I was thirty years old and had never owned a house when we moved to Jackson, Mississippi. We were living in a small apartment but we had high hopes of buying a starter home. My husband was doing his residency and I was working in the U.S. Attorney’s office. One of my new friends at my office told me about a house down the street from her that was for sale at a good price. Translation – it was cheap.
I went to look at the house that afternoon. It was a good price and for sale by owner. I asked all the pertinent legal questions and, satisfied, made an offer. The man gladly accepted without any haggling. That should have been my first clue.
We moved in and started fixing everything up, making the place ours. For some reason, I did not like going into the living room. It always seemed like there was someone in there who definitely did not want me there. I shook it off and continued with my renovations. Things began disappearing. First my car keys, then a pair of shoes – small items, nothing big. Then a few days later, they would magically appear on the bar in the kitchen. I would never find them anywhere else. After a few repeats of this I started to question who was taking them. Not my son, he was only two. Not my husband, he was never home. I shrugged it off but it continued.
One day I noticed our cat was sitting in the kitchen staring intently at something by the stove. She would not move and then started hissing, arching her back. Now this cat was normally very shy and never made a sound. For her to act like this upset me. When I walked over to see what she was looking at, I noticed the air was freezing around the stove. That gave me quite a start since the rest of the house was warm. I tried to pick up the cat and she nearly decapitated me. This was not normal but, again, I shrugged it off. New house, nervous cat…
The real shocker came when my two-year kept talking, gibbering actually, in his room. I would go in to see what he was doing and it would seem like he was talking to someone. I’d asked him whom he was talking to and he’d say the lady. Then he’d make a terrible face and tell me he didn’t like the dark man. That scared me. I asked him who the dark man was and he’d shrug. He did say he liked the lady.
I started obsessing about this. Who could this be? A ghost? Two ghosts? I talked to my neighbor across the fence one day and she told me that the previous owner’s wife had died in my son’s bedroom. A kind woman who loved children. Could that be the lady? But who was the dark man?
It all came to a head one night when, thankfully, my husband was home. We were asleep and suddenly my son came screaming out of his bedroom. I don’t think I was awake when my feet hit the floor. I met him in the hallway. He was white and shaking. All he could say was there was a black hand trying to drag him under the bed. Our dog, right behind me, ran into my son’s bedroom and started growling and snapping at the bed. I thought we had an intruder. My husband went in and looked under the bed. Nothing. The dog continued running around in the room, barking. Puzzled, my husband raised the blinds next to my son’s bed to see if the window was unlocked and maybe someone had come in through it. What he saw shook him to the core. A tall, black man stared back at him, grinning, and then instantly disappeared. My husband came striding up the hall, picked up my son and we all went back to my bedroom. He didn’t say anything until the next morning about our “intruder.”
The next few weeks, the house became more active. Pictures would fly off the walls, vases would get broken. My son would not sleep alone and the animals were cowering in my bedroom. I was a walking zombie. No one was getting any sleep. Something had to be done. Now this was prior to all the ghost hunters who are so prevalent today so I had no idea where to turn. There was no Internet to do research. I went to the library. I came up with a Native American ritual – burning sage and asking for the house to be blessed. I felt silly doing it but I did it on my lunch hour when no one was home. Immediately the house felt lighter, more airy. We never had any more incidents.
Recently I was talking to my son, now twenty-three, and he remembers that house and the dark hand. He told me that it was definitely real and he was terrified. My husband, who previously had dismissed ghosts as explainable incidents, is now a believer with me. After that little house in Jackson, no one can convince me differently. My son said he never saw the lady again and, as for the dark man, he never returned.
Have you every lived in a haunted house? Tell us about it. Leave out no details. I do love a ghost story!