Mine is a story that I can hardly tell, its a true twist of fate. To start from the beginning would take some time. It's so strange but yet all true. This is not a lie or a made up tale. All facts can be proven. I grew up in North Terre Haute. As a young man I would go to a local store that served lunches to school kids. The name of the store was Stapletons. It was located behind a gas station and across from a local tavern named Jiggs. The old man that owned the store was a scary looking fellow with a hardened face and flat top hair cut. He had a raspy voice and a no nonsense personailty. I always felt that he was harmless but there was something about him that always made my gut feeling stir. He and his wife lived near my home and was near a gas station that we would always ride our bikes to. It was one of the nicest homes in the area. I can remember stopping in front of the home to just stare in wonderment of what was in there. I never seen anyone at or around the house. Just lights at night, dimly lit.
As time when by and I became a teen in highschool. Thanksgiving morning 1978 or 79 I believe, I watched Mr Stapleton die. My Father and I were on our way to the IGA for my Mother and were among the first to arrive at a horrible auto accident. A kid that I went to school with and later I worked with him for a few years, had a Buick wildcat that had dual exhaust. He would drop that car into low and nail it to hear the pipes roar. I rode in that car a few times. That morning Mr Stapleton was visting his brothers business and was pulling out onto highway 41 at the same time a car was turning another direction. My friend from school past the car on the wrong side and T boned Mr Stapletons car. Witnesses said that he dropped the car into low and nailed it when he hit Mr Stapleton, killing him.
Years went by and I watched the house go down hill and eventually forgot about it all together. I married and shortly after the birth of my second child I bought a home near my parents and remolded it. We were all happy and content until one day I drove by the Stapleton home and seen that they were getting ready for a estate sale.
The day of the sale I went with my youngest daughter to by a rocking chair that was listed. After looking at the house I went inside to look around, I was amazed that the home was well built in the 1960s. I had a few strange feelings but dismissed them, like a sick sense came over me for a short time. I got really into the home and the possibilities that it had. With nothing more than barely 20% down, I bought the home. I was shocked and so was my wife. I had no idea how this home would change our lives.
I started the day tearing out the old and making a new home. I totally gutted most of the home and modernized the home. It was big and beautiful. Little did I know that the strange happings of the home would haunt me and stay with me to this very day. It started when I stripped the basement and walk out attached two car garage. I would work very late and sometimes stay alone in the home, wake up and work some more. I had a dealine with the bank and my love for the home drove me on. One night my Father and I were working in the basement, I had cut a hudge whole on the living room floor to place a stairwell to the new basement family room. We heard someone open the back door and walk across the floor to approximently where we were but above us. I yelled out down here, without reply. I went up a ladder and seen no one. We were puzzled and laughed it off. The next few nights were filled with strange happenings, I would encounter moving cold spots and could follow them in and out of rooms. It was probably just drafts from a big old home. The spots would chill you to the bone.
One night on a hot summer evening, I was working and my dog Sam a German Shepard was very nervous acting. She would jump up and bark and growl at something. I thought nothing of it until I heard a big bang noise coming from the master bedroom. I investigated the problem and found that the bathroom door slammed shut. Sam was barking at the door. Drafty old house!
There were logical explanations for the happings, I thought nothing of it, I am a very logical open minded person. I would later come to realize that a power unseen was at hand. I never believed but now I am very sensitive to spirits and strange happenings, I learned over time not to listen with my ears but my inner feeling, first impression sort of thing. While working on the home I would hear strange noises and unexplained silly things to me. The master bath door slammed from time to time and got stuck at one point, jammed shut. I removed the door and trimmmed the uneven portion from the bottom and rehung it. That lasted for a while. I finished the home and moved my family in and started to enjoy the home and its fireplaces and open space. It was then that we all experienced strange things.
