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Prairie House In Rockford, Il

 

I first moved to Rockford in 1973, and I shared a house called 'Prairie House' with friends. Built in 1853, it was a family home and it still stands at 1st & Prairie Streets. It had a kitchen, bathroom and root cellar on the basement level, a living room, den and library on the 1st level with a beautiful foyer and staircase, and 3 bedrooms and a bathroom on the upper level. Above that, an attic, and above that, a widow's walk. The house already had a reputation of being haunted, But we had no specific details, and we didn't believe it anyway.

On the bedroom level, the stairway to the attic is in the hallway between 2 bedrooms with a door at the bottom of the attic stairs. My boyfriend Lars and I shared one of those rooms, and our friend Tom used the other. Tom was out very late most nights, and Lars worked from 10pm to 6am - That meant I was in the house alone (with my cat, Beany) every night. I would drive Lars to work at night, return home and go to bed.

Soon after moving in, I was alone in the house when I was awakened by the sound of heavy footsteps walking down the attic steps. Our bed was right up against the wall to the attic stairway, so this sound was very close and very clear. It sounded like someone had gotten into the house through the attic. I listened for the door at the bottom of the stairs, but there was no other sound. But there were no footsteps returning up the stairs either. Beany and I stayed in the bed, with blankets over our heads until I got the courage to get up, turn on a light and get dressed. Then Beany and I would both go to pick up Lars. Sometimes we would get there an hour early just to avoid being alone in the house. I started to sleep with my clothes on in order to bolt out of the house faster.

This happened many times, on many nights, and after each incident of the footsteps, I would find the attic door UNLOCKED, even though I made sure to lock it every night. Without anyone else to back me up, the guys treated it as a story. But even though Lars and Tom didn't believe me, neither of them would go up the stairs to have a look around the attic. We did add one more lock to the attic door, and it was always found unlocked after the footsteps were heard.

One rare evening, Tom stayed home and went to bed early. At about 4am the heavy footsteps came clunking down the attic stairs. As I pulled the blankets over my head, I remembered that Tom was in his room on the other side of that staircase. I was about to yell to him, when he yelled, "Did you hear that?" I answered, "I'll meet you in the hall." We met at the door to the attic - It was unlocked.

After a month or so in the house, things escalated to include occurrences at just about dawn most mornings when thumping, running footsteps and scratching, like claws on feet, were heard in the attic overhead. The footsteps were heavy enough that I could actually feel the vibration in the room below them. The sound went from one side of the attic to the other, and back again, and around the whole attic, faster than any creature could go. This did not sound like human or animal. I described this to Lars and he laughed at me and told me it was just "squirrels in the attic." This became a regular occurrence, several times a week.

One morning I picked up Lars, we ate breakfast and went back to bed for another hour of sleep. I was awakened by Lars clinging to me in terror, as the chaos clamored overhead. He shrieked, "What the hell IS that?" I reminded him that it was "just squirrels".

After that incident Lars and Tom and a few other people decided that they would all go together, DURING DAYLIGHT, to take a look in the attic. We found a deep layer of dust on the attic stairs and floor, indicating that NOTHING had touched that floor in a very long time. Beneath the dust could be seen a pentagram had been drawn on the floor, with melted candles at each corner. We gave our notice to move that day.

Years later, Lars and I were married with children and living in a different city. Lars's Mom sent a newspaper clipping about Prairie House. It had a sad history. The lady of the house died in the 1850's, not very long after moving in. There was a fire later that had damaged much of the house, and 2 dogs that lived there died in the fire. The fire was thought to have been started by a butler who later committed suicide.

Every word is true - I lived it.

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

Bibliothecarius (5 stories) (743 posts)
 
7 months ago (2017-03-16)
CCKitty:

I understand completely! If, why stick around to see what it is up to? I don't think I'd have felt brave enough to return after seeing it could unlock the attic door from INSIDE the attic staircase!

Best,
Biblio.
CCKitty (1 stories) (5 posts)
+1
7 months ago (2017-03-16)
I don't think I would have had any particular 'fear' of a pentagram except for the fact of everything else happening in the house. Whatever it was, at the very least, was not going to let me sleep. At the most... Who knows. We decided not to wait and find out, and since things were escalating I didn't want to be alone there every night.
Bibliothecarius (5 stories) (743 posts)
 
7 months ago (2017-03-12)
Greetings, CCKitty, and Welcome to YGS.

I'm going to add this narrative to my favorites in a few moments, but before I do, I'd like to second Augusta's observation that pentagrams have gotten a bad reputation which they do not deserve, and we cannot leap to any sort of conclusion about its presence beneath a layer of dust.

Pentagrams, by the way, were associated with Mary Magdalene in early Christian iconography (because in a geocentric map of the universe, the planet Venus --which was *also* associated with Mary of Magdala-- and Earth align with each other five times a year, crating a pentagram). Mary didn't become a prostitute until about 800 years after she died as part of the Vatican's efforts to bring all women into subjugation to the patriarchal hegemony. [A woman known by her hometown's name would either have been a wealthy single woman, or the wealthy widow of a prominent man of that town.] It was at this point, during which the long-deceased Mary was being vilified, that the Pentagram --more accurately, the five-pointed star it contained, called a"Pentacle"-- became associated with performing wicked or evil acts.

