My husband Alan and I bought an old house outside of Murfreesboro, TN. We had to beg, borrow and nearly steal enough money to buy the property and hire the contractors to get the house habitable.
We knew nothing of the history of the house, other than the fact it hadn't been lived in since the early 1900's. The house was 2 story and had obviously experienced major renovation. The front of the house was older and of a completely different architectural style than the rear.
There was no animal life on the property. It was on 5 acres 14 miles northeast of Murfreesboro. This part of Tennessee is lousy with all manner of wildlife. Coyotes, racoons, possum, and deer in particular. There was a constant stream across the back of the property with easy access. There was no reason why we shouldn't have seen animals on a regular basis. There weren't even tracks at the stream. We didn't even have birds on the property.
The team working for the contractor reported they constantly felt like they were being watched. As time wore on, the workers began to complain their tools were coming up missing, only to be found later, always inside the house.
Through all of this, we had never gotten upstairs to the 2nd story. There was one stairwell behind a very heavy wooden door. Try as we might, we couldn't get the door open. The only thing we could do would be to ruin the door by taking it off the hinges. For some reason this was unacceptable to me. A friend of ours, Scott, who was helping us with what work we could do ourselves to save on repair cost climbed a ladder and looked down through the window in the stairwell. He saw a couch and several rolls of carpet leaned against the door, blocking it.
When the workers were done with the main floor, Alan, Scott and I were to finish off the remaining work. This was mainly painting the walls and baseboards. We were almost done. Alan and Scott left to go to the hardware store and to get dinner for the 3 of us. They would be gone for about 2 hours. I had the last baseboard left, then planned on taking a well earned hot bath before the guys got back home.
I wrapped up my work, went to the bath and ran the water for my bath. The last thing I remembered was sitting on the bed and lying back for a moment.
The next thing I remember, Alan was waking me up. I guess I had been sound asleep. I vaguely remembered running the water for my bath. Alan mentioned something about the water still being hot, so I must have just run the bath. This sort of confused me because I'd started the bath well over an hour before. The water should have been cold by then. I didn't remember even turning the water off. I shook off the sense of confusion because I was struggling so much to try to wake up.
I sat down at the table with the guys. They'd grabbed KFC for the 3 of us. I realized then I still had my gloves on from painting the baseboard. I slipped the gloves off, not even bothering to wash my hands. I remember being famished. I was starving and felt, for lack of a better description, drunk. I'd just loaded my plate with dinner when something caught my eye. My wedding rings were missing. I can count on one hand the number of times I've ever taken my rings off. They're not anything special, nothing gaudy. It's just that they're my wedding rings. I rarely wear much in the way of jewelry. It's just not my style. The sentimental attachment I have to them is so important to me. And they were gone.
At first I though Alan and Scott were playing a joke on me. For minutes I believed they were pranking me. When they finally convinced me they had nothing to do with it, we began searching the house. The 3 of us spent over an hour tearing up the first floor, trying to find them. We had no luck.
I spent the next several weeks constantly on the lookout for my rings with no success. Alan only once mentioned buying me a new set. Aside from the fact that we didn't really have the money for it, I refused to give up on finding MY rings.
All during this time I began to feel a constant presence in the house. Alan said he never felt anything. Scott, our friend, who is very attuned spiritually, said he also sensed a presence, but only briefly then it would go away.
After a couple of months Alan and I finally managed to build our nest egg back up to begin working on the upstairs. I still insisted that we not damage the door, so Scott and Alan went back up the ladder, slipped in through the window in the stairwell and dropped in. The 2 of them moved the couch and carpet rolls aside, allowing us to open the door. Scott's wife, Alex was there with me, helping me open the door. The 4 of us went up the stairs and began exploring the 2nd floor. We had to be careful as much of the flooring was rotted. We each sort of went our own way. The rooms were covered in dust, dirt and cobwebs. What light there was came in as sunlight through the windows.
After a few minutes I heard Scott call for us. The room he was exploring was down the hall, around the bend and at the end of another short hallway. He was standing in in front of a bureau, basically a fancy desk with several small drawers. One of the drawers had been pulled open. He looked at me and told me to look inside.
My wedding rings were in the drawer sitting on top of a dingy old journal wrapped in a ribbon that was probably red a long time ago. I accused him of doing this, again saying he was pranking me. Alan and Scott's wife, Alex finally convinced me Scott would never do such a thing. But what other explanation could there be?
The workers we hired to repair the upstairs reported the same sort of incidences the previous workers had. They claimed to feel like someone was always watching them. Tools would come up missing, but would always be found on the main floor.
