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The Daughter Of A Drunk


When I was 9 years old, I lived in West Virginia with my Mom and two sisters. My grandmother lived right next door along with my 2 cousins. She had taken them in when they were a few years old. It was only about a year since we moved from the city to West Virginia, that my mother decided she didn't really like it as much as she thought. My uncle suggested we can live with him in Pennsylvania, which my Mother thought was a good idea.

I had already got adjusted to my new school, and grew a very close bond with my cousins. So my Grandmother decided I could stay with her while my Mom and sisters went to Pennsylvania. I remained in West Virginia for about a year before my mom decided it was time for me to come to Pennsylvania. 

When I first arrived at my Uncles house, I was greeted by all my family members, then taken to my room. I would like to note the room is on the second floor, down the hall from the top of the stairs. As I was unpacking I remember vividly, my sister saying "You get to share the room with the little girl". I thought nothing about it as I thought she was talking about my Uncles 4 year old daughter.

As the day started to end, my 17 year old cousin has just arrived home from his job. That's when I found out it was actually him who I would be sharing the room with, but I still paid no mind to the comment my sister made earlier. It was a month later when I finally understood what she meant.

Me and my cousin who I shared the room with were just relaxing playing some Xbox. Out of nowhere, I look over and realize this look on his face. It is not so much a look of fear, but a look of curiosity. I asked him " Hey, what's wrong?". He replies " did anybody ever tell you what happened in this house?". I hesitated as I knew something bad had to have happened since he's asking me that question. I replied " No, why? What happened?".

He begins to tell me about how his dad was able to buy the house for just about close to nothing. It turns out that on July 16, 1997 there was a family consisting of a Mother, Father, and Daughter. The father who was considered an angry drunk would often assault his wife. Apparently one day he went too far and brutally beat his wife to death. When he realized what he had done, he had taken the body to the basement and began to think about what to do next.

He knew he had just done something terrible and could not live with the fact of what he had done. He also knew he had a daughter who would ask where her mom is. It was confirmed that he had taken his daughter to his neighbors house who has agreed to baby sit while he "ran a few errands".

The father returns about an hour later, picks up his daughter, and takes her home. Knowing he could not do to his daughter, what he did to his wife, he finds another way. On his little trip running errands,  he picked up multiple door locks and other tools. He waits until​ his daughter is asleep in her room, then quietly installs multiple locks preventing her from opening the door.

He eventually goes to the basement with a bottle of alcohol and a deadly amount of pills. He then begins to slowly kill himself while looking at what he had done. The bodies of all 3 were not found until October 1997, roughly 3-4 months after the tragedy. The mother died from blunt trauma, the Father from overdose, and the girl died from starvation and dehydration.

After learning all of this, I immediately became uneasy. I remember my cousin making a comment about how before I came he would have the light in the room on day or night. No matter what he kept it on as long as he was in the room. As the months went on, I still had no reason to believe that the house was haunted because of what had happened. That is until one night it was an empty house with just 3 people.

The rest of my family that also lived in the house decided to go to the first high school football game of the year. I chose to stay home with my Aunt and Uncle who had a room on the third floor. It was about 7 PM, everyone was gone and my Aunt and Uncle decided to call it a early night. I stayed downstairs watching T.V in the living room and this is where it started to happen.

The basement door is located in the dining room which is right next to the living room. I had full view of the door as I sat on the couch. All of a sudden the door starts to open very slightly then gently closes. As I already know the basement door doesn't close all the way I just assumed it was some wind. About 5 minutes later, as the only lights on in the house were those being made by the T.V, I was quickly able to see the light from the basement peering through the bottom of the door. It had suddenly came on out of nowhere. I am now too scared to move as the only place to go is through the dining room. It was about 20 seconds later that the light shuts back off as if it was never on.

I remember immediately turning all the lights downstairs on and placing a chair in front of the basement door.

I then raced my way upstairs but I heard another noise as I got to the top. As I mentioned earlier my room was located down the hall from the top of the stairs. As I get to the top of the stairs, the light to my room suddenly comes on and the door closes itself. I immediately turn around but as I get halfway down the stairs I hear the door open again. I quickly thought about my cousin saying he always has the light on when he is in the room. My panic caused me to think maybe he was actually home and never went to the football game even though I saw him leave. I turn around, back up the stairs to now see my bedroom door halfway open and the light is still on. As I call my cousins name from the top of the stairs, the door knob made the sound it does when somebody turns it all the way then let\'s it go. I run down the stairs and I hear the door slam very hard. It was so loud it woke my Aunt and Uncle up who about 2-3 minutes later came downstairs to find me sitting on the porch crying my eyes out.

