Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Lady in the Attic

My maternal grandpa bought the house I spent most of my childhood in (Kindergarten thru college) as a retirement get away. It's on a lake in the suburbs of Kansas City. My parents still live there, having bought it from Grandpa when he decided that despite the great fishing and swimming, the stairs were too much for him.

It's an awesome old house. The original part was built in the late 1920's as a fishing cabin and then in the 1950's two more stories were added and in the very late 1960's it was expanded once again to include a garage and workshop room.

Grandpa bought the house in the early 1970's right after the final addition was added. In fact, above the garage you can see where the previous owner was planning to add another bedroom by the roughed-in window frames that never became windows.

Grandpa knew that the previous owner had died suddenly, but didn't know the circumstances until a few years later after my mother had a car wreck with my brother and I in the car. When describing it to our next door neighbor, she paled and said, "That's exactly where Anne (not her real name, but the former owner of our house) died."

Yep. In a car wreck.

I guess my grandpa and mom got the chills and then shrugged it off.

When my gradpa moved in, some of Anne's stuff was still there. She collected antiques and 3 very pretty, ornate large mirrors are still in one of the closets in the attic (unless my mom moved it, which I doubt because she's a little freaked by them).

One night, when I was a freshman or sophomore in college, my mom and I were up in the attic which was also used as a bedroom, wrapping Christmas presents. We were talking about the house and Grandpa (who died in 1986) and how I still felt like Grandpa was still there (WAY more on him later). My mom was agreeing with me (I come from a loooong line of "sensitives").

I then casually asked about the mirrors. I remember sneaking up there when I was little and dancing in front of them (these were my I-want-to-be-a-ballerina days) and I asked my mom again about Anne.

She laughed and said that she had recently gone to city hall to research the property lines for a new sewer (or something like that) and she was reminded of Anne's name. My mom told me that she had been sure that our neighbor was just trying to scare us about that accident all those years ago and she looked her up in newspaper when she was doing some of our geneological research. (My mom's weird. She figured that while she was there, why the hell not look?)Apparently our neighbor was right. She did die on the slippery hill where we got hit head on.


Then I told my mom that I thought she was still there. I asked my mom what she thought and before she could answer, the lights went out as if on perfect cue. I kid you not. Total darkness and the bulb wasn't burnt out.

We weren't all so much that interested in wrapping stuff anymore.

Once we got downstairs, I asked her if she had ever had anything like that happen when my parents' bedroom was up there. She then told me how she would wake up in the middle of the night and have an old lady standing above her staring down at her with an angry expression on her face. That's why they switched bedrooms. My mom is convinced Anne still thinks the house is hers and we have no business being there.

Ha! Wonder what she thinks about my stubborn German Grandfather still hanging around? But that's another story for later...


Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

ooh, what a great start to your ghost posts!