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Grandma's Mystery Music

 

Before we get started, you might want to read my first two stories. They outline the sound of footsteps that began shortly after moving in to our new Victorian home, and the electrical problems that began to plague us when visitors came. This story begins approximately six months after my sister fled the house in fear. My grandmother, who had been living in a retirement community here in California since the death of my father decided it was time to move back east to be with the bulk of that side of the family. Before leaving, she wanted to spend time with my mother and I and made arrangements to stay at our house for a month before continuing on. Mom and I were both a little concerned that she would encounter problems with the house on arrival. The guest room where my sister had stayed hadn't given us any trouble in the last six months but then, we were the only ones using it for anything. Although my grandmother was 85 at the time, she was rather spry and said she wouldn't have any trouble going up the stairs to reach her room. At this point, the exterior work on the house had been long completed and interior work was really kicking into full gear.

My grandmother loved the house at first sight, it reminded her of homes she herself had lived in throughout her long life. She particularly liked the idea of helping Mom decorate the front parlor and dining room with period furniture. The first night we talked of many things including her life up north, and discussing how the house would be decorated. At about midnight we went upstairs to bed and I was relieved to find the power still on in my grandmother's room. The room was directly across the hall from mine, so I planned to check up on her from time to time during her stay and make sure that she still had working lights. The night went smoothly, as did the following day and the day after that. It truly seemed like the house had accepted her, as it had accepted my mother and I, and we settled back into our regular routine. We didn't know then that the house would interact with Grandma in ways it never did with us...

One morning, as I was eating breakfast and rushing to get ready for school, Grandma came down and said good morning. She inquired as to if I was OK and wanted to know how I could see well enough at night in the dark hallway to be walking around. This confused me and I inquired as to what she was talking about. She said, "last night and the night before, I heard you walking down the hall to your room. I was worried you might fall since I didn't see any light under the door." Of course, I knew right away what Grandma was talking about. Both nights there had probably been the same footsteps that from time to time walked up the stairs and down the hall but I had slept right through them. Actually, both Mom and I always slept through them at this point. They happened so randomly and were so benign that they had been become part of our normal sleep routine. I didn't want to be the one to tell Grandma about this phenomenon, so I said something like "oh, it's fine don't worry" and decided to tell Mom about it later so she could be the one to discuss it with Grandma.

Mom didn't tell her... I'm not sure if she didn't want to worry Grandma, or if she felt that since Grandma was leaving soon it wasn't worth going into detail. One morning, perhaps two weeks later I came home from school to find my grandmother sitting in the front parlor. She and Mom had cleaned furniture left behind by previous owners of the house, and found other furniture at local antique stores, so the parlor was looking rather period-correct at this point. Grandma loved to sit and read in this room as it had a "warm and timeless atmosphere," as she put it. After I greeted her, she asked me to check the house for a "radio" being left on. She was feeling tired and hadn't wanted to go searching the house for the source of "music" that she had been hearing on and off throughout the day. There were only two "radios" in the house that I knew of. In the living room, I verified the stereo system was shut off and in my room was a small CD player which also was turned off.

When I returned and informed her of my findings she seemed rather confused and informed me that she had been hearing music all day. At first, she said she could hear "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" but it sounded distorted and "tinny" as if being played over an AM radio station. She also stated that she could hear a man singing, only to be replaced by another man singing. She informed me that the second man wasn't as good a singer as the first and was glad when it was over. My grandmother had no history of hallucinations, neither had anyone else in my family. The fact that she could hear the soft sounds of footsteps in the hallway proved that she still had decent hearing so I was rather confused by the whole thing.

When Mom got home, we went over the events of the day again. Grandma explained again about the music that had been playing and that it sounded as if it were coming over an AM radio. Mom decided the most logical explanation was that someone was driving down the street in front of the house with the radio blasting and Grandma had heard it through the thin antique windows. Grandma and I weren't so sure... Unless a car was repeatedly circling around the block for hours with music blasting, how could that account for what Grandma had heard? The neighbors along this street had always been quiet, and in the months we had been living there, neither one of us had been bothered by music.

