Not exactly the conversation you want to have during cocktail hour, right? Well, I had this conversation this past Saturday at my brother's wedding reception. I ran into my parent's next-door neighbors during cocktail hour. I had never really known them that well since they had moved in beside my family shortly before I left for college. But, they had become really close with my parents over the years.
Mrs. Neighbor started telling me that she and her husband had one of those "small world" experiences recently where they went out to eat somewhere out of town and started chatting with their waitress only to discover that she had previously lived in their house. She then started asking me about waitress's family and I explained that she was my brother's age and had two younger brothers.
Then came the question I was dreading, "Did you know the original owners of the house? The S Family?" I said I didn't as they had moved out a couple of years before my family had moved in. Then Mrs. N lowered her voice and said, "Not a lot of people know this, but the S Family's son committed suicide in the house."
I nodded. I had known this. My heart started pounding and my mouth went dry. She was going to start prying and I am such a bad liar! I mean, how do you tell someone that their house is haunted????
The suicide had happened just a few years before we moved onto the street and it was still the talk of the neighborhood. The S family had already moved out and a new family had moved in. The woman that lived there told my mom that she had never believed in ghosts until she lived in that house. She would hear somebody in the kitchen, silverware rattling, dishes clanking, drawers opening and closing. She was terrified. Needless to say, the family did not last long there.
The W Family then moved in (waitress's family). I was about 13 at the time and my parents made my brother and I promise that we would not tell the W kids about the history of the house. It didn't matter, the three W kids were terrified of the house. The oldest, M, was often left alone and would show up on our doorstep, crying and insisting that someone was in the house. The worst was when she said there was "something" under her bed. We never offered to check it out, we always just told her to stay at our house until her parents got back.
I only stepped foot in that house twice in my life and twice was certainly enough! You could feel the bad vibes. Over the past 15 years I kept thinking that it was strange that the N Family had never mentioned anything bad about the house to my parents. Now I was about to find out why...
Mrs. N continued her conversation with me. She didn't find out about the suicide until after they had bought the house. Her husband brushed off the news with a laugh, but she was concerned enough to make a visit to her church pastor to explain the situation. He gave her a special prayer to say in the house to bless it and do away with any bad spirits. Then she laughed, saying that she had no idea if anything was ever bad about the house to begin with, but saying the prayer had made her feel better.
I didn't want to freak her out, but I had to say something. Maybe it was the wine talking, but I let her know that she did a good thing. Somehow she had changed whatever was going on in the house. Mrs. N looked shocked, but also a little bit proud of herself. I didn't go into detail, but I let her know that something had been in the house and the two families before hers had felt its presence.
A smile crept across her face, "See! I knew it! Mr. N doesn't believe in that kind of thing. I can't wait to tell him that I got rid of the ghost!"
I could tell she wanted to learn more, but we were interrupted to take our seats for the bride and groom to arrive. I can't believe after all these years the N Family finally knows the truth about the haunting and the story ended up happily ever after anyway!