A Haunted House. And A Ghost Wearing Combat Boots.

Posted on October 14, 2010


In honor of Halloween, I’ll now tell the ABSOLUTELY TRUE STORY of how I lived in a HAUNTED HOUSE.  Don’t worry.  This ghost/spirit/whatever was friendly and wasn’t accompanied by the usual creepy music.  But first, have you ever wondered why, in scary movies, the hero/heroine always opens the exact door that he/she knows contains the evil spirit?  Am I the only person on the planet who would not only avoid that particular door but would most likely avoid the entire floor the door was on, the entire house the door was part of or the entire neighborhood the door was in?  But back to the story:

In 1969, my ex-husband, Ron, and I attended grad school in Bloomington, Indiana.  In 1970, we moved into half of a century-old farmhouse on First Ave (For you movie buffs, the hero in “Breaking Away” rode his bike past our house in one of the scenes).  The other half of the house was occupied by another grad student, Dave.  The original one story/no attic/no basement house wasn’t changed, except to add a second bathroom.  This made our creative use of the rooms very interesting.  And, as there was no strong separation between the two halves of the house, we and Dave became fast friends.

One day, the three of us were sitting in Dave’s living room (originally a bedroom).  We all heard heavy footsteps coming across the porch to his front door (which was the original side door of the house).  We then heard a key turning in the lock, the door opening, then closing, then heavy footsteps in Dave’s bedroom (the original whatever-it-was-room that accessed that side door).  It took a moment for all of us to realize that all of us were together.  We all rushed into Dave’s bedroom.  Of course, no one was there.  The door was still locked.

Soon after, Ron and I would be in bed in our bedroom (the original dining room of the house, complete with hanging ceiling light fixture) and would hear heavy footsteps across the ceiling that would suddenly stop exactly where our closet was (remarkably, actually originally a closet).  We would jump out of bed, run to the closet, and of course there would be nothing but silence.  People said, “Oh, you have squirrels.”  I asked, “Do squirrels in Indiana weigh about 200 lbs and wear combat boots?”

Dan and Ron were determined to get to the bottom of this.  They climbed up on the roof one day, and went over every square inch of it to see where the 200 lb squirrel could be getting in.  No openings at all.  As in zero.  Zilch.  Even tiny mutant squirrels would not have been able to squeeze under that roof.

Some time later, Ron was seated at his desk in the living room (directly on the other side of our bedroom closet), doing what he did every evening, allegedly studying.  At some point, he stood up and walked very quickly through the bedroom into the kitchen (or rather, our half of the kitchen).  I was surprised that he was moving so quickly, but before I could ask him what the rush was about, we heard a crash.

We ran into the living room and saw that the ceiling had caved in directly above Ron’s chair.

“That was incredibly lucky that you left the room when you did,” I said.
“I know,” he agreed.  I was just sitting there and all of a sudden it was like I had this crazy urge to go into the kitchen for no reason at all.

After that, all the footsteps and invisible comings and goings stopped.  Now, when anyone asks me if I believe in ghosts, I say, “I don’t know anything about ghosts in general.  I only know the one I lived with.”

Let me know your stories, so I know I’m not the only one who lived with a ghost.  And, oh yeah, Happy Halloween.