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The Fall Of Madame M

 

We had now been living in the "horror house" for about three years. I was a Senior in High School and looking forward to graduation and attending UCSC afterword.

The house was complete and it looked amazing! My mother and I had researched the property extensively, and with the help of the historical society and county archives, we had been able to track down a photo of the house immediately after construction. They had also put us in touch with the descendants of the "original" Butler family who had the house built. From them we were able to see photos of the interior of the house, as it was during their family's residence. Although the furniture was different, we decided to position it as closely as possible to what we could see in the photos. We also set to work returning the house's landscaping to its original appearance which was quite a chore in itself.

My sister, who had visited only once since we had moved in (with discouraging results), was interested in returning now that the activity in the house was fading. We had been able to invite several visitors over for events, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas with no spontaneous loss of electricity and no phantom music or apparitions. We felt her return now would be a good idea, and were hoping if it went well that she would begin visiting regularly. It turns out, she was more interested in stirring up trouble than simply enjoying the house during its "quiet" period.

During our research, we discovered the house had a sad and "unlucky" past. Multiple people had died there during its long existence, although not due to the house so much as the various troubles that plagued its occupants. Since about the end of the first World War, the house had gained a reputation locally for misfortune. The first three families to own the house up to that point had endured tragic losses with deaths in the family. The house had sat vacant and left to vandalism at times in the past and children would use it as a "dare" or as part of a right of initiation.

After moving in, while getting to know people locally, we would tell them where we lived and would often be greeted with looks of shock or horror. Most of this was caused by rumor, speculation or all-out lies told through the years. One person informed us the house had been used during the 30's as a hospital and that unnecessary surgeries had been conducted in the basement. Of course, the house's "basement" was a tiny room which originally held a gas fired boiler for heating the radiator system. There was also no record of the house ever having been used as a hospital. We would tell people this, but they would counter with comments such as "the rest of the basement was filled in later to hide the evidence." Regardless, the myths surrounding the house reached my dear sister who took it upon herself to seek rest for the "troubled spirits" who she was sure occupied the house.

If you have read my prior stories, you know that my mother and I never felt troubled in the house. We never felt that anything in the house was disturbed or trapped... My sister nagged at my mother constantly for months before finally getting her to relent and allow a seance.

My sister lives in San Francisco... San Francisco has no shortage of professional mediums and psychics, or no doubt of people who claim to be professional psychics but have no experience or talent. So, with all this potential to draw from I don't know how my sister came up with "Madame M" as I'll call her here. Madame M was local to us, which was convenient as she charged by the mile for visits to psychic readings. She claimed through her pamphlets and advertisements to have experience in seances. She was also able to provide a number of "testimonials" from past clients who were completely satisfied by her skills as a medium.

Prior to her visit, she had a very specific list of requirements which had to be strictly followed. No outsiders were allowed into the house until her visit (although outsiders were encouraged at the seance itself), all crosses or religious icons had to be removed, and we were instructed to send her something that was original to the house, which she could keep with her until the day of the seance. This was to help her build a "connection" with the house even before she arrived.

We did as instructed, although neither my mother nor I had any expectation that it would do any good. We sent her a hand-made nail which had been recovered from an iron eagle which was attached under the eves on the western side of the house. My sister arranged payment, and we began the long wait for our enlightening psychic reading to occur.

The night of our seance finally arrived. Halloween, October 31, 2001. The date was my sister's idea, who was encouraged by our medium to select a date of "psychic significance." Madame M arrived just after sundown and led us on a tour of the house. She stopped in several places, put her hand on her forehead and claimed to "feel" the presence of some spirit or another. She called out several names, none of which matched the names that we had uncovered during our research. Stopping in the kitchen, she stated that she could feel the presence of someone who had died there. Their name was "Rick, Rich, Richie" or, "Robert, Rocky, Ren, Ronald"... I'm not sure how many names she mentioned in the end, again none of them matched a name that came up during our research. She didn't mention feeling anything around the stairs, nor around the front parlor (which had been the most active locations in the house). After moving through the house, she brought us back to the "living room" which we had converted back into a drawing room. We sat around a table holding hands: Madame M, my sister, my sister's friend, myself, my friend, and mom. The medium then took the nail we had sent her and placed it on a piece of paper in front of her. Asking the "spirits" to guide her hand, she began writing on this sheet, from swirls to letters and finally to disjointed sentences. We all watched in fascination as she began to recount to us many of the various RUMORS and WIVES TAILS that were widely circulated about the house. She didn't provide us with a single confirmable name, beyond that of the family which had the house built, the Butlers. She mentioned a dark energy coming from below the house and asked if we had a basement, and if anything tragic had occurred there, this was a "no". Actually, we had to answer "no" multiple times to the questions she asked; both during the seance and before, while on her tour.

