You are here: Real Ghost Stories :: Haunted Places :: My House On South Franklin Street

Real Ghost Stories

My House On South Franklin Street


Back in the summer of '87 I purchased a house on South Franklin Street in Janesville, WI. It was an old Victorian 5 bedroom built sometime in the 1880's. It had been empty for several years and was in quite a state of disrepair. Other than the roof, It didn't appear to have ever been updated and needed a lot of repair.

The first thing I did was ran a water pipe to the toilet in the main floor bedroom closet so I could have a functioning toilet. I took my daily showers at my parent's house several miles away in Milton.

Next, I cleaned up the yard to keep the city off by back. Then I decided to completely gut out 4 of the 5 main floor rooms, the kitchen, dining room, living room and the bedroom. I removed all of the old plaster and lath down to the studs. I left the light fixtures and switches hanging so they were still usable. Each of the 4 rooms had a single bulb hanging for light. The front parlor was in decent shape so I cleaned it and used it for my bedroom. It had a 4-foot wide sliding pocket door between it and the living room and a regular swinging door to the vestibule.

My House On S. Franklin Street

I lived in the house through all of the mess. My two brothers helped with the destruction. Every other Wednesday night was my turn to host our poker party for friends at work. There were four metal folding chairs that came with the house. So there were plenty of chairs. Three were tan and one was spray painted red for some reason. (Sounds made up-I swear it's true). Nobody ever mentioned anything strange about the house. (I take that back, my young niece was afraid of the house and would not go inside, it looked spooky). Basically, everything seemed normal.

I had never really believed or disbelieved in ghosts, I had never had any reason to really wonder. I also was not a very religious person at the time. I was, however, afraid of the dark. Pretty funny for a 22-year-old guy that weighed in at 250 pounds.

One night after work and showering at my parents, I came home and went to bed just like I had many nights before (a few months). I would unlock the back kitchen door and turn on the kitchen light, go in and close and lock the door. Then I would go through the kitchen and turn on the dining room light, then turn around and go back and turn off the kitchen light. Then I would go through the kitchen and dining room and turn on the living room light, then go back and turn off the dining room light. Then I would go back through the dining room and living room and turn on the parlor/bedroom light. Then I'd go back and turn off the living room light and go in the parlor/bedroom, slide the big heavy door shut, shut the light off and go to bed.

Just when I was starting to get comfortable, I noticed a light coming in under the big door. I got out of bed and opened the door and all of the lights in the house were on! (except the parlor). I was terrified, but I went all through the house checking to see if anyone was there. The front and back doors were still locked. Even the lights in the upstairs bedrooms and bathroom were on. Even the basement lights. The basement door was still boarded. You have no idea how hard it was for a scaredy cat like me to check the attics and the basement. After I finally calmed down, I shut off all of the lights and went back to bed.

This was the first of 3 experiences I encountered in that house. I'll post the other 2 in "My House On S. Franklin St. II" Thanks for reading. I hope this wasn't too long and drawn out. Jim

Other hauntings by Jim565

Hauntings with similar titles

Find ghost hunters and paranormal investigators from Wisconsin

Comments about this paranormal experience

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, Jim565, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Jim565 (4 stories) (4 posts)
14 years ago (2008-11-01)
Hi JSM36, Just to comfirm, the light switches were the old push-button type. I actually had to push the lower (off button) button to turn the lights back off. And the basement and the 2 attics had pull strings that I had to pull to turn them off. Thank you for your interest.

I would also like to thank everyone for their comments. Jim
ChrisB (6 stories) (1515 posts)
14 years ago (2008-10-30)
Hi Jim and thank you for sharring this interesting story with us. I realy enjoyed reading it. It is said that Moving furniture are doing work on the house is one reason spirit activity is seen more. Maybe this might help. Thanks for sharring. I hope to hear from you soon and take care
Surya (39 stories) (867 posts)
14 years ago (2008-10-29)
Hi Jim,
Thank you for sharing your story, I am looking forward to reading the next 2 parts. You did make me laugh a bit, the way you switch one light on and then go to the next room switch that light on go back and switch the other light off, it is something I used to do and as old as I may be, I still do. Change not only effects humans, animals, but it does also effect spirits, ghosts. Some can accept change as challenge others will not and will make it known in every possible way. May be there is soemthing in house that does not like what you have done, or may be they do. I will off course like the others wait for the next 2 posts. Thanks for a great story.
FRAWIN (guest)
14 years ago (2008-10-28)
Jim, I noticed that you said you were afraid of the dark. I also noticed the procedure you went through turning lights off and on as you went from room to room. This got me to thinking that this could've been an attempt at communication with you. This entity by turning on all the lights could have been trying to tell you that you had nothing to fear. By bathing the house in light and driving out the darkness it could have been saying have no fear,you're safe.
Just something for you to think about. Take Care.

Cholulteca (148 posts)
14 years ago (2008-10-28)
Hmm,...maybe just faulty switches?, anyhow, now I'm eager to read the other two stories 😜 thanks for sharing
jsm36 (11 posts)
14 years ago (2008-10-27)
I know it was more than 20 years ago, but can you confirm that the light switches were actually moved from an 'off' to an 'on' position? Or did you perhaps not pay attention to their positions when you turned them off? If you can't confirm it, the lights turning on by themselves sounds far less sinister when it was happening in a Victorian house being gutted (lighting included). Did anything else happen in the house? As you didn't say anything, I'm assuming not.
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
14 years ago (2008-10-27)
Hi Jim and thanks for an interesting story! I'd like to wait until the whole story is told although something tells me your renovations in your home seem to have "stirred" a past owner. I'm wondering though (I'm a little impatient sometimes) if the next two encounters were more of a cry for acknowledgment:like "hey, we are here" or something of a more aggressive nature:like "this is our home-get out!"

I'll be looking forward to your next submission.
Jim565 (4 stories) (4 posts)
14 years ago (2008-10-27)
Hi, Tonith, No there were not any children in the house the entire time I lived there. Thanks for your comments. Jim
Tonith (1136 posts)
14 years ago (2008-10-27)
Most kids don't sleepwalk the first time they stay over at relatives. Or do they? Only time I have known kids to sleep walk is when they are fighting some kid of stress. Only time my son ever did it was when he had to be in a school play and didn't want to do it. It only happened once.
Tonith (1136 posts)
14 years ago (2008-10-27)
I would have to ask if there were any young people in the house at the time. Young energy is different from adult energy and can cause poltergeist like phenomenon. If this was not the case then you may have had a bonifide poltergeist.
Ghostgirl24 (9 stories) (30 posts)
14 years ago (2008-10-26)
Wow Jim I think I would be creeped out too! I am a scaredy cat myself and I absolutly hate the dark! I sleep with a lamp on for crying out loud lol. So in saying that I would have left all the lights on and just left the house your very brave for turning them all off I know I wouldn't be.

To publish a comment or vote, you need to be logged in (use the login form at the top of the page). If you don't have an account, sign up, it's free!

Search this site: