This is a story about a haunted house in Southwestern, Ontario. Two of my friends and I rented this house when we were in our early 20s. It was 1980 when I moved out of my parent's home to adventure on my own. I knew I was on my way to rent a house with two of my girl friends. This was exciting! When they approached me to see if I wanted to move in with them, I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to have my own responsibility. The house wasn't too far from my family or work. It was perfect in looks and location.
My friend (Eve) wanted me to meet her so she could show me where the house was located and what it looked like. I met her at the corner of an establishment across from the river. Standing to the right of me on the corner, was a very old house. This house was beautiful. It was very stately looking and still is to this day. I wondered if this could be the house that I would be renting with her. I couldn't wait to find out. She stepped out of her car and told me this was indeed the house. I told her I couldn't wait to see the inside. The house was situated on a corner lot facing the river, very tall and reminded me of a lighthouse. The dark brown brick, covered porch in front with the pillars made the home have lots of character. The back yard was big enough and also included a one car detached garage.
We both entered through the side of the house and went up a few stairs to the main floor. On the right was the kitchen and across to the left was the dining area. Entering into the dining area were beautiful French pocket doors and entering to the front of the house, another set of French pocket doors. A stone fireplace set against the wall and a bay window sitting area looking towards the river, it was beautiful. The walls were wainscot and mahogany all through with beautiful shelving going around the walls. The floors were the original hardwood. Off the main kitchen area was the main floor bath.
Making our way up to the 2nd level by way of the staircase, we landed onto a long and narrow hallway that went from one end of the house to the other. We both commented on how long and narrow the hallway was. Looking down the hallway towards the right we seen a door that was directly dead centre with the hallway. It had to be 30 feet away from us. It looked strange because it was situated all alone at the end of this long and narrow walkway. We both finally got enough nerve to walk down to this door which ended up being a bathroom. We laughed about this. We then turned around and walked down further to the other end off the staircase. Noticing to the left that there was a bedroom, I entered into it and liked it right away. This was going to be my bedroom. Down further to the left was another bedroom. This would be Eve's room. After coming out of the bedrooms we glanced down the long and narrow hallway to the other end and just stared. The actual length of the hallway was 60 feet to be exact. Eve and I measured the hallway with a tape measure because we couldn't believe how long it was.
Entering up to the 3rd level by use of the staircase again, was a half bath and two more bedrooms. After going up another set of stairs to the 4th level (I never walked up so many stairs in my life) we opened a door which we thought was a closet and found out to our surprise that it was another room, a loft situated at the top of the house. The room had four oval windows, one on each side of the brick at the top of the ceiling which formed what looked like a top of a lighthouse. When you look at this house from the outside, it resembles a lighthouse from top to bottom. The house was definitely high enough so that ships and boats could see it if they were lost on the river.
We finally walked down all of the stairs to the main level and thought it was perfect for all of us to rent. Eve asked me if I wanted to go with her to check out the basement. So we did. We walked down the stairs which were separated old wood, no risers and very, very, creaky. Enter into a basement where the ceiling was so low we both had to duck down and we aren't very tall. Eve didn't like the feeling she had and neither did I. It gave us the creeps and the dull grey colour and cobwebs acted upon our feelings even more. Cement blocks were placed for the walls and we were walking on dirt for the floor. I said what kind of floor is this it's all dirt!
Of course Eve had to open the cellar door being so curious always. When she did, a cold chill was in the air and gave us goose bumps. She slammed the door shut. I started running for the stairs and so did Eve. She scurried so fast behind me to reach the top. I said hurry up lock the door. She reached the top, shut the door and hurried to lock it behind her. We were scared out of our minds. We looked at each other and that was it. By the look on Eve's face, I knew then that we would never open that door and step another foot in the basement again.
After collecting ourselves together again into the real world, Eve and I entered into the kitchen to make dinner. It was our first night at our new home and we wanted it to be special. Eve was Italian so she made the sauce for our pasta dinner. I cooked the pasta el dente, mixed a salad together with some crusty rolls and opened a bottle of red wine. We each would have half a glass with our meal. The wine became a nightly ritual! Eve had set the table in the dining room. Her table was a Duncan Phyfe that seated 14 people. Four leafs were added to it. It was huge, but her table and chairs looked absolutely gorgeous in that room. I put the jazz station on and it was then that we started to relax.
Sitting across from one another we began to eat and chat. I said to her, I have to ask you a question. She said ok go ahead. I said tell me what you think the basement reminds you of. She sat turning her fork for the spaghetti to wrap around and said... I think it reminded me of an old spooky ship. I looked at her and started to laugh. She asked me what I was laughing at and asked me what I thought. I turned to her and said... A ghost ship. We both burst out laughing. Eve owned a boutique downtown and was talking about the new line of clothes she was getting in. I talked about how busy I was at the law firm I worked at. We were both so excited to be residents of this home. Sitting, finally able to relax, the table shook.
I looked across to Eve. She didn't make eye contact with me. She sat with her head down eating. So I didn't say anything. I began to ask her when she would be getting the new line of clothes in when the table shook again. This time though the table shook a little longer then the first time. I took my hands off my plate and put my feet in the air off the floor and so did Eve. The floor was shaking the table. It didn't shake our chairs, just the table. We stared at it and each other. We didn't know what to think. We then jumped out of our chairs so fast we both started to laugh. Then we cleared the table. I said to Eve, what do you think that was and she said I don't know, very softly. The rest of the night was very relaxing.
