Our Very Own Haunted House

Our Very Own Haunted House

By Brad Steiger

Artwork Ricardo Pustanio

On the outside, the farmhouse was a solid two-story dwelling with an inviting front porch. It sat atop a grassy hill and was flanked by majestic pines and backed by a dwindling number of oak and walnut trees. At the foot of the hill was a picturesque creek with a small but sturdy bridge. Across the lane from the barn was a cabin said to be one of the very oldest pioneer homes in the county. The sturdy Iowa farmhouse seemed an ideal home in which our family might attempt an experiment in country living.

Inside, however, it seemed another matter entirely. I first entered the home with a friend, who is very psychically sensi­tive. "Someone died here," he stated bluntly as soon as we crossed the threshold into the dining room.

The woman whose home we were in the process of purchasing appeared startled by my friend's immediate announcement. When he quickly added, "A man died in the room across from the kitchen," she became visibly upset.

Within a few days we had the whole story. Her father, who she called Papa, had in his day been a well-respected church and com­munity leader. His "day" had been in the 1920s and 1930s, and he had steadily grown more reclusive and more strongly opposed to modern technology. Papa's distrust of modern times extended to storm windows, electric lights, and running water. Life with Papa had been a rugged existence.
He had yielded to electric lights sometime in the 1940s, and he loved to sit in his room and listen to the radio--one of his few con­cessions to the contemporary world around him. He had not permit­ted running water in his house during his lifetime, and the plumbing we now saw had been only recently installed. There still was no drink­ing water in the home, however, and if we did not wish to carry buck­ets from the spring near the barn, we would have to dig a well.

I strongly felt a presence in the house, and I was concerned about the children, since the energy I detected did not seem to be a hospitable one.

Shortly before we were to move in, a cousin of the vacating fa­ily approached me with an amused smile. "Well, Brad, you should really be happy now,” he said. “What more could a writer of all those spooky books want than a haunted house of his own?"

When I pressed him for details, he only shrugged. "Grandpa was a stubborn Norwegian when he was alive, and I guess he's just as stubborn now that he's passed on. You should have some inter­esting evenings ahead of you."

As I evaluated the situation, we had a problem. If we truly were dealing with the earthbound spirit essence of a man who had been a pious church leader and a fervent opponent of progress, just how would he take to a family moving into his home that was headed by a psychical investigator with four lively kids who would immediately begin playing stereos and television sets? And how would the impressionable psyches of the kids, aged eight to six­teen, respond if the spirit became antagonized?

I was the first to undergo an initiation at the hands of an invisible welcoming committee.

I was alone in the house on a Sunday morning having some tea and toast while I read the newspaper. My wife, Marilyn (who died in 1982), had gone to the village to open the small retail store that she managed. One moment things were as idyllic as they could be--the next, my tranquility was shattered by a violent explosion that seemed to come from the basement.

Fearing that the oil-burning furnace had somehow exploded, I opened the basement door, expecting the worst. I could hear what seemed to be the walls of stone and brick caving in on the washer, the dryer, and the other appliances. I expected to be met by bil­lowing clouds of thick black smoke.

But the instant I stepped onto the basement landing all sounds of disturbance ceased. The furnace was undamaged. The walls stood firm and solid. There was no smoke or fire.

Before I could puzzle the enigma through, I was startled by the sound of yet another explosion coming from somewhere upstairs.

I had a terrible image of the old brick chimney collapsing, and then I was running up the stairs to investigate.

The attic was as serene as the basement had been. I shook my head in confusion as I studied the sturdy beams and the excellent workmanship that held the roof and the brick chimney firmly erect and braced. The house had been built by master carpenters and brick­layers. It could probably withstand a tornado, I thought to myself as I attempted to understand what was happening around me.

A massive eruption sounded from the basement again. I slammed the attic door behind me, fearing the awe­some damage that surely must have really occurred this time.

