My childhood home stood on a gently sloping hill in the Ozarks. We have always called our little homestead Rocky Ridge. It was once a cabin, which had been built onto over the years, belonging to my great grandparents. Before them, I don't know who lived there. My knowledge doesn't go that far back.
When we moved in, the house was in terrible disrepair. My bedroom, which was part of the original cabin, had a wall which you could literally push out and see the ground outside. The living room floor was rotting.
I will try to condense these stories, as there are so many, now that I really think about it. Most of the strange things began happening when my stepfather decided to put the new floor in the living room. We tore out the old floor fairly easy, and underneath were these enormous logs, with the bark still intact! I was amazed at this kind of carpentry and craftsmanship. They were so big, and still in fairly good shape, so we just left them, and reinforced the foundation with 2x4s. I think it was what we found on the ground UNDER the floor that is important.
There was a shoebox, with ladies' shoes still inside. Though they were dirty and rotten, you could see they were a mid-heel shoe, with a strap across the top, and they were long. I don't even know how old they were. There was also a little square tin, which was a rusty red color, and it had marbles inside! There were miscellaneous little things, too. A buckle, some very long nails, scraps of newspaper, and some glass bottles, a few with lids and corks.
Most of this stuff, we left alone. Mom threw the old shoes away and the newspapers were thrown out too. She kept the marbles. For as long as I can remember, Mom has collected marbles. She will find one while digging in the garden, or just in odd random places. She puts them in a big Mason jar, which sits on the kitchen window sill.
After the floor was replaced, my room was completely renovated, and everything was put back in proper order, there were little disruptions. One morning, we were in a rush to get to church, and I couldn't find my curling iron anywhere, even though it never moved from the shelf in the bathroom. I was starting to get annoyed and I was whining. I opened the refrigerator to get something, and there sat my curling iron, the cord wrapped neatly around it.
One day I came home from school to find my mom repeatedly slamming the front door. There was this painting, one of a kind as far as I know, that hung for a long time on the kitchen wall facing south. It was a painting of a tree in a meadow, with a barrel of apples beneath it, some of the apples spilling out onto the ground. It was in a very old wooden frame, with a wire hanger. I don't know where it came from, but for some reason, my mom did battle with this painting. Every morning, she would wake to find it hanging extremely crooked on the wall almost sideways. This bothered her, because she is an orderly person, almost obsessively so. She straightened it every day. She accused us kids of pranking her. She woke up early and got up in the night to catch us doing it, but of course never could. So that day, she was experimenting slamming the door to try to put it sideways. It stayed firmly in an upright position. She took it down and burned it shortly after. She's hung several things there since, with no problems.
Everyone (except me, ironically) has seen an apparition in our house next to the woodstove. It seems to be an old woman. My mom believes she is the bearer of bad news and a protector. She saw her one night before she went to bed, and our attic caught fire that same night. During a terrible ice storm several years ago, 13 of our family members stayed in our tiny house due to the fact we were the only ones with a wood burning stove. My aunt saw the ghost come out of my parents' room, check on everyone sleeping, and disappear into my bedroom.
There is one last thing that happened in this home that really stands out in my memory. At one time, there were three entrances to the house. There was a door that led outside from the living room (it was boarded up before we moved in), and the concrete porch and steps remained. It ran along the side of the house, directly beneath my two bedroom windows. I used to sit on the porch in the afternoons and have "tea time" with my dolls and toys. A couple years into our residence there, Mom decided she no longer wanted the porch there. She wanted a flower bed, and it was just in the way. So it was removed.
Allow me to backtrack, because this is so relevant to the story. My mom's brother, Rob, spent countless hours on that property. He was close to my great grandfather, who everyone called Cotton. Grandpa Cotton owned an auto body shop, which is now where I practice every Tuesday with my band. Rob loved working on cars, and practically lived there. When he was 28, and my mother was pregnant with me, Rob committed suicide with a shotgun. At the time, he had been working on a transmission, which was hanging from a chain on the tree directly outside my bedroom windows. The transmission is long gone, the chain is still there. Me and my cousins and siblings have spent hours swinging from it and playing on it.
Ok, back to the future... One night, it was my bedtime, which was 9 o'clock on school nights in those days. My bed was pushed up against those two windows. I got into bed and was almost asleep when I heard a man crying loudly outside the window! Not just crying softly, but sobbing uncontrollably, like one does when drunk and feeling very sorry for themselves. He was talking to himself, almost shouting "I'm just a worthless piece of s***! I want to f***ing die, I'm going to kill myself!"
The walls in my house are thin, and this man was carrying on so loudly, I don't know how my parents didn't hear him. It sounded as though he was sitting where the concrete porch used to be. Needless to say, it scared me badly. Our neighbor was prone to drunk episodes, so I thought he had wandered into the yard and was laying out there cussing and crying. It was scary for a child to hear someone saying those things. I jumped out of bed and ran to tell my parents. I told them exactly what I'd heard. My eyes must have been as big as saucers. Dad immediately grabbed the shotgun (he doesn't put up with nonsense, especially drunks in the yard at night outside his baby's bedroom window) and went out to see about it. Mom and I waited in the kitchen.
Dad checked the yard, went across the street to see about our neighbor. He came back, said the neighbor had been in bed sleeping and there was absolutely no one out there. Of course, I know there was someone out there. How could you not hear? He was practically shouting! There is no way anyone that out of their mind and inebriated could just run away in a span of a minute with no trace. I was worried to go back to bed, but I never heard it again. I didn't put the pieces together until years later, but I'm almost sure it was my uncle Rob, sitting out by his transmission, grieving.
That is all I have for now, and I'm sorry about how lengthy this has been, lol. I get on a roll. Thanks for reading, everyone.