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Victorian Flat 2


Some background info:

My fiancée and I have moved out of a complex and now into an old Victorian home. In a previous post I wrote about seeing a "boy in a cape". The last few weeks of living there I didn't see him. With the stress of moving and the rental company being jerks, I didn't see him or I guess "look" for him.

On to the new place: It is a two story home, built in the 1900s. It has been converted/rented as a two flat. There is a man above us. His part of the rental sits towards the front of the house. In other words, his space is only above our master bedroom and guest room. It's hard to explain... Hopefully you get the idea. As stated the home was built in the 1900s. A railroad top executive owned it.

He had servants and servant quarters (really just the attic which had been converted to two rooms). We have access to this, as it is above our kitchen. Our neighbor does not. Nor does he have access to the yard or garage. I'm not sure how long the railroad exec. Was here. The next known tenant was a lawyer who practiced in the home. Finally the tenants before us were a young couple.

SO here we go:

I've been unpacking and putting things away. We're pretty much settled. My fiancée is an artist/art teacher. Needless to say we have a lot of art work. He has four 5x7 canvases on display in the living room. They rest on a book shelf. More like lodged between the top of the book shelf and the bottom slat of wood. When I say lodged, I mean we stuck them in there tight. Three times two of the four canvases have just fallen off/out. No stomping from upstairs, no large trucks driving by. Just plop... They fall. Maybe that isn't anything but its odd.

Our bedroom is across from the living room. There is a hall that divides it. This hall is the only part of the house (down here) that has wooden floors (the landlord put new carpeting in here... Which I hate).

Often at night I hear what sounds someone dragging their feet against the wood. Sort of like when you're shuffling in slippers. Our neighbor works nights (11:30-7am I believe) so it is not him. My fiancée is a heavy sleeper. It isn't him. The shuffling doesn't last long. It is however loud enough to startle you. Once again, maybe it's something outside or the house settling... But I find it odd.

Finally; the servant's quarters. Now, the idea that someone had servants here of course can be unsettling in some people's mind. It didn't really bother me, because I think it adds history to the house. Yet, when you go up there, you see the original wood work/wear and tear... It can be a little uneasy.

There is also a very old looking Rosary hanging from a nail with no cross. I don't know if that has any meaning, but I didn't care for it. Kyle has set up his easel and paints up there. I don't go up there and Kyle has been too busy to paint.

We had a washer and dryer delivered from Best Buy. I was home when it was delivered. One of the Best Buy guys was talking to me. Asking me questions about the house... Small chit chat. Our neighbor had been gone all day. I was the only one in the home when these men arrived. The Best Buy guy asked me if anyone lived in the back of the house second floor. I told him no, that it was an attic/storage. He sort of went "hum" like I had stumped him.

Then he goes "that's weird, when we pulled up we saw someone walking around up there". I replied something like "really...huh". We continued to make small talk... Both ignoring the monkey in the room and they left. I have never heard/seen anyone up there other than myself. Kyle and the few people we have had over.

I do apologize for such a long post. I just felt I needed to share this. I'm not scared or uneasy here... Well with the exception of the servants quarters. I thank all for comments and questions. Have a good day.

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

GhostFox (guest)
13 years ago (2011-05-15)
What a great, interesting story!
I wonder if this ghost was living in the Victorian era? If you felt uneasy in the servant's quarter, maybe this ghost was a servant and could connect with you more strongly there. I think this ghost is just a bit lost at the moment. Don't get too scared at anything it does, I'm sure it is just trying to be mischievous!
ChrisB (6 stories) (1515 posts)
16 years ago (2008-12-12)
Hi and thank you for sharring this story with us. At first the sounds you heard could have been from mice or something like that. But once you started hearing and seeing more well that's just not the case. Thank you for sharring this story with us. I enjoyed reading it. I hope to hear from you soon and take care
hobbyholly (11 stories) (572 posts)
16 years ago (2008-12-11)
rootwomin: I don't exactly how old the house is. From my guess it was built in the Late 1800s/Early 1900s? Our landlord told us the windows in the office/spare bedroom are original 1800 glass. Now, I don't know how they have held up all these years, but that is what she claims. Much of the house has "wavy glass" windows. I'm not sure if they had Slaves. Once again, the landlord kept saying "servants/servants quarters". There is some stain glass similar to a victorian era.