The next day, Grandma heard it again. The same song "take me out to the ballgame" followed by two singers, one good and one terrible. This time she said she had left the parlor to try and locate the source but found the volume level the same in every room she went in. I sat and listened in the parlor for two hours hoping I would hear something that might corroborate her story but didn't hear a thing. Although I believed her story, I found it strange that the house allowed us all to hear the haunting footsteps at night, but only Grandma was able to hear this "music" each day. On the third day, things really began to get bizarre...

The third day after Grandma started to hear the sound of music from within the house, I rushed home after school to arrive as early as I could. I found Grandma in the kitchen, not the parlor where she normally sat. She said that she had been in the parlor earlier, but that when the music started, it began to upset her. She said that as she sat, the music became progressively louder, until it began to hurt her ears and so she fled the parlor to the relative quiet of the kitchen. She then looked up at me, and with all seriousness in her eyes asked me about "my friend." I asked her which friend she was referring to. She replied, "the friend who left for school with you this morning." "When you left for school this morning there was a boy with you smiling, I didn't recognize him but I assumed he was your friend he looked so happy." This was one of those bizarre statements that confused and shocked me a little. Had there been someone with me while I prepared for school this morning that I couldn't see? As I thought about it, the shock subsided and I was left only with curiosity so I began to ask her what he looked like, what he was wearing etc. She couldn't tell me much, as she had only seen him once as we passed. She remembered he was wearing blue, he had red hair and that he had a big happy smile on his face.

That night, when Mom got home we discussed the entire situation. We both finally came clean with Grandma about the sound of walking on the stairs and down the halls. We also talked about the sound of water coming from the walls in the parlor that only Mom could hear. When we got to the part of the story about the boy following me to school, Mom agreed that the music Grandma had been hearing was somehow connected. We now had five distinct "haunting" activities in the house. Footsteps, water sounds and bangs from empty pipes, electrical failures, phantom music, and the appearance of a boy that only Grandma could see. Mom and I both decided to research the house and find out as much as we could about its past.

We began looking through county/city archives and obituaries trying to learn about the origins of the house and who had lived (and died) there. Grandma left very soon after this for her trip back east. She didn't see the boy again during her time there but she continued to hear old AM radio music. "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in particular seemed to play the most frequently... She's now settled with her sister in a Boston retirement community. Since moving there she hasn't heard any unexplained music, nor seen any people that no one else could. She's convinced that I made a "friend" there in the house even if I don't know who he is, or even "when" he's from.

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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, Zack84, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

valkricry (39 stories) (2730 posts) mod
+1
5 years ago (2013-03-22)
OOOPS! I made a mistake. My comment should have been. 50 - $1.00 a DAY not hour... I claim lackofcoffeeitis! Besides it wasn't even 5 am.
DelzLdy (2 stories) (50 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2013-03-22)
Your stories are riveting. Everything flows so naturally. Have you ever thought of writing as a career?

Please tell us more about the house. I can hardly wait for the next episode;-)
Zack84 (8 stories) (32 posts)
 
5 years ago (2013-03-22)
Valkricry: Unfortunately none of the house's original furniture is still around. There were two periods in the house's life where it was left pretty much abandoned or was stripped for quick cash. The few antique pieces of furniture we were able to salvage had been the property of the owner immediately before us and I think he purchased them from antique stores. The drawing room still has a screw-in "convenience plug" low to the ground in one corner which was probably installed for a cabinet radio. Most likely the house had at least one phonograph/Victrola in its history but that detail is likely lost to the ages.

As for the neighbors, there is only one house close enough for music to reach us. Although it's also a Victorian, the couple who live there haven't made the interior period-correct as we did. It's full of modern tech... In fact, I don't think they have an antique in the entire house. They did beautifully restore the exterior to its 1904 appearance however.
Igorota_lee (2 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2013-03-22)
_yeah maybe sometime we can read the history of the your house_Im more interested about the boy your grandmother saw who accompanied you_maybe you can get a hint of who he is by knowing or finding out the history of the house...nice
Argette (guest)
 
5 years ago (2013-03-22)
Good points, Val.