I agree with Augusta's analysis, in that it is just as likely that some mid-to-late-20th Century pagans made efforts to control or to contain whoever was generating the sounds. The fact that it did not leave the attic may support this idea. However, I do not blame you, CCKitty, for imagining the worst! If I found unfamiliar iconography in a room associated with paranormal activity, I think I'd try to get my security deposit back to cover the hotel bills while I sought new accommodation!

I cannot express how impressed I am that you **still** slept in the room adjacent to the stairs (albeit dressed for an abrupt departure). It would take me one look at the newly-opened lock on the attic door before I questioned your sanity FOR REMAINING THERE!

I enjoyed this immensely; there's a certain satisfaction to be had in reminding someone of his or her original assessment of the situation before that individual experienced the events. "Squirrels," indeed!

Best,
Biblio.
AugustaM (2 stories) (383 posts)
+1
8 months ago (2017-03-08)
Oh the house is SO BEAUTIFUL!...possibly even worth putting up with a few noisy spirits for...

Interesting, I'm not trying to offend anyone's sensibilities or beliefs but it seems folks today are very quick to assume that all witchcraft is wicked and unerringly a cause of bad fortune and raucous evil spirits, demons etc being present in an area. But when you look at most (granted not all) of what passes as witchcraft these days and those who were fingered as witches in times gone by - most of what you see is quite benign. It just seems like a snap classification to automatically equate pentagrams and witchcraft with evil - nothing is ever THAT simple. Moreover, it is a proven fact that human beings the world over demonize that which is unknown or unfamiliar to them. Many times in our collective Western past (I am sure other hemispheres of cultures have fallen victims to the same human failings but I feel less qualified commenting on that with which I less familiar) we have looked at belief systems different from Christianity and automatically assumed they must be evil... When that couldn't be further from the truth.

Ok, I am ranting - sorry, my anthro degree rears its pedantic head now and then. I don't mean to drift from the author's account.
KikiGirl (8 stories) (207 posts)
 
8 months ago (2017-03-08)
CCKitty, thanks for sharing your story! Absolutely! That house looks haunted! I think, in the old days, people were more involved in witch-craft and pagan practices etc. I blame the distractions of today, or credit them, TV, Play station, Shops, Movie theaters and even, work as to the reasons that people have distanced their interest and enticement with such endeavors.
CCKitty (1 stories) (5 posts)
+1
8 months ago (2017-03-08)
I should add that it is called "Prairie House" because it is on the corner of 1st and Prairie Streets in Rockford. It is not a Prairie style house.
CCKitty (1 stories) (5 posts)
+2
8 months ago (2017-03-07)
I don't know what you call the style of the house. You can see a picture of it at this link:
Http://www.ccswing.com/upload/prairiehouse.jpg

Thank you for the comments. The story seems tame compared to some of the others... But when you are there alone there's nothing tame about it.

My mother-in-law said she's seen other mentions in the newspaper of other people who've stayed there complaining of the hauntings.
AugustaM (2 stories) (383 posts)
+2
8 months ago (2017-03-07)
The pentagram does not necessarily indicate evil or that the rituals done there were ill-intended. Granted, symbols mean whatever the individual using them wants them to mean - but evil isn't a given just because it's a pentagram. It could be that previous residents had experienced the same things you did and what you saw was the remains of their attempts to 'make contact' with the entity sort of like using a Ouija board by way of investigating. It may have also been the remains of an attempted protection spell to protect the residents from the entity... Perhaps that's why it was confined to the attic.

Either way, all that clomping around would have scared me to death! Combined with the frustration of the men in the house not believing until they had experienced it themselves (argh!) I would have been one very grumpy house mate!
Melda (8 stories) (614 posts)
+1
8 months ago (2017-03-06)
CCKitty - Isn't it amazing how people don't believe what you experience, and even laugh at you, until it happens to them? Well perhaps not so amazing I suppose, it must be rather difficult to believe something "otherworldly" if you aren't that way inclined.

It was probably something which was called up by the user/s of the pentagram. I doubt whether the butler would have got up to such perverse mischief!

Good story. 😊.

Regards, Melda
Meghana23 (2 stories) (19 posts)
 
8 months ago (2017-03-06)
Wow! Super story. But it's scary also.

Your great even after hearing footsteps sound you lived there. If I am there a single second I can't live there.

Thanks for sharing. I liked it very much.
Argette (guest)
 
8 months ago (2017-03-06)
I'm guessing the house was referred to as a Prairie House because, given its age, it was built on the prairie rather than in the Prairie Architecture style, which didn't come along until 50 years later. In visualizing the story, this was important to me. There is something scary to me about an old farmhouse, while I think that Prairie Style homes are warm and welcoming. But I digress...

Anyway, wow, what a story, CCKitty! I have heard similar stories, but the continually unlocking door is a new and frightening element.

Sounds like something wanted out of that attic.

Thanks for sharing!
Seraphina (7 stories) (147 posts)
+1
8 months ago (2017-03-06)
Wow! What a riveting story--and lovely, polished writing!
It's a new favorite on my list. Thanks, CC Kitty.
~Seraphina

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