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Eldon House Shoes

 

After reading many stories on YGS over the past couple of years, I have been encouraged to tell you one of mine. I don't have many and thankfully none happened at my house. I wrote this shortly after it occurred so that I would not forget details of it later. I added the last paragraph today to complete the story. Sorry, it is a little long winded.

Eldon House is a Historic home in the city of London, Ontario, Canada. The well-to-do Harris family had it built in the early 1800s and some members of the Harris family resided in the house until it was donated, complete with period furnishings and artifacts, to the City of London, sometime in the 1960s. The house is now a museum of sorts and is open for tours most days of the year. It is said to be haunted.

I am a maintenance worker for the City of London and Eldon House is one of the buildings in which I look after mechanical and electrical systems. The times that I worked there I would overhear the interpreters (tour guides) give their historical accounts of the building and the family that resided there.

Usually included was the story of the haunting that was alleged to have occurred in the 1800s, involving one of the Harris daughters and a suitor. He arrived late, confused and dishevelled, one evening (at 6:00 PM I believe) for a party. When he was told that he should return after he had cleaned up, he left never to return. He was found the next day some miles away and he was very dead, from an apparent fall from his horse, in the Thames River. His watch was broken and stopped at 6:00, the very time of his ghostly arrival at the house. I was intrigued.

After the public left, I asked several staff members about the story and also asked if there had been any more recent tales or maybe even personal ghostly experiences. They (including one interpreter who had worked there for 26 years) all told me that there were no odd occurrences in the house that they were ever aware of.

The boiler in the house is the only source of heat and during the last Saturday of January 2005, during the night, the boiler failed to light. The house was very cold in the morning and the boiler needed some mechanical attention. One of my fellow maintenance workers was on-call that weekend and looked after the problem. During the following week, however, the boiler continued to be a nuisance, strangely requiring me to replace parts that were almost new and that should not have failed. When Friday arrived, it was my turn to be on-call for the weekend.

I was out with a friend that night but before going home I asked him if he minded if I checked on the boiler at Eldon House. This would save me the trip (I live out of town) in the morning, in the event that there was a boiler outage, and assure me that the house would remain warm for the next day's tours. He agreed and was in fact eager to look around the house. He had his new digital camera with him and he asked me if he could take some pictures in the place.

We arrived at about 11:30 PM. I unlocked the door and entered, with my friend (we will call him Doug), locking the door behind us. I then walked to the staff room and entered my security code and turned off the intruder alarm. I found the boiler running but it was in need of some adjustment. After making some changes to it, I toured Doug through the house. He snapped pictures of many of the antique and foreign curios in the house including the African spears fanned out as decorations on the wall (the Harris family was well travelled and one member was even a big game hunter).

More adjustments were required on the boiler and time flew by. When I was done and ready to leave it was 3:30 AM. We went back to the main floor from the basement to retrieve our coats from the staff room. We walked out of the staff room, through the historic kitchen and outside to put my tools into my car. Doug and I then went back into the house to set the intruder alarm; the control panel being located in the staff room. Less than a minute had elapsed since we left the staff room.

After walking most of the way through the historic kitchen, with Doug trailing by no more than 5 feet, I stopped cold. Now just inside the doorway to the staff room, stood a pair of lady's, low healed, black leather shoes. They were facing out towards us, one farther forward than the other, as if the wearer had just completed a step; only there was no wearer. I looked back at Doug thinking that, although he had never been out of my sight all night, somehow he had done this to scare me. That's when things became even stranger.

Instead of Doug laughing at me, he doubled over in obvious pain. He clasped both hands to the sides of his face and began to rock up and down gasping out the words, "It feels like my face is turning inside out." It took only another second and then it was happening to me as well. There was a strange, very intense electrical, skin crawling sensation from my face to the back of my neck. If it had been any worse I would have been crying out in pain as well. This lasted for less than a minute. The sensation left suddenly and seemed to leave through the top and back of my head. I was very afraid but I did not run.