50505050505050505050505050505050505050
BadJuuJuu (13 stories) (1034 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2013-03-22)
Sort of reminds me of our old place. We used to hear old music (not sure how to describe it, sounded a little like swing maybe) and had no idea where it was coming from. If you were in the kitchen, it seemed like it came from the bathroom. If you were in the bedroom, it seemed to come from the living room. It was frustrating! But we got used to it. Eventually. 😭
Looking forward to your next submission!
valkricry (39 stories) (2730 posts) mod
+5
5 years ago (2013-03-22)
Zack - I think you have no recourse but to write up the house's history. We're all just clamoring for it.
The 'tinny' music your Grandma heard - Take Me Out to the Ballgame was super popular back in 1927 recorded by Edward Meeker on an Edison cylinder. If you ever heard one, they're in montone. So to us they sound very tinny. It is also possible she wasn't hearing a radio at all but an old fashioned record player or Victrola. That year'discs' were just coming out to the public (I could be mistaken on the year) and were produced at 78rpm, in monotone and sounded 'tinny'. I bring this up because she only heard 3 songs played, over and over. Back then a record cost. 39 cents and at that time men earned. 50 - $1.00 an hour (considered very good wages) that was expensive. So a person's collection wasn't likely to be extensive, and radio was 'live'. So you might poke about and see if there's an old record player about. - Just a thought I had.
psychicmama (1 stories) (51 posts)
 
5 years ago (2013-03-22)
Hi Zack84, No unfortunately nothing else happened in that house that was strange, aside from the fact that I always felt uncomfortable there--which I have an idea now why that was, but then I didn't give it much thought. The age I was, probably 13 or 14 years old, I believed in ghosts by then but didn't want anything to do with them. Especially with 3 little kids I was supposed to protect. Ha! My brother still remembers my frantic call to him that night and being my brother, he didn't believe me. Thanks again, looking forward to the next installment!
Zack84 (8 stories) (32 posts)
+2
5 years ago (2013-03-22)
Well it looks like people are rather interested in the history of the house. Of course I'd be happy to share it. YGS's current (and apparently necessary) policy of locking down new stories will delay that a bit.

I also have a couple more experiences I'd like to share as well. There are a couple of accounts of visual manifestations and people seemed interested in hearing about what happened with the local medium.

Psychicmama: The sound of a rocking chair in the attic? That sounds too good to pass up, I probably would have snuck up there to see it. Did you have any other experiences there while babysitting?

Argette: The house had plenty of smells (lathe and plaster has such a "unique" aroma) but nothing unexplainable. Certainly nothing as nice as french toast! If the smells are any indication, your house seems to be very warm and at peace.
rookdygin (24 stories) (4320 posts)
+2
5 years ago (2013-03-22)
I really enjoyed reading this and would very much like to know the results of your research.

Argette,

Oh no, not 2-3am!?! 😲 It must be the 'demons' making breakfast before they go 'a witching'. 😉

Respectfully,

Rook
Argette (guest)
 
5 years ago (2013-03-21)
I have lived in two Victorian homes (including my current home) with creaky front steps. Every so often, usually at night, we hear/heard footsteps coming upstairs. No one is there. I've never heard music, but we do get the aroma of cinnamon bread, cake, French toast and coffee cake wafting upstairs around 2-3 a.m.
psychicmama (1 stories) (51 posts)
+2
5 years ago (2013-03-21)
Such great stories, thanks so much for posting. This reminds me of an old Victorian house where I used to babysit. One night the kids were in bed and I was reading, basically waiting for the parents to get home. I kept hearing this loud creaking. It really freaked me out enough to go up and check on the kids. I could REALLY hear it in the girls' room. I woke up the one little girl and asked her if she heard the noise? She said, "It's a rocking chair." And I said, "Where?" She said, "In the attic. We have a ghost. We hear it all the time." This was a 7 year old little girl who wasn't bothered at all! In fact she quickly went back to sleep. But believe me, I was a nervous wreck. Couldn't wait to go home! A good memory for sure. Keep sharing your house stories. We're all addicted. Ha!
geetha50 (15 stories) (986 posts)
 
5 years ago (2013-03-21)
Very interesting indeed. Once you find out about the history of the house, please let us know. I love listening to the history of such houses.
Argette (guest)
+2
5 years ago (2013-03-21)
Zack, can you tell us more about the house's history? I was intrigued with the whole California Powder incident you described in an earlier post and did some very brief research myself.

Very interesting! Thanks for sharing.

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