The Unwelcome Guest – Saying Goodbye (Final Installment)

As we prepared to vacate the house, whatever spirit inhabited the house escalated in making us anxious to say goodbye!

The picture shows the two doors at the end of the hallway off the kitchen. The door on the right opened into the back yard. The door on the left was the bathroom.

Two days after the rat incident, we came home, walked into the kitchen and then the toilet flushed! Sure we would find someone in the bathroom, we investigated with caution. We opened the door and saw…Nothing!!!

That was pretty creepy. We began to box up things that very night. Our final goodbye couldn’t come quick enough.

The next evening, we came home and everything was quiet. What a relief! After the kids were settled in bed, I decided to take a nice, relaxing bubble bath. I added bubbles as the water slowly filled the tub. I stepped in and settled into the wonderful aroma and warmth. As I reached to shut off the water, a HUGE orange and cream striped spider with long legs and a bulbous body literally washed out of the faucet!

I began to scream…as I think back on this moment, I realize this might be where my terror of spiders came from.

I jumped out of the tub and my husband came running to see what happened. The spider was walking, yes, literally walking on the bubbles! He pulled the plug and the water drained out, leaving the evil eight-legged spider in the tub. I shudder as I remember how it tried to avoid the swatter, but eventually the spider was dead.

None of us took another bath in that tub!

The next night, we carried boxes with us to the new house. We were ready to move in.

We came home exhausted, later than usual, and when we reached the kitchen, the bathroom door was ripped off its hinges and lying across the hallway at an awkward angle. The hinges were bent with the force used to yank it free!

Terrified, we all slept in the living room and front bedroom. The next day we moved all our things out of the house and said our final goodbye.

Now many people don’t believe in ghosts or evil spirits. I’m a Christian. I know there are evil spirits in this world. Why one chose to manifest in that house is something I’ll never know. Perhaps something horrible happened there in the past. I still don’t understand if the spirit wanted us to stay or not, and if so, why? What would have happened if we did stay? Those are the things nightmares are made of.

Thank you for reading!

The Unwelcome Guest – Footsteps

And then came the mysterious footsteps which made me realize Harvey was real.

My son and daughter shared a bedroom at the bottom of the stairs which led up to my stepson’s bedroom. Each had their own twin bed.

One day I came home from work early because of a terrible headache. I decided to lay down on my daughter’s bed because it was much quieter in the back of the house.

Just as I was dropping off to sleep, I heard footsteps coming down the stairs. I jumped up, thinking my stepson might have come home early from school but when I looked at the stairway, it was empty. I walked up the stairs and his room was empty.

I knew the steps I heard were coming down, not going up. The hairs on the back of my neck prickled and I hurried back down the steps and checked the entire house. The front door was still locked and no one else was in the house with me.

I figured I must have fallen asleep and dreamed it. I cautiously laid down on the bed again, but my heart was pounding and my headache was still raging. Then I heard the stairs creaking again. This time someone was going up. I stood at the bottom of the stairs watching…seeing nothing…yet hearing the footsteps continue upward.

I hurried to the front room and laid on the sofa, fear of the unknown taking precedence over my headache. A few minutes later, my stepson came home from school. When I told him what had happened, he said, “It was Harvey. I told you he was real.”

And that’s when I stopped teasing him because I knew there was something supernatural going on in the house.

We decided to move.

We were moving into a house we bought and it needed to have some work done before we could actually move in. Once the paperwork was in place, we decided to go every night to work on it so we could leave quickly.

The next day, I went down to the basement to do laundry. When I stepped on the first concrete step I felt something sharp stab my foot and I heard a scream. I looked down and saw a huge rat which disappeared into the dark.

I went to the doctor and received a tetanus shot and had my foot bandaged. The bite was pretty nasty. My husband put rat poison around the basement and on those basement stairs. The rats had burrowed into the basement and there was a hole where they came in from the back of the house where we’d seen them gathering. If we looked out the back door, we could see many, many rats. Black ones, gray ones, all enormous and ugly. Moving could not come soon enough!

(Part 5 – Final Installment – coming soon)


The Unwelcome Guest – Part 3 – Harvey

We added a new member to our family when my stepson decided to live with us when he turned fourteen. my angels and the front doorWe cleaned out the upstairs room for him and he was really happy to have an “alcove” for his bed. Pretty cool setup for a teen, until Harvey made his appearance.

The first night my stepson spent in the room, he came down the next morning and complained about hearing something bang on the wall in his room. He said it was Harvey, the ghost. We laughed, because we hadn’t heard anything, and of course, ghosts didn’t exist. We said it was most likely a squirrel or raccoon on the roof.

Then I began to notice my dresser drawers being opened when I came home from work. Strange. I’d shut them and a day or so later, they’d be hanging open again. Things began to disappear…wash cloths, mostly…stranger still.

One weekend, we came home after being out as a family and found the front door unlocked and standing partially open! I knew I’d locked the door when we left. If you look closely at the door in the picture with my two little angels, you’ll see it has a deadbolt kind of lock.

