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A Haunting In The Old World


This is a story I always tell people when asked if I ever had a paranormal experience. I will tell you the first part - about how it started, with my mom.

First I need to clarify, my mom is sensitive. She does not see or hear spirits; it is more of a feeling thing. She always knows when something is about to happen, or if something's wrong. Since she was raised catholic, the priests and nuns always told her there was no such thing as ghosts and she was just imagining things.

In the late 70's, she was living in Milan, Italy, with my dad, in a house that was built around 1700 and was used as shelter for the wounded during both World Wars. Well, that has to be enough of an explanation for everything that happened there.

It all started with feelings of being watched. She was never alone in a room, even when she WAS alone in a room. She would feel touched, an overflow of thoughts in her mind that didn't seem like her own. After a while, my dad started showing signs of depression. He would stay home, catatonic, instead of showing up at work. He would be desperate, feeling empty and lost, although he was living what was supposed to be a happy life with the woman he loved.

After my dad started getting unusually irritated and withdrawn, my mom took shelter in prayer. She would stay home and pray, trying to restore peace. That is when it started escalating. Every night, their shoes would be moved from where they were left, shoe laces would be nowhere to be found, and would turn up in the most unlikely places: they were even found hanging from a chandelier once.

The house had a shower, which is an unusual addition in very Old Italian buildings. It was old and rusty, so they needed to use a wrench every time they wanted to shower. The spirits of the house, however, didn't need any help and would start the water every night. My mom would wake up, scared to death but praying silently, while walking to the bathroom with her tools to stop the heavy flow of water.

When she started getting used to it, the spirits turned it up a notch. My parents had a red chaise sofa in their living room that came with the house. When mom would walk to the kitchen to prepare breakfast, there would be long strains of white hair all over the red cushions. She would clean it up daily and, most certainly, they would be back every morning. I have to add: my dad is bald and my mom has black hair. By then, dad would hardly leave the house and much less talk, not to mention he still denies and changes the subject when we imply anything different was taking place in the house.

After a few weeks, mom had enough. She confronted the spirits, by saying they would stop harming my father and her, and that either they would leave the house for good, or she would make them leave.

That same morning, my mom was in a car accident. Her boss was driving, and she suddenly lost control and hit a parked truck. Although all the other people in the car left the scene without a scratch, my mom's legs were shattered in several places and she needed immediate surgery, but the hospital my father worked in was unable to provide her with proper care. He then made arrangements for surgery back in Brazil where he used to work, and they flew back home the same night. Since the confrontation, my mom has never again been able to set foot in that house.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, CityGal, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

DARKNESS (3 stories) (2022 posts)
13 years ago (2011-05-23)
CityGal: Great account here it was very well put together. Agreeing with some comments posted previously, it does seems as though your father has picked up on the feelings that have stained everything to the very foundation of the home, this would explain the depression and feelings experienced at the time. Sorry to hear what happened to your mother the accident could just be coincidence or it could be there reaction to what she has mentioned to them. I will comment more on this with your next submission.

Thanks for sharing.

taz890 (12 stories) (1380 posts)
13 years ago (2011-05-20)
hi cityGal will admit when first started reading this I thought "oh yes here we go someone has just watched amitivlle horror" and twisted it a bit.

My word was I wrong!
I loved this! I am now waiting for the next post with antisipation,
Do agree was most posiblely the old feelings in the house affecting your dad.
Thanks for sharing,
CityGal (3 stories) (8 posts)
13 years ago (2011-05-20)
Hey guys, glad you all liked it.

Yes, about my mom, she is a no-nonsense kind of woman. She currently "works" part time in a religious center in her town, helping those who are affected by negative entities to get rid of them. Of course she refuses any kind of pay for that. I think this experience showed her that people need protection against negative spirits.

Feyan, I don't live in that house anymore. Although my family is all italian, I currently live in Brazil. I do visit Italy every now and then, and I have been outside the home where these events took place. I did not to go in, because I was advised against it. (No Wonder!) I know the landlords, they are friends of the family, and it seems like they are selling it because it's just really bad business.

