Back in the day I posted stories of my experiences or rumors I heard about haunted locations throughout the state. Eileen (I’m pretty sure that’s not her real name, but more than 15 years later I have a hard time remembering what it might actually be) e-mailed me concerned over strange experiences she was having that she had no real frame of reference for. It was my first time talking to someone who was coming to me for help, and it was a trial by fire to get to the heart of what was happening while trying to confort her and help her understand what might be going on.
Eileen belongs to a generation that sees the paranormal as fiction. Ghosts are fine for the movies and eerie stories on Halloween, but the only true spirit is the Holy Spirit and tales of demons and things that go bump in the night are more cautionary tales for people who invite bad things to happen to them. She believes there are powers that cannot be explained, but if it happens to you then you wanted it to or it is a sign that something is wrong with you. That is what her Catholic upbringing taught her, and that is what she believed until she started to experience things that challenged what she felt about the other realm.
Eileen moved into her three family duplex in Chelsea 23 years ago with her small daughter and husband. Almost immediately she experienced things. The first night she had trouble sleeping and sat awake next to her husband. She was beginning to dose off when she noticed a figure in the room. Although there was no sound a dark shadow figure moved into the room and to her husband’s side of the bed. Although she could make out no features on the form, she got the feeling it was female as it bent over, picked up her husband’s pants and went through the pockets.
Although Eileen noticed something odd about the feeling of the house, it was not until her three year old daughter began to tell her there was a ghost in her room that Eileen started to get suspicious and remember that first night. She would run from her room screaming, Ghost in room.” Soon after her daughter developed an imaginary friend named Ekky who spent four or five years with them until she “moved to Florida”. Eileen did not think too much of it because she understood it was normal and healthy for a child to have such friends. Over the years her daughter would bring up the subject of the ghost in a nonchalant way, Eileen believes mainly because people did not believe her and Catholic did not believe in such things.
But other unusual things happened. Items would disappear and things would be misplaced and Eileen would tell herself it was her own fault. She had just forgot where she put it down.
Eileen’s daughter entered her late teens and she became more and more uncomfortable in the room. She refused to sleep sometime, never saying why, but it was clear there was something there she did not like. Once when she was twenty she went to sleep in her mother’s room. When they woke in the morning there was a cat at the foot of the bed although they did not own a cat and the house was locked up and secure. They opened the door and shoed the cat out with a broom.
In 2002 Eileen moved into her daughter’s old room and the occurrences began to happen more and more. One time she woke up to find her house sweltering. Sometime during the night the thermostat and been turned up and the cover had been thrown across the room. Another time she came home to find the orange juice she had left out spilled over her calendar and some papers she had on the kitchen table. The table was soaked but the glass was sitting straight up.
Although she does not feel the ghost is threatening, it has recently began to touch her. Once she felt her hair being lifted as she lay in bed. The most disturbing incident involved another night time meeting. Eileen was again lying in bed when she felt her leg being lifted up by her big toe. She closed her eyes and regained control of her leg.
There have been renovations that might account for some of the occurrences. The duplex is three floors and has been shared by family members over the years. At one point the house was gutted out and evidence of a fire was found, although she has not been able to find any account of it in old newspapers. There has also been construction on the second floor as her brother prepares to move in, although he is now giving it second thoughts. He led Eileen on a few goose chases after making up stories about the ghost in the house, but now he is finding it more and more uncomfortable to do the work to repair the house. He will not say why, but he does not like to be in the house alone.
Either does Eileen’s daughter. She still gets uncomfortable in the room, although she does not feel afraid. According to Eileen, she seem more upset by the whole thing, as if she had convinced herself that the things that had happened to her as a child were her imagination. To hear Eileen now talk of those things makes it seem more real.
They have reversed roles because Eileen does not fear the female spirit in her house. Nothing has happened in a while and the spirit is most obvious when she is not thinking about her. Eileen wants to talk to her, but does not know what she will say. She is now convinced she is not going crazy in her old age but that now, maybe because everyone has moved out, she has found a new roommate.