I remembered that Doug had his camera with him. I said to him, "Doug, take a picture of the shoes." He didn't move. Once again I said, "Doug, take a picture!" He still did nothing. I assumed he must have already put his camera in my car. I badly wanted out of there anyway and pressed him no further. He was not talking anyway.

My sense of duty remained intact and overrode my sense of fear; before I could leave I had to turn the security system back on. To get to the alarm panel meant stepping over the shoes! I took a large quick step over them and arrived at the alarm panel. Doug, however, was not following. He was still standing in the kitchen, still partly bent over and his hands still near his face. He had hardly moved a muscle since the freakish sensation took us. I needed to have the door closed, that was between us, to set the alarm and there was no way I was going to be in the room, with the shoes, alone. I said, "Doug, get in here, I have to close the door to set the alarm." Nothing happened. He didn't move. I yelled, "DOUG, get in here," again. Still nothing; he was completely unresponsive. This time I really belted it out and he finally, slowly moved.

At first I was relieved that he was finally coming to his senses and entering the room but to my horror, instead of stepping over the shoes, he bent down and slipped his fingers into them and picked them up. He set them down on the lowest step of a staircase next to the door and after further insistent prompting from me, he closed the door. He still stood bent over as I set the alarm.

The lights were the old pull cord types. I was dashing from one to the next to the next turning off the lights, with flashlight in hand, as I made my way, with Doug, to the exit. I was never so happy to lock that final door. We jumped into my car and got the heck out of there. It was 3:43 AM.

After about five minutes Doug finally came completely back to his senses. He said in a quiet puzzled tone, "You told me to take a picture, didn't you?" I said, "Yes." He then said in a more puzzled way, "You told me twice." I said, "Yes but you must have put your camera in the car already." He said, "No, it was in my pocket the whole time but anything you said to me in there is only registering now." I don't know if his mind was overthrown back in the house or if it was a reaction to fear but I was glad to have him talking and again.

I had Eldon House nightmares all weekend.

I had to work in the house once again, on Monday (during daylight hours thankfully) but I was too scared to stay there alone. I would not let my co-worker leave my side. I noticed that the shoes were no longer on the stairs. I spoke to one of the interpreters and asked her if she had found any shoes on the stairs, on Saturday morning. She had not. She, of course, asked why and when I began to explain she asked me not to continue with my story and please not mention scary things to her about the house.

I have told the story many times, sometimes with Doug present. One day he stopped me and said that I always say they were women's shoes. He insisted that this was wrong and that they were actually girl's slippers or moccasins, about the size an eight year old might wear. He described them as having three curved rows of beads on the toe area, each row a different colour. He also said that they were exceedingly light and fragile. He feared they might disintegrate as he picked them up. I asked him for the first time then, why he picked them up and put them on the stairs. He told me that he thought they were museum pieces and might get stepped on and ruined if the were left where they were. As I said earlier, I saw women's low healed black shoes, not girl's slippers and not very antique looking.

A co-worker and I searched high and low for those slippers and shoes. We opened every dresser cupboard, closet and box, with no luck. It seems that neither of those shoes exists, at least not in this world.

Some of the pictures Doug took that night are not normal either. One of the two strangest shows light coloured translucent shapes sitting on two benches with a ghostly bottom part of a leg with a fancy shoe on, standing on the table between the shapes. The other is a strange anomaly where spears on the wall have their shafts completely in focus and the wall paper between the spear points is in focus but the spear points themselves have a strange blur over them.

Since my event I have been told other scary Eldon House stories but only after they hear about mine. They usually say that they have told no one for fear of being ridiculed. At least my story gives them the opportunity to get theirs off of their chest.

As time passes I am not quite so afraid anymore and I can work there alone during the day. I don't like to return at night. The few times I have been back in the evening, I brought my wife with me (yes, yes I know, say what you want).