When I told them what had happened they confirmed every part of the story my cousin told me. It turns out the owner of the house actually had the news article and police report of what had happened in the house. He gave it to my uncle when he sold him the property. For the next 2 years we lived there, I did not experience any other situations like this.

To this day I still have chills replaying the sound in my head of the door slamming as I got to the bottom of the stairs. I actually came up with my own reason as to why the door slammed.

I believe the reason the light turned on and the door closed when I first went upstairs is because the little girl wanted me to think my cousin was in the room. Maybe she wanted me to think nothing was wrong? She then reopened the door to maybe imply that she indeed did want me to come in. When I didn't, she then slammed the door in anger or sadness. I feel so bad for what happened to her and I think she was just trying to communicate.

I would like to thank everybody for reading. I apologize for giving more back story then the actual event's that took place but I feel every thing I mentioned is important to what happened. I would love to hear your guys comments as I never revealed this experience to strangers.

Thank you.

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

catleyablu (17 posts)
4 years ago (2018-01-09)
Would it be possible to get a copy posted on here of the article & police report your Uncle received from the previous owner? A very sad tale, indeed.

Bibliothecarius (9 stories) (1082 posts)
5 years ago (2017-07-11)
Greetings, Laucd.

Here's the list of murder-suicides from 1997 in Pennsylvania that bear *some* resemblance to the narrative your cousin told you.

January 1st. The Herald-Mail: Mr & Mrs Carbaugh, Peters Township.
April 29. Tyrone Daily Herald: Mrs Klock, Miss Klock, Mr Eamigh, Altoona.
May 26. The Herald-Mail: Mr Cuff and Ms Goodyear, Greene Township.
October 25. The Morning Call: Mr & Mrs Williams, Bethlehem.
December 21. The Morning Call: Mr. Lalevee & Mr. Flippin, Chestnuthill Township.

It is likely that additional cases did not show up on my initial search.

My quick scan of Pittsburgh Homicides in the Police Log found one crime that fits the date (July 16, 1997), but it was the death of 24-year-old April Johnson (due to "blunt force trauma"). That's the report for only ONE city in the entire state, and your narrative suggests that the bodies were not discovered until October. Additionally, the Police would have listed the other two deaths in the log, also.

My first questions were raised by Rook, IrishGuy, and lady-glow. Where in Pennsylvania did this occur? I don't mean the address of the house, as that would be against the rules of YGS; a location such as "Eastern PA," a city "Philadelphia," or a rough idea "near Pittsburgh" would suffice. Providing this information would help everyone to consider the environment around the home in which these events occurred. My questions & speculations (included below) depend upon a clear idea of the geographic region.

How old was the daughter in this narrative? Was she incapable of opening windows to call attention to her dilemma? Was the house secluded, as some of Pennsylvania's rural townships are filled with extensive farmlands that separate neighbors by substantial distances? (Never again shall I drive through two hours' worth of damn cornfields; it's hypnotically dull when they've grown taller than the car windows...)

As for the installation of locks, I'm curious about the sequence of events: "On his little trip running errands, he picked up multiple door locks and other tools. He waits until​ his daughter is asleep in her room, then quietly installs multiple locks preventing her from opening the door." Your cousin told you this, but I would have thought that the sequence would make far more sense if he 1) "ran a few errands" 2) "install[ed] multiple locks," and 3) "pick[ed] up his daughter." This would make sense if the neighbors could not see the house (rural location) and he could work with relative speed to install --for example-- deadbolts before retrieving her. If the neighbors could see the house (suburban/urban location), the probability of their awareness of the change in the family home (piles of newspapers, over-stuffed mailbox, complete silence from the property, bad smells when the wind is blowing from the crime scene toward their home, etc.) would have been able to ascertain the health/wellbeing of the child.

The Pennsylvanians I met (in the seemingly-endless cornfield belt) were very friendly, welcoming types who greeted us with statements that they had "just chilled some fresh-squeezed lemonade," "baked cinnamon rolls, so I'll put on a pot of coffee," or "fired up the barbecue because the neighbors will be visiting in an hour, and I'm sure they'd like to meet you, too!" I know this sounds odd, but they really were genuinely friendly. I found this cheerfulness a bit disconcerting, but I was reassured when I discovered that they were plain-spoken (blunt) about their about their rules, too (e.g.: "down the hall and on the left, but take your shoes OFF before walking on the carpet"). I can't imagine that a dad showing up with his daughter and asking a neighbor to baby sit for an hour was a complete stranger to his neighbors, so they would have been just as likely to walk down the road "a stretch" to invite the family to a cookout or two. (Among the Pennsylvanians I met, "a stretch" would vary in length between 1/4 mile walk and a 2-hour drive.)

