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Hearing Ghosts In Old Farmhouses


In the 1970s, my urban middle class French Canadian parents decided to buy an old farmhouse in a remote rural area of Quebec, about an hour from Victoriaville, where I was born. We lived there until I was 6 years old, until my parents split up and we moved to Montreal.

I don't remember this but my mother says that as soon as I could speak, I told her about "the voices" I heard in my bedroom where I played alone. She says I would run down the stairs on a regular basis and ask her what certain words meant. She says the words were often archaic sacrilegious words and that it happened when we were alone in the house.

After we moved back to the city, my father kept the house as a weekend and summer retreat and so I continued spending a considerable amount of time there but I never personally experienced anything later on. However, my father's second wife's sister and her husband borrowed the house for a weekend when they were having marital issues. They were reported hearing someone climb the stairs slowly and clearly in the silence of the night. They both woke up and heard it and, since the master bedroom door is situated right where the stairs end, they armed themselves of bedside lamps, ready to attack the intruder as it reached the top but the steps stopped suddenly as it did. They never divorced but refused to return to the house.

I now have two daughters who are 10 and 13 years old. Their father grew up in an old farmhouse in Ontario, about 70 km East of Toronto. When I met him 20 years ago, the farmhouse was already used as a summer house because his parents lived in Florida. We also usually celebrated Christmas there because it is very large. The house has a lot of character; with high ceilings, two flights of stairs, windows everywhere and a beautiful fireplace. I was told the house was built in 1837 (with an extension built in 1910).

When my eldest daughter was two and a half years old, we went there to celebrate Christmas (although we lived in Toronto). The house was packed with family members so our small daughter slept with us in her father's old bedroom. It is in the old part of the house where the rooms are spacious and the ceilings are high. There are two large windows in there and it could have been used as a master bedroom in the past although there is another room just as large as this one across the hall used by his parents.

The day before Christmas, my daughter woke up from her afternoon nap and her grandmother and I were sitting with her on the bed when she asked: "Why is there an old lady sitting on the chair watching me sleep?" The chair was in the one of the corners of the room, facing the bed on the left. Her grandmother looked very surprised and just removed the chair and placed it in the dining room instead. She says nobody ever had unusual experiences in the house. My daughter forgot but, like my mother before me, I didn't.

The girls' father and I split up in 2009. Two years ago, I lost most of my child support and I was having financial problems while trying to complete a graduate degree. The grandparents offered that the girls and I move into the farmhouse which wasn't too far from the city and the University. I was reluctant at first because they are very difficult people. It seems like this would be a very kind thing to do and maybe it is, but if you knew them, you would understand how they think and how they just really want to control me and the girls. I don't wish to go into this too much here but they aren't very pleasant people to be around to say the least. They have money and use it to bully people. In spite of this, I did accept their offer at the end because they own two properties in Florida and I thought that, since they barely ever went to that house, I wouldn't have to put up with them too often. The girls were familiar with the place and the house is well kept, large and comfortable.

I naturally had to use their son's old room since he was estranged from them and the other rooms were occasionally used by them or their daughter. My children naturally moved into the room that was already theirs with bunk beds and all. Since my bedroom was the one where my daughter had seen a ghost as a toddler, I always slept with the lights on. I also did multiple sage burning cleansing all over the house where I asked for only positive energy to remain and to please not be sacred by spirits, and we lived there happily for over a year. By then, the grandparents and aunt started to show up every other month and to treat us like their maids. Things were escalating. Our life turned into a modern Cinderella story: I had to drive to the airport to pick them up, I had to cook for them, and clean after them. They were verbally abusive to me and the children. Asked the girls to do things that were too hard for them physically. I knew that I needed to move out as soon as school ended but I didn't want to uproot the children in the middle of the year.

In November 2014, the grandmother tells me over the phone that they intend to spend an entire month at the farm at Christmas, instead of the usual 5-6 days. This was more than I could bear. I don't want to sound ungrateful but I had a very bad feeling about this. I rationalized things and took the decisions that I just had to get through it since it was their house. That's when I started hearing a voice waking me up at 5:55 in the morning. It was very soft but clear. It sounded like "hey" and it was coming from a feminine voice right over my face. You see, not only do I not hear voices, but I have a perfect internal clock and wake up every morning naturally at 7 am without the help of an alarm clock. This was so strange. I ignored it the first time but it happened again, and again.

