In the mid-1970s my Uncle and his family purchased an old house located outside of Boston in a town called Newtonville. Although I don’t remember the exact date the house was built, I know it was around the late 1700s. The date had been painted in black on the chimney as most of the houses in this historical neighborhood were. It had two staircases; the first being in the front of the house and the second in the back. The one in the front was very narrow and steep.
We would visit my Uncle on occasion and there was something about this house that I, as a child, just was uncomfortable with but could never put my finger on.
My Aunt and Uncle helped out with the Boston Ballet at the time. Both my cousins were ballerinas, which for an 8 year old girl was the coolest thing ever. They invited me to come to a performance of Sleeping Beauty one Friday night in November. I was then going to spend the night with the younger of my two cousins, who was 11 at the time. Although I wasn’t thrilled with sleeping at the old house, the opportunity to be at the ballet and with my much cooler older cousin was much too good to pass up.
That night I dressed in my best dress and headed to the Wang Theater with my Uncle, Aunt, and cousin. I got to go back stage with them and witness the dancers getting ready. I was in awe. After the performance and then dinner, we headed back to the house. My cousin and I changed into our nightgowns and got ready for bed.
I remembered I had to go ask my Uncle something so I headed down the back staircase into the living room. It was dark and very cold downstairs, with a little light coming in from the upper hallway. Once I realized I was alone in the living room, I turned to head back up the stairs. Off of the living room was an alcove that contained a grand piano. All of the sudden I started to hear what sounded like a man moaning. I froze in my tracks. Thinking it was my Uncle trying to scare me (as he knew his home gave me the creeps), I whispered, “Uncle Roy?” The moaning continued.
At this point my eyes had adjusted to what little light there was. I leaned down to see if my Uncle was hiding behind the piano, intent on catching him trying to scare me. There was no one there. Then I heard my Uncle upstairs in his bedroom speaking to my Aunt. I completely froze in sheer terror. If my Uncle is upstairs then who or what is behind the piano?! Finally I mustered up the courage to go up the stairs. I don’t think my feet even touched the ground. I told my Uncle what had just happened and he did not believe me. I did not speak about this again until a few years later, in fear of being ridiculed.
A few years passed and my Uncle and his family moved out of that house. I asked him if he remembered what had happened the night I joined them at the Ballet. He said he did, and that he definitely felt now that the house they had been living in was haunted. He relayed the following story…
There were times when objects in the house would disappear only to reappear in other places. There were odd noises at night and the attic door in my cousin’s room would be closed at night, only to be found open in the morning. Then my Aunt and Uncle made a terrible decision. They decided to use a ouija board to contact whatever spirit might be in the house.
They started off by asking a few questions like, who are you? Did you used to live here? Then the planchette kept moving to “Good-bye…” My Uncle kept pushing with the questions. Apparently this ticked off whatever was there. The room became extremely cold and the air turned heavy and oppressive. Suddenly their German shepherd dog, who was outside at the time, began to howl. In fear of waking the neighbors as it was pretty late, they dragged the poor dog into the house. They sat in bed and read the Bible until the early morning hours when the bad feeling finally went away. They never messed with a ouija board again and advised me to stay away from it if I were ever tempted.
Once in a great while I’ll run into my Uncle at a family gathering if I’m back east and this story always comes up. He still reminds me to stay away from the ouija board. I’d have to say that is pretty sound advice!