You are here: Real Ghost Stories :: Haunted Places :: A Night In The Big House

Real Ghost Stories

A Night In The Big House


My family has a string of lake houses in northern Wisconsin that we visit a lot in the summer. There are 4 houses and 3 of them are very old. I know for sure that the big house (the biggest house) is over 150 years old. The property overall has been through plenty, with tornadoes and new houses or renovations. This story is true and this summer we are having a paranormal crew do a free reading on the whole property.

My three friends and I always stay in one of the smaller houses (middle cottage) 2 or 3 times every summer. We like it because, well, it's in the middle of everything.

Last July was the third year of us staying there so we decided to stay in the big house; the biggest, oldest, and creepiest. We were all terrified of the place but, at the same time, were all up for the challenge.

When it got dark we moved all of our stuff into the living room of the house. The living room is big with an old piano and old furniture (not anymore, a pipe broke and we had to replace everything). There was a nice TV and some old books and pictures. The fireplace is made of rock you can no longer find and the windows so old they had lines on them from age, making everything on the porch look blurry. There is a hallway from the dining room that branches off into other sections of the house, one of which is the living room. We always run through the hallway because in the middle is a very old lamp next to a sketching of some man. It's a very creepy feeling.

Most of the night went by fine, until one of my friends left to get some food. There was a clank coming from the other side of the house where the kitchen was. We all thought nothing of it, thinking it was just our friend being clumsy. She soon returned with a bag of chips and we asked her what she dropped or broke, she said, "Nothing." I remember asking her what the banging sound was and she said she thought it came from us. We were a little scared now, but forgot about it pretty soon.

In the second story of the house are old bedrooms and an old bathroom with a very old bathtub. The bathtub was white with golden feet. We were all on our phones when we thought we heard the water turn on. I told my friends it was probably normal, just some water going to the kitchen or something, not too sure about it myself though. I started thinking of possible things that could be going on, the house is old, maybe the clanking and the water was just the way it sounded. Somehow I managed to convince myself of just that, huddling closer to my friends just in case.

Awhile after that, maybe around 3 AM there was the sound of something being dropped, like a book fell off the shelf. When we stood up to find out what it was, there was a piano scroll for the player piano on the floor, opened. At this point I started panicking a little bit. My friends and I moved all of our stuff to the kitchen and huddled in the furthest corner. We couldn't leave the house; we were to scared to run through the woods in the dark to a different cabin.

What happened next terrified me so bad I haven't gone back and won't go back until the paranormal crew visits. We heard the piano open, where you put the scroll, and the pedals fall down to actually play the player piano. Soon we heard it play, I have never been more scared in my life. We all put in our headphones and waited for it to stop, which it eventually did. We left the property early the next morning instead of staying the whole weekend.

UPDATE: A pipe broke and we basically had to replace everything on the first floor except some old books and the haunted piano. There's a few possibilities to who it might have been. My grandma who said she would forever watch over the place; whoever the man is who appears often in pictures around the house; or a girl named Mable who died there.

There is a bunch of other people it could have been. After all the place is pretty old and legend has it, built on the site of an old Indian village. I'll try to keep everything updated!

Hauntings with similar titles

Find ghost hunters and paranormal investigators from Wisconsin

Comments about this paranormal experience

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

valkricry (49 stories) (3275 posts) mod
10 years ago (2014-03-25)
Hi ossurr,
I'm curious as to if you noticed if the piano had a scroll already in place? Sometimes these pianos were known to go off by themselves due to vibrations and other causes.
valkricry (49 stories) (3275 posts) mod
10 years ago (2014-03-25)
At CrystalLeo: Well you are partially right. In the 1800's it was frowned on women to publically play the piano (make a living) although there were a few exceptions. However, it is interesting to note that women were expected not only to learn to play but to instruct their children as well. I thought you might enjoy this excerpt from the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications:

"Despite not being allowed to publicly perform, however, women were expected to know how to play the piano at home and teach their children how to play as well. As a result, many American women made careers out of becoming piano instructors. In Germany and Australia, pianos were even built into sewing tables, allowing women to conveniently practice both "womanly" tasks. Pianos were made in different shapes and sizes around the world to accommodate different middle-class homes, often appearing square-shaped in America and curvier in Germany and Austria."


So, it could be either the man or Mabel playing the piano. However, according to ossur, this was a player piano. This is a mechanical piano - much like a very large music box whose tunes could be change by changing out the music rolls. A piano roll is a continuous roll of paper with perforations (holes) punched into it. The perforations represent note control data. The roll moves over a reading system known as a 'tracker bar' and the playing cycle for each musical note is triggered when a perforation crosses the bar and is read. Pretty high-tech for that long ago! So again, it could be either one.
CrystalLeo (27 posts)
10 years ago (2014-03-25)
What I would like to know is, does the man in the pictures seem to shift from picture to picture? Or is he found in every picture? Is the sketching of the man next to the lamp that man?
And just about how old was this Mable girl? Could be her in the kitchen and the man on the piano. In those days it was fashion for men to learn how to play the piano, some woman as well but mostly the men.
Make sure to keep us updated!
Evz (3 posts)
10 years ago (2014-03-23)
I'd like to know what song was playing~ 😲
I'm very interested in what's going to happen from here though. Any news please report back!
lynrinth (guest)
10 years ago (2014-03-21)
You said yourself, it could be almost any of them. But you had a good scare, and a great story to tell around a campfire. Keep us updated when the paranormal crew comes, please!

To publish a comment or vote, you need to be logged in (use the login form at the top of the page). If you don't have an account, sign up, it's free!

Search this site: