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Esther's Boarding House


Back in 1972 about 2 weeks after I turned 18, I eloped with Bill, my first husband, to Catlettsburg, KY. My parents didn't approve of him to begin with. I have to 'agree' many years after the fact that 'they' were 'right'. I 'thought' I knew everything at that young age, but most 18-year olds 'think' they do. Until they find out, much later in life, that they didn't really know diddly-squat.

When we came back to Ohio we lived in downtown Willoughby. I wasn't but 10 minutes away from my folk's house. Bill, and I lived with his foster parents, Esther, and Dave, in her house.

Esther's house was originally a farmhouse way back when her great grandparents first purchased it. It was, then, passed down to her parents, and from her parents to her. It was farm area until the town sprung up years later.

Esther got married young, but the marriage failed. She had no children, but since the farm was no more, she rented out rooms. It became a Boarding house to earn income. It was a rather large house. In the front were the cement steps leading up to the entrance. Once inside, you were in an alcove/small entry way. From there you passed through another door into a hallway. Directly ahead was a dining room, and off to the immediate right was the living room. Off of the dining room was the master bedroom, Esther's. From the dining room you walked into a fair-sized kitchen with a pantry to the left as you went in. From the kitchen, and around the corner to the left was the bathroom. Outside of the bathroom was a little hall. Around the opposite corner was the door that led down to the basement/root cellar.

Upstairs were 3 more bedrooms. One on each side of the hallway. The one on the left belonged to Dave, his foster dad, and the one directly opposite was a small bedroom that was now used just for storage. Our bedroom was at the end of the hallway and was the largest of the 3.

I felt, relatively comfortable in the daytime. However, nighttime was a different story. Being a newlywed, and in a strange house I just put it down to being in a new environment.

I always try to rationalize first. However, I kept hearing something like steps, or shuffling noises in the little room that was used for storage. I kept that to myself as I didn't want Bill to think he married someone weird. I didn't want him to think I was 2 short of a six-pack.

After several months, though, it didn't abate. I kept hearing the noises. Finally, winter came and it was extremely cold up there. Esther had no A/C for the summer months making it unbearably hot and the furnace for winter was in the basement with only 2 heating ducts. One for the dining room/den and one that lead straight upstairs into the hallway that was expected to heat all 3 bedrooms. Biggest joke of the century!

I began getting a little nervous when walking by the spare room. I'd feel like a wave of cold coming off of the closed door. That room always had the door closed. I never bothered to open it to explore. At least, I didn't want to be alone and go in there. Finally, Bill began hearing things, too. At last, I wasn't bonkers because he said he'd been hearing noise also. However, he thought it was just mice since there was an occasional mouse that wandered in down in the kitchen now and then. Ha! It sounded like a 'very' big mouse to 'me'. Like a 5-to-6-foot mouse.

One night we were watching T.V. In our bedroom. We were reclining on the bed and enjoying the program. Bill had a dog, a mutt, named Sparky that was lying beside the bed. Suddenly Sparky's head shot up. His ears perked and the hackles on his back rose. He began to softly growl while staring at our bedroom door. The dog got up, strode to the door and began sniffing under the door. Like there was someone standing on the other side. We were pretty sure we were the only one's home at the time and we didn't hear Esther and Dave returning. So, Bill retrieved a hammer that he had in a toolbox on the floor of the closet and I grabbed a 12-inch-long screwdriver (Don't laugh. You can stab with one end or use the other end as a club. You have to be creative.). We went to the door. Bill whipped open the door to...nothing. All we saw was a dark hallway.

The next day I was confiding in Bill about what I heard & felt in the spare room. He assured me that it was nothing. To prove it he went to the room with me following. He opened the door & we were greeted with a blast of ice-cold air that just came gushing out. Ice-cold air? In the summer? We went inside and there was an old box spring mattress leaning up against the wall and some boxes of odds and ends lying about the room. At the far-right end of the room was a door. I asked him where that lead to. He told me it was the attic & roof. It was a crawlspace, but you had to walk on the rafters very carefully lest you'd fall through the ceiling. He opened the door to the attic.

I, immediately, felt and knew there was a presence in there. I began questioning him. I asked him if someone ever died in that room. His face went blank. He confirmed that an old man that was an alcoholic used to be a boarder there years ago. He was never any trouble, but suddenly 3 weeks went by and he hadn't paid his board. They hadn't seen him in that time period either. Finally, Dave entered the room. It appeared to be empty, but there was an overwhelming, rotten smell coming from the attic. When the door was opened, they found the old man inside lying motionless on the rafters. He had gotten terribly drunk and crawled inside and went to sleep. It was in the wintertime. There was absolutely no heat, but he was too drunk to feel it. He froze to death. Bill asked me 'how' I knew that something happened in that room. I told him that I just 'knew' and that the old man didn't realize he was gone and just stuck in there.