But before I could run back down the stairs to inspect the extent of the destruction, I heard what sounded like someone tap-dancing behind the door to my son Steven's room. I knew that Steven did not tap-dance and that I was home alone.

Then I thought of Reb, our beagle. I laughed out loud in relief.

The sound of "tap dancing" had to be the clicking of the dog's paws on the wooden floor. He must have been shut in the room by accident.

But why wasn't Reb barking to be released? He was never shy about expressing his wishes, frustra­tions, or irritations.

I hesitated with my hand on the doorknob. I felt an even greater hesitation when I heard Reb barking outside.

The dog was out back, by the kitchen door.

I was so engrossed in the mystery of the strange disturbances that I had forgotten I had let him out. It was cold out that morning, and Reb was barking to come back into the warm house.

Who--or what--was still merrily dancing behind the door to Steven's room?

I shamed myself for permitting fear to make me lose control of my hand. I twisted the knob and pushed open the door.

The room was empty. And the dancing stopped as suddenly as the explosions had when I had swung wide the basement and attic doors.

I suddenly felt as though I were being scrutinized by a dozen or more pairs of eyes.
Another detonation roared up at me from beyond the basement.

It was then that I sensed the game plan behind all of this. I was now supposed to dash down the stairs in puzzled panic, desperately seeking the cause the violent "explosions."

I could almost hear the giggles of unseen pranksters.

I resolved not to play the silly game any more. I walked pur­posefully back to the kitchen table, where I had left my tea, toast, and Sunday newspaper.

Then it sounded as if the attic roof were being torn from its anchoring beams. The basement walls shuddered and collapsed in what seemed to be another wrenching explosion.

During my career as a psychical researcher I had become well versed in the games that certain entities like to play with people. I decided to do my best to ignore the phenomena.

The tap dancing was nearer now. It was coming from the music room, the room that the previous owners had kept locked and unused--Papa's room.

When we had moved into the home, I had placed the piano, television, and stereo in the room and had repainted the walls and ceiling with two coats of paint. I had blessed the room and announced that it would henceforth be a place of love and laughter.

I was determined not to glance up from my newspaper, even if Papa, a headless horseman, or a snarling troll came walking out of the music room. I was not going to play the game.

Within about twenty minutes the disturbances stopped. I was relieved that I had guessed the secret. It appeared that the invis­ible pranksters did not enjoy playing tricks on someone who remained indifferent to such a grand repertoire of mischief.

Since I did not wish to alarm the rest of the family and was totally immersed in working on a new book at my office in the village, I did not mention the incident to anyone.

About three nights later, when I was working late at my office, I received an urgent telephone call from my older son, Bryan. The panic in the sixteen-year-old's voice told me that I must drive out to the farmhouse at once.

When I arrived, I found Bryan barricaded in his room, together with Reb and a .12-gauge shotgun. After I had calmed the boy I learned that Bryan too had fallen victim to the tricksters.

Bryan had been alone at home watching television in the music room. He heard what he assumed was the sound of other family members returning home. He listened to the familiar noises of an automobile approaching, car doors slamming, voices and laughter, and the stomping of feet on the front porch.
Then he was surprised to hear loud knocking at the front door. Everyone in the family had their own keys, so why would anyone knock? And why would they be pounding at the front door when they usually entered through the back door, in the kitchen?

Bryan begrudgingly stirred himself from his television program and went to admit whoever it was on the front porch. He was aston­ished to find it empty.

Just as he was about to step outside in an attempt to solve the mystery, he heard knocking at the back door. Uttering a sigh of frustration, Bryan slammed the front door and began to head for the kitchen. He had taken no more than a few steps when the knocks were once again at the front door.
By now Bryan knew that someone was playing a joke on him.

He turned on the yard light so that he could identify the joke­sters' automobile. He gasped when he saw that his car was the only one there.

Fists were now thudding on both doors, and Reb was going crazy, growling and baring his teeth.
Bryan next became aware of an eerie babble of voices and short bursts of laughter. Someone very large was definitely leaning against the kitchen door, attempting to force it open.

That was when he called me. A few seconds of hearing my son's strained, frightened voice and the angry snarls of the dog in the back­ground convinced me that something was very wrong.

"Dad," Bryan told me, "Reb and I are in my room. Someone is coming up the stairs. I can hear him move up one step at a time!"

"Dad," Bryan told me, "Reb and I are in my room. Someone is coming up the stairs. I can hear him move up one step at a time!"

An intuitive flash informed me what was occurring. The invis­ible pranksters were playing games again.
"Bry, your fear is feeding it," I advised my son. "It has already tried the game with me. Try to stay calm. Put on some music. Dis­tract your mind. I'm on my way home right now!"

It had snowed earlier that day, and I prayed for no ice and no highway patrolman. I was fortunate in both respects and man­aged to shave four minutes from the normal twelve-minute drive to the farmhouse.

The doors were locked from the inside, and Bryan was still bar­ricaded in his room with Reb. I offered silent thanks that the boy hadn't blown any holes in himself or the walls with the shotgun.

I showed Bryan that there were no footprints in the freshly fallen snow. There was no evidence of tire tracks in the lane. No human had visited him, I explained, but rather some nonphysical intelli­gences that would initiate a spooky game with anyone who would play along with them.

Early the next evening I gave all of my children instructions on how best to deal with any ghostly mechanisms of sound or sight that might frighten them.

Basically the strategy was to remain as indifferent and as aloof to the disturbances as possible. In a good-natured way one should indicate that he or she simply did not wish to play such silly games.

The entity that was quite likely causing the spooky activity in the home, Papa, had been a strong-willed man who didn't care much for progress and new fangled inventions He never would have approved of his daughter and son-in-law sell­ing the place. He had died in the room that we had named the music room. His family had kept the room locked and had never used it again while they lived there, since things just hadn't felt right in there.

I told the children that under no circumstances should any of us become defiant or angry or threatening. The laws of polarity would only force the tricksters into coming back with bigger and spookier tricks in response to the neg­ative energy that had been directed toward them.

Whether we were dealing with poltergeists, Papa’s restless spirit in limbo, a repository of unknown energy that somehow mimicked human intelligence, I felt that I had given the kids some advice that was sound.
Bryan had experienced the phenomenon firsthand, so he was now better prepared to confront it should the situation arise. Steven reported that he had been reluctant to go his room at night, because just as soon as he made himself comfortable in bed, the rocking chair in his room began moving back and forth. Kari, who had strong mediumistic abilities, seemed very aware of the disturbances and had often heard her name being called from the shadow of the attic. She had declined their invitation to come upstairs to play with them. Julie had also heard her name being called, but had always run downstairs to escape them.
Marilyn, who had listened quietly to my discussion with the kids, told me when we were alone that she had witnessed balls of light that had moved around the outside of the house. Once when I was out-of-town lecturing, she had even called one of my friends in the village to come out and investigate.

Most frightening of all for Marilyn, another time when I was away from home, she had awakened to find an old man on the top of the bed covers, attempting to molest her. She had fought him off with blows and prayers until he disappeared.

Marilyn was very conventionally religious, and she found such confrontations with spirits to be very troubling and difficult to fit into her previous reality construct. She had married me with the understanding that I was going into the Lutheran ministry and that she would then be the choir director and a good pastor’s wife. She had never accepted my decision to undertake a kind of ministry that was completely nondenominational and totally universal in its philosophical parameters.

The varieties of paranormal experiences that were worked upon our family became a little too awesome for eight-year-old Julie to under­stand. Whenever she was left alone in the farmhouse, the entities would gang up on her, and I would return to find her standing at the end of the lane or seeking refuge in a neighbor's home. In each instance she complained of having heard strange voices, laughter, and weird music.

Early one evening just as I was entering my office to do some work on my book, I heard the telephone ring­ing. It was Julie. She had been calling the office ever since I had left home and she was in tears. A dramatic manifestation had begun within minutes after I had left her at the kitchen table, eating cookies and drinking milk. She was alone home. Marilyn was at work, and the older children were involved with school activities.

