This is yet another installment in The House on Cambridge series. A little background on the situation: my parents bought a large Victorian home in Columbus, Ohio in the early 1990s. My mother and brother began experiencing paranormal ocurrences almost immediately. These vignettes deal with my stepfather coming to terms with what had been happening to his wife and son for almost a year. Until these episodes, he was not a "believer..."
My stepfather is a highly rational, intelligent, practical man. He is a carpenter-turned-attorney. He was constantly doing renovation work to our house from about the first month we moved in until we moved out. Thanks to his ingenuity and work, my parents tripled the value of the house in the 14 years they lived there. Unfortunately, not everybody in the house liked the changes...
This string of incidents took place around 1994 after we'd been in the house for a few short years. My mother had seen and heard strange things since the first day she stepped into the house. My little brother quickly became a lightning rod for the supernatural and often complained to my parents in the middle of the night that he could not sleep because "the lady is in my room..." This lady often pulled at his sheets and on a few ocassions, even tickled him. My mother heard this lady walking around the landing and down the steps some nights at about 4:30 AM. Her noise was so distinct, my mother could even hear the sound of a heavy dress slipping down the steps after her as she descended the stairs.
Both she and my brother vocalized their concerns to my stepfather, but to little avail. If you haven't seen or felt a "ghost," then you cannot possibly understand the emotion with which it floods you. I do not blame anyone who has not experienced this for not understanding. However, once you are stricken, your world turns upside down and there is no going back. My stepfather would soon make this transition.
One night, my stepfather was in bed reading while my mother tucked-in her brood of five children. He was lying in bed with his back to the wall. The doorway to their room was to his right and built into the same wall against which he was resting as he sat upright reading. The door was slightly ajar as my mother stepped through the doorway and into their room. As she took her second step into their room, my stepfather looked up to acknowledge her. When he looked up from his book towards her, he saw a milky white, whispy apparition trail her into the room at exceedingly close range and with some velocity. It was as if this thing was literally on my mother's heels. My stepfather could make out little except for her white hair and what appeared to be a white gown, hence, the "white lady..."
She came into the room so fast and close to my mother, that she overtook her and flew past my mom and disappeared into the room before her. My mother's hair flew up and past her own face as if a gust of wind had blown into the back of her head. Upon witnessing this paranormal interactoin, my stepfather, who did NOT believe in ghosts one minute before sat up sharply in bed with his eyes widened. He gasped in alarm, "What the hell was that?!" To which Mom replied, "You know damn well what I think it was..."
After that, my stepfather had no choice but to believe. Perhaps it was because he was now tuned-in to the possibility of a haunted house, perhaps it was just coincidence, but after this initial baptism, my stepfather had many other run-ins with entities unbound by commonly accepted rules of physics.
One night, while both he and his wife were fast asleep, he awoke unexpectedly. He felt as though something had woken him up. Startled, he peered into the darkness and his blood ran frigid at what he saw. There, hovering RIGHT over him in his bed, was a black cloud of what he can only describe as "energy..." It was large, looming, and not friendly. He sat up in bed and yelled out, "What the hell's going on here?!?!" At this, the hazy dark mass raised up a foot or so and slowly backed away from their bed across the room and receded into a foundation wall of the house. There was no other room on the other side of this wall as it formed the outside of our house.
His screaming of course awakened my mother and they discussed what had just transpired. My mother always insisted whatever was in the house never threatened her and that it was friendly. She liked to believe it was the spirit of a previous owner who liked to stop on the landing atop the stairs and peer out into the back yard to admire her garden. That's all well and good, but still pure conjecture. She may have never felt threatened, but that was not the case with my stepfather. He firmly believed that whatever he saw race into the room behind Mom and what appeared over their bed that night were separate entities. He also felt the looming cloud was indeed threatening and not friendly. He felt it better not to share this feeling with my mother.
After that, I would say that my stepfather was the tertiary witness to these ocurrences behind my brother and mother respectively. His encounters with the supernatural in that house would increase over the years to the point where he didn't even bother telling anyone about them. On several occasions, he saw a figure in the carriage house out back. This structure had once housed horses and a carriage when the house was first built in the very late 1890s. Now, it served as my stepfather's work space, full of table saws, welding equipment, etc. The second floor of this building had also once been home to the butler of the house. Now, this space was used as my stepfather's office out of which he ran his law practice. There are four windows in this room--two look out on the neighbors property, and two look out towards the main house. My stepfather would often walk from the main house down the path to the carriage house and up and into his office to work on cases at night. On several occasions, as he walked to his office, he would look up to see someone peering down at him from the second floor windows. He could not make out distinct facial features, but he knew from the shape of the head and torso that it was a man. He found this particularly unnerving, and for that reason, did not tell my mother about "him" until recently.
It is curious to me that, out of a family of seven, a few would have only positive encounters with the supernatural, one would have some negative ones, three would have sparse and indistinct experiences, and one would never have any at all. Do you see only what you want to see, or only what you are allowed to see?