Kecoughtan: It would be nice to have a sitcom like neighbor. Sadly I don't think that will happen with this guy. Every day I mumble to myself "I wish he would just MOVE" but I doubt he will.
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
16 years ago (2008-12-11)
On sitcoms, good friends always live upstairs and just across the hall or on the other side of the street. If it's any comfort, hobbyholly, too many of my rental experiences have involved maladjusted ones like your reclusive upstairs flatmate. Just once, I want to live in a sitcom scenario! 😭
rootwomin (28 posts)
16 years ago (2008-12-11)
how old is your house?

Were there servants quarters or slave quarters? Because if there were slave quarters there, when they passed they were usually buried on the property. Very few areas outside of the major slave owning cities, like nyc, had slave graveyards.
hobbyholly (11 stories) (572 posts)
16 years ago (2008-12-10)
Kecoughtan: How well do I know the neighbor? The best way to sum it up is this: While on the phone with my landlord one day, I told her we planned on introducing ourselves to him. Her response "I wouldn't even bother. He is socially awkward. A recluse".

And he is. When he is home between the hours of 2pm and 4pm he plays loud music and most recently today...Porn.

I did find an interesting marking in the concrete on the back patio. It was a date 1976. This place is so interesting
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
16 years ago (2008-12-10)
Thank you, Rhodes, for your kind words and exquisite tastes in interior decor. With two of us it will be much easier to heave the carpet into the cellar. I like your comments on the staircase lock, too. Ideally, servants are supposed to get the water boiled, fires stoked, etc early in the morning, so locking them upstairs seems counter productive.

Hobbyholly, wouldn't it be great to have the whole place to yourself (without an increase in rent) and get rid of the noisy neighbor, too?! How well do you know the renter upstairs? Is there any chance you can go on a fishing expedition and see if he has had any experiences?
hobbyholly (11 stories) (572 posts)
16 years ago (2008-12-10)
raincolor: I live in the Lemont/Woodridge area. I have lived in Chicago, right next to Graceland Cemetery. I loved LOVED that location. I could walk to Wriglyville and Boystown.

I have lived in: Naperville, Boilingbrook and Geneseo IL which is 30 minutes from Moline. Don't get me started about Geneseo and the crap that went down there. I grew up in Lisle.

I know that the "windy city" has hot spots because of mobsters and of course that famous "Mary" or whatever. I've read A LOT about Alton, IL and Elgin. My family lived in Elgin for many many years. I'm pretty familiar with the town

Kecoughtan: There is a staircase in the front of the house. However we do not have access to it, the upstair neighbor only does. I wish he would just move out. I would LOVE to see what it looks like up there. Of course knowing him he's probably trashed it
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
16 years ago (2008-12-10)
That is an intriguing story and an even more intriguing house to live in Hobbyholly;thank you for coming back to share the experience with us!

Reading through the architectural descriptions of the house it made me pause and go down to the comment section. I was wondering if Kecoughtan would be here with his most appreciated observations. Yes, I would have "tossed the carpet down the cellar stairs" too.

I was intrigued with the "energy's interest" in the canvases as I would have expected from a visitor coming from that particular era. Do you think you can research the history of the past residents? That would be VERY interesting!

I am particularly drawn to the rosary you have hanging on the wall as I would have liked to know the reason why the cross is missing-had it been "ripped off" or taken off and maybe sold as an antigue-an artifact? There's a lot of difference there...

I was astonished also to read that the door which leads to the servant's quarters locks from the outside intead of the inside. Locking the attic if it's the "storage room" to secure one's possessions can be justified but "locking your servants in" makes absolutely no sense to me unless the servants quarters were not there in the first place-unless that part of the house was used primarily as a storage area.

I own two "old houses" in Greece and there are three more in the family but none of them has the lock on the outside of the door that leads to the servants' quarters. In my Grandmother's paternal house, the servants' didn't have a lock to begin with...

I'd be very interested to say the least if you could find a bit more information about the house.
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
16 years ago (2008-12-09)
If different canvases haven fallen, then we might be able to rule out an art critic disliking one. Since you were sitting in the room when it happened perhaps someone is attempting to get your attention.