I wrote that account a few months after it occurred, 12 years ago. Three years ago I was asked for the first time to recount my story at a Halloween event for the public. An interpreter was also in the kitchen with me, where I was stationed. This interpreter is well acquainted with the history of the house. After she heard my story, between groups of people on tour, she said to me that one of the former residents lived in the house for her entire 92 years. She mentions in her diary that beaded slippers appeared and disappeared in the house throughout her life there. At least that corroborated my story 9 years later.

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

Kindly_refrain (13 stories) (152 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-04-20)
Darkness, sorry for my very late reply. I try to reply to everyone but somehow I missed your comment. Thank you for you comments and compliment.

As far as the electrical sensations go, I am not sure why it affected Doug and I only in the face and head area. Energy manipulation; for sure, but to what purpose? Some people have theorized that it was an attack. It was definitely unpleasant.

I have now read your very interesting accounts.

I spent a month in Perth, back in 1983. I met many good people there and it is a nice city.
Zander (4 stories) (125 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-04-18)
Kindly_refrain ~ Thank you so much! I'm certainly looking forward to visiting Canada, perhaps in the coming year. It's very kind of you to welcome me. Thanks again for your riveting tales and for the recommendation of Old_dude, your countryman, I believe ~ (though he does not appear to be that old judging by his references to when he was in high school and the like in his very detailed and fascinating accounts.)
Kindly_refrain (13 stories) (152 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-04-17)
Hi Zander, thank you for your comments and compliment.

None of the activity was present while I was working on the boiler, only when we returned to the house after putting my tools away. This made me think that, perhaps, the ghost believed (do all ghosts believe in our existence hmmm...) that we were already gone from the house for good. Our return may have troubled it somehow.

There are plenty of tales from others about nightly activity in the house (I learned later) and we may just have "gotten in the way".

The security system has gone into alarm many times and security people have gone to check but they never find a reason for the motion detectors or door switches to become active. I assume whatever walks the house at night either does not understand the security system or does not care.

Others have commented as well that perhaps a different "picture was painted" for Doug than I was able to see.

I have now read your stories, they were very interesting. I would not have been able to be as calm as you managed to become in Japan. Certainly not at that age and probably not at this age.

I personally welcome you to visit Canada.
Zander (4 stories) (125 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-04-17)
Kindly Refrain ~ thank you for this riveting story and the other about the Olde Angel Inn. I've long promised myself a trip to Canada and these two places may go on the itinerary ~ or at very least you've confirmed my wish to visit Canada and set a remarkable tone for these historic sites. I'm puzzled by who the ghost might have been and their reactions. It seems protective, firstly but it seems odd that the ghost did not understand you were there to repair something. Certainly there were repairmen in homes in the 19th century. Unless the bits you were working on were more modern in nature? I've heard of hauntings where a ghost does not seem to appear in the renovated portion of an old home, for example ~ only in the old portion which was standing when they were alive. Might the ghost not have understood the security system or more updated boiler and just seen someone in 'their' home at night? And thus reacted protectively? With your friend being a bit of a sensitive, my guess would be the 92 year old woman was able to 'paint' something a bit more whimsical from her experience for him while what she presented to you was just her presence, her shoes sans her. My guess is that it was she. Thank you once again for your wonderful accounts. Cheers.
DARKNESS (3 stories) (2022 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-04-12)
Kindly_refrain: A very interesting account thank you for sharing it, the electrical sensations you described are intriguing perhaps whatever spirits are still there this was their attempt at trying to manifest something definitely attributed in my opinion to energy manipulation.
Loved the way you have written and your descriptions put me there with you. Thank you again for sharing this with us.

Dan
Kindly_refrain (13 stories) (152 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-04-10)
RedWolf, thanks for your comment.

The pain was only a minute or so, unfortunately I had dreams and slowly abating fear of the place for about two years. I must admit that the shear interestingness (I know, I know, I am stretching the English language) of the event made up for both.

I am also very sorry that Doug was too discombobulated to take the picture. I would have loved to see the results.