After several minutes of well orchestrated fairytale psychic writing, she claimed she needed time to rest and asked to be led to the parlor where she could meditate. She was gone from the drawing room for no more than thirty seconds before we heard a loud scream from the room Madame M had just entered. We all jumped up and ran toward the parlor, upon arriving we found the room very cold and pitch black. The electricity had failed suddenly while she was in there "meditating" and from the expression on her face, nothing like this had happened to her before. We asked her if she had "felt" anything at that moment but she was in no mood for answering questions. We walked her to the drawing room and gave her a glass of water, interested in resuming the seance now that the house was showing signs of activity. Madame M seemed less interested in resuming and began to mention how late it was getting and suggesting it was perhaps time to end the session. My sister was adamant that we resume, considering the medium's fee, the family hadn't gotten what it had paid for and sis was very vocal about it.

When the reading finally resumed, Madame M seemed distracted and wasn't able to continue writing as confidently as she had before. She began to write once more, recounting another story which we had heard as a rumor locally, when she stopped abruptly and looked in the direction of the front hallway. She stared for about a minute and grew quite pale before standing, grabbing her coat and excusing herself. She dug through her purse feverishly looking for her car keys as she walked toward the entrance, dropping papers as she went. Even my sister had to concede to the hoax as the papers turned out to be notes regarding the rumors Madame M had discovered and used in her seance.

To this day we don't know what Madame M saw in the hallway or what had happened to her in the front parlor. She continued to offer her services locally for a few months after the seance but suddenly closed up shop and moved on. Local rumors say she was under investigation for fraud, but you know what they say about rumors...

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

AshCat (24 posts)
+1
4 years ago (2013-12-20)
I am disgusted that Madame M was a fake, not cool! I guess she got what was coming to her!
Marine (6 stories) (42 posts)
+1
4 years ago (2013-08-12)
Zack - Why did I come across your stories just now? I couldn't stop laughing reading this one in particular. My workmates thought I've gone nuts. I suddenly burst out laughing while everyone was quiet and focused in wrapping up work. Please keep 'em coming.

Val - Kids skin? Really? Or am I missing something?
Pete16 (2 stories) (49 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-07-16)
Read one of your other stories, Zack, and decided to read more. I'm so glad I did!
taurus83 (4 stories) (84 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-06-24)
It seems as though the spirits whom share your home were giving you all the evidence you need to show her, her way out! They knew she was a hoax. And they wanted to show her something she's never seen before. Its great they share your home with no bad energy. Awesome story!
jak89 (1 stories) (16 posts)
+1
4 years ago (2013-05-08)
That was one of the coolest stories I have ever read on here. Very descriptive and proper. It was like I was there when this was all happening. Good story and I hope "madame m" thinks twice before scamming again.

-Jake-
babygoatpuller (4 stories) (358 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-05-08)
zack, this house is fascinating and I love your writing style! You have a way of drawing us in and feeling like we're right there. Can't wait to read more!

Valkricry,
You mentioned using "kids skin" for making a new body for the doll... Watch it missy! Just kidding...LOL
DelzLdy (2 stories) (50 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2013-04-10)
Zach84 - I love each and every one of the experiences with your house. After you have related them all you should seriously consider printing them in a book. Your writing style is superior!

This particular segment reminds me of a time when my oldest daughter was just beginning to investigate her own beliefs and asked if I would take her to this 'new age' shop close by our home. About 5 minutes after walking in the door, one of the saleswomen came up to me and said she felt I must have some military affiliation. I assured her I did (at that time I worked in the civil service workforce for Travis Air Force Base).

