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Nola Experiences

 

My experiences were tame compared to many on this site but I'm comfortable sharing them with people who also have an interest in the paranormal. I'm not sensitive to the paranormal and I'm always the first to debunk my own experiences. My interest stems from a desire for definitive proof of an afterlife. I have a hard time with the concept of God, making death a bleak event indeed. I'm a tough customer. Nothing short of a full bodied apparition looking at me and saying "Hi, I'm dead" (or similar obvious event) will suffice. Very few of the things I experienced actually made it into this post because there are possible explanations for most of them. That being said, I couldn't debunk the following.

When I first moved to New Orleans I was lucky enough to find a place in the French Quarter at a great price. A short description of the layout is necessary to understand my experiences. Most of the houses in The Quarter consist of a main house with a separate servants' quarters in the back of the house. I was renting an entire servants' quarter. The main house was being renovated at the time.

Between the main house and the servants' house was a small courtyard with a fountain, table with chairs and a mature magnolia tree. On the side of the main house there was a driveway with a tall, heavy duty, solid metal electronic gate with barbed wire across the top (the barbed wire is a common feature on entryways in The Quarter... Sooo many drunk people). The sides of the courtyard were bordered by the 25 foot tall solid brick sides of the neighboring houses. There were no windows or entrances on these walls. The servants' quarters ran the length of the back of the property. The only entries and windows for this building faced the courtyard. It consisted of a kitchen, living room and small bathroom downstairs; two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs. There was an exterior spiral staircase and a gallery (a narrow covered balcony) ran the length of the upstairs. It was classic New Orleans and absolutely beautiful.

My dog hated this house. He is a completely mellow mutt. He never barks, chews my stuff, gets in the garbage, pees in the house, nothing. When we moved in that changed. From the first day he experienced severe separation anxiety. He would have a meltdown every time I left the house. He started and continued to 'go' in the house for the extent of our six month stay even though our walking routine didn't change. I should also mention a move to a new place was not a new experience for him. This was the fourth or fifth move we made together, never with this reaction. If I left anything in reach he would rip it to shreds. Vet didn't have a good explanation for me. Many times I would watch him follow something with his head, as though watching someone walk by. Sometimes this was accompanied by a low, deep growl. Once, he went to one of the closets and just laid down in front of it, waiting for something. I sat with him and listened, thinking it was maybe a mouse, nothing. I opened it and searched, nothing.

My dad came to visit one weekend. On the last day he told me that the previous night, just a few minutes after he lay down, he heard a noise in his room. He turned and saw the carpet being slowly but fluidly bunched and slid across the floor. He said it lasted about thirty seconds but seemed like forever. He was literally petrified. When he could move again he turned on the lamp and read a book for the rest of the night. He told me he most likely wouldn't be staying in the house on his next visit. I can't say I blamed him... As a side note, I mentioned sleep paralysis to him when he told me this story (I said I debunk experiences). He said he experiences sleep paralysis and was very familiar with the feeling associated with it. He said he hadn't fallen asleep yet. He could breathe just fine. It was pure and simple terror that froze him as he watched that carpet moving.

One evening I was in my bedroom getting dressed after a shower when I heard something light and two legged run the length of the gallery, starting at the stairs past my room and fading at the entrance to the second bedroom. It had weight to it but didn't make as much noise as a full grown person. I distinctly remember feeling the vibrations and watching the curtains shake with the movement. My dog started growling and I grabbed the knife I kept behind my bed (single woman, I don't take chances). I got outside and checked everything. Roofs, tree, stairs... Nothing. There was no movement anywhere and it was still daylight. I stood and listened for several minutes for anything going across the roof or through the tree but there wasn't even a breeze. It was one of those heavy, still, late summer afternoons that are common in August and September here.

The final and probably most dramatic experience happened about a month before I moved out. I was sitting in the courtyard with a glass of wine and a book (I was maybe two sips in to the wine, not even feeling it yet). It was late afternoon and my dog was lying at my feet. Out of the silence came three sharp knocks on the window of the living room. I remember hearing the rattle a window pane makes as it moves in its frame. I looked over in time to see the final vibrations in the reflection in the glass. My dog lost his mind. He went absolutely ape * at the window. I immediately got up and went into the living room, wine glass in hand (glass shards make a better weapon than nothing). Of course I checked everywhere and nothing. Remember that there were no back entrances... The only way out was through the gate which took a good minute and a half to fully open and made a racket in the process. I even knocked on the back door of the main house to see if any of the workers stayed late but it was empty. I went back and stood in the doorway of the living room. In a voice loud enough to be heard through the whole building I said something along the lines of understanding that I share the house. I asked it to please not do things like that again as it scares the hell out of my dog and I. We weren't there much longer but nothing happened in that final month.

