GHOULIES AND GHOSTIES AND LONG-LEGGED BEASTIES

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-legged beasties
And things that go bump in the night
Good Lord, deliver us!
– Traditional Scottish Prayer

I’ve never met a ghoul and I have questions about long-legged beasties, but I can speak from personal experience about Things That Go Bump in the Night.

Ghosts have been part of human mythology as long as tales have been told around campfires. Maybe before campfires. I don’t know if any religion excludes the possibility of ghosts and many have a strong link to them. There seems to be an overall, yet non-specific agreement that ghosts and wraiths are spirits of the dead who linger on Earth after they’ve slipped their otherwise mortal coil. Some are malevolent, others benevolent or merely curious. Ghosts vary by mythology, religion, era, and ethnic origin.

I cannot claim to have seen a ghost, but I lived in a house where everyone could hear ghosts. In 1965 when for $20,300, we were able to buy a tidy little brick house built in 1932. On the first floor were two bedrooms and a bathroom. There was a big bedroom on the partially finished second floor. The house was small but solid, walking distance from the college where my husband worked and I was finishing a degree.

Bedford Ave marilyn owen

The house on Bedford Avenue

The ambiance of the house from the moment we walked into it was friendly. It welcomed everyone and made them feel at home. The little house had been built by a couple who had lived, raised children, and died in it. Not murdered or anything sordid. They merely grew old and passed on in the home they loved. We loved it too. My son wouldn’t come onto the scene for 4 more years, but it was a good house to raise babies.

The house was a bit neglected. Not falling down but in need of paint and some modernization of its infrastructure. It still had its original heating system, converted from a coal burner to an oil furnace. Not very efficient and the radiators were huge, old and iron. Oil was cheap; we didn’t worry about it. We’d get to it eventually.

Initially we lived on the first floor since the bathroom was there. The upstairs had been an attic, but half had been turned into a big bedroom. We wanted to move up there. It was much bigger and had wonderful light, but we wanted to fix it up first.

Before anything else, we wanted to paint. The entire house was painted pale salmon pink. It wasn’t ugly, but it wasn’t any color we’d have chosen. Worse, it was high gloss paint, like one would use in a kitchen or bath.

We painted the downstairs first. Every night, we heard our ghosts walking. You could hear the sound of heavy, loud footsteps upstairs, sharp, like the soles of hard leather shoes or boots. Everyone on the lower floor head it. The walking started around eight in the evening, continued for a few minutes. Then the footsteps would pause and restart randomly until around midnight. The footsteps always stopped by midnight and never began before eight.

We called them “The Old Man” and “The Old Woman.” They wore different shoes. Her shoes had a sharp sound, like high heels on a hardwood floor. His were clunkier, like maybe work boots. Both of them had died in the house, so they were prime candidates for ghosthood, especially since no one ever lived in the house until us.

At first, we also heard them on the steps, but after we painted the stairway, the footsteps retreated and we only heard them in the attic and bedroom. After we began painting the bedroom, we continued to hear them for a while in the attic and then, one day, they were gone, never to return.

Were they watching to see if we properly cared for and loved their home? I thought so. Were we all hallucinating? It was the 1960s, so anything is possible, but I think it was the couple who had lived there watching to make sure we did right by the house. We did and I guess they felt it was okay to depart.

If anyone has bumped into a long-legged beastie, please tell me. I’m still waiting to meet one and I’m all ears.

52 thoughts on “GHOULIES AND GHOSTIES AND LONG-LEGGED BEASTIES

  1. There are some things between the floorboards that we will ever find. We had cockroaches between the floorboards in the old appartment where we lived once. You only saw them rarely, but I knew they were there. Perhaps they were your strange visitors.

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    • Except these were LOUD. Not bugs, not mice. I’ve had plenty of bugs and more than enough mice. There was nothing hushed, soft, subtle, or hard to hear. Everyone heard them, not just us. I don’t know what they were. When they went away, they never came back. So — whatever they were, they left. But it sure did sound like footsteps.

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  2. First, I LOVE your pictures! Second, I had a friend who bought a house sight unseen back in the day. She regaled me with a couple of stories. Exactly at 9:00 on the dot, every night, the water would mysteriously turn on in the sink in the bathroom and run for 2 minutes (she timed it) along with the accompanying rattling of pipes (it was an old house) and not once was she scared. It became a regular part of life. She heard booted footsteps down the wood hall beforehand, then the water would turn on. She was ballsy enough to follow the footsteps and watched the tap turn and water flow. It went on for a couple of years (I can’t remember how long exactly now) but it never concerned her as there wasn’t any accompanying destruction. Once in awhile things moved around the bathroom which surprised her, but M was never one to be nervous. I’ve got hundreds of personal encounters, too many to share here, but I guess I should before they are all forgotten.

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  3. We had a ghost for the first several years we lived in the house. I’d usually hear it in the basement, it rarely came upstairs. I wasn’t afraid. My son was curious and thought it strange that I wasn’t afraid (which is why he wasn’t either). My husband? Well, he’s a non-believer. He said it was just the house noises: it’s just settling, or it’s because of a train going by. But I knew better! 🙂

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    • I don’t believe in ghosts, but those walkers were really hard to deny. They were loud and the footsteps were very clear and easy to hear anywhere in the main part of the house. So I don’t believe … but I think we had ghosts in which i do not believe.

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  4. WOW I got to the end of a fascinating blog! I love the pictures, the pumpkin patches, the divergent scary guys along the way, the pictures of Garry and the pooches and yum breakfast indeed looks great! I haven’t eaten yet. My son’s shift changes from 5 to 11 pm so I have to re-think meals. 4 is too early for dinner and 11 is too late unless I plan on staying up for 4 more hours, but hey lets face it, that is ALWAYS a definite possibility as it seems to be occurring nightly anyway these days. It’ll make life interesting because Monday is Sienna’s new class (gymnastics-and seriously after watching videos) I can safely say we have an incredible budding gymnast in the family, she’s astounding and her coaches are at a complete loss at what level to place her in as she’s 5 class abilities above her age group. Tues is Spencer’s break dance at 5 15 (late dinner) Wed is free Thurs is Eileah’s riding class until 6 30 Friday is free and the weekend, anything goes, lots of finger food so it’ll be interesting trying to absorb Adam’s new shift. My daughter works 4 5 – 230 shifts followed by 4 2 30 to 11 30 shifts then 4 days off. It’s going to get busy! Especially as it’s impossible to get anyone to value leftover night. lol.

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  5. The upshot of all that is I believe I’m living in the twilight zone complete with a couple of ghostly viewers (ok maybe not ghostly) someone tried to break in through my son’s window and left without leaving footprints behind. hmmmm.

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  6. Love the picture of the old cabin. Funny, it is well know around our area that when people renovate old homes things like that happen, even when nothing did before. A common question when people say things have been happening is: Have you been doing any reno’s?
    I could write several stories about our home, but it is a photography blog and does not fit in with what we are trying to do.
    Great post, as always!

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