This happened several times. So one night we decided to test it. We locked the door, checked it, and drove around the block. Just around the block! The door was opened when we arrived back less than two minutes later.

My stepson insisted it was Harvey, his so-called resident ghost, which we still scoffed at.

Days passed and my stepson continued to talk about Harvey. We continued to tease him and make light of the situation. And those rats? They continued to grow in number outside the back door.

Things were just beginning. We should have believed in Harvey’s existence.

(Part 4 – of The Unwelcome Guest coming soon)


The Unwelcome Guest – Part Two

The mouse was gone but it wasn’t the unwelcome guest I’m going to tell you about.

Life kind of settled for a bit. The one bad thing about this house was the large floor register which heated the rooms. The register was in the kitchen. It was always warm, but not uncomfortably so. I kind of liked it because it reminded me of the house where I grew up. I would come home after walking in the cold from the bus stop and stoop over the register, letting the heat build up under my dress to make a nice warm tent.

Then one morning while dressing my son to go to the babysitter’s house, I noticed the bottom of his feet were filled with blisters! I was horrified. He was a tough little guy and had a high tolerance for pain so I didn’t notice him favoring his feet while he was walking around. The doctor said the burns weren’t serious and there wasn’t much to do but put some cream on them and keep them covered/padded to help alleviate the pain…the pain my son didn’t seem to notice. But we watched him closely and I tried to keep him off his feet as much as possible.

But where did the burns come from? Had they come from that floor register? And how? And, if not, from where?

The question was never answered, but I began to sense something was “not quite right” within the walls of this house. Was there an unwelcome guest living with us?

In the meantime, the kids loved playing outdoors on the swing set when we were at home. I liked being able to watch them from the window above the sink, where I could also see the lilac tree which gave such beautiful blooms in the spring. It was one such spring like morning when the kids were swinging and I was cleaning. I glanced out the window and my heart sank! They were not on the swing set!

I hurried outside and my heart started beating again when I heard their voices. But they were behind the house where that big ditch was and a highway on the other side. I rushed to find them and there they were, standing like little ones do, slightly bent over, their hands on their knees as they stared at something…in the ditch.

“Look Mommy!” Little fingers pointed and I went to see what had caught their attention.

Rats! Big rats, larger than squirrels. Black rats, gray rats, nasty, terrifying rats!

I snatched them up and hurried through the back door to the safety of the kitchen, my heart pounding, my mouth too dry to even scream.

(The Unwelcome Guest – Part 3 coming soon)


The Unwelcome Guest – Part 1

It was a cute little house, just perfect for our family of four, though we never could have imagined the unwelcome guest that would come to live with us.

We toured it before renting, delighted at the cute covered front porch, with a white wooden railing. Inside we found two bedrooms, a huge farmhouse type kitchen, an upstairs with two rooms, one for storage and a second that could be used as an additional bedroom. One bath, and a small but serviceable basement area for laundry. There was a nice front and side yard, but no back yard to speak of. Behind the house was a ditch which separated the cul-de-sac from the businesses on the main road through the small “town” of Creve Couer, Illinois. We moved into the house in the fall of 1966.

My daughter was three and my son was a year and a half. We added a swing set to the front yard and settled into our rented home.

For the first year, we only had two incidents, though none led us to believe they were anything but natural.

The first was when my daughter had a sudden bout of anger which wasn’t normal for her. She took a toy truck and struck her brother on the head with it. When I corrected her, she started to scream and ran with arms extended to the front glass “screen” door and her arms went straight through it! Glass shattered and her inside wrist began dripping blood. My husband was at work with the car, and thank the good Lord, my neighbor ran over and told us to get in her car and she’d drive us to the hospital.

They wouldn’t allow me to go back with my child while they stitched her arm. She was so little and so frightened and they had strapped her to a papoose type board! I could hear her cries and screams as I leaned against the wall and cried. I wanted to comfort my baby. This was one of the worst times of my life.

But she was all right and we were able to take her home after they stitched her wound. Though this was unusual for my child’s behavior, I still never thought it could have been anything but a strange fit of temper.

My children had been good sleepers, never waking up in the middle of the night unless they were sick. But a few months later, I began to hear strange noises. The house was dark, so I got out of bed and turned on the living room light. I was startled to see my children standing against the wall next to the front door holding hands, their eyes wide and round. When I asked why they were up, they didn’t have any answer.

I settled them back in bed, read them a story, and turned out the lights.

This continued to happen over and over again. My daughter said it was a bad dream. I wondered who had woken who with a bad dream instead of calling out for me to come and help them.

And then a little mouse appeared in the kitchen. Just a mouse, nothing more. But he was too fast to catch and we began to hear him inside the wall. Not too strange, and not too uncommon, I thought. We tried several solutions to catch the mouse, but had to be careful what we used because of the children, especially since they were prone to wander in the dark of night.

Yes, we did finally catch the mouse and the house settled into our “normalcy” again.

Then, things escalated…

(to be continued)