I look forward to your comments on these events, especially ideas on debunking them. I'm not a full believer and welcome discussion and ideas.

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

elusiveproof (1 stories) (6 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-05-27)
Biblio,
There have been some great suggestions from the community on this story. It was a lot more than I expected and definitely appreciated.

My dog is one of the main ways I guage situations. If something is bothering him, I instantly become more aware of what is going on around me. He was absolutely uncomfortable in that house. I have moved twice since then. He left the separation anxiety at that house.

The gallery was actually all wood. They saved the iron for the main house.:) I'm honestly not sure if the wood was original. It was warped and uneven but as humid as it always is down here, it may not have been that old. I don't have any construction/woodworking experience so I can't really even give an educated guess. I tossed around the idea of one of the possum-sized rats *shudder* making the footsteps but it was absolutely bi-pedal.

Thank you for taking the time to add to the discussion.

Regards...

Is it paranoia if you count the people in the room along with exits and possible weapons?
Bibliothecarius (5 stories) (745 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-05-26)
Greetings, Elusive!

Tweed typed up the bird-hitting-a-window idea before I read your story. (Dammit, Tweed! I take two months off, and you're back at it: beating me to the good ideas!) This is a very friendly rivalry that goes back a year or so...

When I was reading your story, I was deeply impressed with your self-defense/protection style of thinking. If for no other reason than an intruder may disarm you, or be better equipped, I would normally recommend a martial arts course or self-defense class, but something tells me that you've already considered this; however, I do try to mention everything which occurs to me as I'm reading such well-detailed personal accounts. (Off-topic question: when you enter a new room --restaurant, dentist's office, whatever-- do you make a note of all the fire exits and possible sources of danger without even thinking about it, too? If not, maybe I'm just paranoid.)

Thank you for including the information on your dog's behavior on the other occasions you've moved; that would be one of the details I'd look into under other circumstances. For example, one of my dogs began acting strangely about a week before she died; for a dog to change behavior when adjusting to a new location then to resume normal behavior in a different location is REALLY bizarre. Once a dog has learned or unlearned a habit, the dog keeps to the newer behavior pattern. (My friend's dad turned a coat closet into an archway at the end of his front hall, so it was easier to enter the dining room; his grandmother's dog had lived there with the closet at the end of the hall for a year before the renovation, and spent the next nine years going the long way round --through the living room and the kitchen-- as though the archway were some vicious trick being played on her! Dogs learn a behavior, then they stick with it because it works.)

I'm presuming that the gallery was a combination of wrought iron railings and wooden planks. The humidity in New Orleans would make the wood swell and warp over time, creating occasional creaks and pops, not sequential footsteps. The humidity would be bad for wrought iron, too, but rusting and/or heat expansion would not explain the footsteps or the curtains shaking, either.

A quick tip o' the hat to Rook for noting the acoustic properties of courtyards as a potential factor; I'd considered the echoes, but I'd not given a thought to traffic causing the buildings to generate the sound through vibration.

I commend your skepticism. I'm having trouble thinking of any alternative explanations that have not been discussed.

Best,
Biblio.
elusiveproof (1 stories) (6 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-05-24)
Wish-not,
I get where you're comin from. I'm not one of those. I learn from people with more experience. I try so hard to debunk things because I know if I can't, I've added to my arsenal. I'm always looking for that proof and always learning new ways to find it. Now I'm rambling...
I read your submissions. They're incredible, even though you haven't always thought so.:) I found it very intriguing that your sensitivity seemed to just turn on after that first experience. It's given me something new to look into. I wish you the best and no more brushes with evil/angry energy. I look forward to future submissions.
Regards...
Wish-Not (16 stories) (522 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-05-23)
elusiveproof- No harm done, all is well. I intended no strong voice in my words. I guess I was kind of jesting as I was typing my response. I can understand that someone would need hard, 100% proof to know that it has happened to them.

What I find it curious that there are folks that just will not believe. My son-in-law is one of them. I ask him if he thinks I make up all of our experiences, he says "no, it's I never seen anything". I am one not to exaggerate details when explaining our times. And there is another thing, "our" experiences. The majority have been shared with two or more. Yet until it happens to him, it does not exist.

Anyways, here I go rambling. I'm a rambler.
elusiveproof (1 stories) (6 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-05-20)
Tweed
Thanks for taking the time to give me your ideas on the window knocks. I like the woodpecker idea... If I wasn't sitting outside when it happened:) I was maybe 10 feet away at the time.

