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Noises And Unexplained Happenings In Old Victorian: Year 1


For three years, I rented different rooms in an old Victorian home in suburban Massachusetts, built in 1890. Due to changing roommate circumstances, and the fact that the house was split up by floor for different family sizes and the two units were separated from one another, I was required to move each time as leases changed. Much changed about my home life as people came and went, but there was one constant: I was always experiencing some creepy, unexplained circumstance in that house. Not a moment went by where everything just made sense and could be logically explained.

A brief description of the home: it is a Queen Anne Victorian, with gingerbread-like shingles and trim all the way around, painted beige. There are pointed gables on both sides of the house, and it is three floors including the attic. There is a small winding driveway that circles the house. There are two front doors, the downstairs one opening into to a small closet connected to what is now a downstairs bedroom on the lefthand side by way of a door, and the other front door opens to a staircase leading upstairs, which stops at a landing three quarters of the way up, to turn leftward into a small upstairs hallway. There was a wall separating the staircase from the closet, thereby separating the two units. There is a second staircase accessed from a door on the back side of the house which leads up to the kitchen on the second floor, and a side door on the opposite back side of the house leading to the downstairs kitchen. The middle of the downstairs consisted of a large living room.

The first room in the house that I rented was on the first floor, connected to the living room. There was a door in the corner of my room leading to a closet, which could also be accessed from the living room. I found it very strange that the closet could be accessed both from the living room and from my bedroom, and I realized it did not look much like a closet at all. There was a small window in the closet and it was located directly under the stairs, behind the closet accessed when walking in through the front door and separated from it by a wall.

The first night I slept in the house, I felt as if I was being watched from that "closet." I could not see anything in the dark, but I expected to see creepy eyes staring at me, watching me lying in bed. I also felt very exposed, because if there was ever an intruder, there were many ways they could access my room. I got up in the middle of the night to shut that door, and I checked to make sure the window in the closet was locked. To my relief, it was firmly locked. I was lying in bed when I begun to hear a noise that would plague me for weeks: a quiet, but high-pitched "beep." This sound occurred once every three minutes. It resembled the sound a smoke detector makes when its battery is dying, and this is what I assumed was making the noise. I eventually managed to fall asleep, as it was not the one in my room that was making the noise and it was far enough away to not keep me awake. At this point, the sound was only a minor annoyance.

The next morning, I walked to each smoke detector downstairs, trying to see which one was making the noise. None of them were chirping, but I could still hear the beep. I could not tell whether it was coming from above or below, but instinctually when I heard it, I looked upward. I went to each room, but no matter where I went, it sounded as if it was coming from somewhere else. If I stood in the kitchen, it sounded like it was coming from the living room. If I stood in the living room, it sounded as if it was coming from the kitchen. I checked every appliance that could possibly be making the sound. It wasn't the dishwasher. It wasn't the washer or the dryer. The noise was a mystery. I checked the basement, but it was not coming from there and could barely be heard while down there. Finally, I got the courage to knock on the upstairs tenants' front door, asking them if they could hear the sound. Not only could they not hear it, but they assumed I was crazy because if it was loud enough to be that noticeable, they were in disbelief they could not hear it too. At this point I felt chills down my spine: if it wasn't coming from the basement and it wasn't coming from the upstairs, it was coming from somewhere in my immediate living space, and I was still unable to identify it.

Eventually, my roommate, who had lived in the house for a full year before I moved in, remarked that she had, too, heard the noise in the past from time to time but never for days on end, and that guests of hers had inquired about what it was. No one ever had an answer and they never thought much of it, and eventually my roommate had adjusted to the sound and barely noticed it. Two weeks later, at 3:00 AM, the noise suddenly stopped. I never heard it again. To this day I am perplexed and wonder what could have been making that sound. Eventually, I forgot about the sound and decided to move on.

About two weeks later, around 1 in the morning, I woke up to the sound of pacing up and down the front staircase and across the upstairs landing, which woke me up due to the heavy thudding sound. I could hear it distinctly, as my room was located directly beneath. The sound began at the top of the stairs, and made its way down. I assumed that it was one of the upstairs tenants going outside for a cigarette, but I was proven wrong when I did not hear the front door open. About ten seconds after the footsteps reached the bottom of the stairs, they climbed back up, paced around the landing, and then came back down. I wondered, why would someone be pacing up and down the stairs? This continued for about half an hour, and it kept me awake. The next morning, I knocked on the front door of the upstairs unit (which, ironically, opened to the staircase I heard the footsteps on) and demanded to know who was making such a racket. I was unsettled to find out that there was only one tenant home that night and that they did not get home until 2 in the morning from a party. The upstairs was empty at 1 AM.