On the third morning that this happened I became a little worried and told my mother about it over the phone. I am a pretty open minded person but numerology never seemed very credible to me. However, that seemed like the only way to try to understand this so I searched online about the meaning of 555. The first thing I found was that it meant that something unexpected was about to happen. Then, as I was just looking around on the internet, I saw that in some Asian culture it means "Get out now!"

After I saw that online, I continued waking up to the voice at 5:55 but only one day out of two or three. I was really trying to ignore it. But I felt really worried when I started hearing the voice at night as I was drifting asleep too. At some point, my children only had one day left of school before the holidays and my mother convinced me to pack and come for a visit. I wrote an email to the grandparents and told them I needed to spend some time with my mother and would return on December 23 to celebrate Christmas with them. This still gave us over 2 weeks together and assumed they'd like to have their house back and see their Canadian friends. I was very polite.

Well, as I was on the road, halfway to my mother's, I received the nastiest violent emails from all of them. They insulted me in every possible way and told me they had talked about it already and had all agreed (the grandmother, the grandfather and the sister) to throw us out already and that I was never to return to the house... Just because I decided to go visit my mother instead of waiting on them? I honestly tried to make peace and begged them to consider the well-being of their grandchildren who were in the middle of a school year and had friends but it seemed to only fuel their violence toward me so I stopped and they never came back on their decision or apologized for it. They shipped our belongings to my mother's house a week later through a moving company.

I think that it is possible that my ability to hear ghosts as a child came back when I was in a different haunted farmhouse. While being thrown out on the streets a week before Christmas with my children was very unpleasant, I can't help thinking that I was probably better off at my mother's and that it's possible that someone was trying to warn us that we were about to be treated poorly, especially since the grandparents admitted having already decided to throw us out.

If this Ontario farmhouse is haunted I truly feel sorry for the ghosts, especially during the summer and at Christmas.

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

Sybill (1 stories) (3 posts)
7 years ago (2017-04-10)
True. Probably just a coicidence. And my sense of smell might have nothing to do with it either. I am just very sensitive to it so this happens to me a lot. Same for sound... And it could have been a dead animal in the attic that smelled on certain days and not on others depending on air flow and temperature... Well it was nice chatting with you anyway! Thanks!
shelbyloree (5 stories) (285 posts)
7 years ago (2017-04-06)
Oh I bet the first owners were probably pretty picky about who they sold their house to. My parents move often and unless mom is in a hurry, she's very picky about the buyers. Or maybe the house is designed in a Dutch style or layout that Dutch folk like?

Strange about the smells, maybe rodents were getting in the walls or something since it was a farmhouse? What a pain, but at least you knew every nook and cranny of that house!
Sybill (1 stories) (3 posts)
7 years ago (2017-04-05)
Yes, very old French Canadian curse words that I didn't understand so I'd come and ask my mom what they meant. She says I'd ask about words like: "symoniaque, bout de reguine, or caliboire." There is no way this came from our aquaintances and I told her I was hearing them in my room. My mom says I didn't seem scared but that she did a cleansing ritual back then and that it worked for us. Of course, it's possible that new dysfunctional relationships trigger these events. Isn't that interesting? Well, I am grateful for the help if that's what it was and we're happier now in our own place. A couple of things I forgot to include were the unexplained smells I experienced at times such as rotten flesh and feces even though I am a total clean freak and the house was in perfect condition with clean vents, new carpets, etc. I couldn't explain them so I'd burn candles a lot and walk through the house (which was time consuming!) or with essential oils or sage. Then, there also was the strange facts that only three families had owned the house: three unrelated families with Danish names and origins. That was so odd considering it wasn't a predominantly scandinavian settlement.
shelbyloree (5 stories) (285 posts)
7 years ago (2017-04-04)
It seemed that at the old farmhouse activity would pick up when a marriage was dissolving, first with your parents, then with the estranged couple staying there. What in the world were the words you were saying and asking about?! Old fashioned cuss words?

In the second house, because you had taken care of it and loved it, you were warned of impending doom. Once you figured out the 555, it started at various times when you were more likely to listening.