Please "read the comments and participate in the discussion."
Melda (10 stories) (1363 posts)
5 years ago (2017-07-07)
To all who commented on Laucd's account: Perhaps we should bear in mind that the OP did not receive this information first hand - it was told to him/her by the cousin.

Also the fact that the previous resident had murdered his daughter in the way stated, nobody could have known why he did what he did and in which sequence, which is why I said in my comment that people came to their own conclusions.

For all we know the child might have been drugged but an autopsy would probably have shown that, if an autopsy ever took place.

If this man did not want to murder the child, he could simply have left her with the neighbours, gone home and done himself in!

Word of mouth can lead to all sorts of assumptions, with all the added little "tails". Closest to the truth would probably be the police report.

I still wouldn't have bought that house if I had known that something so horrible had happened there, which apparently the uncle did 😨

Regards, Melda
lady-glow (13 stories) (2923 posts)
5 years ago (2017-07-07)
I have to second rook's question:

How close are the neighbors houses?

It is hard to fathom that the stench of three decomposing bodies wouldn't attract some sort of attention during a three months period?
Didn't the drunk and/or his wife have jobs, relatives, friends that would notice their absence?

A quick google search didn't reveal anything relevant about the date provided by the OP... Of course I don't trust myself too much because I'm not internet savvy.

Seating on the fence while waiting for Laucd to participate.
IrishGuy (30 posts)
5 years ago (2017-07-06)
In this "alleged" paranormal account the op says "on his little trip running errands, he picked up multiple door locks and other tools. He waits until his daughter is asleep in her room, then quietly installs multiple locks preventing her from opening the door. Now tell me how is it possible to quietly install multiple locks? To install even one door lock is going to cause some degree of noise and they can be awkward too! Yet we are supposed to believe the father installed multiple locks while his daughter slept the whole time? No I find it inplausable and why even go to all that trouble to prevent a small child from opening the door? He could have just as easily locked the door with the room key! I hope the op responds soon and provides the news article because that will be the proof on this story.
L_Melb (220 posts)
5 years ago (2017-07-06)
Thanks rook,
Very good points that I'm embarrassed to say I didn't even think of 😳
Another view is always welcome!
rookdygin (24 stories) (4458 posts)
5 years ago (2017-07-06)

How close are the neighbors houses? How Old was the 'Drunks' Daughter?

Locked door I understand... But a starving child would make so much noise I would think the neighbors would go and check... AND depending on age I would think the window would be a viable option to starving.

Is there a way you could provide the news article that told of this tragedy? Please feel free to omit the names and/or address of the House... Just want to read the article.


Melda (10 stories) (1363 posts)
5 years ago (2017-07-05)
Laucd - Wow, I wouldn't have lived in that house if it had been handed to me on a silver platter, free of charge! The negative energy there must have been palpable. It would seem that your uncle didn't expect any paranormal activity when the "bargain" house came his way, as he knew the history from the start.

This was indeed a tragic event and must have been very unsettling and nerve wracking for your family to live in that house.

Well I don't think it's possible for anybody to actually know what was going through this crazy man's mind when he killed his family. He obviously didn't tell anybody, so people came to their own conclusions.

Beating his wife so badly is horrific enough but there is a possibility that he didn't mean to kill her. It's a pity that he didn't just leave the little girl with the neighbours and hand himself over at the nearest police station. What a stressful, horrible death that little girl must have suffered 😢

Regards, Melda
L_Melb (220 posts)
5 years ago (2017-07-04)
Thanks for sharing,
What a terrifying incident. I would also be interested in knowing more about the tragic events
You did a good job describing your experience in a realistic way, with the history, it would be easy to get carried away, I appreciate your effort.
Thanks again! L
spiritwaiting (42 stories) (843 posts)
5 years ago (2017-07-04)

First thank you for sharing. You did a great job.

It's a tragic bunch of events, and can't imagine going through that. While reading my heart was breaking for the mom, because of what he did, and then the girl, for her having to experience that type of death.

Thank you again for sharing, maybe in some way she knew you would share this, and get her story out.

Sometimes I believe the spirits know there is in someway a way for us to share or help, and that may be why they tend to reach out to certain individuals.

Thanks for the 3rd time.
RCRuskin (9 stories) (710 posts)
5 years ago (2017-07-04)
What a sad and tragic story. Thank you for sharing it.

I'm curious to know more about the deaths in the house, but not sure how to get the information I'd need to look it up.

If you still have relatives that you're in contact with living in the house, do you think you might be able to go back and try to make, with proper precautions, contact?

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