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A Few Unexplainable Experiences


When I was 12 years old, my mom, brother, sister and I moved into an older house in Shillington, PA. I have always been very in touch with my feelings, when it comes to paranormal type things, and from the very first time I even saw the house up until the first year we lived there, I always had an "odd" feeling, but never actually experienced anything.

My sister and I shared the attic and would often stay up talking to all hours of the night. One night in the middle of our conversation, we heard someone walking up the attic steps, so we stopped talking and pretended to sleep, because we were already suppose to be sleeping. While laying there I realized that no one actually walked up the steps and I got up to check it out, but it was nothing. We shrugged it off and continued talking until we heard the footsteps again, we stopped talking and looked at each other and waited. Suddenly, it sounded as though something was running up and down our steps. My sister jumped into bed with me and we just laid there listening to it, silently until we fell asleep. This happened several more times, but only to me, my sister never heard it again!

Another odd thing that happened in our room was that, both out beds used to shake. It wasn't an extremely violent shake and you couldn't actually see it shaking, but you could feel it. In fact, a few of our friends have felt it while sleeping over, and none of us could figure it out.

I have had other things happen just to me, like while putting my makeup on in the morning before school, several times it felt as though someone rushed up behind me and each time it scared me enough to make me jump and drop my makeup. And speaking of makeup, it was always being moved around, or it would go missing... And no it was not my sister! I have also seen things out of the corner of my eye and I swear in the middle of the night, someone pulled the covers off me. I also once woke up to the sound of a bag rustling around in the middle of my room and when I quit flicked on the light, it stopped.

The only thing I can think of that didn't take place in my room is one night I was sitting in the dining room on the computer and I heard the sound of something moving in the kitchen. We had just gotten a kitten so I didn't think anything of it. Later I went to get a drink and I noticed that our space heater was moved from the far end of the kitchen all the way to the entrance of the kitchen, and there is no way that an 8 week old kitten did that.

These are the things that stick out in my mind from that house. Of course at the time I would feel a little uneasy and occasionally frightened, but I never felt threatened. From all the things that went on, it almost seems as though it was children. I eventually moved out when I was 17, and until the day I moved out I always felt something in that house. I am now 20 and I have only really experienced two or three things since. My family no longer lives in that house and I have tried talking to my mom about my experiences, but she doesn't believe in the paranormal and laughed it off telling me that I was young and it was my imagination.

So for the most part, why was it only me experiencing all of this and has anyone had similar experiences?

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

Jamie21 (2 posts)
12 years ago (2012-10-31)
Jamie, from since I was eight I havebeen asking myself the same toruring question... Why me and why could'nt enyone else see it because I knew that was the only way they would believe all I have seen. Two years ago I received an answer to my question from a respected to me person who helped when I pleaded for help and no one cared to even listen to me. She said "some people have the gift to attract beings, this isn't neccessarily bad. If your energy is positive you can attract positive beings. Seeing is not believing, believing makes you see, if you believe in ghosts and spirits they will be more keen to show themselfs to you and maybe they have something to share with whoever believes them." Of course I have always persued contact with the paranormal in ways that I propably should not have cause as I looked to see them that too grew their curiosity for me... I hopemy friends advice was a little helpfull toyou too.
Argette (guest)
13 years ago (2011-11-27)
N5090, thank you for that well-written information. Had you not posted that - and your comment had not shown up in the box on the right - I might never have stumbled upon the original post.

Thank you for taking the time to post accurate historical information here, along with some analysis. This is the type of posting that really captures my attention and interest. And leads me to read more and more...
n5090 (2 posts)
13 years ago (2011-11-27)
Hi Jamie,

I just read your post and, even though it might be a few years too late, here's hoping you stumble across this response someday. I need to post this because I have some great information that could explain what you experienced in your old house. It's a long reply, but here goes...

My name is Nicole, and I've lived in Shillington, PA almost my whole life. Just yesterday on my twenty-third birthday, my grandfather was giving me and my family a historic tour of Reading and its outskirts. When we got back home to Shillington he mentioned this entire town used to be nothing but a poorhouse and the farmland that belonged to it. Immediately I was curious and wanted to learn more about this history.

After some research today (which eventually led me here to your post), I discovered the place did exist and that it covered a good portion of Shillington. While I haven't found the "official" name, sources indicate it was called the Berks County Almshouse, Angelica Farm, or The Almshouse Farm. This poorhouse functioned as Berks County's main facility for housing the penniless, sick, needy, and homeless. It was a self-sufficient community where they raised their own crops and cattle; one woman remembers cows and pigs there at one time. The residents would do the farming, herding, and other tasks since that's the only way they could earn their keep.

