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Was Our House A Portal?


My childhood house was built in 1959, in a Detroit, Michigan suburb that officially became known as Dearborn Heights. Four years later, in 1963, my family moved in as soon as the house was finished.

I was conceived in this house. When my mother was pregnant with me, she did not like to be in the basement, but she could not understand why. Since the basement had been finished, complete with paneling and a built-in TV and stereo system, the family always ended the day down there.

I'm not sure when the first experiences were witnessed, but my family and visitors alike reported odd occurrences in that house the entire time we lived there. Most experiences happened in the basement, although my sisters, my mother and others reported seeing a green orb or shadow of some kind move through the upstairs hallway on several occasions.

My oldest sister had the most experiences, while I had the fewest. One night while she was babysitting my middle sister and me, she and her friend were downstairs watching TV when they heard the dishwasher upstairs banging open and closed. My other sister and I were both sound asleep at the time and there was no one else in the house.

Other experiences included: several times something that looked like a 4th of July sparkler was seen in the laundry room in the basement, far from any electrical outlet; banging sounds were heard in the basement, most of which (but not all) were centered around my father's darkroom (he'd been an amateur photographer); and voices.

My oldest sister and another of her friends were on their way downstairs when they heard adults having a conversation down there. They confirmed that the TV was off, the stereo was off, and no feasible explanation was ever found.

My mother had experiences. My father had experiences--although he never admitted that until he was in his 70s, and he never said exactly what those experiences had been. The neighbor boys were frightened away one summer day when they entered to water our houseplants while we were on vacation; they never agreed to be alone in that house, ever again.

My oldest sister reported seeing the figure of a man dressed in Victorian Era clothing several times, always upstairs in or near her bedroom.

My own experiences were far more limited than those of the rest of the family. One ongoing activity I can personally attest to involved my dad's darkroom. That room was directly below a bedroom I shared with my middle sister. Whenever my dad was in his darkroom with the door closed, we knew we were not allowed to open the door, but we could talk to him through the furnace vent in our bedroom; it was like our own little intercom. We were also very familiar with the sounds of him working in his darkroom, such as the banging of his metal chemical trays. There were many nights when we were awakened in the night hearing those same sounds...meanwhile, dad was across the hall snoring, everyone was present and accounted for upstairs, the furnace was not running and we did not have central air conditioning. Those "bumps in the night" were never explained.

One particular incident I had involved a Halloween sleepover. I was "camping out" in the basement with several of my friends. During the day, we had turned the furnace room / playroom into a fun house / haunted house. I can't remember everything we set up in that fun house, but I do remember a broom we had hanging from the ceiling. That night, I was awakened by a knocking sound coming from that room. I confirmed all my friends were sleeping and my family members were all still upstairs sleeping. The next day I tested out various scenarios to recreate the sound, and the only thing I came up with was physically moving the broom to make it hit the wall. It took more force than any mere breeze could provide to move the broom and recreate that knocking sound.

At the age of 14, I was "brave" enough to move my bedroom into the basement to gain some privacy--something my oldest sister, to this day, cannot understand. I had no real experiences after that move, but whenever I woke in the middle of the night, I refused to open my eyes to look at anything until I switched a light on--and then I was hesitant to turn it off again. We moved out only a few months afterward.

I often wonder if I was more immune to the occurrences due to having been conceived in that house (?).

I can't find any evidence that the house had been built on the sight of some horrific event; so I find myself wondering if it had been a portal of some kind. Research I have been able to perform on the property has been scarce, and limited to online information. I did discover that the area might have been on the grounds of a military reserve during the Civil War Era, but I've never heard of a Civil War battle being fought in Michigan. I have not learned of any horrific events or accidents in the vicinity. Native American tribes included Chippewa and Ottawa.

I have also discovered that, while all of our immediate neighbors continue to live in their homes nearly forty years later, our home has been resold multiple times. A recent visit with one neighbor had him using both hands to count the names of those who have come and gone since our family left. Whether that means odd bumps in the night continue to occur in that house, making no one want to stick around, remains unknown.

