As a child, growing up in Western Canada was pretty cool. I lived in Calgary Alberta, home of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, The Calgary Stampede. We went every year to watch the rodeo and spend the night at the midway, and watch the amazing fireworks. I still like to go back every July to see what's new. For those who haven't been, I suggest you go. It truly is the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.
When I was 8 years old I remember my parents talking about moving to a house in Airdrie, A small town north of Calgary. My dad works in construction so he would always look for houses that he could fix up. It was the same thing every few years. Move to a new place, fix it up and leave. There was only one problem, every house we moved into was usually 60 - 100 years old and was creepy beyond belief.
I remember going to the house in Airdrie one night with my parents with the realtor. The neighborhood was nice. There was a school just at the end of my block so I could ride my bike to school everyday. We got out of the truck and walked around outside the house while we waited for the realtor. The lot was perfect, it was a corner lot with a huge backyard, perfect for an 8 year old. I was already imagining how much fun it was going to be. Finally the realtor showed up and we went inside. The house was a bi-level so at the front landing there was a set of 4 or 5 steps leading up to the main floor, and just to the left was a larger staircase leading to the basement. I was intrigued because I never saw something like that before.
My parents were up in the kitchen going over the pricing and whatever for the house, so I decided to go into the basement and see what my dad had to work with. It was undeveloped which was weird because the house was 54 years old at the time. You would think someone would have put some drywall up, or at least some carpet. I noticed in the corner that there were some old cans of paint and an old toolbox full of antique tools. I opened the toolbox and found an old hammer, screwdriver, and an old newspaper clipping from 1976. When I pulled the clipping out and began to read it my dad came downstairs and asked if I was ready to go. All I got to read from the headline was "Murder..." and I looked over to my dad and showed him what I found. My dad was fascinated, because he was a collector of antique tools and stuff. (Those tools still sit in his display cabinet today.) He also took the newspaper clipping, but I never saw it again.
A few weeks later we moved in. I was so excited. I was helping my mom paint my room, when I heard my dad from the basement call up to my mom. She told me to finish the wall we were working on, but I insisted that I go with her. When we got to the bottom of the basement stairs I saw my dad scrubbing the concrete floor. He looked up and told me to go upstairs and watch some cartoons, so I did. What child would pass up on the opportunity to watch cartoons? I didn't think anything of what I just saw. I figured he had spilled something and wanted my moms help. We'll get to the real reason in a bit.
After watching cartoons I went to bed. I slept on the couch in the living room because my room had just been painted. I awoke to the sound of a man's voice. It sounded like he was arguing with someone. I listened for a few minutes before calling out, "Dad are you going to be done down there soon?" I figured he was getting frustrated with something he was working on. Then suddenly the voice stopped and I called out again, "Dad? Are you..." just then my dad came out of his room which was on the other end of the house, nowhere near the basement stairs.
"What's going on?" He asked. And I just looked at him with probably the most dumbfounded look ever.
I told him what had just happened and he assured me it was the guys outside. We lived next to a party house so there were usually very loud and obnoxious teenagers out every weekend. But I knew it wasn't coming from outside. I was certain that the voice was coming from the basement, because it seemed as if it was carrying up the stairs and into the living room. But once again my dad assured me it was nothing. I fell back to sleep and nothing else happened that night.
As time went on my dad was making progress with developing the basement. When it was time to put the carpet in we noticed that things were starting to take a turn for the worse. It seemed the house became tense. Everyone was angry with everybody, which was unusual, because my family was so tight-knit and not to mention I lived in a house with strong Christian beliefs.
A few months finally passed and my dad had completed the basement. The carpet was all in, the walls were painted, and the bathroom was all done. My mom and I hung a beautiful picture on the wall that had the verse "He who believes in Me as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water". ~Jesus John 7:38. This verse was important to my mom so she put it up in every house. One day me and my brother were playing outside, and my mom came outside. She was very angry; I'll never forget the look on her face. She took us downstairs and showed us the mess we apparently made. There was a huge stain on the rug, a deep, deep red color, and it was still a little wet. I looked at my mom and assured her that it wasn't me. She looked at my little brother and had a nice little talk with him about how we weren't allowed to have kool-aid in the basement. He argued for a quite a while that he didn't spill anything.
I really wasn't sure what was going on, and never did until we had moved back to Calgary. I didn't know why but we had only lived in that house for about 9 months. But a few years ago (I was 20 at the time) we got together for Christmas dinner, and we were talking about the past and how cute we were when we were little, and I brought up the "kool-aid" stain on the rug. And that's when my dad cut in and told us what really happened. He mentioned the newspaper clipping I had found. He told us that a man and his wife lived in that house, and one night they got into an argument. The wife admitted to her husband that she was having an affair, and that she wanted a divorce. The man was furious and shot and killed his wife. He then took his own life.
I looked at my dad in shock, and asked him about the time I went in the basement and saw him scrubbing the floor. He told me it was an old bloodstain. I looked at him with the same dumbfounded look I gave him 12 years before. He also told us that the night after he finished scrubbing the floor, he woke up and noticed a dark figure standing in his doorway. He fell back to sleep then woke up again, only to find the shadowy figure standing directly over him.
Me and my brother were shocked. My mom cut it and told us about her experiences in the house. My mom had an old china doll that was given to her from her grandmother, that she kept on a little rocking chair in their room. She told us that sometimes she would go into the room and she would find the doll sitting right in the middle of the floor. It started happening more and more frequently and the doll even made its way up onto her pillow.
Then she told us that she had the exact same experience as my dad. She said that when she went downstairs to clean up the stain on the carpet, she realized that it wasn't juice at all. You can probably guess what it was. She called for my dad and he looked at it and I guess it was in the exact same spot on the floor as the previous stain had been. So he told my mom to clean it up and he would make arrangements for our Pastor to come by and bless the house. That night, after my mom cleaned up the mess, she noticed the black figure in the doorway, and it proceeded to come closer to her. She shot up and yelled at my dad to wake up, as soon as she did, the figure disappeared.
That was enough for my parents, so a week or two later we moved back to the city. My mom ended up leaving her favorite picture in the basement. Now I know why. I figured dad was finished with the renovations and we were off to another fixer-upper.
A little while ago, I took my fiancé to the house just to show her where we used to live. When we arrived at the house, the windows were all boarded up and there was a sign on the lawn that said "Property for sale" and it had a bunch of C/S stickers that had been ripped off. Obviously anyone who had gone in to buy the house was left with a very uneasy feeling. I was sad, not because those people were scared of the house, but because my poor dad put so much work into that basement and made a beautiful built in cabinet, and now no one is going to be able to enjoy it. And sometimes I wonder, what became of that verse that my mom left hanging on the wall... Maybe one day I'll go back and get it. That is, if the spirit didn't ruin it in some way.