This time it had begun with laughter from the music room.

There was a noisy blur of voices, as if several people were trying to speak at once. Then came some "funny piano music" and the sound of a drum.

Valiantly Julie had tried to practice what I had told her do: to remain calm, act aloof, and not to play the game with whatever it is that likes to play such spooky tricks on people.

When the rhythmic tapping of the drum suddenly gave way to blaring horns and trumpets, Julie's indifference melted.

I had not been gone for more than two or three minutes, but Julie knew that I was headed for the office. She just let the telephone ring until I answered it.

Shortly after that incident, a medium friend of mine from Chicago visited for the weekend and a series of séances and cleansings managed to calm the phenomenon considerably. Within another few weeks, it had largely dissipated. According to the medium, I had, in fact, angered the spirit of the original owner by bringing in running water, television and stereo sets and adding insulation, modern window, and modern toilets. I had simply “ruined” his home--and he didn’t care very much for my attitude, either.

It was years later, but Julie finally identified the music that she had heard coming from the music room on the several occasions when she had been left alone to deal with the phenomenon.

"When I was a senior in high school," she said, "some girlfriends and I were just driving around one night, and we had on one of those radio stations that play nostalgic music from the 'good old days.' We were talking about how different some of the music used to be, when suddenly I just about freaked out. It was a good thing that I wasn't driving! It was the same music that I had heard corning from that spooky room, and all those terrible memories came back to me."

Julie had heard Glenn Miller's "In the Mood."

Incredibly it had been music from the 1940s that had so fright­ened Julie. To this day, whenever she hears Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, or Glenn Miller, she gets a cold shiver, for it was their old records that she had heard playing from the darkened recesses of the music room.

Although she grew up in a home where we enjoyed eclectic musi­cal taste, I must confirm that the tunes of the 1940s would have been foreign to Julie at that time of her life. The family had classical, folk, motion-picture themes, rock, pop, and Broadway show tunes, but we had no big-band records from the 1940s in our collection. My parents had an extensive collection of big band music on old 78 platters, but I can honestly say that I had never owned any records of that genre.

Papa might not have cared much for most of the instruments of progress, but he must have accepted radio. And he probably toler­ated the music of the 1940s, the years when he would have been hav­ing some of the most meaningful experiences of his life.

Although it has now been over thirty years since we shared those encounters in our very own haunted house, there is never a time when the family gets together that the conversation does not eventually turn to the subject of “that place”-- and each time I learn about some eerie experiences that the children had endured and had never before shared with me.

 

About Brad Steiger

Steiger was born on 19 February 1936 in Fort Dodge, Iowa, to a mother and father who were farmers. He claims to have lived "in a haunted house with thumps, bumps, doors opening and closing, and men and women walking around all night in period costume. 

Brad Steiger

 

Steiger claims to have written his first book when he was seven years old, and has published 162 books with over 17 million copies in print, including the biography of Rudolf Valentino, later made into a feature film by British director Ken Russell. From 1970-1973 Steiger wrote a weekly newspaper column, The Strange World Of Brad Steiger. He has authored over 2000 newspaper columns.

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Brad Steiger Official Web Site Visit It Here Now: "www.bradandsherry.com"

Brad Steiger: Official Web Site

Personal life and beliefs
Steiger is married to Sherry Hansen Steiger, a former model. He is a former high school teacher, and college instructor. He began writing when he was a school teacher in his native Iowa when he had writings published in Fate Magazine and other publications. Throughout the 1960s Steiger co-wrote 22 books with other writers. Steiger claims to be politically independent, and cynical of politics. He lists his political heroes, however, as Jonathan Swift, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. When asked about individuals he admired, Steiger listed Ralph Waldo Emerson, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Mark Twain, William Shakespeare, Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene, William James, Fredric W.H. Myers, Rudolf Steiner, Sir William Crookes, and Mario Lanza as those he would have liked to have met.