My dad has changed dramatically since that experience. He was somewhat catholic, and turned against religion after it all happened. I think Slouslips makes a good point, that he might've been influenced by the soldiers' feelings that must've soaked the walls of that house. Also, I think because he's a doctor and scientist he was not ready to deal with the idea of superior forces, it means too much of a change on what he has been taught about life and death. That might've been one of the reasons he blocked it all out.

Javelina, I love your story, I think you will relate to much of what I publish in the coming weeks.

I am currently working on stories about my own experiences, as well as my mom's. Growing up with a sensitive mum is a remarkable experience, specially when you're trying to sneak out of the house in the middle of the night. (and she finds out, while sleeping in another continent...)
Lilady4 (7 stories) (427 posts)
13 years ago (2011-05-18)
Oh my goodness, what a fascinating story showing what Spirits/entities can do. I hope your mother is alright now, and I hope all is well with your family.
Love & Light, Rachel ❤
feyan (17 posts)
13 years ago (2011-05-18)
do you still live in that house... & somehow I feel that the experience don't not end here now does it? 😕 if you do live or experience anything weird... Well, hopefully you will share?
bacchaegrl (506 posts)
13 years ago (2011-05-18)
The white hair detail is very intruiging. I think it is so fascinating when ghosts leave physical evidence behind. That house must have had quite a history.
aiafaith1 (guest)
13 years ago (2011-05-18)
That's freaky. People always were telling me, "Oh spirits can't hurt you sweetie." Sheeyah right. I'm glad she is okay though. Will you tell us some of your experiences? Also, I would like to hear more of your mom's experiences. Thanks. 😊

Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
13 years ago (2011-05-18)
Great story! You tell it well, too.
I would love to hear more about your mother and her experiences with the paranormal. She reminds me so much of my own mother, even being raised Catholic and eventually having to leave the church. But it was when I read this, "that either they would leave the house for good, or she would make them leave", that it really hit home for me because that is exactly what my mother would say at that point. If you want to see what I mean, I have a story that I wrote about a haunted restaurant my mother used to run back in the 70's (just a coincidence?), but it's really about her and her interaction with the paranormal. It's on my profile page if you'd like to read it.
Thank you so much for sharing their story with us. This is going straight to my favorites list!
😊 😊 ❤
dragonwalker (5 stories) (77 posts)
13 years ago (2011-05-18)
I agree with louslips about your dad. It sounds like he was suffering from depression, medication, head trauma, to the point of extreme disorientation, like a wounded soldier might. PTSD?
Add to that, the mind does incredible things to be able to cope, including shutting off, blanking memories, etc. Perhaps your father was also just not ready to accept that those things happened because it would open up his whole world in ways he couldn't handle, and he would have had to question everything he'd ever been taught, everything he'd ever believed.
Your mom sounds like she was no-nonsense, but tolerant, willing to give a fair chance until it's proved that she will have to take steps to handle her business.
Amazing story and can't wait to hear more!
LouSlips (10 stories) (979 posts)
13 years ago (2011-05-18)
Well done, CityGal.

I enjoyed your story very much. I realize that your dad has intentionally shut off any connection possible to the paranormal, but can you think of, or have you ever been told of, any other paranormal occurrences that happened to, or around your father?
As intent as he is about either denying or avoiding the subject, I think he knows and feels more than he has shared. Although it is true that he could have been affected by a negative entity drawn to the property by its tumultuous history of suffering; I think it is equally as likely that he is empathetic to the spirits of the individuals that suffered there.
What would it be like for a soldier in that time who had been brought to this location, and what emotions would that soldier experience? Between the guilt some combat soldiers face for leaving the fight, regardless of their condition; to being surrounded by others who could be gravely injured; to facing the rest of their life in some depleted conditon due to their wounds; to facing the emotions they will face when greeting family and friends with this condition...depression, anger, and anxiety must drip from the walls of that home. I do not believe some evil entity effected your father, I believe he was affected by the pain and suffering that is the history of the home.

geetha50 (15 stories) (986 posts)
13 years ago (2011-05-18)
I can second that. Both my cousin's wife (& Family) and a good friend (& Family) are Catholics. Both my cousin's wife and friend have slowly open the mind and opinion about the paranormal after experiencing things but their respective parents are totally different case all together. My friend's mom even suggested getting her son some help from a shrink (even after what happened--- that's another story).