For his part Alan began to get impatient with all of this going on. He insisted there was nothing going on except overwrought imagination. Even when the work was done Alan was feeling more and more upset on the subject. By then I had a constant sense someone was watching me. If I brought the subject up Alan would get angry with me. Our entire lifesavings was tied up in the house. I was the one that wanted the house at the outset more than him. Now that we had it, I was the one who was constantly "complaining". It got to the point I wouldn't even bring the subject up to him anymore.
For the next year plus I began to feel more and more alone, isolated. I wasn't getting enough sleep anymore and would nap off during the day. When I would nap I would have intense dreams that I wouldn't remember when I awoke. The only thing I could recall was that someone or something was touching me. Over time these feelings became more and more intense. I would awake from one of these naps and find my clothes had been moved, altered. Since I worked from home I could dress casually, usually jeans and a t-shirt. When I would wake up from one of these intense dreams I would find my t-shirt lifted to my shoulders and my jeans opened. Sometimes my panties were pulled down with my jeans.
My energy level was at a constant low ebb. I couldn't talk to my own husband about any of this. I was spending my days just going through the motions.
The dividing line was the night I am convinced I was raped by whatever was in the house.
It was night. Alan and I were in bed. He was sound asleep. I was watching TV, basically zoned out and barely aware of whatever show I was watching. I heard footsteps coming down the hallway. I was accustomed to this. I was so worn down by all of this it no longer bothered me anymore. The footsteps stopped at the door, like they always did. As always, I expected to hear the footsteps walk away, as though someone was walking away from the door. That didn't happen this time. The door to our bedroom began to slowly open. I heard steps entering our bedroom and stop by the bed. This time, because this had never happened before, I was focused wide eyed at the space by my bed. I was suddenly frightened. This had never, ever happened before.
I reached over to shake Alan to wake him up. He didn't budge. He was out cold. I whispered his name, begging him to wake up and help me. He wasn't snoring, he just wouldn't wake up. The sound I heard was something between a growl and a chuckle. I wasn't alone and whatever it was, it was laughing at me? The covers slowly slid down my body and off the bed. Alan still didn't wake up. I wear sweats and a tank top to bed. I felt a "hand" tugging at my sweatpants, pulling them down. I punched Alan, yelling at him to wake up. Nothing happened. I tried to roll off the bed to get up, to get away. I felt a hand at my throat slamming me against my headboard. My sweatpants were pulled off and something grabbed my left ankle and pulled me down, forcing me onto my back on the bed. Whatever assaulted me marked me up.
The pain of the attack was nothing like I'd ever experienced before in my life. It wouldn't stop. I felt a clawed hand at my throat, holding me in place. The other hand alternated between squeezing my breasts, raking it's claws over my stomach and occasionally was playing with my wedding rings, twirling them around my finger. At one point I felt it tugging at them. I passed out at some point during the rape, the pain was that bad. When I woke up I was laying naked on the bed. Some oily substance covered me from my inner thighs to my crotch. I had scratches on my face, hands, fingers, legs, chest, shoulders and over my stomach. My legs were draped over the edge of the bed nearly touching the floor. Alan was still sound asleep.
We had several guns in the house for home defense. I'm not saying I was thinking remotely clearly, but I grabbed my 9mm from my nightstand and ran to the office nook off the den. I can't tell you why, but I felt safe there. I guess because nothing ever happened to me when I was there? I finally dropped off to sleep. Alan woke me up when he was leaving for work. All he could say to me was to ask why I tore the bed up. I literally sat there, just blinking at him.
During the day, whenever I felt at all that something might be happening I would run to my office nook. Even when I didn't feel like something was going on, I stayed in the nook all I could. The longest time I was away from my safe place was when I showered. I kept scrubbing myself, scouring my inner thighs and crotch. Even when I'd washed away the goo, I could still feel it. When it was time for Alan to come home I ran out of the house and waited for him by the driveway.
We were going to have a talk about what had happened to me. I hadn't imagined it. It wasn't a bad dream or a nightmare. It wasn't some messed up wet dream. Someone or something was in the house and it had raped me. I needed my husband to believe me and help me.
He blew me off and told me it was my imagination. I asked him to explain the scratches on my body, going so far as to jerk my t-shirt up to show them to him. He said they were self inflicted. When I grabbed his arm and demanded he pay attention to me, he wheeled and glared at me in a way he'd never done before. Like all married couples, we've had our arguments. They'd never gotten physical, but Alan had a temper and I knew what it looked like. This was exponentially worse. I swear he looked at me like he was ready to kill me. All he would say was that I needed to "get over whatever horny dream I was having" and "leave him the hell alone". He yanked his arm away from me and marched into the house.
I had never felt so alone and abandoned in my life.