And yes, as children we "did" have a Ouija board; yes, we "did" play with it, always in the basement--after all, that's where the "ghosts" seemed to be; and yes, we did believe we'd made contact with entities--and frequently ended the game by running upstairs screaming, although I can't remember any specifics, such as what names or words the spirits had supposedly given us...

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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, B4Freya, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

B4Freya (4 stories) (26 posts)
6 years ago (2018-09-11)
Coloradoruby: I haven't been on here for a while, and only just saw your comment. Now I'm facinated to Head more about both your house and your friend's. We're both your families the first owners of your houses?

The arsenal, I've since learned, wax located more around west Dearborn. There's a street that intersects with Michigan Avenue called "Military." Now I know why that name: it was part of the military property where the arsenal was housed. I don't think the property would have reached as far as the Heights.

Our house was near Beech Daly and Ford Rd. As far as I can tell, the entire area from where we lived to where you lived was farmland prior to that first wave of subdivisions went in. I've trawled the internet looking for historical stories of battles or tragedies but have found nothing.

Recently I learned about a bizarre, horrific, and mysterious series of murders that occurred in the late 1800s and early 1900s, but those were focused on Springwells Farm which evolved into the Siringwells neighborhood in Detroit - not Dearborn Heights. I have started to wonder though if one of the Springwells family members lived in any of the farms that were on Heights land - because an Hour Magazine article I found indicated an odd string of madness behind the murders. It's actually a great story for a horror writer or movie producer to take advantage of
Coloradoruby (1 posts)
6 years ago (2018-02-23)
Hi B4Freya,
I was fascinated to hear your story. I too, grew up in Dearborn Heights and our basement was haunted. I lived on Glengary between Ann Arbor Trail and Joy Rd. My best friend live one block over on Kinmore and her house was very haunted. I have always wondered who the spirit of the young man in military uniform was that I saw at my friends house. Your mention of a military reserve in the area really got my attention! Was your home near the same area?
B4Freya (4 stories) (26 posts)
11 years ago (2013-11-02)
Something occurred to me today... A possible link between my mother's alcoholism and that house. I'd never made that connection before. But 3 years after we moved, when my mother was at her worst, I remember seeing "not her" in her eyes. I decided there and then that my mother, when drunk, was not my mother. I even wrote a short story called "The Demon of Drink," because it was like I saw something else, another "entity" in her eyes... Like she was possessed. She was never violent when drunk, however. And when not drunk she was the sweetest person you could know. When drunk it was like she was fighting some sort of inner battle. At her worst, when I made that discovery in her eyes, she mumbled repeatedly, "I should be dead." She never, however, attempted suicide.

It got so I decided there were 2 people within her, the one with vodka and the one without.

My older sister told me a few years ago that my mother was on an antidepressant when she was pregnant with me... Which would have been within a year or two of moving into that house. As the years passed, she sank deeper into alcoholism. She neared her worst right when we moved out of that house. She hit bottom 3 years later, in a new house, when I was the only sibling still living at home. After 2 stays in rehab, she "recovered" and stayed alcohol-free for the rest of her life, about 25 years or so.

There've been all sorts of theories about what led her to drinking... But all of a sudden, today, I started wondering if that house was a contributor, or even if it was the principal cause? She did say she'd felt uncomfortable in the basement while she was pregnant with me. Why, specifically, when she was pregnant? Especially since I was the one in the house with the fewest experiences?

I'm not liking this connection... But it's making sense...
B4Freya (4 stories) (26 posts)
11 years ago (2013-09-19)
ChrisB: The ouija board might have added something, but things were already happening years before even my older sister was old enough to know what an ouija board was. You're right; something had to be associated with the land.

Stephyw2001: Good to meet a "neighbor" here. I'm a long time west-sider myself--I keep moving even further west.;)

Narella: I don't know if any items 'with a history' so to speak had ever been brought into that house. I always assumed all the furniture had been new, but now I realize I've never asked. It's hard to go so far back in time for any real answers. I've also wondered on occasion about my oldest sister being a "magnet" of some kind. She was always somewhat of a rebel. She'd even tried to run away from home a year or so BEFORE the move to the haunted house (she'd only been about 4 years old at the time, so she sure didn't get far).
ChrisB (6 stories) (1515 posts)
11 years ago (2013-09-10)
It might have been caused by the ouiji board or maybe there was something in that house before. Its hard to say. I don't know why but I'm leaning more on the land or history of the being the cause. When the ouji was played it probaly was played by your sister first right? If there were a slight evidence that she encountered something before she pkayed thgen we have an answe. Thanks for sharring and hop to heqar from you soon and take care
stephyw2001 (3 stories) (18 posts)
11 years ago (2013-09-10)
Hello fellow Michigander! Detroit huh? Its an old city, lots of history there. I was born in Detroit as well, but moved to the west side by 2nd grade. Its hard to say why you were immune, some people I think are just more "in tune" to that kind of stuff than others. Cool story though, thank you for sharing. 😊
Narella (guest)
11 years ago (2013-09-09)
B4Freya: You may very well have opened a portal. However, there are other things that could explain your family's experiences. Spirits can be attached to items, like furniture and jewelry. Sometimes the spirits can be "dormant" for years before something sets them off. Also, something bad could have happened at the site and never have been recorded. I enjoyed reading your story. Thank you for sharing.
spiritwaiting (42 stories) (843 posts)
11 years ago (2013-09-08)
B4freya, yea it sounds like you opened a portal. And your very welcome. I commend your sister for standing up to the spirit, it definitely takes guts! Does her son live in that same house? If so, it could just want some attention, or make itself known aroundthe house. That could be why he has appeared in his dream. Spirits do tend to get bored from time to time.
B4Freya (4 stories) (26 posts)
11 years ago (2013-09-08)
[at] BadJuuJuu: It's nice to imagine that perhaps it has happy memories instead of tragic. As to closing the Ouija board... I sure hope my older sisters did that. I've never asked, but now maybe I should. I hate to think we might have been responsible for trapping something.

Back in the late 60s / early 70s, lots of kids were "playing" with Ouija boards. I can't help but wonder if -- or how many -- of current day hauntings are due to that "playing."
BadJuuJuu (guest)
11 years ago (2013-09-08)
A site doesn't need to have a violent or tragic history to have paranormal activity. A ghost may haunt a place because of good memories, because it was a place he or she was happy. A ghost may haunt a place because they feel possessive or protective of the site. A person may or may not haunt the place they died, it seems that most often they haunt a place that they have a strong emotional connection to. Looking only for tragic history will severely limit what you find, and may well mean you completely miss the cause of the haunt. Forget tragedy, look at the history as a whole.
Also, incorrectly using a Ouija may have pulled in ghosts that have no connection to the site at all. Not closing the board basically leaves those ghosts stuck there. Maybe a future owner can give any that were trapped there closure and send them on their way.
B4Freya (4 stories) (26 posts)
11 years ago (2013-09-08)
Thank you, spiritwaiting. I've also wondered how the events surrounding the War of 1812 might have played into the area. Detroit & southeastern Michigan did see some significant battles. The battle of the River Raisin (i.e. "Remember the Raisin") was horrific, actually called a "massacre", but is located about 30 miles south of our house.

As to the Ouija board... We were kids playing a "game," so no, we didn't "close" properly, unfortunately.

My oldest sister, who'd had the experiences with the full body apparition, said that when she was in her teens she got fed up and yelled at "him," demanding that he stop bothering her, and that seemed to have worked. She never saw him again--although, years later, her 20-something son told her about an odd dream he'd had, featuring someone who fit the description of her apparition perfectly.
spiritwaiting (42 stories) (843 posts)
11 years ago (2013-09-08)
[at] B4freya, if it happened to built on top of soil, that was once used as a reserve, that could mean any number of deaths could have occured. Explaining the experiences. Now the quija board playing, if you didn't close the sessions properly, it could have opened a portal. Did you all go back and close them properly? And yes you could have been accepting of the spirits residing there, and the other way around. Because you being the baby of the house. Awesome story by the way.

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