When I was around five years old, my family decided to move into a new house closer to my dad's office and my mother's brother.
If you're a regular Creepy Corner reader you may have noticed that my childhood was really just a series of open houses. We moved a lot. We looked at a lot of real estate.
Anyway, I remember going to visit this one house in particular. It was dark blue on the outside and was a small split level. The second level was just a bunch of small rooms jumbled together.
I remember going into one of the bedrooms, a small dark room with a bunk bed, and really disliking it. At the age of five, I couldn't quite communicate exactly why it made me uncomfortable, but I very clearly remember standing just inside the doorway and not wanting to go further in.
We wandered into the finished basement. I remember my mom saying to my dad, "I don't like it. It's so cold." She wasn't referring to the temperature.
But my dad liked the house, and asked the agent more about it. As the conversations about the house progressed, it came to light that the house was the scene of a murder/homicide, that's why we we could afford it.
Apparently the previous owner's son had killed his mother in it, and then killed himself in one of the bedrooms. My family quickly decided against the house, my mom adamant that she would not purposely share her house with any restless spirits.
Of course we ended up moving into a different arguably "haunted" house, the house I spent much of my childhood in, so I suppose you could say that from an early age I had a knack for finding myself in spooky situations.
But knowing what I know now, I can't imagine purposely moving into a house with a haunted history. Sure, I believe some people are unavoidably sensitive to ghostly things, or even creepier, ghostly things are drawn to them, but I can honestly say that if a "haunted home" -- authentic or not -- came on the market, I may put on my pearls and pay it a visit, but actually choosing to OWN it and SLEEP in it is another matter altogether.
But not everybody is me. For some, a haunted house is a selling point. Or it's simply a way to get a good house for below market price.
Have you guys seen this house for sale in Dunmore, Pennsylvania?
The owners, Gregory and Sandi Leeson, are selling their 113-year-old Victorian home, and advertising it as "slightly haunted."
Now this may be a marketing ploy, but from the Leeson's descriptions of their experiences in the house, I'm curious who is looking at the listing for the house and saying, "Honey! I think I've found our forever home!"
Between the mysteriously banging doors, the odd noises coming from the basement, and the persistent feeling that someone is standing behind them, homeowners Gregory and Sandi Leeson are thoroughly creeped out by their 113-year-old Victorian.
…a former resident came out of the woodwork to tell the couple that when he was a kid, he found a human skull in the basement - the same basement whose door Sandi Leeson once barricaded because she swore she could hear the clicking of a cigarette lighter emanating from the subterranean depths.
…[the listing] goes on to describe 3:13 a.m. screams and "the occasional ghastly visage" in the bathroom mirror.
…While Leeson concedes the home has a "creepy vibe," he doesn't believe in ghosts.
And his wife?
"I definitely think there's a spirit or a ghost in the house, just from my personal experiences," she said.
Yeah. No thank you.
I scare myself bad enough researching stuff for Creepy Corner, or you know, washing my face at 2 am in front of my bathroom mirror (pretty sure I'm gonna look up with a face full of suds one night and see some THING standing behind me, and I know you are, too). I don't need any sort of "guarantee," hoax or not, that some unseen presence is hanging out in my basement lighting ghost-cigarettes.
Visit any city or town, and there's THAT house that no matter the menacing reputation, it is continuously bought and sold.
I recently discovered one such house in Honolulu, The Kaimuki House.
There's so much urban legend and speculation surrounding this infamous house, arguably still standing at the corner of 8th and Harding in the Kaimuki neighborhood of Honolulu, that it's hard to separate truth from "truth."
What I can deduce from various accounts is that the house has changed hands many times, as late as 1995 it was on the market, and that it's history has been somewhat sensationalized, particularly by a story written by the late author Glen Grant called "The Kasha of Kaimuki." (A "Kasha" being a "man eating ghost from Japanese folklore." What characterizes this ghost is it's "insatiable hunger for blood and corpses." Lovely.)
Many people claim to have been violently attacked in the house, and though it's hard to confirm the validity, two specific incidences come up in many searches about The Kaimuki House:
A hysterical woman called the police to her home, The Kaimuki House, where they found her screaming on the front lawn, "She's trying to kill my children!".
When the police entered the home, they found the woman's children being violently thrown around the house by an unseen force. The police were apparently unable to get hold of the poor children, and watched helplessly while they were tossed around for over an hour.
A young woman living in The Kaimuki House claimed to have been assaulted by an unseen force in the house. Fleeing the house with the police following, she drove away down a major road in the neighborhood. In some accounts it's said her boyfriend was with her, others say it was her female housemates.
Not getting very far, the police noticed the woman pulling over to into a parking lot. When the officer approached the vehicle, he witnessed the woman being strangled and beaten by an invisible assailant in the car.
When reaching into the car to assist the woman, the officer claimed that,
A big, strong calloused hand that could not possibly belong to a teen-aged girl grabbed my arm and twisted it. I radioed for assistance…I told the girl who had been choked to get into the police car and the other two to follow us to Papakolea [where one of the girls' mother lived]. As soon as she got into the car the motor died. It wouldn't start up again.
He put her back into the girls' car, the other officer tried the motor, and it immediately started. The two cars drove about five yards and suddenly the door of the girls' car flew open and the same girl fell out on the road.
The above accounts came from The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, O'ahu's primary, and most reputable newspaper.
Whether the stories surrounding The Kaimuki House are urban legend or historical, albeit creepy, truth is up for debate. The house has something of an "Amityville Horror" house status, with retellings, particularly Glen Grant's, being accused of being partially fictionalized to make for better storytelling.
However, the house has supposedly had a couple murders take place on the grounds. One of the murders purportedly involved a husband who murdered his wife and two children. His wife and son's bodies were found in the backyard, but his daughter's body was never recovered. Some people say it is still somewhere on the property.
Another murder allegedly involved a love triangle between a man, his female lover, and her lesbian partner. Upon discovering that his lover was involved with another woman, he murdered both of the women, and then committed suicide in The Kaimuki House.
I work a few blocks from where The Kaimuki House is supposedly located. In driving by, I see nothing out of the ordinary.
Are the stories surrounding The Kaimuki House the just the stuff of urban legend perpetuated by a culture that admittedly loves a good ghost story? Is there some sinister spirit lurking behind the walls of a house at the corner of 8th and Harding?
Or is it something in-between? Did some horrific event, long buried by decades and sealed records, happen at that house that continues to inspire the morbid imagination of the community?
Frankly, it's the in-between that I find most unnerving.
Do you know anybody who has knowingly bought or rented a haunted home? Have you? Are there any well known haunted houses in your area? Does anybody live in them?
Give us the dirt on your neighborhood ghost stories!
BONUS CREEPY CORNER READING: Check out these descriptions from haunted real estate listings!