In an online interview with Dan Schneider, Steiger claimed to be an 'Emersonian transcendentalist,' and summed up his philosophy this way:

I believe humankind is part of a larger community of intelligences, a complex hierarchy of powers and principalities, a potentially rich kingdom of interrelated species, both physical and nonphysical. I believe that humankind’s one truly essential factor is its spirituality. The artificial concepts to which we have given the designation of sciences are no truer than dreams, visions, and inspirations. The quest for absolute proof or objective truth may always be meaningless and unattainable when it seeks to define and limit our Soul, which I believe is eternal, evolving higher, seeking to return to the Source from whence it came. I believe that technology plays a far smaller role in the lives of nations than the spirit, for the essence of humankind is its intellect and its Soul. Machines, associations, political parties, and trade balances are but transitory realities that must ultimately wither, decay, and come to nothing. The only lasting truths are Soul, imagination, and inspiration.

Brad And Sherry Steiger Official Web Site.

Steiger and his wife are also animal lovers and believers in animal rights. Steiger claims, "We are appalled by any mistreatment of animals—chemical testing, dogfights, rooster fights, bull fights. We must learn to respect all living things if we are to survive with dignity as a species. I doubt if I could live for any length of time without a dog. Fortunately, my wife and children feel the same. We are all dog owners. Dogs are our connection with nature and the Earth Mother.

Brad and Sherry Steiger

Brad and Sherry Steiger

 

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Otherworldly Affaires: Haunted Lovers, Phantom Spouses, and Sexual Molesters from the Shadow World BY Brad Steiger

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THE GREATEST POWER OF ALL Of all the forces that move men and women, none is more powerful than that of love and sexual desire. This primal impulse apparently extends into the otherworld and is responsible for some of the most astounding chapters in the literature of psychic phenomena. Here are amazing yet absolutely true stories of - apparitions of lovers seen at their moment of death, - jealous lovers who have sought vengeance from beyond the grave, - sexual molesters from the other world, - warnings and advice from lovers who have passed over, - passionate liaisons between psychic mediums and their contacts, - seducers from UFOs, and even more extraordinary tales. Originally published as HAUNTED LOVERS, this book contains a multitude of actual case histories, many of which were recorded here for first time. BRAD STEIGER has been writing about the paranormal for more than four decades, during which he has produced more than 160 books on the subject. He regards this work, which was certainly ahead of its time, as one of his best books on the paranormal.

