Annie Steelsong

My fiancé and I recently purchased our first house. I have a seven-year-old son from a previous relationship, and we would like to grow our family after we are married. So, we needed to upgrade from our two-bedroom apartment and decided to take the plunge into home ownership.

The house was recently flipped with new windows, new electric, new HVAC, new everything. It is a twin, located in a quiet town in Eastern Pennsylvania and within a half hour of both or our jobs. We can see the local elementary school from our backyard and the community swimming pool is only a block away. Overall, it is the perfect starter home for our little family.

The initial structure had been built in 1905 and has some of the quirks of an older home; low basement ceiling, narrow steps, windows low to the floor, that kind of thing. But I just feel like these quirks give character to the house.

The oddest thing is there is no outside access to the basement currently, but there used to be. From the inside of the basement, there is a wooden door that once led to the backyard. It had been nailed shut. The opening on the outside is cemented shut, and you are only able to tell what used to be there because that cement is slightly elevated from the rest of the walkway surrounding the outside of the house. We asked the inspector about why it would be like that and he suggested it was sealed shut after they removed the old coal stove that used to heat the house before the new HVAC unit was put in by the flippers.

My son was most excited to move as the finished attic is his bedroom. It’s twice the size as his bedroom in our old apartment. However, since we moved in a couple weeks ago, he is insistent both cats stay in the room with him. I asked him if he’s scared or feels unsafe and he says no, that he just feels better with the cats stay with him. I have no problem with this and figure it’s just him wanting some familiarity in a new environment.

He also sleeps with a night light, but he is only seven and this isn’t something new. He slept with one at our apartment and I know he has one at his bedroom in his dad’s house as well. Originally, he had a basic one that you plug into an outlet, the same kind you get from Walmart. After our first night there, he told me that he woke up when one of the cats jumped off his bed and the light was no longer on and he didn’t like that.

I figured the light was old and cheap and simply got another one that day at the local Walmart. But the following morning he said it happened again. Once again, I wasn’t too concerned. It was only four dollars, and I probably shouldn’t have gotten the cheapest one I saw.

I went back to the store that day, but this time brought a battery powered light that I could hang in the stairwell leading up to his room since there are no outlets there. It had a second one in the pack so I figured that would suffice as his new nightlight in his room. I hung this one up ten days ago and he hasn’t complained since.

My fiancé’s incident was also a strange electric issue.

Like most houses in Pennsylvania, the basement is damp. We need to run a dehumidifier and empty it twice a day to prevent mold and other water-related issues. It’s not usually a problem and has just become a daily chore that my fiancé normally takes care of. One of the times he empties it is right before he goes to bed.

Usually, we will go to bed around the same time as we both wake up a 5am to be at work for 7:30am. However, once a week my fiancé has to stay later at work, so he doesn’t go in until 9am. These nights, he usually stays up later than me to play a couple more patches of Arena on his computer before joining me in bed. This incident has happened twice now, and it was both nights that I was already in bed and no one else was on the main floor.

My fiancé finished playing his game around 10:30pm and went to empty the dehumidifier. He took it up to the sink and dumped it without issue. But while he was in the middle of putting the container back, the lights to the basement cut out. Not the electric as the dehumidifier was still on, but just the lights. There are several light bulbs in the basement so it’s not as if there was a single bulb that blew out.

He said that the first time it happened, he called up to me to tell me that he was still down there, thinking I had gotten up and noticed the basement lights were on and turned them off since the light switch to the basement is on the main floor. But I had been asleep by that point and I didn’t know any of this was going on until the next morning.

After he didn’t get a response from me, he pulled out his phone and used the light to navigate to the steps leading to the main floor. Once he was halfway up the steps, the lights came back on.

The second time it happened was similar except he did not call out for me.

This in it of itself isn’t the scariest thing. I would call it odd, especially considering all the electric is brand new, but it’s something we can easily write off.

The next event took place four nights ago. My fiancé and I are both fans of the Magic the Gathering card game. It’s how we met, and we play a couple of times a week. We were on the main floor in the middle of a very close match when we heard footsteps from the second floor.

I was a little annoyed, assuming it was my son who I had put to bed an hour prior. I called up and asked if he needed anything but didn’t get a response. Figuring he had been trying to be sneaky, I rolled my eyes I continued to play. A minute later, we heard the footsteps again.

This time I storm upstairs, ready to scold my son, only to find no one there. I go up to his room and find him fast asleep in his bed, clearly having been that way for a while.

It’s at this point, I figure we have a ghost, but I wasn’t alarmed. It’s an old house. And while a little creepy, I figured we will just share the space. I can deal with occasional footsteps, and my fiancé just needs to make sure he has a flashlight on him when he empties the dehumidifier.

That was until last night.

A couple days ago, my son was diagnosed with Strep Throat. He’s been on the antibiotic a for three days and is fine now, but one of the antibiotic symptoms is stomach cramps and constipation. Of course, those stomach cramps hit him in the middle of the night last night.

He came to my room a little after midnight saying his stomach hurt and he couldn’t sleep. I knew it was because of the antibiotic and figured I would just give him some children’s Pepto Bismol and a heating pad to relieve his symptoms.

I got out of bed and he followed me to the stairs. Before I could start walking down, I felt a push. It was low, about calf level, but firm. It felt like someone karate chopped my calves.

And I fell. The stairs are extremely narrow, so I went down them like a slide. I was wearing a summer nightgown, so my back ended up getting rugburn as well as a big bruise right in the middle.

My fiancé heard me fall and came running out of bed to help, but I was mad. I barely felt the pain as I stood up because I was so furious. Writing this twelve hours later, I’m still furious. We sunk all our savings into this house and have only been here for two weeks. I am not about to be bullied by a ghost.

I asked what the hell is its problem. I told it that this is my house and it needs to leave now.

I made my fiancé and son open all the windows while I looked for a smudging stick that was still packed away in a box and then proceeded to smudge the house in the middle of the night. I didn’t care that it was late or that it was pretty cold for it being the middle of June, I was going to get this thing out of here.

I don’t know if it left. I never really got the goosebumps or being watched feeling so I’m not able to tell if it went away.

It’s been about twelve hours since then. I let my son stay home from school since we all didn’t sleep last night and it’s his last day before summer anyway. I myself took a sick day from work so I could get some sleep this morning and collect my thoughts.

We have no choice but to stay in this house. We used almost all our savings on a down payment and haven’t even made the first mortgage payment yet. I hope what I did last night worked, but I am prepared to fight if it didn’t. This is my house.       


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