I awoke to my wife yelling at me about the new cabinets kitchen cabinets I installed. It seems that someone opened all of the doors during the night. Over the next few months this happened several times, I took the blame as a prank not wanting to scare my wife and kids. I put every dime I had into this home, I could not leave. It got to be such a joke that we would hear someone come in the back door while we were downstairs and walk across the floor. Everytime the same thing: not a soul in sight. It was all so real. One night my two daughters were sleeping and I awoke to creaking noises in the hallway. I then heard someone walking down the hallway and grab my youngest daughters door knob and twist it several times. I yelled at my oldest, who is handicapped, to get back to bed. She often would night walk in total darkness. She did not have the ability to fear darkness. I got up to investigate. My oldest was sleeping soundly and my youngest had a small dog that was at this time barking. I looked in on her and she told me to stop making the dog bark. I stood in the hall freezing and thinking this is real. This next morning she told me that turning her door knob and making the dog bark was not funny. I laughed and played off as my fault.
Soon after that Sam stayed in the garage just under our bedroom. She would bark so aggressively that I would have to get up and scold her. Then I discovered that everytime she barked the basement window was wide open. My wife and I both experienced this. Over and over again the dog would bark and the window would be open. I bent the latch on the window so it could not be opened. This was fine for a couple weeks and then one night Sam barked and the next morning the window was open. This really got our attention.
It was soon after that many unexplained things happened. Glasses flying out of the kitchen cabinets in the middle of the night, doors slamming and the bathroom door, I removed it and trimmed it five times, one time leaving a one inch gap to stop it from sticking. It was unbelivable, the door was level and plumb. One evening we were in the family room downstairs and heard someone enter the house via the back door and glass break, I jumped and ran upstairs to find a vase, on the fireplace mantel, was broken on the floor. The door was locked. I was mad, I yelled, We are a family and we live here now, we are good people, leave us alone.
Things were quiet for a while and nothing remarkable happened until a cold January night. We had been in the country all day playing in the snow on quadrunners and arrived back home in the early evening. I backed my truck in the drive and opened that garage to let Sam out. She greeted me and made me scrach her head and was just so happy to see me. She would not leave my side, she acted strange to me. Again that feeling happened, but I dismissed it. I left Sam at the entrance to the garage and told her to do her duty. I got into my truck and looked in the mirror and saw Sam just fold up and fall on her face. She dropped dead. I picked her up and took her inside built a fire in the family room fireplace and me, my wife and kids held Sam and cried. As I went to put the quads away, the basement window was open. Sam had clawed and chewed at something, marks on the wall from her efforts painted a picture as clear as could be. That feeling made my blood run cold. I will never forget it.
In the weeks after Sam died everything clamed down. No feelings, no unexplained noises, everything went well until one March evening. It's something that I will never get over as long as I live. My wife and I had been fighting, our marriage was coming to an end and we were trying to get back on track by going to Saturday evening Mass. We were all standing at the door in the family room getting ready to walk out. There was a laundry room between the family room and the garage. I started to open the door to the laundry room with the family right behind me and something was pushing the door from the back side. I was fighting the force back and forth until it slammed on me. I got mad and burst the door open with force. No body or no thing was in the way. My wife and kids witnessed this. It was truely the last straw for me. At this point I was very frightned and mad. The house tore us apart. It changed me and us forever. I moved out shortly after while divorcing, my youngest daughter moved to the basement family room with her girlfriend. She stated that clocks would not keep time and the t.v. would turn on by its self. I had seen this happen too. She and her girlfriend saw a lamp fly acroos the room and hit the wall above the bed. They moved upstairs that night.
Many strange things happened while I was living there, I tried to explain them and convince myself that it was nothing. I was wrong !
The whole experience did something to me that will forever be with me. I dream of my experiences from time to time. I left something unfinished there. I just can't put my finger on what. I stop short each time I get close to it. It still haunts me to this day. Thats what made me confess this. Maybe somebody can give me insight.
The house was sold shortly after we divorced, It sold in three days. I wonder if the new occupants have any strange happenings? There is so much more to tell, I wish I could write it down. But I fear that nobody will believe me and mock us for what we feel is a ghost.
The home is located in North Terre haute Indiana, 3365 Crystal Ave. I want to go back and talk to the new residents, but I fear that I may open a chapter that I cant finish since I no longer live there. I can say I truly saw figures at times of someone or something or maybe just shadows from the corner of my eye. Never the less the feeling I got was the presence of a ghost.
- Dale Murphy