Apologies in advance for the length of this post. I figured it would be best to get my whole story out there. Some of what I will say will seem outlandish, but when I say my house would give Amityville a run for it's money, I wish I was kidding.
As I write this, I'm currently in my 20s, but this story has been developing for close to seven decades now. When I was younger, the events I'm about to share used to scare me, but now that I'm older, it's something I just kind of live with. These are the first-hand accounts from myself, my friends and family regarding the house I currently reside.
Based on the age of neighboring homes, we estimate our house was built sometime in the late-1940s with a Cape Cod-esque design. The housing development we live in sits on top of an old shale mine, and was the former property of a coke/iron ore company, both dating back to the late-1800s; which, of course, isn't a surprise, as coke ovens dotted the ridges everywhere here in Western Pennsylvania for well over a century. With so much history on the property, perhaps it is no surprise that there is at least some activity. However, most of the hauntings we have encountered seem to go far beyond the history of the land.
My father bought the property in the early-1980s. A single father to my three step-siblings, he moved his business from Fayette County up to Greensburg, hoping that a change of scenery would do them well. As my father's business began to thrive, my brother and two sisters were all working for the company between going to college classes. Most of the time, the three of them were in the house for most of the day, as my dad had opened up a room in the house to be used as a sort of "satellite office." From the beginning, though, there was a sense of discomfort with living there. Perhaps the emotional stress of the recent divorce of my dad and his wife had a good deal to do with it, but there was something else; a feeling that cannot be described in the physical realm.
As ominous as that sounds, perhaps the realtor who sold my dad the house had really given a forewarning. He said that the house had been owned by multiple families, most especially in the last few years leading up to that day. When my father asked why there had been so many different owners, he was supposedly told "they couldn't take the constant hauntings." In fact, he continued, the house had not only been blessed by priests, but an exorcism was performed at the request of the last owner. Of course, my dad, a few years removed from the military (and toughened as a result), said he wasn't concerned about "ghosts that didn't exist." As it stands today, he couldn't have been more wrong.
It's hard to know where to start, but I'll try to recall the events in a semi-chronological order:
My brother and two sisters roomed in the adjoining upstairs bedroom across the hall from my dad's room. The first few months, they would hear tapping noises and voices coming from the attic/cubby-hole (which, in Cape Cod-styled houses, is level with the second floor). While it seemed strange, my siblings usually ignored it, being implored to do so by my dad. However, things began to get strange after about a year in the house. They would occasionally see shadows move from room-to-room, but usually brushed it off as "seeing things." Doors opened and closed on their own, but those were also usually cast-off as "drafts of air in an old, drafty house."
Yet the occurrences began to escalate further. Their house cats would stare intently at a random point in an empty room, hiss and then run frantically around the house, as if being chased by something purely mean and aggressive. The TV in the living room began shutting itself off and on, increasing volume to full blast on its own, and flipping the channel to "dead air" (fuzzy or black screen with white noise). Sounds of glassware clanging in the kitchen would be heard, only to be left unexplained when explored by my dad and siblings. Even more bizarrely, cold glasses of ice water would turn up all over the house, even while no one was home for days prior. And these were just the COMMON occurrences. The unique stories still give me chills.
My brother Todd was taking a shower between classes, in the middle of the day, when he heard the front door open and close (it has bells attached to it, so it makes a distinct sound). Both of my sisters were away, so he assumed it was our father. While he found it odd that my dad would have come home from work so early, he brushed it off. A few minutes later, he heard the bathroom door open. "Hey, dad," he said. Moments of silence passed. "Dad?" he questioned. Figuring dad was pulling a fast one, he ripped open the curtain, just to see that, not only was he the only one in there, but the door was still closed. Perplexed but unfazed, he closed the curtain and continued showering. When he finished, he went to pull open the curtain again. This time, however, he felt something solid on the other side... Freaked, he yanked the curtain open again and, of course, he is the only person in the bathroom. Shocked beyond belief, he darted out of the bathroom, ran down the steps to the front door at the bottom: seeing it was locked, he yelled for my dad. Not only did he not get a response of any kind, but my dad was still at work. No one was there. A few weeks later, he left the house, swearing to never return as a result of his encounter. To this day, he hasn't.