Nothing happened for the next several nights. On the 6th night after my rape I heard the footsteps again. I grabbed my pistol, knowing full well it was useless but I grabbed it anyway, and ran to the nook. I could still hear the footsteps but nothing happened. The same thing happened the next night and again, I ran to the nook. If it's possible to sense frustration and anger, it was virtually palatable. Whatever this was, was angry with me. Nothing happened the eighth night after my attack. Alan had gotten into the habit of not even waking me up when he left, whether I was in bed or in the nook.
I had a bunch of errands to run that day, so I woke up with Alan already gone. I was so pissed that he was ignoring me and it was very much affecting our marriage. Our plan was always to get the house, save up our money then start our family. I could still work from home even with a baby, so things SHOULD have been going according to schedule. Problem was, Alan and I weren't having sex. At all. That had never been an issue before. We were always so active sexually when we were dating and when we first got married. Since we moved to the house the frequency was getting less and less. By the point of my attack it had been months since we'd even been interested.
I got in the shower and started scheduling my daily itinerary. I never heard the footsteps. I never knew the danger I was in until it was too late. The shower curtain jerked aside. Before I knew what was happening I felt a clawed hand at my throat slamming me against the shower wall. I hit the wall so hard it knocked my breath out. The clawed hands pinned my wrists above my head. I was raped a 2nd time. The pain was just as bad, but this time I wasn't lucky enough to pass out. That's how I looked at it anyway. The difference this time was I smelled it's breath, or what I assumed was it's breath. It was so awful, I can only describe it as noxious.
It made no sound while it was assaulting me, but again it played with my wedding rings. There was no sound until it was done. I collapsed into the tub when it was done and let me drop. I swear I could hear it laughing.
When I could collect myself, I barely took the time to get dressed and fled the house. When I felt like I was far enough away from the house to be safe, I pulled over and started crying. I couldn't stop. Some people took mercy on me, came over to me to see if I was ok. I just told them I was fine. I couldn't talk to Alan because he didn't believe me or seem to care. I'd been progressively cut off from my friends, but desperately needed someone to talk to. With no other option, I called Alex at work. She left work to come to basically rescue me. That's what it felt like anyway. We met at a park where we could talk without being interrupted. I told her everything. I left nothing out. I suddenly realized just how crazy my story sounded. I felt like an idiot.
Alex was just the best. She didn't interrupt, had plenty of tissues ready for me and just listened. When I was done she said we were going back to the house just long enough for me to collect a few things and she was taking me to her house. I dreaded walking back into the house. Even Alex said she'd never felt so much anger or aggression. I was there long enough to throw some things in a bag and we left. Alex wouldn't leave me alone for even a moment. We didn't talk, didn't say one word.
I called Alex from my cellphone after we left. I told him what I was doing, where I was going and why. He had a fit. He yelled and screamed so loud Alex could hear him clearly. I was embarrassing him. I was having a nervous breakdown. When he was done yelling at me he hung up on me. I cried for the rest of the night. Unbeknownst to me, Alan called Scott and yelled at him because Alex, Scott's wife, was interfering in his marriage. Bless his heart, Scott knew nothing about it and took a verbal chewing for me.
Alex insisted I tell Scott everything when he finally got home. Scott was just as patient with me as Alex had been. When I was done Scott said I wasn't to go back to the house until he checked it out. Alan could just get over his damn self, per Scott. This was Alan's friend.
First thing first, Scott began to dig into the history of the property. He wasn't going back to the house until he had some sense of what he was walking into.
When he was done with that, Scott went to the house, but didn't go in. He was there for Alan. My husband put up a massive fuss, but Scott finally convinced him to stay with him and Alex, just for a couple of nights. It was the weekend, so work wasn't going to be a problem.
Alan changed almost immediately. The first night at Scott and Alex's house he easily slept for 10 hours. I probably slept longer. When he woke up he acted like he'd just had his first real night of sleep in months. It took a couple of days, but Alan and I started talking. Alan wasn't still sure what to believe, but at least he was listening to me. I was crying a lot around this time. It just felt like such a weight was being taken off my shoulders.
Then Scott finally wrapped up his investigation into the property's history.
Briefly, the original house had been built in 1850, about 11 years before the Civil War. Murfreesboro was the site of a major Civil War battle, the Battle for Stone's River. Just prior to the battle there had been smaller skirmishes.
It was during one of these skirmishes that 4 Union soldiers deserted their unit. They came upon a family to the south and west of Nashville. They raped the owner's wife and killed the family. Their unit commander discovered what they'd done and immediately placed them under arrest. With Stone's River upcoming, there wasn't time to have a court martial just yet. Instead the company commander ordered one of his officers and 2 enlisted men to escort the prisoners back to Nashville.