My daughter was completely in awe that this stranger would know that about me. That is until I pointed out that the easily identifiable military base sticker in my windshield of my car parked within direct sight of their door/window, was a dead giveaway to my employment. My daughter wasn't quite so wonderstruck from then on. πŸ˜†
Argette (guest)
 
5 years ago (2013-04-09)
Val is right. The backyard of an older home is a treasure trove. Every once in a while I will find a piece of crockery, a locket or the hasp from a chest in my garden.
valkricry (39 stories) (2730 posts) mod
+1
5 years ago (2013-04-09)
Zack,
You probably already know this, but it wasn't unusual for houses of that time period to have their own 'refuse' pile, for things they wished to discard. You and your mom will probably be turning things up for years to come, depending on where and how far down you dig. The china doll's head is a real find. Perhaps your mom would consider having someone make a body for it. Traditionally the body could be kids skin. Somewhere there should be a pair of hands - they generally went up to the elbow area, and possibly, legs too. Only the most expensive dolls at that time period had the china legs. However, it is also possible that the entire torso and extremeties were of a 'stuffed' nature. Although since this was near the front steps, I more suspect that the doll had been lost and not tossed out.
Narella (guest)
+1
5 years ago (2013-04-09)
I've really enjoyed all your stories but this one made me laugh. I hope Madame M was scared out of business!
Zack84 (8 stories) (32 posts)
+2
5 years ago (2013-04-09)
Thank you everyone for your comments! I'm glad people are finding the experiences interesting. I'm just about finished preparing a summarization of the house's history from the 1890s to now which I'll post most likely later today. I learned from my mother yesterday that she was digging in the flower bed near the front steps and located the china head of a doll. The body probably decomposed years ago. It's interesting that she's still finding surprises like that years after moving in.
Fergie (36 stories) (1094 posts)
+2
5 years ago (2013-04-09)
Zack - I have read, and loved every one of your articulate, interesting accounts. I don't always have anything 'intelligent' to say in reply. But I can only say that you post a most enjoyable read - I have added you to my favorite posters!

Keep up the good work, and keep 'em coming.
Sincerely,
Fergie
paul19 (1 stories) (18 posts)
 
5 years ago (2013-04-08)
The morale is you can't always trust what you hear nice story.
Morticia1 (6 stories) (159 posts)
 
5 years ago (2013-04-08)
πŸ˜† Zack I have gotta say I got a good laugh out of your story for the sole reason of "Madame M"!

I have to agree think your house was having some fun with her that night! 😁
Hotrod13 (141 posts)
 
5 years ago (2013-04-08)
Lol zack, watt a good funny story. I die laughing, what a nice big nightfall madame m had!
DARKNESS (3 stories) (2022 posts)
+2
5 years ago (2013-04-08)
Zack84: Loved the account and as the others have mentioned it is very well written, I am so glad that at least some of the fakers out there get what's coming to them, how I despise people who take advantage of other people. Look forward to hearing more from you.

Thanks for sharing.

Dan
goldduster (55 posts)
 
5 years ago (2013-04-07)
Miracles I found the book they worked the shores of Lake Erie the book was written in 2008 so I don't know if they still do it The book was written by Charles Cassady jr. The name is Cleveland Ghosts not Ghosts of Cleveland sorry I didn't have more information
goldduster (55 posts)
 
5 years ago (2013-04-07)
The group is up by lake Erie I read about them in a book called Ghosts of Cleveland I'll find the book and find out what county they're from if you get a chance to read that book it is pretty good the author is a sceptic that will tell you what is true and what isn't true
troyarn (5 stories) (479 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2013-04-07)
Great story, Zack! I have to say this one made my weekend that much better. Thanks for sharing and have a great week.
Miracles51031 (36 stories) (4802 posts) mod
 
5 years ago (2013-04-07)
goldduster - being as I am also from Ohio, and granny's roots are deeply embedded here, which part of Ohio is the group from? I'd really like to check that out sometime. Just for "kicks and giggles."
valkricry (39 stories) (2730 posts) mod
+2
5 years ago (2013-04-07)
Granny, I don't get how someone could 'not understand' that these stories are copyrighted when every page contains this notification: "Copyright Β© 2006-2013 YourGhostStories.com. No reproduction of any part without permission or you will be haunted." (hee-hee I love the last part). And at the bottom of every story:
Β© The ghost story The Title is copyrighted to Author. Edited by yourghoststories.com.
I think they're just trying to use ignorance 'I didn't know' as an excuse. They know they are doing wrong. Maybe as punishment we could send them to Zach's house 😜
Seriously thouh, it's good to know that the mods of this site have our backs!
goldduster (55 posts)
 
5 years ago (2013-04-06)
What is real funny is there is a group here in Ohio that will come to your house and do a fake sΓ©ance with all the props to talk to a spirit guide They do it at parties sometimes
zzsgranny (18 stories) (3311 posts) mod
 
5 years ago (2013-04-06)
Yeah, sometimes people don't understand that these stories are copyrighted material, and if they choose to reprint them they need to give credit to the author and the site.