Like what others mentioned, I think the spirits in your home were using the negative vibe that was endured during history to taunt your parents. I think once the spirits realized that your mom was a strong woman and would not take any crap from anyone, they felt threatened and wanted to get rid of her. I hope both of your parents are okay now. Has your father recovered from his depression? I haven't read your profile so I was wondering if you still live in Italy or another country?
redphx (4 stories) (827 posts)
13 years ago (2011-05-17)
I am very happy that your mother was able to recover from the car accident. It does seem to coincide with her threatening the ghosts that she was going to kick them out of the house. They obviously felt that she was strong enough to do it because they did hurt her. I don't know why they would do that but I am glad it happened in a way. The experience changed her views and opened her eyes. She is now stronger for it.

Catholics are strange creatures. My husband was raised strict catholic and I a witch. We used to have fights that would last into the night about religion, spirits, and anything "evil" Then one day he just woke up. I can't describe it. I was telling him about the visitor we had the night before and how I was having trouble getting rid of it. He looked at me and he said "I know, I had this dream..." It was like a dark veil was lifted from his face. Catholic no more. Strange very strange creatures they are. To me they are the paranormal.
CityGal (3 stories) (8 posts)
13 years ago (2011-05-17)
JamesRobiscoe, I personally believe suffering and desperation means energy that creates a good environment for negative entities to lodge. Also, the property was old enough for us not to be able to track all of its history, so Its possible more happened that we couldn't account for.

My dad doesn't really talk about the experiences in that house. All I've been able to get from him was his comment that he can't really account for All his time spent in Italy, that he was very depressed and the events were very confusing.
JamesRobiscoe (419 posts)
13 years ago (2011-05-17)
CityGal--It was a dreadful crash for your mother to live through, especially after getting the foreboding warning. I can understand why soldiers who died in the building would like to play games with shoelaces and moving things, but why should they want to harm her? Could it have been different phenomena? What did you father make of it all? It's good to know, though, he snapped out of his funk for your mother's sake. Thanks again. ~ James
CityGal (3 stories) (8 posts)
13 years ago (2011-05-17)
Guys, glad you liked the story. This is just a review of how my mom became a spiritualist and provided us with an opportunity to open our minds to the paranormal, study it as a religion and try to develop and improve ourselves through it.
Before that, she was catholic and wasn't really open to the idea of spirits. The months she spent in that house changed her mind forever and were the turning point that caused me to live and understand many of the paranormal experiences in my life.

And, of course, I just think its a great story. Every time she shows me old pictures of the couch with strains of white human hair, it still creeps me out.

So, Pjod, answering your question, yes, I plan to write about the later developments of this story soon.

And JamesRobicoe, my theory is that all this activity started because of the building's history, a lot of people died and suffered there during the war, and renovations probably could not whipe out that energy. So I agree, the events are probably linked, including the accident. My mom says she had an intense feeling of dread minutes before the crash.
JamesRobiscoe (419 posts)
13 years ago (2011-05-17)
I second that emotion. All types of unusual behavior, and has anyone considered linkages? I deduce the events happened before your birth, but you tell people the story when they ask about your own experiences. Is there more? Thanks. ~ James
Pjod (3 stories) (978 posts)
13 years ago (2011-05-17)
I really enjoyed your story... And feel like there is a lot left out. Were you planning a 2nd, more detailed one?

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