Nice observation on the hardware of the stairs door. That's fascinating and just a bit creepy. I wonder if it is original to the servant period or something someone added at a later time. Then it sounds as though you must have a main stair case at the front of the house.

It is possible that the saint medallion either became worn and inadvertantly lost or that if may have been removed and reattached to a newer string of beads. Excavations I have worked on have recovered several saint medallions from the yards of houses but never rosary beads suggesting that the medals may have fallen away and been lost.
raincolor (2 stories) (16 posts)
16 years ago (2008-12-09)
Wow. Just curious, what part of Illinois do you live in? I live in Illinois as well and would love to know what town this is in. Some of the towns near my hometown are reputed to be quite haunted.:)
hobbyholly (11 stories) (572 posts)
16 years ago (2008-12-09)
Also: This may be a dumb question on my part. But is there any significance to the rosary not having a cross attached to it? It looks like someone ripped off the cross. You know, when pendants are attached to a little circle that is attached to the chain? That little circle is broken, like the cross was pulled off of it.

I'm not Catholic (I'm Lutheran) so I don't know much about Rosaries. However Kyle is. He thinks someone just pulled off the cross to sell/pawn because it is a very old Rosary.

I hope I haven't offended/appeared rude by asking this. But could it mean anything? Or have I seen too many scary movies?
hobbyholly (11 stories) (572 posts)
16 years ago (2008-12-09)
I was in the room where the canvases fell. Just sitting on the couch filling out bills.

Of the three times its happened, its always different ones. Only one falls, the other remain. They are displayed on the second to top shelf. When I say "lodged" I mean we literally lodged them between the top of the shelf and the bottom slat of wood. They are really pushed in there. I have no clue what it could be. They just fell... Like someone took their hand and pushed it out. It falls to the ground "Plop" like a matter-of- factly.

We do have a corner pantry that is between the kitchen and dinning room hallway. It is part of the doorway. However, I don't think it was a staircase. When entering our kitchen, immediately to your left is a door. Open it, there are stairs right up to the attic/servants quarters. What I found interesting, it doesn't lock from the inside, but the out.

NOW if you'll excuse me I can no longer sit in my office and type. My ridiculous neighbor is playing his music at full volume.
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
16 years ago (2008-12-09)
Thanks for another intriguing posting, Hobbyholly. Your new home sounds beautiful. I would not be surprised if there isn't a back stairs that the servants used, too, although partitioning the house may have truncated it. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century domestic help was such a common aspect in the United States (because of the then affordable cost of labor) that many middle class and upper-middle class families hired servants (not just the uber-wealthy). But having designated servants' quarters suggests significant economic means. The house I have lived in during the last four summers sounds similar to yours: Queen Anne with 3 floors plus cellar, completed in 1901. Once in a while I will hear footsteps or catch something from the corner of my eye. It always occurs in the pantry and the servants' stairs. The rest of the house is always quiet and it always feels as though someone is still on duty and is seeking acknowledgment. I am sorry to hear about the carpeted floors! 😠 If I were a spirit in your house, I would roll up the carpet and toss it down the cellar stairs.

I have several quick questions: Were you in the room or nearby when the canvases fell? Was it the same ones each time? And, are the canvases wedged between the top of the bookcase and the crown molding? Thanks!
hobbyholly (11 stories) (572 posts)
16 years ago (2008-12-09)
I'm not really afraid. If anything the house interests me. I found out we have a cellar the other day. I really had no idea. Of course I refuse to go down there (spiders) but Kyle did. Its all stone... Wood and brick.
We also have many crawl spaces.

Frankly I'm more scared of our odd neighbor above us.
DeviousAngel (11 stories) (1910 posts)
16 years ago (2008-12-09)
That's really scary... That they saw someone walking around up there. It sounds like there really may be some paranormal stuff going on there and perhaps the previous tenants put up the rosary in hopes of calming it. I'm not really sure what to say other than be safe, and try not to be afraid! If you feel threatened, walk around your flat and speak out loud, telling any local entities that it is your home and you don't mind them being there as long as they don't bother anyone.

Warmest blessings,


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