Madame M may have had some psychic abilities, but she sure wasn't ready to deal with it LOL! The genuine, reputable ones are pretty hard to find, but they're out there. And just like most paranormal investigative teams, they don't charge for their services, although they will accept donations.

I'm glad you chose our site to post your experiences on, as I have enjoyed all of them. 😊
Zack84 (8 stories) (32 posts)
+3
5 years ago (2013-04-06)
Thank you zzsgranny, I appreciate that you went to the effort to have the story removed from Facebook. I realize that these stories are now part of the internet but I chose YGS for a reason. I watched the site, and read the posts and comments by its contributors before deciding this was the best place to relate my experiences. I've had a wonderful time going over my journals and notes to compile these stories and I love reading the feedback I've received so far.

We were never able to get a refund for the services "Madame M" failed to render. I don't know if a house could be deemed to have a "sense of humor" or "personality" its self. Perhaps it's formed by the experiences of the people who lived (and died) there... If a house can have a sense of humor, I'd describe this particular property's as cynical. At the time it certainly seemed to me that the house was having a good time at our "medium's" expense. Although it has been suggested and I do agree that perhaps the entities within the house simply saw this as an opportunity to communicate and our medium, the utter fraud she was, was simply unable to handle the experience of an actual contact situation.

I'd also like to say that I don't mean this story to suggest that I feel mediums and/or psychics can not/do not exist. As with any pursuit, for every well grounded - responsible - well educated - professional member, you'll also find a disgrace which demeans the good name of those with a true calling and passion. We simply encountered the wrong side of that coin.

Oh... And a bit of advice... Don't hire a medium the charges by the mile. πŸ˜†
Argette (guest)
+1
5 years ago (2013-04-06)
Excellent story, Zach. You are a good writer.

I had an experience with someone who claimed to be able to contact the dead and it had quite the opposite effect on me: In time, I became a believer.

Your story was well told.
mamachong (11 stories) (228 posts)
+2
5 years ago (2013-04-06)
I really enjoyed your story. Very interesting. I'm sure your ghosties are having a great laugh too. Lol, I would loved to have seen her expressions. Too bad you didn't record anything with her or took pictures.
zzsgranny (18 stories) (3311 posts) mod
+4
5 years ago (2013-04-06)
Zack: I got an extremely large gaffawing laugh from this, but let me tell why, since we're on the subject of frauds. It was brought to our attention that someone had plagiarized one of your stories from this site and posted it to a facebook page. I gave the Admin of the page the "Granny Goose", reported it, and had it removed πŸ˜†. They now have a policy of "no more copied stories" LOL! (This just happened today!)

Anyway, it seems your ghosties don't like fakers either. I bet that was hilarious. Oh, and did you get a refund? 😊
Gayatrishiva (3 stories) (115 posts)
+3
5 years ago (2013-04-06)
lol...these stuffs I guess happen every cornor of the world I guess. In india usually like if we are going to rent out a house if we don't go through the middlemen for sale/rent then they start cooking up stories of the house like its hunted and they also spread rumours that they saw some ghosts or some black magic thing happened etc... And they also bring in sometimes medium who also seem to tell the same story so that nobody buys the house or rent it as these guys will be loosing the commssion that they get. I had hearty laugh when I read she called all the names and guess what those are the common names and if one goes into a street shout one of the above mentioned names I am sure you'll get a dozen coming out from the street with the same name.
BadJuuJuu (13 stories) (1034 posts)
+3
5 years ago (2013-04-06)
Love it! This is such a brilliant example of why I roll my eyes and snort when I hear words like "psychic" and "medium." Too many of them turn out to be full of bunga lol. I know I shouldn't be so amused by her misfortune, but it's hilarious. Thanks for sharing!
valkricry (39 stories) (2730 posts) mod
+4
5 years ago (2013-04-06)
Zach - you've done it again! I am sitting here, trying to stifle my laughter so that the roommate doesn't think I've gone mad. Ohmygosh! Poor Madame M - not! Evidently she got what she deserved. I hope your sis got a refund too.

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