Tuesday, October 21, 2008
One of my great grandfathers was an actual ghost hunter. This was not his primary occupation. He was a farmer in Missouri. Victorian spiritualism was very popular at the time and seances were being held by psychics everywhere, including rural Missouri. My great grandfather was skeptical of the whole movement and he saw an opportunity. A number of homes in Missouri were reported to be haunted. Many of the unlucky homeowners tried to sell their possessed homes, but no one would buy them. My great grandfather came up with a plan. He would investigate each claim of paranormal activity and prove the homes weren't haunted at all. Being a good businessman, he decided to buy the haunted houses for a much reduced rate, prove they weren't haunted, then sell them for a profit.
He was successful. He proved that what occupants thought was blood dripping in their walls was really honey. He discovered a rat with three legs and one boney stump in a home supposedly haunted by a man with a peg-leg. He cut away branches from outer walls, eliminating the ghostly sounds and scratches that terrorized one family.
But one house proved to be very difficult to solve. Each night at midnight, every door in the house would open and close. Night after night, he would lock each door and sit in a spot inside the house where he could observe at least five doors. Each night, the locked doors opened on cue at midnight. This was in the early 1920s. Computers were a long way off as were advanced electrical systems. He could not figure out what was happening in this home or what force was opening all the doors. This was the last house he investigated. He was unable to find a logical explanation for the observed phenomenon. Late one night, long after he'd given up, the house burned to the ground. There was no known cause for the fire. It was not insured, there was no electricity, and no one lived in it.
My great grandfather was not as skeptical about the paranormal after his encounter with this house. How about you? Have you ever experienced a haunted house?