 stories) (95 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2012-08-09)
Miracles - I got that message today too! 😭 I like that this site takes steps to help all the kiddies play-nice-and-fair 😉
Miracles51031 (36 stories) (4802 posts) mod
+2
5 years ago (2012-08-09)
reddy - apparently I've voted for you way too much 'cause I've been told to "Please vote for someone else" and I forget and try again. And again. And again. 😆 I am a quick learner 😆
reddysteady (5 stories) (95 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2012-08-09)
Well, to be honest, I do quite often call my cat my "meow-meow" 😉
LouSlips (10 stories) (979 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2012-08-09)
Come on, Red... Do you call your dogs "barks"?... Your car "vroom", too? I am pretty sure the carbonation comes from the soda... Not the pop, but to each his own. Next thing you know, you'll be letting it slip that you call spaghetti sauce, gravy.

And for all you wheaties enthusiasts... You can find them in the cereal aisle between the Cheerios and the Sugar Smacks.;)

Lou
reddysteady (5 stories) (95 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2012-08-09)
LOL - you are all ridiculous, I love it! 😆

My best argument for Pop Vs Soda is... It doesn't say "Soda-soda-soda" when you open the can, it says "Pop-pop-pop". It calls itself pop. Announces itself to the world in a very excited way "Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! I'm pop-pop-pop-pop-pop!" That is why it is pop, not soda. 😉

Unexplained - No, I never saw Benjamin. So far as I know, no one has. At least, not that I've been told. He does his same pattern, never differing - the strong impression of some pretty powerful energy playing over, and over, and over again. It was more frequent in the Fall months, I will add 😊

Jav - Sadie and Tessie were labradors, who, any dog person knows, go absolutely BONKERS over people, new friends or old friends. These dogs would positively bolt down the stairs to greet whoever so much as slammed a car door. I always thought it was weird that they simply stood at the top of the stairs during Benjamin's 'episodes', wagging their tails, waiting until ol' Ben got to the second floor to start barking their heads off! About nine months after Tessie passed, my these people got a new labrador puppy, Bella, and she would do the exact same thing as Sadie. Further proof that dogs = smarter than people.
Miracles51031 (36 stories) (4802 posts) mod
+3
5 years ago (2012-08-09)
Lou, Lou, Lou - if I didn't love you, I'd have to delete that comment 😉
LouSlips (10 stories) (979 posts)
+6
5 years ago (2012-08-09)
It is soda! I think it evolved into pop when the hillbillies discovered it was easier to say one syllable words with less teeth. Ha-ha!
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
+2
5 years ago (2012-08-08)
[at] reddysteady,
Even though this went another direction, appreciation goes out to you for letting it.

I enjoyed your account and I know others wonder how you could be so brave to go down those steps when no one answered you back. However, I noticed right off the dogs were with you. I would go anywhere they are willing in that situation. Although, I do see myself carrying at least something I could hurt someone with, if need be. 😉
Thank you for sharing.

Jav

[at] granny, that just isn't right. It's too easy to push that button repeatedly. At least with hard cash you get a better feel of what you are giving away.
zzsgranny (18 stories) (3312 posts) mod
 
5 years ago (2012-08-08)
Yeah, we can get pennies, but not so many wheaties... The machines have all been converted to "ticket (or bills) in/ticket out", so even though the denominations on some machines are pennies, you're actually only playing credits, if that makes sense? LOL
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-08-08)
granny,
What's funny about the no wheaties out here is that where you live you can get any other kind of coin or bill, old or new, any time day or night. $2 bills, silver dollars, half dollars, star notes, etc. But no pennies?

Jav
galleygal (3 stories) (150 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-08-08)
[at] zzsgranny - yeah, hang on to those wheaties. Who knows what they'll be worth someday?

[at] javelina - I appreciate the condolences, thank you. My dad didn't need the money, he got rid of her things to unclutter the house 😊. She had tons of coins, plus porceline and crystal that he just unloaded. My sisters took what they wanted first. I didn't take any because I hate clutter and knick-knacks too lol

I did take a knitted wool cardigan that she got in Ireland, very chunky and nice...thanks, mom, wherever you are!
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-08-08)
Oh yeah! Before I forget...
First rule of coin collecting?
DO NOT CLEAN YOUR COINS! EVER!