Yet most of my siblings' encounters with the paranormal revolved around my sister, Lisa, mostly after my other two siblings had already moved out. On multiple occasions, she would see a tall dark mass travel through rooms/walls late at night, but that was the least of her worries. The experiences began to get physical. One night in particular, she was awakened by a little girl's laughter. Assuming she was dreaming, she had to blink a few times to make sure she was awake. As she went to roll over on her side to look around the room, she discovered she was "paralyzed" from the neck down. It wasn't paralysis in the typical sense, however, as she could slightly move her limbs: rather, it was as if something was pinning her down, as she also claimed to have been very short of breath. Much to her dismay, when she looked out of the corner of her eye, she saw a child dancing in a circle in the middle of her room. She tried to scream for help but, again, she was very short of breath. She finally mustered up enough energy and breath to let out a very loud scream, yet my dad, who was and still is a very light sleeper, didn't hear her in the room next door. All she could do was close her eyes and hope it would go away. It didn't. After a half hour of agony, she finally let out yet another scream. This time, my parents did hear her. They rushed into the room and found Lisa in a cold sweat, still unable to move. She was rushed to the ER, where doctors had no idea what would have caused such a physical anomaly. What shocked them even more, though, was when she snapped out of her paralysis completely, without medical explanation. What happened a few weeks later, however, would not only scare her more than that night, but would drive her out of the house for good, much like my brother.
Lisa was getting ready for class when she heard the TV turn on in the living room. She figured someone had come home, not really thinking anything of it. After a few minutes, however, it got a lot louder. Curious, she went downstairs to check on things. She looked all over the house: she was alone. A little spooked, she shut the TV off and headed back upstairs. She reached the top step when the TV turned on again. Now really freaked, she raced downstairs to shut off the TV. This time, it wouldn't shut off. At the same time, the kitchen cupboard doors started slamming, the garage door started slamming, and, even more alarmingly, papers and other objects began flying down the steps. Unable to go anywhere due to being surrounded by this paranormal activity, she frantically called my dad. Hearing the commotion in the background, combined with Lisa being hysterical, he immediately rushed home to find the house in complete shambles, and Lisa pale white. She left the house a few days later, and has only entered the house three other times in the 30+ years since.
The spooky occurrences never really stopped after that, but seemed to subside slightly after one night in particular, when my parents had friends over to the house for a party. One woman who attended was skeptical that such an unassuming house would have so much activity and, in general, was a skeptic of the paranormal. She mocked the spirits, saying "if you really exist, come home with me." A few days later, she called my parents, telling them something was in her house that she couldn't explain. It's hard to tell what came of the woman, or if the spirits still reside at her residence. What became clear, though, is some of the spirits may have indeed left my house, because the activity decreased significantly.
That is far from where the story ends, however. In many regards, things would get worse.
After my father was elected to the PA State Senate in 1988, my parents spent most of their time on the road, mostly in Harrisburg. While the "reports" of activity obviously decreased (since they were rarely around), they would still occasionally come home to find objects disheveled and misplaced. At the turn of the decade, though, the events would become more and more common, starting with my birth in 1992.
We traveled home from Harrisburg just after the Blizzard of '92 had run its course. I was obviously too young to remember much of anything, but my parents were presented with a bit of a surprise when we got home. Sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor was a tub of ice cream. It was overturned, and, much like the ice water found around the house in the years prior, completely un-melted. What was even more bizarre was the fact the freezer door was closed. This started a string of strange occurrences over the next few months, such as the "self-aware" TV again, rattling shutters on the windows, etc. Overall, though, the majority of major hauntings had seemed to cease. Problem was, they actually hadn't.
Because that's around the time when experiences involving me began to occur. My parents didn't always bring me with them on the road. In fact, many times, I was put in the care of my mom's friend, Tina, would usually house-sit our place while looking after me. She would always complain about strange noises, cold-spots and the like, but she was never really truly affected by it. One night in the mid-90s, however, she was sleeping in a bed next to mine, when she awoke suddenly from a deep sleep. She sat up, looked around and saw a figure standing by the door. Thinking it was me, she called out to me and received no response. She said, "Come back to bed," but immediately got chills when she glanced over and saw I was still in my bed. When she turned back around, the figure was directly at the foot of her bed. It was a translucent figure of a young boy in colonial clothing, with pale skin and, disturbingly, no eyes. Obviously, she freaked out. By the time she ran over and grabbed me, the figure had disappeared. She brought me downstairs, and we stayed there until morning... With the lights on. What adds to the credence of her account is that it took place in Lisa's old room, where she spotted the little girl dancing around the room years before. Tina vowed never to return, and has followed through on that promise.
Meanwhile, that would remain my room until I was about 15 years old. At first, I was never bothered about being in the room but, as most kids are growing up, I wanted my night-light on all the time. Nothing significant really occurred to me directly until I was about 11 or 12, when I would have a series of experiences I will never forget.