When the weather turned ugly, the officer came upon a house, OUR house. He arranged with the owner to keep the prisoners in the barn and they would wait out the winter storm. The weather kept up so the officer sent one of his men to Nashville to notify corps command where they were and why they were there. The next day area residents reported the house, OUR house, as well as the barn, was burned down. The family and all the Union soldiers were dead. The Union closed the case as all involved were dead.
Scott speculated that any number of things could have occurred:
The prisoners got loose, killed their captors, attacked the family and burned the house down. There was something to this as all 4 prisoners were found inside the house, not the barn. The officer and other guard were found in the barn, also burned to death.
The owner, known to be friendly to the Confederacy, killed the officer and guard and the prisoners got loose. Unlikely but possible.
Local citizens, also friendly to the Confederate cause, attacked the house and killed everyone in an effort to kill the Union soldiers.
Scott knew an empath, Leigh who was willing to do an onsite investigation with him 2 weeks later. If I have to mention it, we were still staying with Scott and Alex.
What Scott and Leigh were able to deduce was even worse than he'd speculated.
There were only 2 spirits in the house. Ana Rose Hastings, the wife of the owner, and her only child, her son Hiram. Hiram had virtual free run of the house and attacked Leigh several times. Per Leigh, Hiram was afraid of Scott and cursed her whenever Scott was interfering with him. Ana Rose, Hiram's mother, was chiefly located in my office nook.
Hiram was the spirit who attacked me.
His mother, Ana Rose, protected me whenever she could.
Hiram was so much more powerful than his mother.
Ana Rose finally relented and told Leigh what happened.
Hiram had been hanging out with the prisoners. He was 16 years old at the time. Somehow, Ana Rose wasn't sure, Hiram freed them and helped them kill their captors. Hiram was going to run away with the prisoners. They wanted to go into the house to finish waiting out the storm, grab enough supplies for their journey, then they'd leave. Hiram's father, Cyrus, got into a fight with the prisoners. He killed 2 of them.
Cyrus grabbed his belt and began beating Hiram for his actions. The other 2 prisoners turned on Cyrus and killed him as well.
Ana Rose sobbed as she told Leigh that, not only did the 2 Union prisoners rape her, but Hiram did as well. He killed his mother when he was done with her. Then the prisoners turned on Hiram, knocking him unconscious and setting the house and barn on fire. Somehow the fire spread too quickly and the Union prisoners were caught in the fire and perished.
Per Ana Rose, the house sat empty for so long. Only she and Hiram wandered the property. She gave the name Jenkins, no first names, as the next residents.
Scott's research indicated the Jenkins family bought and renovated the house in 1879. Spiritualism was popular at the time and the Jenkins family and friends began invoking spirits, reaching out to the netherworld for contact. This turned Hiram loose once and for all. Ana Rose said Hiram assaulted Mrs. Jenkins and her 15 year old daughter. The family abandoned the property in 1895.
The county seized it for back taxes and it sat empty until 1909. That's when Javier Colon-Issa bought the property. He tried to renovate it again and wanted to make it a hotel. The effort failed and Colon-Issa abandoned the property 14 months later.
We were the next official residents. Unofficially, both Scott and Leigh discovered that in 1975 teens began hanging out there. Satanism was popular among teens and these were no different. They began holding seances, invoking demonic rites and holding Satanic rituals. Ana Rose claimed it was all she could do to keep the property safe from demonic presence. Hiram was working to invite demons to aid him.
Ana Rose blamed herself for what happened to me. She was so afraid of her son and the damage done.
Scott has worked with 3 teams that have cleared properties of poltergeist and demonic possession. They have had mixed success. He got no where trying to get Hiram to leave peacefully or otherwise. When he made this attempt, it was the only time Hiram actively engaged with Scott. Seems like it was more out of fear and defense than anything else.
Alan had finally had enough. He ultimately agreed to sell the house. We basically lost our savings and were wiped out as we still had bills to pay to a couple of the contractors.
Our marriage suffered and it's still not the same and at this point it never will be. We never got around to having kids, largely because I had no interest in having a physical relationship with Alan. We have even gone as far as separating twice and discussed divorce. We always got back together, but we're almost more like friends than husband and wife.
The guy who bought the house knows the history. Tennessee has some interesting laws. Among them, if you have reason to believe your property might be haunted, you have to disclose it. The buyer actually seemed to like the idea. He had no wife or family, so there's that. I have no idea if he's had issues with the house or not. Alan and I occasionally check to see if the house has been sold or abandoned again. The buyer is still there, apparently.