Later on we went upstairs to retire for the evening. Eve and I took the bedrooms on the 2nd level with the long and narrow hallway. Our other friend, Sharon, didn't move in yet but she would be on the 3rd level. So we went upstairs and I started to put an outfit together for work the next day in my bedroom. I then went to the bathroom at the end of the hallway. I heard what sounded like Eve yelling for me. I opened the bathroom door and peered out but didn't see her anywhere. I then yelled what do you want? I didn't get a response so I walked to her room at the other end of the hallway. Eve wasn't there. I went downstairs and found her in the sitting area past the dining room listening to her jazz music. Do you need something, I said. Eve replied no, I'm fine and studied her samples of the clothes line she was to be getting. She definitely would have let me know if it was her I thought to myself. I wouldn't bring this incident up to her unless it happened again.
The second night we started unpacking a few more things to put out on the main level. The shaking happened again when we were sitting in the dining room. We both looked at each other funny. I said to Eve the shaking seems to be coming from the upstairs too this time. My bedroom is right above this dining room. We both ran upstairs to check it out. We didn't see anything peculiar.
Then the phone rang. It startled us! I ran for it (a phone was placed on each level because the house was so big). It was my mom. She wanted to come over to visit. While talking on the phone I was sitting on the landing of the staircase with my back towards the long narrow hallway. I heard somebody running down the hallway behind me and felt a very cold chill on my back. I said to my mom, just a minute and put the phone down. I didn't know what to think, nobody was there. I sat back down, picked the phone up and said hello again to my mom. She asked if everything was okay and I told her yes. I didn't want her to worry so I hung up the phone and went back downstairs.
The phone rang again almost simultaneously. I picked it up downstairs this time. Maybe my mom forgot to tell me something. I said hello, nobody answered. I said hello again and nobody answered. At this time, Eve came walking down the stairs. I said to her you were upstairs? She looked at me funny and said that she was in her bedroom. I told her what happened in the hallway. She told me she didn't hear anything but that her door was closed because she was changing. Eve then had a serious look on her face. She said to me do you think this house is haunted, and I replied back that it might be. Eve then said that she was going to check the history records on this house. I told her I would go with her.
That evening my mom came over and I showed her through. She loved it. I made us tea and we chatted about the place. I told her about the few incidents that we had experienced and then mentioned what happened to me when I was talking to her on the phone. I told her the house might be haunted. She didn't say anything. I told her that Eve and I were going to check the records on the property and she thought that was a good idea.
Our other friend, Sharon, finally moved in on the third day. Sharon thought the 3rd floor was so spacious. She took residence on the 3rd level. Downstairs, we sat in front of the fireplace and watched TV. It was such a cozy room. We were finally settling into this new home of ours. A bang came from the upstairs so we ran to see what it was. To our disbelief we stared down to the floor of the hallway. In the centre of the hallway lying on the floor was one of Sharon's books. Eve and I stared at it. We didn't know what to say. Sharon picked it up and took it back to her room on the 3rd level without saying a word.
We turned to walk back down the staircase when somebody ran up and down the hallway. Eve finally heard this strange occurrence. We both turned around. Nobody was there. At first we thought it was Sharon coming back down the stairs. It sent a chill around us when it ran. We both looked at each other again and headed downstairs.
Eve and I thought it was finally time we mentioned to Sharon our strange occurrences at the house. Sharon was okay with what we told her and still wanted to reside with us. She really loved it too. From this point on, these strange occurrences happened every night. They played over and over again. The phone ringing after speaking to someone, somebody running up and down the hallway, the dining room floor shaking the table and we would hear a bang from upstairs only to find a book lying in the middle of the hallway on the 2nd level. I never heard anyone call my name after the first incident.
The three of us finally moved out a year later. The history of the house is it was built in 1810 by a captain of a ship. He had the house built to be tall and to the shape of a lighthouse. Hmmmmmm, no wonder I thought it resembled a lighthouse. This is where the captain resided with his family, his wife and three children, 2 boys and a girl. He also was a bootlegger. Eve and I thought that he probably kept the booze in the old cellar in the basement. We never did go back to see what it looked like in there.
1300 Riverside Dr. E., Windsor, ON Canada (STRANGE ADDRESS)
Photo August 27, 2008 of the house on the right corner. It has two trees on the property that are overgrown. One in the front, the other is on the side where we entered into the home. Creepy.
Many sailors would find their way to this house. On the top level, the 4th floor, is said this captain would put the light on in order for boats to see it. It is no wonder he built it to resemble a lighthouse. The captain kept the sailors in his basement along with the booze without his wife knowing. They would make trips back and forth on the river. Their little girl died at a young age (8) and the records showed that she died mysteriously. It didn't say how. Newspaper clippings showed 10 sailors went missing mysteriously. It listed their names and where they were from. Pages and pages of newspaper clippings about this family, who they were, what they did. They were a prominent family and by the sound of it, did a lot of entertaining at this house. The bootlegging came upon after the sailors went missing. Articles showed pictures of these men and a picture of the captain and his family. Written on the side of one of the articles it stated that the captain did have sailors at his home almost every night and kept them in the basement hidden without his wife knowing. They would entertain down there too, if you know what I mean!
Eve, Sharon and I were glad to have moved on but did have good times at this house. We didn't feel threatened just a little startled at times. The scariest place in the house was the basement as Eve and I found out and it is no wonder from the past activity it had down there. We both firmly believed that the little girl ran up and down the hallway after reading of her passing at such a young age.
Thanks for sharing my first haunting experience.