Every now and again, I would hear, around the same time, what sounded like a ball rolling down those stairs and hitting the front door. My roommate heard it as well, but the upstairs tenants claimed they could not hear it. My roommate assumed they were drunk and rolling items down the stairs for fun, but I thought differently.

Over the next several months, I could not sleep well because I felt as if there was someone, or something, staring at me from outside the house. My room jutted out of the side of the house, part of one of the gables, so my bed was surrounded by windows on three sides. Out of the window to my left, I could see the side of the house and the outside of the window looking into the closet. I eventually put curtains on each of these windows, and the feeling of being watched subsided. When I began using this closet to store my clothes and suitcases, I noticed the window in the closet was unlocked. I asked my roommate if she had unlocked it: she had not. I DISTINCTLY remembered checking to make sure it was locked the first night I stayed in the house. I came to find that if I left the window locked, I would find it unlocked within the next day or two. I eventually got so creeped out that I removed all my belongings from the closet, put my dresser in front of the door connecting the closet to my room, and placed a table against the door connecting the closet to the living room.

Not long after, I woke up to the sound of footsteps toward the front of the house: slow, heavy footsteps that clearly belonged to a man in boots. They sounded as if they began at the front door, and ended at the door I had blocked off between my room and the closet. It was impossible, however, for anyone to make this entire trip, for there was a wall separating the two closets. I heard this happen three times, always in the early hours of the morning while it was still dark outside. Each time, I froze in place, put the covers over my head, and sat as still as I could until the footsteps stopped. I would later find out that before the separating wall was built between the front staircase and the downstairs, that both of these "closets" had once formed a continuous hallway from the front door to the living room and to my room, once a dining room.

Occasionally during the day, I heard very similar footsteps from the upstairs down the back staircase, but they did not stop at the door leading to the outside, but right behind my refrigerator in the kitchen. Shortly after they stopped, I would hear what sounded like a doorknob turning. There was no door behind the refrigerator to even open, and there was no place opposite that wall to stand to even open a door had there been one. I vaguely remember my landlord stating that the back staircase once faced the opposite direction and led to the downstairs kitchen, but this was changed in the 1950s when the house's partitions were formed to make the home for two families.

I am not religious, but I prayed to whichever higher power may exist to allow these strange occurrences to cease. I had reached my limit.

From December of that year until my lease ended in May, most occurrences were minor. Items would disappear and turn up in other rooms. Doors I had distinctly remembered leaving open would be shut when I returned to the room. The living room overhead light, which could be turned on via a handheld clicker, would not work because the wall switch, which must be in upward position for the clicker to work, would be found in downward position, but neither myself nor my roommate flicked the switch down.

At this point, my roommate began to think I was going mad. She still believed there is a logical explanation for each of these events. However, this would change one night.

It was a Friday night in May, the last week of the lease. The upstairs tenants were throwing a wild party: music blasting, feet stomping, and the front door opening and shutting as new guests arrived. Suddenly, I heard a knock on my door. I went to the door, assuming that it was a guest for the party upstairs who had mistakenly knocked on the wrong door. I opened the door to see a pale-faced boy around my age standing there, asking where his brother was in a deep, dazed voice. I still assumed he meant to knock on the other door, and assumed his brother was a party guest. I began to tell him that the door to the upstairs was the next one, but he shoved past me and into my apartment, stating that his brother lived in my apartment and that I was "hiding" him. He ran through my roommate's room, through the living room and into the kitchen. I ran after him, demanding an explanation, shaken up and grabbing my pepper spray from my bag and my phone to begin dialing 9-11.

When I reached the kitchen, there was no one there.

I ran outside, to my car, locked the car doors and dialed the police, explaining that there was an intruder hiding somewhere in my house. When the police showed up, they searched every possible space in the apartment. They even checked the blocked off closet, but he could not have been in there, because the furniture I had placed in front of the doors was undisturbed, and it would have been impossible to reposition it from inside the closet. There was no one to be found anywhere in the apartment. They assumed that he had run out of the house when he heard the police sirens, but this could not have been possible. From my car I would have seen him exit through either of the doors, and the police found that all but one of the windows were locked.