By the way, I do not have many personal tales of the supernatural and do not seem to be particularly sensitive to otherworldly things (for the most part). Doug, however could fill many pages with his stories. He has told me many and I must confess I started to doubt them. I then met his wife and asked her, in private, about Doug's tales. She stopped me before I could make any insinuations about the stories' veracity and then emphatically told me that the stories were true and that she had lived them. She then proceeded to tell me stories that Doug had not ever mentioned. So he is no stranger to contact with the supernatural, however, never quite in the way as in this story.
Kindly_refrain (13 stories) (152 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-04-10)
Wow, Macknorton, we've dropped to the level of puns. (Not too bad though.)
Tweed (23 stories) (2042 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-04-10)
Mack, that was SO BAD! 😆

...and it's a 50 character minimum, so blah blah blah.
Macknorton (5 stories) (533 posts)
+4
2 years ago (2016-04-10)
Tweed - I suppose ghostly shoes left lying around could be described as...ahem..."lost soles"?
RedWolf (28 stories) (1257 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-04-10)
Kindly_refrain
I love your story. I'm sorry that you and your friend had to go through that pain, especially your friend who seems to have been affected longer. It's too bad that your friend didn't take pictures of the shoes, it would be interesting to see which pair of shoes showed up, or if they came up superimposed.
Regards
Red
Tweed (23 stories) (2042 posts)
+2
2 years ago (2016-04-09)
As a side note I keep thinking about finding a random pair of shoes and how that would inspire crap in my pants.
I'd like to think I've been around the paranormal block and don't scare easy. I don't think this ghost was trying to scare you, but if I found a pair of olden day shoes strewn around my place I'd brick it. Don't know why.
Tweed (23 stories) (2042 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-04-09)
Kindly Refrain, when searching through historical shoe pictures I couldn't find exactly what I had in mind, only close matches. So your reaction to one of those pairs is pretty intriguing. I think all of us know that goose bumps feeling when recalling a spooky event. I don't think it ever really goes away!

Of course you can include my theory on what was going on that night. It was pieced and inspired by things I've learned from Manafon when he references a book that describes "apparitional dramas" like in a previous comment here, AussieDaz when he talks about different dimensions, and loads of other things I've learned from others on here. So it's not really 'my theory', just a bunch of stuff from here that I regularly ponder. 😊
Kindly_refrain (13 stories) (152 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-04-08)
Tweed, sometimes when I tell the Eldon House story I get goose bumps on my arms. Seeing the shoes in the first link you provided just did the same. While they are not exactly what I saw (11 year old memory) they are very close. I have never been able to tidy up why two different pairs of shoes but your theory is a plausible one. With your permission, I will include your theory next time I tell the story.

Thanks.
Manafon1 (5 stories) (511 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-04-08)
Hey Tweed--Just wanted to quickly say you really might be on to something with the shoes! Looking at the examples you provided links for does indeed show men were stylin' some very effeminate shoe fashions (at least from present standards) back in the day. Your research definitely presents another possibility concerning kindly refrain's fascinating account.
Tweed (23 stories) (2042 posts)
+2
2 years ago (2016-04-08)
Hi Kindly Refrain, wow what an incredible experience you both had!

I had the same thoughts as Manafon about an attempted manifestation with the photos. As well as a failed communication attempt with the unfortunate pain and fear you went through.
How cool to find out about the woman's diary, far out the plot certainly thickens.

I got to thinking about those black low healed shoes you saw. Even though they looked like womens shoes, wonder if they were actually mens dress shoes from say the 1800's. Similar to these:
Http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/8d/b8/b9/8db8b99e097acc2869213fb83927fc7a.jpg
Or these:
Http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Pq933IlIRwg/UIXFz6sGGJI/AAAAAAAAAA4/x3Pm70_HUO0/s1600/hlo.jpg
Like this dude's wearing:
Https://bythebodkin.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/calthrop1700.jpg
He's more 1700's, but you get the gist. Also people were much smaller in previous generations so their shoe sizes could appear female or child size to our modern perception.