In the first link below, you can see a picture of what the poorhouse used to look like (and you can even spot Mount Penn in the background). That cluster of buildings is exactly or almost exactly the spot where Governor Mifflin High School now stands. Maybe the rest of Shillington was all farmland belonging to the Almshouse. I wish I knew the exact coordinates.

In any case, the house you lived in could very well be the place where many unfortunate (and very unhappy) people once spent their time growing and harvesting the fields.

As for what happened to the place, I haven't found out details, but it's definitely not there anymore. Only one thing remains from the original site, which is a stone wall located in front of the Church of Christ on Philadelphia Avenue. You can see a picture of it in the second link below. (This wall is just a block away from my house, and I've walked past it and wondered about it a lot.)

There isn't much readily-available history for the Almshouse, but there is some info about these establishments in general. An episode of Paranormal State called "Ghosts of the Forgotten" visits the Lake County Poorhouse in Painesville, Ohio. It seems like the Almshouse in Shillington would have been very similar to it, and I feel they probably share similarly dark histories.

The Shillington poorhouse was built in 1825 and the one in Painesville in 1876. Unlike us, Painesville still has theirs. It seems they were both alike in looks (see the pictures in the first and fourth links) and facilities. As far as I found out, our Almshouse consisted of the standard main hall, several outlying buildings, a farm (with livestock), an "Insane Building," and a hospital (check out the second link). The poorhouse in Ohio had its own farm with animals, a slaughterhouse, a jail, and an insane asylum. Both locations took in the same kinds of people: the poor, the homeless, immigrants, the elderly, and the mentally ill.

Apparently the Painesville poorhouse was a truly horrible place, and the substantial amount of paranormal activity going on there seems to prove it. Ryan Buell, founder of the Paranormal Research Society, visited the Ohio poorhouse with his team and without exaggeration called it a "palace of pain and despair," saying it was "like a prison for those that society cast aside." After learning more about its history, he guessed that the residents would've survived better on the streets than in the poorhouse. There were two recorded suicides and "a lot of deaths," says a volunteer named Cathi. She says she constantly feels "a lot of positive and negative energy" on the premises, and she has even had her chair pulled out from under her (she heard children laughing when this happened, so she assumes the spirits of kids did it).

I have to wonder how alike the histories of these two places are. I have a hunch that the one here was worse, though. I reason that, back then, the field of psychology was nothing like it is today. The 1800s saw the birth of public institutions such as poorhouses like these. We knew very little about psychology, the mind, and treatments - really, almost no one knew what to do with a mentally instable individual or those who couldn't care for themselves. I hope the poorhouses, which were a new concept then, did the best they could to care for these people, but the assistance they offered to residents might be substandard or even inadequate. Some residents even fared worse inside those walls. The conditions in the Painesville poorhouse were terrible for a place built in 1876, so how much worse were poorhouses in 1825 when these places were even less advanced? A lot changes over fifty-one years in the way people are treated in institutions.

The only resident I could find out about is Thomas Jefferson Cummings, or Tommy Collins, who was sent to the almshouse after living an eccentric life on the streets of Reading (see the third link). For what it's worth, a lot of the homeless have issues with mental health - considering that, both places probably saw plenty of rundown and disturbed people.

So... What does all this mean for you? Hopefully something, but maybe the history of your house has absolutely nothing to do with any of it. I think it's interesting that you and that volunteer both felt the presence of children, and that both of you picked up on some energy that's different from the typical heavy, dark, or evil gloominess associated with a haunting. I'm curious as to where your house is; the closer it is to the high school, the greater the likelihood your experiences might have something to do with a poorhouse spirit. My house is situated next to the former grounds but, besides one disturbing experience and only a handful of unexplained occurrences, my place is definitely not haunted.

You asked why it was you experiencing the majority of it, and there are a couple possibilities. One reason is that you may be more sensitive to the paranormal than most. It's not uncommon for families to have one black sheep experiencing most of the activity. It could also be that the spirit (s) in your former home was attracted or attached to you in particular for some reason. This is why sometimes several different families can come and go through the same house without anything at all happening. Then a certain special person moves in and activity kicks up. When this happens, the dead and the living have something close in common.

Additionally, the ability to sense or detect the supernatural is particularly strong in animals and children. In your post, anyone who experienced something was a child or adolescent, and the adults didn't hear or see anything. I've also heard that every child's natural ability to detect the supernatural peaks around puberty and then weakens or totally disappears afterward. If that's the case with you, it might not be a coincidence you were twelve at the time.