Jav 😉
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-08-08)
Keep them wheaties granny! And all that was minted before 82. That's why you don't see them out here. The price of copper keeps rising and people are beginning to hoard pennies. Did you ever think you'd see that day? Check out the online auctions and the sites that tell you how to grade coins. You'll be happily surprised at what you have in those coffee cans. I have mine in old ammo boxes made of US steel. HEAVY! Can't lift them alone.
Worth it?
Heck yeah!

Jav 😁
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-08-08)
galleygal,
It probably was best to piece it out, such is the market for these things. Since it was after she passed, and I am sorry for your loss no matter how long ago it was, the funeral and burial expenses may have forced such a solution upon him and he may have had no choice. Beyond that, it's a lesson in planning. Without a standing Last Will and Testament to go by, all is left up to the remaining spouse. Children come after, then extended family by bloodline. So if there is something of yours that you want to leave to someone in particular, either give it up to them now or make out a Will. At least it will go where it was intended.
Now, which one of them hasn't made fun of my penny collection lately? Too hard to choose... I'm leaving it to the dogs, they can bury it for the next treasure seeker to discover.
😁Jav
zzsgranny (18 stories) (3312 posts) mod
+2
5 years ago (2012-08-08)
Oh holy crap, I have coffee cans full of wheaties!...I have filled a couple of books, but the spares are in 1 lb cans (Remember when a 1 lb can of coffee actually weighed 1 LB? 😆) ...My Grandfather was the one who started me on my wheatie obsession, and a lot of the ones I have are his...Pity, I can't find them very often out here in the West like I did when I lived in Ohio... I got pretty good at being able to pick them out of a handful of pennies, they do have a different kind of patina...

Reddy: You're so great for letting us steal your thread ❤...BTW, great story, I really enjoyed it...

Lou: POP! IT'S POP, I SAY! 😆
galleygal (3 stories) (150 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-08-08)
[at] javelina - sadly, my father sold off the coin collection after my mom died. I have no idea how much he got for it. It must have been considerable, though, since he went to the trouble of doing it
Piecemeal rather than dumping the entire lot at once.
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-08-08)
galleygal,
I do know that the double stamped one was most likely worth the most. Any time you find a mis-stamped coin is a big deal. They are very rare indeed. The wheatbacks are all made before 1960. If you ever find a 1970 with a larger zero is another one. It's weird but interesting when you start paying attention to the things that are the most sought after.

Jav
galleygal (3 stories) (150 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-08-08)
My previous post was supposed to read: Javelina, like you...

IPad auto-completes in strange ways sometimes.
galleygal (3 stories) (150 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-08-08)
Remember Revereware copper-bottomed cookware? My mother had some when I was a kid. When the bottoms needed polishing and we were out of the recommended cleaner, I'd scrub them with ketchup.

Javelinaallied you, I think it's the vinegar in these sauces that does the cleaning. I've heard that pearls will dissolve in vinegar if left long enough... Although who would want to dissolve pearls, I do not know.

My mother also used to have a double-stamped penny, I don't remember the date. She also collected wheatie pennies. I bet you would have liked her collection.
Unexplained (2 stories) (110 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-08-08)
Nicely written account. Did you ever personally see an apparition of Benjamin?
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2012-08-08)
I wasn't going to jump in until I saw the penny comment. Here's the deal with that. After 1982 pennies were no longer made of solid copper. The experiments, all but the taco sauce one (which does work), were most likely done with the newer pennies. You will get the same result if you leave one in vinegar as well. It will take much longer with an older penny.
Sorry, I collect coins and pennies in particular are of interest to me.

Bye now!

Jav
Miracles51031 (36 stories) (4802 posts) mod
 
5 years ago (2012-08-08)
galleygal - OMG, I've got a good experiment...well, let me rephrase that...it's not so good after all. Actually pretty disgusting as a matter of fact. One of the guys I work with took a really freaking nasty penny and dumped it inside a...hang on a sec.

Reddy - sorry! Hijacked your story 😆

Okay, back... Hot sauce pack from a famous fast-food joint, squished it together for a few seconds and then took the penny out. That penny looked brand spanking new. When I'm saying pretty disgusting, I'm talking you couldn't even read the date on the penny that's how bad it was.

(I still eat the hot sauce, though 😳 Could be what's wrong with my stomach, come to think of it 😆)

Okay y'all, off to class. Gotta teach this one tonight. Yikes!

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