Regardless of the gender, I also go to wondering about why you saw black low healed shoes while your mate saw them as beaded slippers. Sounds like this painful sensation had a temporary impact on Doug's consciousness, also Doug felt the pain first. What if Doug received the intended manifestation (being beaded shoes/slippers) while you received the shoes of the individual responsible for all this hocus pocus. Even though you were both looking at the same manifestation. You were simultaneously receiving separate layers of the overall truth or message.
Speaking of which, in olden times it was the done thing to leave shoes outside doorways of a nighttime for servants or even hotel staff to clean. A big old estate, like the one you work in, probably had servants clean the shoes of the elite family members. It would be interesting if the woman's diary reveals a night time pattern of seeing these shoes/slippers. Perhaps someone still wants their shoes cleaned. But that doesn't explain why you both saw them so differently. That is so intriguing, I can tell I'm going to be thinking about this a lot now!

Thanks for sharing, I read your other stories by the way. I think you should talk to Red Wolf about your blackberry moment because her father in law, who's a ghost, constantly plays with her tablet, and I don't think he's particularly tech savvy either! I bet your Mum figured a way to manipulate the language on your blackberry.😊
Kindly_refrain (13 stories) (152 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-04-02)
AugustaM, I am jealous that you got to work at Colonial Williamsburg. I love that place.
I will post my Fort George stories in a new story. I would love to make it to The Battle of Niagara reenactment and will try to get there this summer. I will have to figure out how to recognize you.
AugustaM (2 stories) (429 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-03-28)
Yes, indeed, Mr. Kindly - Colonial Williamsburg was the spot:) they were good years and I may go back to work there again some day:-) There are SO MANY stories about that place... Above and beyond what you get in the ghost tours -even the 'official' ones- the BEST are what employees have experienced themselves! Next rainy day, I'll share some of them:) Some, like me -though scared to death by some of the stories still LOVED to share them, others dismissed the very notion, others were too unsettled to be comfortable with sharing and would prefer to just ignore the whole business...
Would you be so kind as to perhaps share what you heard at Ft George - even just a short version in a comment - my husband reenacts and he'll be headed up there for the Battle of Niagra this summer!:)
Kindly_refrain (13 stories) (152 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-03-25)
AugustaM, thanks for the compliment. Since that event I have been to a few other sites where some people relish the supernatural that occurs around them and others absolutely won't talk about it. Fort George in Niagara on the Lake, in Ontario is one such place. I read the multiple occurrences in your story, "Coming to Say Goodbye". Wow! You have had quite the experiences. I am not sure where (in Virginia I assume) you worked in the historical buildings but a friend of mine and I visited Colonial Williamsburg a few years ago. It was a great visit and I am told there are many strange sightings there. I have read several of the Haunted Virginia books by L. B. Taylor and enjoyed them as well.
AugustaM (2 stories) (429 posts)
+3
2 years ago (2016-03-25)
First, AWESOME and chilling story! And very well written!

Having spent ten years working in living history in buildings 200-300 years old - I understand why many employees don't want to talk about hauntings... They work there, they have to be there every day and the paranormal can be very unsettling - best put it out of your mind and focus on the job - some even believe that the more you talk about such experiences the more you stir them up ('speak of the devil' etc). I remember closing up some of those old buildings by myself on dark winter evenings - nothing ever happened to me during those closings but I'd heard others' stories (I can NEVER resist a good story) - and those stories were never far from my mind when the evenings were at their darkest and I was very much alone.
Mimi81 (203 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-03-23)
Kindly refrain, I know what you mean about wanting answers. It's kind of frustrating to have an experience, know it was real, but still have no clue how it happened.

My husband's paranormal issues aren't nearly as serious as the encounter you and your friend had. He and one of his brothers saw a full body apparation. I've been in the building with him when doors opened and slammed on their own, etc. I'm trying to convince him to submit the experience he and my BIL had to YGS.
Wish-Not (16 stories) (522 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-03-23)
Kindly- I have a habit of checking my comment section available from the "account" option when I first log on.
If I had checked this first I wouldn't of had to go back to "THAT" story.

That encounter still absolutely FREAKS me out. Even going back to comment on your comment had my head spinning and gave me an unsettling feeling. Ugh,...