The stress cracks are completely valid also. I'll be honest, I didn't think to check for cracks. But it definitely had that knuckles on glass sound you spoke of.

I've just recently started writing down what I can remember from my past. I'll add to it as things happen. Maybe post a few here in the future.:)

Thank you for all of your suggestions.

Wish-not,
I truly meant no disrespect to those who believe without IN-YOUR-FACE experiences. I look for knowledge everywhere and from everyone. I was absolutely being facetious (sp?) about the "Hi, I'm dead" comment. I guess the sense of humor didn't translate into writing.:) All I meant is that it will take a great deal for me. I don't have an aresenal of experiences to go on yet.

I look forward to reading your submissions and thank you for taking the time to read mine.
Wish-Not (16 stories) (522 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-05-20)
elusiveproof- Well there are "those" that need the UP IN YOUR FACE moment to become a believer. Fortunately, I guess fortunately, I have had them IN MY FACE. 😲 They didn't tell me they were dead but I could tell it wasn't what if should have been.

Maybe with some more just plain unexplainable events you will see the light, so to speak. I am the first to try to debunk all of our experiences. We have had so many though that were either small cute, cool things and a bunch of IN YOUR FACE that we have to believe.

Loved your story. I wish I could visit New Orleans some day. I want to go for the food though. Love me some Cajun.
Thanks for sharing
Tweed (23 stories) (2042 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-05-20)
Hi Elusiveproof,

I really enjoyed this, thanks for sharing.
Couple debunking possibilities for the window knock. Don't know if you have woodpeckers in that area. Or why one would peck the window and fly off for that matter. But thought I'd throw that out there in case. One of the houses I grew up in was full of knocks on windows from 'wattle birds'. They peck spiders from window frames etc. Figure New Orleans probably has a species or two which does something similar.
Another possibility is if the window was cracked, it could be a 'stress crack'. Which could have worsened at that moment causing the sound. I've never heard of stress cracks producing a knocking sound like you describe but they do make odd noises if they're big enough.

I've heard a distinct knock on a window and not been able to explain it too well. It could be a lot of things, birds etc, but there's something familiar about knuckles on glass that makes debunking it that much trickier.

Well, it's not a full bodied apparition saying 'hi' lol, but these experiences are certainly unusual. Maybe your proof will come in the form of a lot of little things over time. Do you keep a journal about possible paranormal happenings? That could help too. 😊
RedBlackRosemama (34 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-05-19)
RedBlackRosemama (34 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-05-19)
French quarter I know the place you talking about it been haunted for years I born in New Orleans but live in Baton Rouge but anyway not sure if somethings to do with slaves living there with lady who own the slaves and torment them back in latest history.
cloudy (7 stories) (38 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-05-19)
Your story truly paints a clear picture of this place, it sounds really beautiful and makes me wish I could see it one day. Thanks for a really good read 😊

I do believe you can trust animals reactions both regarding environments and people. I had the very same experience with my kitten, described in my Bangkok story.
elusiveproof (1 stories) (6 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-05-19)
Rookdygin,
I absolutely agree that part of it felt residual (footsteps) and part felt intelligent (knocking on the window). Even today, New Orleans is a very emotional place.

I'm not a skeptic in the since that I refuse to believe. Quite the opposite, I really really want to believe. I'm just a tough customer and not willing to accept every bump in the night as undeniable proof. So, with the help of people who have way more experience than me (such as yourself), I'm able to eliminate "normal" explanations and am left with paranormal. Thus adding to my pile of evidence.:)

Again I really appreciate your input in giving me possible explanations that I had not previously explored.

Haunted_childhood,
I think I cleared things up just now. I hope your father loves this city as much as I do. Thanks for posting!

Regards...
haunted_childhood (34 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-05-19)
My father has lived in the quarter for over 30+ years. I know you're a skeptic elusiveproof, but please trust me (or at least TRY to) when I say that New Orleans is MOST DEFINITELY haunted!
rookdygin (24 stories) (4353 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-05-18)
elusiveproof,

If all 'natural/normal' causes have considered, tested and ruled out that leaves us with a good chance that something paranormal was happening in this house/apt. Consider the circumstances... The Main House was being renovated, this type of activity by 'us' tends to 'stir up'. The 'resident spirit (s) wonder what is happening, use the energy provided by 'change' to manifest and express their 'pleasure or displeasure' with what is being done to their former home. After all, they are still there, it must still be their home.