All of the windows except the one in the closet.

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

lady-glow (16 stories) (3158 posts)
6 years ago (2018-05-03)
Virulentpeach - yikes, those neighbors sure sound nasty! I'd prefer to deal with the paranormal activity. 😜
CuriousDee (8 stories) (631 posts)
6 years ago (2018-05-02)

That makes sense, as far as the feeling in the house and probably the incidents taking place. Lol about 7 hours of nothing. You're patient, I would press delete and move on 😆 Maybe I'll try just leaving a voice recorder for a bit to see what comes up and go from there. Sort of a test Lol

Thanks so much for your input, I appreciate it 😊

- Dee
Miracles51031 (39 stories) (4999 posts) mod
6 years ago (2018-05-02)
virulentpeach - this was a very well-told experience. Thank you for sharing it with us. I do agree with CuriousDee about some of it being residual, especially the walking.

I apologize if this has been asked but did you try and find out if there was ever anything odd that happened in that home, or nearby? Like a missing person or death? Something that might help explain why the guy came looking for his brother and insisted you were hiding him.
Miracles51031 (39 stories) (4999 posts) mod
6 years ago (2018-05-02)
CuriousDee - I've never noticed that it increased the activity in my home when I've done it. But there are others who swear it makes things more active in their home when they do. And I've heard all the warnings too about not doing an investigation in your own home.

I've often thought if you aren't afraid of who you are sharing your home with, then there is no reason to be afraid of trying to communicate with them 😊

Just recently (last month) I recorded 7 hours of probably nothing from our housemates LOL I have done a cursory listen through and cannot say that the thumps and bangs aren't my extremely active cats LOL This weekend I hope to be able to listen to all 7 hours to see if I caught anything I can't blame on the felines 😁
CuriousDee (8 stories) (631 posts)
6 years ago (2018-05-02)

You've touched on a subject that has me going back and forth on. I've always wondered if one set out to record the activity in their house... Would that increase activity or possibly invite it? The same goes for recording an EVP session. My brother has mentioned doing this at our childhood home, but I thought it might not be a good idea.

I hope this isn't off topic, but the comments regarding recording the activity made me think it would be ok. Thank you in advance 😊

- Dee
Miracles51031 (39 stories) (4999 posts) mod
6 years ago (2018-05-02)
yougotosleep - I agree with AugustaM. Not everyone wants to record what is going on in their home. Some people don't want to see what they hear; others don't want to record anything just in case it accelerates the activity.

I have lived in my current home for 9 years. The activity began a couple of months after moving in and in these 9 years, I have done a couple of EVP sessions. But up until last week, I didn't own a camcorder so I couldn't record any of the activity my kids and I experience.

Believe it or not, camcorders aren't something everyone has on hand. And even if virulentpeach had a camcorder, by the time she set it to record what was going on, chances are good the activity would have ceased. Not all ghosts want to be used as evidence 😉
AugustaM (7 stories) (996 posts)
6 years ago (2018-05-02)
Not everyone lives life with a camcorder and audio recording equipment in their hands at all times. And even if they are in the habit of carrying a smart phone with those capabilities around, there is no guarantee that in their shock and surprise, they are automatically going to think to grab their device and get documenting. Most videos, images and recordings are captured by folks who have gone into a situation with the specific intent to document... The OP's intents in this account were generally simply to sleep or to carry on with her day - there was neither intent nor motivation to prove anything to anyone. I see you are a new member- the more you read on the paranormal, the more you will find that most experiences are this way. Just because the average person doesn't style themselves a paranormal investigator doesn't mean their experiences are any less genuine.
virulentpeach (12 stories) (40 posts)
6 years ago (2018-04-30)
[at] yougotosleep:

The reason nothing was recorded was that there was never any physical sighting and I did not think to record the noises. The entity/person who entered my home I felt at the time presented an immediate threat and I was wanting to exit the premises, not record them. What scares me is if they were a real person and not a spirit, it means that since there was no evidence of them exiting the building, they must have managed to hide and evade police presence and then sneak out while I was back inside... That is scarier to me than thinking of them being paranormal.

This comment from yougotosleep is hidden due to low rating. Show comment

CuriousDee (8 stories) (631 posts)
6 years ago (2018-04-29)
Thanks for the clarification. In my opinion, the strangest incident is definitely the young man barging into your apartment. In your story, you referred to him as a boy, so I pictured a preteen aged boy or child. Also, the fact that he appeared to be modern would lead us to believe that he was not a spirit. The details helped me understand what you saw.