The first time I had a direct run-in with the paranormal, I woke up from a deep sleep and saw a large dark mass hanging over the side of my bed. I couldn't move, and it felt as if I was lifted up off the bed. Before I could scream, something... The best way I can describe it was a serpent-looking figure... Lurched out from the black mass and dug right into my side. My back arched, and I could feel my energy and breath being drained out of me. I was trying to scream, but nothing was coming out. The mass then dropped me back down onto the bed and crept back in the direction of the attic door. I repeatedly tried to scream for my parents, but I was so out-of-breath it was if I was whispering. After about 10 minutes, I finally got enough strength to scream for help. Right at that moment, something I hadn't noticed that was off during the whole ordeal came back on: the fan next to my bed. My mom came running in asking what was wrong, and I couldn't even describe to her what had just occurred. For the next few days, I was fatigued, and my ribs were incredibly sore, so I know for sure that what I saw wasn't a dream.
A few weeks later, I woke up mid-morning (it was a weekend) and felt very strange, as if I was being pushed down. When I tried to move, just like my sister years before, I was paralyzed, but, again, not in the typical way. I could move my limbs slightly, but I was completely pinned down. I tried to scream out for help, but there was nothing coming out. Terrified and struggling for at least an hour, I forced myself to go back to sleep. I woke up a half hour later (in my estimation) extremely sore, but able to move. When I told my mom, she tried to explain it away, but the look on her face told me she knew something wasn't right.
Shortly thereafter, I began getting severe fevers every other month, and with these illnesses came horrifying hallucinations, where my heart-rate accelerated to such a high level my mom thought I was having a heart attack or severe seizure. These hallucinations were shockingly realistic, and each one involved death. Many of them were repeated night after night, the most common one being me free-falling to earth above my house (I could see my neighborhood on the way down). As I approached the ground, a dark red hole with a black ring around it would open up where my house was, and the closer I got to it, the more I would feel as if I was on fire. After I entered the burning hole, I would find myself being sucked into a huge iron furnace, and as I reached the inside, my eyes would shoot open. I would see my mom kneeling next to me trying to calm me down, as I would apparently be in cold sweats with screaming tantrums for 20+ minutes before I would come-to. Even more disturbingly, she would always come in and find me in a different corner of my room during these hallucinations.
A few months later, I woke up with three scratch marks on my back (in the pattern of the mocking of the trinity, which I still have a small scar from). Shortly thereafter, a change overcame me, seemingly overnight. To summarize, I don't remember much of my age 12 and 13 years. When I checked out our old camcorder years later, I found self-recordings of me rambling gibberish for long periods of time in my room. Completely incoherent talk. And do I remember any of it? Not in the least. Shocked, I erased the recordings immediately thereafter, not wanting to experience a side of me I had never personally seen, and certainly couldn't explain. I wound up going on a church camp trip in February of 2006, and the best way I can describe it is, whatever was possessing me was driven out during a very spiritually-charged church service (where I actually felt something leave me and then fainted).
After that, I was compelled to finally move my room downstairs, and we turned my old room into a storage room. While this ended many of our experiences, things still happen. Once, while talking about the hauntings with a friend, a potato in a cellophane bag next to our countertop popped out of the upright bag and rolled to the middle of the kitchen floor, stopping on a dime. An automatic toothbrush in the upstairs bathroom has turned on inexplicably multiple times. A wire was somehow cut in the light switch box next to the front door, shutting off power to the entire house in the process. The sound of doors opening and closing still happen. Glassware from the top shelf of the pantry gets lined up neatly and upright on the floor on occasion. A bird kept ramming itself into a window for weeks (an omen of death in folklore): the window location? My old room. My friend from Boston, who mocked there being spirits in the house, was scratched while he slept. Items have flown off the walls of my room into the middle of the floor. Objects disappear, then reappear in the same spot days later. Our stereo will turn on by itself and switch to white noise. Male voices are still heard from the attic, and I refuse to go to certain parts of the house, especially at night, because of an overwhelming feeling of being watched. I have even had out-of-body experiences and nightmares of the demon children while in my current room.
It's obvious my house still has activity, but it is much less frequent (and, in my opinion, a little less sinister). I feel as if the crucifixes we have lining the house have helped, as well as much stronger personal emotional and spiritual state we are all in as a family. But that doesn't change the past of a property which has seen more than its fair share of hauntings.
It is up to you whether you take our experiences as truth or not, but after 30+ years of hauntings involving numerous people, I don't think we've been imagining things.
Comments and discussion are welcome. I have plenty of other stories from other locations, but considering I live in a haunted house, I figured I'd give my accounts from here first.