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The Lake House


My mother-in-law passed around 5 pm in May of 2009. She died in the kitchen of her home. Her home is called "The Lake House". The Lake House is a late 1800's Victorian home in College Park, MD.

My husband Steve and I received the news of her passing that night from his brother Donald and we went to MD to stay with Donald that night. The next morning we made arrangements for his mother.

Around noon Steve, Donald, Donald's girlfriend Stacy and I came back to their parents' house. All of us walked through every room and I listened as Steve and Donald reflected on memories. We ended the tour of the home with going downstairs into the basement. Steve and Don were talking about all of the junk down there when all of us heard a loud "thump" from upstairs (the kitchen). We all looked at each other and Stacy volunteered to go upstairs and see what the noise was. She went up and said nothing was out of place. We took it as the house settling and went back to talking.

I was getting bored listening to the guys talking about car parts so I told them I was going upstairs, too. I was making my way up the steps when I felt someone grab my left shoulder! I turned and looked behind me and no one was there! I looked at the blank wall to my left and tried to figure out what could have touched me. I yelled down at Steve and asked him if he grabbed my shoulder and he said no, that he and Donald were still well down into the basement. I shrugged it off.

Steve and Donald came upstairs shortly after and went outside to cut the grass. Stacy was sitting at the kitchen table messing with her cell phone. She didn't seem interested in talking to me so I told her that I was going to go from room to room taking pictures. She said OK.

The downstairs consisted of a kitchen, dining room, living room and a sitting room. I took pictures of those. By the front door is the main winding stairwell that leads to the upstairs hallway. I was halfway up the main stairwell when I heard what sounded like a man exhale. Just a loud breath! I got a little creeped out but I passed it off as noise coming from outside.

At the top of the stairwell was my husband's grandparents' bedroom. I took a picture. I moved down the hallway to Donald's bedroom. I took a picture. I moved further down the hallway to my husband's bedroom. I took a picture. Before I could take a picture of my in-laws' bedroom and their bathroom I heard a noise! It sounded like someone had opened the heavy wooden door at the bottom of the small stairwell. I froze for a second. Then I heard what sounded like someone switch on the upstairs hall light; although the light never came on. I moved back towards the top of the main stairwell. I thought to myself that someone was coming upstairs. I thought it might have been Donald and that he wouldn't like me taking pictures of his mother's home. While I'm thinking this, I hear clear footsteps coming up the small stairwell, so I hurriedly ran down the main stairwell so if it was Donald he wouldn't see me taking pictures.

Whoever had gone upstairs didn't have time to come back down the steps before I made it to the kitchen. I was just about running. When I got to the kitchen, Stacy was still sitting at the table texting and the wooden door to the back stairwell was closed. I asked her who went upstairs. She said no one went upstairs. I told her that I heard someone coming up the steps and I thought it was probably her boyfriend so I came down in a hurry. I told her I didn't think he would understand why I wanted pictures of all of the rooms and I didn't want to make him mad. She said Steve and Donald were still cutting the grass. I asked her if she was sitting at the table the whole time. She said yes. I was shocked. I was confused. I told her point blank that someone was upstairs. There had to be. I know what I heard. I went up the small stairwell and looked around upstairs and found nothing. I came back down the main stairwell feeling like I was losing my mind.

Later on that evening at Donald's house, my husband I were laying in bed getting ready to go to sleep. I told my husband what had happened in the house earlier that day. He's not a big believer in the paranormal but given the amount of death that has taken place in The Lake House (his mother, father and brother Sean died in the home) he said anything was possible.

The next morning was day of his mother's funeral. I got out of bed and took a shower. I put on a button up black dress shirt and a skirt. I go downstairs and Donald said, "What's wrong with your neck?" I looked in my compact mirror and there were scratch marks going from my jaw line down my neck. Two marks on each side. My husband slept in the same bed as me and his skin was fine.

Given what I had experienced the day before along with these unexplainable scratches made me realize that something outside of my control was going on. These experiences shook me for a while and made me fully aware of my surroundings.

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

shhh_im_sleeping (14 stories) (62 posts)
9 years ago (2013-10-29)
Miracles51031 The "phantom" marks is a very good possibility.

My brother in-law and I do not share the same views on sentimental value. I find value in pictures or a possession that someone held dear. Don was quick to want to sell their possessions or throw them away so he could put the house on the market. I wanted pictures of the home as they had left it for sentimental purposes. One day when my kids ask their father about his home place I will have those pictures to share with them. Memories mean more to me than money. I didn't feel that Don would understand.
shhh_im_sleeping (14 stories) (62 posts)
9 years ago (2013-10-29)
My brother in-law is not very sentimental. I wanted pictures of all of the rooms before any items were removed so that my children could see the home as it was when my in-law left it. My children were 2 and 5 at the time. I didn't want them to forget their grandparents so I thought pictures of their living space would help them keep the memories. My brother in-law doesn't have children nor does he want them. I didn't think he would understand the sentiment in the pictures that I took. My hubby told him that I took the pictures and he was fine with it. My main concern was disrespecting him but I didn't.

I bite my nails down to the nubs. My husband is a nail biter too. I had slept in the same bed the night before and there was no problem. After my experiences in the home the next day is when I awoke with scratches on my neck the morning after. I'm not sure if there's a connection but there was no reason for the scratches.
valkricry (47 stories) (3217 posts) mod
9 years ago (2013-10-27)
Just curious, why did you feel the need to take pictures, and why did you feel there would be an objection? Also, if you thought Don would be upset by it, why disrespect his wishes like that?
As for the scratch marks, is it possible you did it in your sleep? Even if there is a 'normal' explanation for them, it doesn't detract from the fact, you had a scary experience in that house!
Miracles51031 (39 stories) (4999 posts) mod
9 years ago (2013-10-27)
shhh_im_sleeping - having just experienced "phantom" marks, I wonder if it's possible you were scratched somehow and just didn't realize it. I got burned and didn't even realize it had happened at the time 😕 But it happened and left a mark for almost a week.

Moving around, taking pictures, trying to hurry so you wouldn't get caught. I'm certainly not saying it wasn't a paranormal experience, just I know first-hand how easy these things happen.

I'm curious about something, though. Why would you tell Stacy you were taking pictures if you didn't want Don to know? Didn't you think she'd tell him?
shhh_im_sleeping (14 stories) (62 posts)
9 years ago (2013-10-27)
My husband and his brother sold the home in 2011. Their father, mother, and older brother died in the home. I'm not sure who else may have passed prior to their passing. The couple that bought the home were aware of the multiple deaths. I never felt to be in danger... It was just a creepy experience.
BattleScars (3 stories) (44 posts)
9 years ago (2013-10-27)

You should get someone to bless the house, all those activities might be the people who died in the house.

Hope everything goes well for you both.

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