Super glad my stories brought you to read ALL the cool stories available here on YGS. I would say that your encounter reached that "level". That was very physical experience that you and Doug had. My last experience at our previous home "Exit Wounds", was the only main physical contact that was made. I believe our entity was throwing a tantrum over us moving.

Anyways, looking forward to anymore encounters that you may share with us.
Kindly_refrain (13 stories) (152 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-03-22)
Wish-Not, I said that I would read your stories. I have to tell you that I recognized them as soon as I saw them. I read all of your stories a couple of years back. Your stories are what got me into reading other stories on YGS. I understand that you had to live through this but they are spectacular encounters. I loved reading them and hope my encounters never reach anywhere near this level.
Kindly_refrain (13 stories) (152 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-03-22)
Wish-Not and Alastriona and all of the YGS people. Thank you all for making me feel welcome. I certainly was not expecting negative responses (and I didn't get any) but I am rather taken aback by every one's kindness. I don't participate in social media for a variety of reasons but it has been, oddly, a bonding experience both reading stories and getting and writing back comments on my story, from people from all over the world. Although I can't take credit for the occurrence in my account I am honoured that it is ending up in people's favourites. Whish-not I am going to have to read your stories now.

Once again, thank you all.
Kindly_refrain (13 stories) (152 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-03-22)
Mimi81, thank you for your very nice comment. As far as what happened that night, I like your idea as to the nature of the occurrence, it is just so hard to know definitely. I find the whole ghost encounter thing very interesting and maybe it would take some of the sense of wonder away from it all but I would love to have a few concrete answers about what is really going on. I suspect that will have to wait until science catches up or I find myself on that side of the veil.

As far as your husband being the manliest man... Well... You haven't met me. That aside, I would sure be curious to know what goes on in your husband's building. I am also glad that I am not the only one who requires spousal support, in this context.
Alastriona (3 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-03-22)
Kindly_Refrain, thank you for posting your story! It was amazing to read! I absolutely love historical sites and this is one of the many reasons why. Definitely going into my favourites ❤
Wish-Not (16 stories) (522 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-03-22)
Kindly refrain- Wow, I almost missed this story. Thank you Mimi81 for commenting on it.

That was quite an experience! With such an obvious physical degree with both you and Doug. As others have commented, was it intentional attack or just "bad wiring"? It sure makes one wonder. I did like your take on surprising the free roaming ghost.

As far as you bringing your wife with you, ha I would have loved to have had her with me in some of my dealings with the paranormal. I would have taken anyone at the time. I guess there is some comfort in enduring some spooky situations along with someone else.

Anyways, great story. Sending it to my favorites.
Mimi81 (203 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-03-22)
Kindly refrain, this is the most interesting story I've read on YGS and that's saying a lot.

I think it's possible you and your friend experienced two entities attempting to interact with both of you and something went haywire. Maybe there wasn't enough energy around them for both of them to make the attempt at the same time.

As for your wife going with you, there's not a thing wrong with that. My husband is the manliest man I know and I'm his backup when he has to enter a haunted building he owns.
logan (3 stories) (219 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-03-22)
Kindly refrain,

Thanks for the comment, yep makes sense.

I guess none of us would want to think about it if we had to work there everyday, I can appreciate that.
Kindly_refrain (13 stories) (152 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-03-20)
Seraphina, thanks for your encouragement regarding my bravery. Few people actually rib me about having my wife go with me but it is just a little bit embarrassing. Not embarrassing enough that I don't do it though.
Kindly_refrain (13 stories) (152 posts)
+2
2 years ago (2016-03-20)
Hello DandK, There are no other reports, as far as I know, of seeing objects. People have reported numerous other odd occurrences such as: Doors that would not open but then suddenly would, knocking and other sounds, a bowl sliding across a table, lights going on and off (as seen from across the road late at night), a woman appearing in one of the windows, and the ringing of servant call bells. I could ask to see the diary but it may entail a great deal of reading. I will ask for more information as well.

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