Bill told me the old man's name was Chester. I began talking to Chester. I told him that he was gone and to go to a much better place to be with his family again. I explained to him that he wasn't there anymore & to go to his loved ones where he'd be happy. We left the room. I wasn't too sure if what I said did any good, but we'd find out the next day.

The next day we came home from shopping. I told him we should check the room now. Bill agreed. We went upstairs and entered the room. It was insufferably hot in there. We opened the door to the attic & it was like a bake oven. No A/C. Remember? The room felt like it 'should' have.

Bill asked me how I did that. I told him that I sensed that Chester was just confused. That he didn't even know what was going on. Once I explained the situation to him, he understood and moved on. I admit I was rather amazed that the explanation did it.

The house I moved into 7 years later with my 2nd husband was not so easy to deal with. That house was farther down the road around the block. We were sent running from 'that' place. However, Chester wasn't a problem. He was just confused and needed to know what happened to him. I admit that, sometimes, it was a bit unnerving while he was there, but not a frightening experience. I was glad that he moved on to a better place and I hope he was happy with his loved ones.

Bill did look at me rather funny after that episode. He wasn't too sure about psychic individuals. He was a skeptic, but he couldn't get around what happened to us. I'll bet he's glad to be rid of this wacky psychic woman-as he called me. I know I was glad to get rid of him, lol!

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

Linjahaha (23 stories) (121 posts)
7 months ago (2023-09-10)
Hi, Lady-glow: Your statement has made me wonder. Bill never mentioned that he heard noises in that empty room when we were dating. You may be right. Possibly I was the one that he tapped into for communication purposes. Hmmmmmmmmm!
I must say that you've certainly made a valid point. They 'do' try to reach out to individuals that are sensitive to them. They 'are' drawn to psychic people because they know they can use them for a conduit of sorts.
Thank you. I really appreciate reading these comments. I'm still learning some new & interesting things here, Lady-glow!

Thanks again for your insightful comments! 😊 😊
lady-glow (16 stories) (3154 posts)
7 months ago (2023-09-09)
Hi Linjahaha.

This is a fascinating experience with a happy ending.

It is not clear to me if Bill had heard noises in the empty room before you moved into Esther's house, or if your presence triggered the activity.
It makes me wonder if Chester's spirit had been in a "dormant" state in there since his passing, and if it was your energy what woke him up.

I believe spirits know when someone can sense/see/help them.

I'm glad he was able to move on.

Thanks for sharing.
Linjahaha (23 stories) (121 posts)
7 months ago (2023-09-05)
Thank you everyone for having read my story. As far as Chester's frame of mind when he transpired. All I did was explain to him that whatever he was clinging to was 'just a memory'. I told him he was no longer fettered by a body that was hurting or suffering anymore. He seemed to have comprehended.
Sometimes if a person passes on in an altered/confused state of mind, they 'might' retain that frame of mind. However, there 'are' those that recognize their new state & 'accept' it to move on to the next plane. Chester just needed to hear the facts about his new state of being. Like I said this was not a scary haunting. A little disconcerting, maybe, in the beginning, but once I figured it out & was able to communicate with him it was a fascinating occurrence. I'm hopeful he's with his loved ones where he belongs.
I feel we all deserve to be with those we love. Eternity with those you love is a wonderful thing.
Thank you all for reading & your comments. I enjoy reading them!
All the Best! 😊 😊
mighty_light (2 stories) (21 posts)
7 months ago (2023-09-05)
Hello Linjahaha,

Just thinking out loud here but if a person died while drunk, would that person retain that groggy state in the afterlife? I suppose not since Chester seems to have fully comprehended what you said to him.:)

I'd imagine it would be very hard to explain to a drunk ghost that he's not supposed to be there anymore.

Thanks for sharing and looking forward to hearing more stories from you.
Rajine (14 stories) (757 posts)
7 months ago (2023-09-04)
Hi Linjahaha

It's actually quite a sad story, I'm glad that Chester finally found some peace and was able to move on.
The_Lost_Voyage_11 (7 stories) (238 posts)
7 months ago (2023-09-03)
Hello Linjahaha, I must admit you've certainly had some fascinating encounters over the years!

I am glad that despite the disturbances you had at this home, that this one ended well. It's good to know you were able to send Chester on his way. Quite the contrast from the entity you encountered in the other house, although both drew energy from the environment to sustain their existence on this plane of reality. You definitely experienced the difference!

Anyways it's great that you found an effective solution to this chapter of haunting in your life! Great story and thanks for sharing!

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