Hopefully some of this helps. If none of this seems to fit though, I would guess your house has its own history. Still, it's interesting to wonder where all the energy from the Almshouse went if it didn't leave. The Lake County Poor House is considered to be a very spiritually charged place, so where do distressed souls like the ones there go when their haunt gets demolished and built over? I encountered a mischievous entity in my basement once and I felt it was toying with me, but not in a harmful way. It seemed childish in nature but I don't know if it was a kid. Who knows, maybe our experiences are the work of the Almshouse spirits?
ghostreader1000 (34 posts)
15 years ago (2009-02-01)
Hi I am Mike, First of all the experinces you had in that house sounds like to me that you had an experince with a child who use to live there. Joking around with you to be playful.

Second it sounds like to me you may be a medium (the ability to experince paranormal activity)

If you are curious try to find out who had the house before you and your family moved in. I am a medium myself and have a lot of experinces with the paranormal. It might frighten you at times when you experince hearing or seeing things that happen when no one was around. You will get use to it in due time.

Life is full of mysteries and unexplained incidents. Just take it one step at a time I hope I was able to help in some way.
TammyMom (32 posts)
16 years ago (2008-11-18)
bcps, She said that they moved in when she was 12, she moved out when she was 17, and she is now 20. She wrote this on October 17, 2007, which would now make her 21. That would be about 9 years, not 5 years. I just thought that clearing up that discrepancy in the timeline might help you in knowing whether it was or wasn't the same house.
bcps (2 stories) (12 posts)
16 years ago (2008-10-06)
i have a question my best friend lived in a house in shillington with almost the same stuff happening where was this house at? Because when he moved out it was about 5 years ago right around the same time you would have moved in get back to me about it I'm curious
normajean (3 stories) (11 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-11)
Hello jamie,
I too have felt my bed shake, I never could explain it... But my eyes were closed, I wasn't asleep though. It would just shake... 😕
Thank you for sharing your story though ❤
hayley308 (9 posts)
16 years ago (2008-02-15)
Im always experiencing things from bangs ad footsteps to tv turning on and of and actually seeing before my own eyes thigs move. I remember when I was 10 or 11 I woke up in the morning around 6 or 7 feeling cold on my legs I sat up and my pyjama pants were at the other side off the room?
My mum said they might off slipped of but I don't know how that could happen?
- Hayley
whitebuffalo (guest)
16 years ago (2007-12-27)
Hi Jamie,
Lots of us here have had similar experiences. Just check out all the pages on here, and you will have all the proof of that you could ask for.
As for the possible reason of why it was just you who experienced these things. Some people are just more in tune with the whole world around them. That includes the world around us that is still unexplained. Another possibility is that others in the house experienced these things too, (possibly even at a different level) but have not come forward and admitted it even to themselves yet.
Thank you for your story.
ChrisB (6 stories) (1515 posts)
17 years ago (2007-10-25)
Hi Jamie. Liked reading your story. The people in this site are great. They are allways there to help. They can give you a lot of courage. Remeber that you are not alone. See you soon and take care
KimSouthO (27 stories) (1960 posts)
17 years ago (2007-10-23)
Welcome to the site, thank you for sharing your story.

First, there is no way you are alone in these happenings. Most of us who are regulars to this site have had one experience or another.

I would certainoy have been curious to find out any history on the house. DO you know if it is still occuring to the people now living there? Just curious.

God Bless!
Shane (13 stories) (1258 posts)
17 years ago (2007-10-23)
Hi Jamie and welcome to the site. Looks like the ladies beat me to the punch on this one. Not much else I can add. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

Peace, Love, and Luck be with you.
Bellissima (12 stories) (792 posts)
17 years ago (2007-10-23)
Hi, Jamie! Sounds like a little mischief maker lives in that house! You mention that you left when you were 17 - well they say teenagers will experience this type of thing, due to raging hormones, I gather. That could be why it was only you who had experiences. Maybe the spirits simply enjoyed toying with you. I'm glad your experiences were innocent. You could check up on the history of the house to see if you can find anything specific regarding the spirits being mainly children. Just an idea!
Abby (710 posts)
17 years ago (2007-10-23)
Dear Jamie,

Welcome to YGS. :) I wish you to know that you are not alone in your experience and that many YGS members including myself have had same or similar ghost and paranormal experiences as you relate here within your story.

Many times people within your own family, friends or other close loved ones do not experience the same occurrences, because they may not wish to admit it as they are in denial or have not yet come to terms with it. Other possibilities may be that they are very closed to the idea of ghosts or the paranormal due to their own level of personal knowledge, perceptions and belief system. Each person chooses to see or perceive what they wish and what they can handle at any given time within their life and within their life experiences.

You are more open in your belief system and with it you also have a good skeptic's outlook too. I am sure you will do just fine and your knowledge will grow as you continue to seek your own personal life experience answers, solutions and meanings.

Once again, welcome and your feedback, presence here and all comments and stories to follow are also welcome and greatly appreciated and anticipated. --Abby

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