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Don’t go in with all guns blazing
INTERVIEW WITH A REAL GHOST
Has Ghost Haunted Television Given Paranormal Investigation A Bad Name?
Ghost Hunting Syndrome -- How to fight it with a smile on your face!
Shannon McCabe: I Actually Had a “Conversation with a "Dead" Serial Killer”
June 2008 Friday the 13th --- The most Haunted Day Of 2008!
A womb with a Boo! --- Womb Ghost
The Devil Baby Is Alive And Well And Lives In New Orleans
OLD HAG: Incubus - Succubus versus Sleep Paralysis
How To Train Your Dog To Be A Professional Ghost Hunter
Ghosts in the Crystal Ball
I Smell Dead People... I mean Ghosts!
What's in A Name?
A CAMERA AND A EMF DETECTOR DOES NOT MAKE YOU A GHOST HUNTER
If You Died Today Would You Come Back To Haunt The Living?
A HAUNTING MYSTERY --- The Ghosts of the Villisca Ax Murder House
Ohio's Haunted History --- by Sherri Brake-Recco
TAROT CARDS AND REAL GHOSTS
THE HOUSE ON RIDGE AVENUE --- By Troy Taylor
New Ghost Photos - Just when you thought you've seen it all!
Ghost Hunting Video Guided Tour Of The Brookdale Lodge With Shannon McCabe
The Seven Wonders OF The Paranormal World
Lisa Lee Harp Waugh -- The Great American Texan Necromancer
Ghost Hunting Equipment Do It Yourself --- with Ghost Breaker Kim Kowalczyk
An Interview with a Demonologist: (17 more questions for Demonologist Kenneth Deel)
April 30 - May 1 Walpurgis Night Ghosts
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF 3:AM
Has the "Paranormal" finally become normal?
The Honey Island Swamp Monster, Bigfoot's Southern Cousin
Ghosts: My passion, my calling, my life... Pete Haviland of Texas' Lone Star Spirits
Paranormal Diversity
Helping the Paranormally Affected Client
The 2008 Most Haunted State In America
The Top 10 Haunted Best Ghost Hunting And Paranormal Web Sites... You've Probably Never Ever Heard Of
The Ghost Girls Encounter a Past Life Regression
Necromancy --- Rituals to contact the Spirits
Haunted Mausoleum
Vampires Amongst Us
GRAVE SIDE GHOSTS IN PHOTOS
ROMAN RITUAL AND DEMONOLOGISTS By Kenneth Deel
HPI Chronicles: Do I Really Believe In Ghosts?
"Plight of the Departed Jesuits?" By Greg Myers
ISLAND SCARES 2: GHOST STORIES FROM THE PHILIPPINES
Real Spirits In Photos ... Can you believe your eyes?
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This Month we feature Christopher Balzano, teacher and folklorist living in the Boston area. He has been investigating the unknown for twelve years and running Massachusetts Paranormal Crossroads, a website dedicated to the paranormal and local folklore of Massachusetts, for more than five. His writing has appeared in such respected publications as “The Haunted Times” and “Mystery Magazine” as well as “Unexplained Paranormal Magazine.” His investigations have been covered by “The Boston Globe”, “The Boston Herald”, “The Standard Times” and “Worchester Magazine” and he has been asked to speak about urban legends and the paranormal at conferences throughout New England. He is a regular on several paranormal radio shows, including “The Ghost Chronicles” and “Spooky Southcoast” and has appeared in documentaries and television specials on the supernatural. He was one of the featured writers in Jeff Belanger’s Encyclopedia of Haunted Places and contributed to the collection Weird Hauntings and the soon to be released, Weird Massachusetts. His writing and research have also been featured in Thomas D’Agostino’s Haunted New Hampshire and Haunted Massachusetts and the recently released Ghostly Tails from America’s Jails. Read More Here!

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HAUNTED AMERICA TOURS Official Web Site is a ghost tour information site; our information is only as reliable as readers' contributed ghost and haunted reports. We assume no credit for your adventures, and accept no liability for your misadventures. Use common sense. Read our ghost hunting recommendations. Before visiting any "haunted" site, verify the location, accessibility, safety, and other important information. Never trespass on private and/or posted property without permission from the proper authorities.

At HauntedAmericaTours.com we invite you into our Ghost Haunted Paranormal world where art, News stories, photography and the unexplained merge into a new landscape that will leave you truly spellbound. HauntedAmericaTours.com is a continuous work in progress; we will keep it updated for you on a regular basis, so that you can come back and see a ghost or two, and meet some new ones. HAUNTED AMERICA TOURS is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

HauntedAmericaTours.com is a continuous work in progress; we will keep it updated for you on a regular basis, so that you can come back and see a ghost or two, and meet some new ones. Please browse here and find what your looking for. Check out the other Categories and featured new articles about everything in the paranormal community today. And also enjoy your very haunted adventures safely.

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Gina Lanier's

GHOST HUNTING TIP OF THE DAY:

A real ghost can haunt you and you wouldn't know it until someone else points it out to you.

The Month of August is Hungry Ghost Month.

BE VERY AFRAID!

Paranormal Investigator Gina Lanier's Ghost Hunting Tip of the day ARCHIVES

Gina Lanier has been a special featured guest many times on several paranormal programs that are nationwide on the radio and worldwide on the Internet.

Gina Lanier has been a special featured guest many times on several paranormal programs that are nationwide on the radio and worldwide on the Internet.

 

 

 

 
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