Hey, don't feel bad! What is the saying? Before you feel totally depressed, make sure you are not, in fact, simply surrounded by ******! Sounds like you had toxic folk in spades. Sounded like a very awkward situation with some pretty nasty people. Thanks grandma ghost for making it bearable!
Sybill (1 stories) (3 posts)
7 years ago (2017-04-04)
Thank you all for your comments. I must admit this was very therapeutic for me to write but I didn't expect to have such kind and supportive feedback. One of my "friend" even said she thinks I must have been ungrateful to these people and that's why they treated me like that and that I should consider being more pleasant but that's unfair. I am a very protective mother, a hard worker, and I believe in respecting people even when they are vulnerable. Family and "friends" can be so hurtful and betray us. With my story, I really wanted to open the door to the possibility of reinterpreting ghost stories and presences in this way (although I am sure this might not always be the case and wouldn't want to undermine anyone who had a horrible experience with ghosts.) I did think carefully about the possibility of ghosts influencing my ex's family's abusive beahaviour but knowing what I know about them, I think their dysfunctionalities come from transgenerational trauma and not from the house (they all had very unkind parents). Plus, I loved that house. I took really good care of it. I'd dust every inch of it and appreciated it's character. Everyone who came to visit while I was there said how pleasant it was so I really think it was the living who were the problem! Well, my girls are supposed to inherit it so maybe we'll have a sequel to the story with grand-children... And they will never be thrown out of any house ever if I have a word to say about it! 😆
Aliviashae (7 stories) (27 posts)
7 years ago (2017-04-03)
This is an amazing story, but a sad one as well and I'm very sorry to hear of what you went through.
I too feel bad for the spirits residing there, as it doesn't seem there was a whole lot of positive energy to draw from. It definitely seems as if they were trying to offer their assistance by giving you a warning, I also believe that this spirit could probably sense your heightened ability and knew you'd be able to hear them.
AugustaM (7 stories) (996 posts)
7 years ago (2017-04-03)
I know how it feels to be berated and belittled by your own family. My father's family is chillingly similar though yours may even have them beat - they took cruel and vindictive to a V.C. Andrews level! I am sorry you and your girls had to contend with that and so glad you are free now!

Your story was very well written and completely believable. Seems like the ghost in your in laws' house was a kindlier soul than they'll ever be... Maybe nastiness is a recent addition to the family disposition.

I spent almost half my childhood in Saint Foy outside Quebec City - I miss the province like crazy!
noirheart (1 stories) (13 posts)
7 years ago (2017-04-03)
I can relate with the horrible things in laws can do/say. How horrible of them to do that to you and your children. As already mentioned it sounds like you may have been given some warning prior to their arrival. In hindsight it's probably for the best that you left when you did.
AzraelX (8 stories) (115 posts)
7 years ago (2017-04-03)
Your In laws are worse than the most malevolent ghosts.
Question - does your ex in laws ever had experiences in the farmhouse?

Perhaps they were possessed by whatever ghosts haunting the farmhouse to exhibit such outrageous and stupid behavior.
RANDYM (2 stories) (266 posts)
7 years ago (2017-04-03)

Welcome to YGS and thank you for sharing.

So sorry that your In laws turned on you and made things so difficult
I am a believer in things working out the way they are suppose and
It may be better that you got your children away from them. It is their loss, not yours. Hard to imagine that they would treat their grandchildren that way but I'm sure that they blamed you for everything their son did wrong. It also sounds like they wanted to make things as difficult as possible for you so it was the perfect time for them to demand you leave. When could it be harder than right before Christmas. So sorry again.
You may be right that someone was trying to warn you. If not, it sure makes for an interesting coincidence
Hope things have gotten better as I sure they must have.

Argette (guest)
7 years ago (2017-04-02)
Mon Dieu! What a story! Merci pour l'histoire, Sybil, et bienvenue a YGS.

My family is from the Trois Rivieres area, so I am intrigued with your experiences. It seems you and your family absorb feelings.

I agree with your assessment, but I'm no expert on such things.
lady-glow (16 stories) (3158 posts)
7 years ago (2017-04-02)
Still: welcome to YGS.
Those in-laws of yours seem to be more dangerous and malevolent than the ghost/s haunting that old house.

Thanks for sharing this fascinating story.

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