The rest of the activity does sound residual. Another theory to take into consideration is that the type of tenants living there may have caused the strange activity. The partying, hostile behavior, people moving in and out, etc could be a breeding ground for unbalanced or negative energy. Not to mention the age and history of the house.

Just a few thoughts anyway.
virulentpeach (12 stories) (40 posts)
6 years ago (2018-04-29)
[at] lady-glow:

About the noise, what I mean is that they assumed I was imagining the noise. When I expressed to them that it was clearly audible from in my apartment and I was surprised they could not hear the noise at all, they could only then conclude it was in my head, because if it was clearly audible, they SHOULD have, in their minds, been able to hear it too. But they weren't.

The upstairs tenants were rude, and they certainly had no shame in being loud and obnoxious. If they had really been making all of the noise that I had heard coming from upstairs, knowing their personalities and other confrontations with them that were not told in the story, they would definitely have told me to get lost and stop complaining. One time they told me they would not turn the music down and if it was preventing me from getting to sleep, it was my obligation to buy ear plugs.

The night I heard the footsteps, I did hear someone come home at the time that they specified, but I had no idea that there was no one upstairs already when I had heard the noises. The noise was very old and had creaky floorboards, so whatever was going on upstairs I almost always could hear. I also lived right under the stairs and upstairs landing, so I heard everyone who came and went.

The neighbors were young college students of my age, a mixed-gender group. I never did see them looking in our windows.

My roommate was not present the day the house was "broken into" but after hearing the story she was perplexed and began to consider there was something paranormal going on. As for what happened, the boy's clothing did not signal, to me, that he was from another era. I perceived him as a college student of my age and era, who was either drunk or on drugs. They did end up knocking on the upstairs apartment but no guest matching the description given was at that party. The window was also too high from the ground for a person of average height to be able to open it, because the house is raised off the ground with the lower level being up about six stairs in height.
CuriousDee (8 stories) (631 posts)
6 years ago (2018-04-28)
I'm with lady-glow in needing more details about the boy and upstairs neighbors. Quite a bit of the activity sounds residual which isn't surprising considering the age and number of past family/tenants in the house.
lady-glow (16 stories) (3158 posts)
6 years ago (2018-04-28)
I imagine a house that old must keep many memories from its previous duellers.

There're few points in your story that I find a bit confusing and would appreciate if you elaborate more.

When you went to knock at the upstairs neighbors' door: " Not only could they not hear it, but they assumed I was crazy because if it was loud enough to be that noticeable..."

And after hearing the footsteps during the night: "I was unsettled to find out that there was only one tenant home that night and that they did not get home until 2 in the morning from a party. The upstairs was empty at 1 AM."

In the first place, I find it shocking if they said to your face that you're crazy, but I know some people can be really rude and proud of it. Which makes me wonder if their "the upstairs was empty at 1 AM" was a reliable information, after all, you're nothing else than 'the crazy chick living downstairs' and they don't seem the nicest people walking on the surface of the planet.

Did you hear them when they got home?
Did you usually hear noise coming from their apartment? Sorry to ask but, there's no mention in your narrative if it was 'normal' to hear in your house whatever the neighbors were doing except, of course, for the day of the party.

"Over the next several months, I could not sleep well because I felt as if there was someone, or something, staring at me from outside the house"

I might be wrong but, if the neighbors were as rude as I imagine, it wouldn't come as a surprise if one of them was a peeping tom.
I guess that should have been my first question... Were the neighbors men, women or a couple? Again, there's no mention about it in your narrative and I might be just blaming the poor creatures for things they didn't do.

"At this point, my roommate began to think I was going mad. She still believed there is a logical explanation for each of these events. However, this would change one night."

It is not clear to me if by this you mean your roommate was present when the boy knocked at the door and -finally!- she believed something weird was going on, or if you were alone and happy to get validation for all the activity witnessed during your stay in that apartment.

It seems like you spend quite a long time chasing the boy around your house. Did you notice any details about his clothing and appearance that could suggest the era when he lived? Did the policemen ask you to describe him and check if he was one of the guests at the party? Did the police pay a visit to your noisy neighbors? Did they ever consider/suggest the possibility of one of the guests trying to open your window?

Anyway, that sure sounds like an interesting place to live in!

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