Another possibility is that some of what you experienced was residual in nature... Perhaps the running across the gallery was 'recorded' when a resident slave was running from their overseer trying to escape punishment... Or maybe someone saw a chance to escape to freedom and took it. Either case would have been accompanied with high emotion levels and may have been 'recorded' by the environment.

Just some things to consider.

Respectfully,

Rook
elusiveproof (1 stories) (6 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-05-18)
Rookdygin,
A post script on the footsteps... They ran across the gallery in the opposite direction that traffic flows on the street. I agree with funky acoustics but I think this fact is worth mentioning.
Regards...
elusiveproof (1 stories) (6 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-05-18)
PunkysMama,
Thank you very much for your input. I've always put a lot of stock in my dog's reactions, especially towards people and situations. I felt so bad for him because I didn't know how to help him at the time. He did seem pretty uncomfortable in this house but he's feisty if I'm in a situation that makes me uncomfortable. It was almost like he just didn't know what to do with this place.

I unfortunately didn't get a chance to do much research. Life got in the way. The owner also wasn't interested and wouldn't give me access to any paperwork in his possession. It is absolutely on my to-do list and I'll post anything I find. I agree that nothing felt menacing. As I mentioned, I'm not sensitive but I wasn't overly terrified, just creeped out. I appreciate you taking the time to post a comment and I hope to have more information on the place soon.
Regards...

Rookdygin,
Thank you for taking the time to read this and post your questions. They've led me in a direction I hadn't explored.
I remember that my dog's separation anxiety diminished but did not disappear entirely after the request. I honestly do not recall if he continued to follow things through the house, however.

The situation was always a short term arrangement. Once the renovation for the main house was complete, the owner required full use of the property again (the only kitchen was in the section I resided) Despite the creepiness, I truly didn't want to leave. It was an amazing property.

There was a weight limit in place. That does not mean it was followed all day every day and I absolutely agree that the footsteps could have been caused by this. Thank you, I had not considered that before.

The building had central air. The servants' quarters I occupied had been renovated about two years prior to me moving in. I don't recall the movement of air making a huge noise. The tapping also only happened once and was extremely obvious. That is a great suggestion.

I realize now that it wasn't mentioned in the original but I did see the rug the next morning. It looked like someone had just grabbed a handful and left it that way. I thought about rats (I swear I've seen them the size of possums down here) but the house didn't have an infestation. There was a good bit of ambient light coming from the courtyard. I always kept it lit. I'm inclined to believe my dad. He's a pretty logical guy, an engineer, not really a story telling type. However, since I was in the next room, I can't be 100% sure what he saw.

I love living here in NOLA. It's truly a unique and beautiful place.

Thank you again for your time, rook.
Regards...
rookdygin (24 stories) (4353 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-05-18)
Did your dogs behavior change during that final month? After your request..."understanding that I share the house. I asked it to please not do things like that again as it scares the hell out of my dog and I."

Or did he continue to suffer from separation anxiety?

If I may ask, why did you move out?

Question, did the streets around this home have a truck size/weight limitation or could larger trucks drive past? It's possible that the 'running footsteps along the gallery' may, MAY have been caused by the vibrations of a passing truck... However I think you would have heard a truck big enough to cause that... But acoustics can be strange sometimes.

The tapping of the living room window. What type of A/C units were in the home... Central or window... If window which windows were they in?

I understand your Father is sure of what he saw but could it have been unfamiliar shadows causing an illusion on the floor of that room?

New Orleans is a wonderful 'haunted' town. Been there, done that, got a t-shirt as well. Thank you for sharing and I hope my 'debunk' suggestions do not seem like 'clutching at straws' type of 'excuses'.

Respectfully,

Rook
PunkysMama (4 stories) (62 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-05-18)
Hello elusiveproof,

New Orleans I have heard is a city rich with history and haunts. Some websites have referred to it as being the most haunted city in the United States. Your accounts seem very believable and I am not sure if they are debunk-able! 😐

Animals are great for helping us to pick up on things we may not have picked up on by ourselves. Their senses are a bit stronger than ours. Not to mention, you had experiences, your father had his experience, ALL on top of the fact that your dog was obviously uncomfortable. He was a bit of a scaredy-cat it seems! 😆

Did you ever attempt to do some research on the property you stayed at to determine if anything strange had happened there? It seems a young person was running up and down your hall based on the description. All in all, nothing seemed menacing just simply something or someone wanting to get your attention.

Very interesting read! Your attitude and need for a scientific/logical explanation for everything makes this all the better! Haha! Thank you for sharing. 😆

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