Ever Been To A Spooky House?

Spooky houses in appalachia

This time of the year I see signs for haunted houses-haunted hay rides-and even haunted hikes. If you choose to participate in one of the haunted tours-you expect to be scared-but have you ever been to a house or place that scared you-even though it wasn’t supposed to? You know-when you get the feeling someone is watching you and the little hairs on the back of your neck all stand to attention.

A few summers ago, the Blind Pig family-along with Miss Cindy were out for a day of yardsale shopping. We didn’t have a particular area in mind-we were just working our way around the county, following whatever sale sign we saw along the way. I like all yardsales-but I get really excited when I see one at an old house. I’m always hoping they’ll be selling some of Mamaw or Papaw’s treasures and I can get a deal on them.

We were riding along a back road just off the 4-lane that runs through Murphy when one of the girls said “look there’s a yardsale”. As The Deer Hunter pulled into the driveway I was tickled pink-because it was a BIG OLD house-and they had stuff spread out everywhere-I barely let the wheels roll to a stop before I shoved Chatter out of the backseat and jumped out beside her. I just knew there would be some old canning jars-a quilt or something just for me.

I begin to walk around and immediately got an eerie feeling-I found myself glancing up at the old house fully expecting to see someone watching me from a window, but no one was. The yard was full of other folks shopping for stuff too-yet I could not shake the bad vibe I was feeling-those little hairs on your neck I was talking about-they were all at rapt attention as I circled the yard one more time.

I felt like charging for the car-dragging both girls with me, but I managed to walk-not run-back to the car. The others were already there waiting for me. I wasn’t going to say one word about getting spooked cause I felt silly about it-but as soon as we pulled back onto the main highway Miss Cindy said “well I’m glad to be gone from there” and The Deer Hunter said “So am I.” I said “You felt it too?” We all agreed-something wasn’t right at that old house and we certainly didn’t ever want to go back to it.

So what did we feel? And why? Maybe something bad had happened at the house-maybe something bad was going to happen at the house? I have no clue.

Have you ever got a spooky feeling about a place?


Portions of this post were originally published here on the Blind Pig in October of 2010.


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  • Reply
    October 22, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Miss Mert died in the hallway in my house (although everyone still calls it Miss Mert’s house)
    Both my girls talked about seeing “the Lady” in the hall when they were small. Molly even identified her by a picture from the neighbors house squealing “that’s the Lady” when she saw the picture.
    Everytime we do something significant to the house – things disappear. Like she has to investigate the whole thing and let us know she was there.

  • Reply
    October 20, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    The house we lived in before we moved to New Bern, NC, had been built back in the late 1970s. The owners’ son died of leukemia in the house. He’d helped his dad with most of the building work. His mom couldn’t deal with the memories, so they moved; oddly enough to New Bern. For about 3 years after we bought the place I could feel Dale’s presence in the house, as if he was checking to see if we were taking care of his house. I never felt his presence after that.
    Many years before that, my mother had stopped by her grandmother, Mother B’s, house in Annapolis, MD. She was sitting in her car remembering her grandmother, when the current owner of the house came over to ask my mother what she was doing. Mother said, “Sorry, my grandmother used to own this place.” The man said, “Oh, do you mean Mother B? I have many a pleasant visit from her.” There was no way the man could have known about my great grandmother.
    I always feel the spirits of relatives who’ve died come to call when someone in our family is about to die.
    So, yes, I do believe in ghosts and eerie feelings.

  • Reply
    October 20, 2012 at 10:27 am

    A few years ago I had an assignment to write about an historic property that was running “ghost tours” to raise funds. I interviewed several “witnesses” including one of the GhostHunter TV folks who had done a program on the place, and I also took the tour and was allowed to privately go to areas “off limits” to visitors, but I did not once feel the hair go up on the back of my neck. You’d think with so much expectation and atmosphere, I might have felt something, but no.
    However…once when I was in a place where I feel most comfortable (the woods) in an area where people are passing all the time (a very popular walking trail in a National Forest), I stepped into an old camp, preserved for historical value. Once inside, I heard a little rustle and before I could even think I had literally jumped backwards about three feet – had no idea I was so athletic!! Feeling surprised and foolish, I looked around for a mouse or a snake – any kind of motion to explain the sound. Saw nothing, but still felt uneasy. So I backed (!) out, and waited a bit, feeling silly and trying to figure out what the sound had been. Well, after a few minutes I heard the wind rustling some leaves in the trees, and decided that must have been what I had heard inside the camp. Silly me. So I went back inside, took about two steps and stopped. I can’t think of anything of earth that would have made me walk further into that camp, or stay in it a moment longer.
    Just for background: I have lived alone, in the woods, for decades now. I’m used to lots of critter noises and don’t generally spook easily. A little camp in the woods is, literally, Home Sweet Home to me.
    To this day, I don’t know what it was that froze me in my tracks, but it was real and it wasn’t good.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 20, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Round here we have a goodly number of resident crows, but tis the time for our yearly invasion of blackbirds. They come in their thousands, maybe millions. Yesterday I encountered a flock which almost blackened the sky. In their midst like a sovereign on his throne flew one lone crow. Gulliver and a thousand Mini-mes. How, you ask, could I pick him out in a sea of black? Twas beat of his wings. While the rhythm of the smaller birds’ wings were almost a flutter, Noire looked as though he was having to ride his brakes.
    Oh, for camera in hand when such events occur!

  • Reply
    Mary Rutherford
    October 19, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    Well Tipper, we have entered the time of year when I should only read your posts in the morning. I am ready for bed and will probably sleep with the night light on tonight!

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    October 19, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    I am looking at that picture of the old house…I wonder if that is a upstairs/downstairs bathroom addition….or….an upstairs gallows….ohhhhh..
    Sometimes myownhouse sends off weird vibes…We live on a hill and when the wind, etc. is just right, there are sounds that are hard to explain…
    Coyotes sometimes yelp or howl that creep me out…Sometimes an owl shows up, especially a screech owl..with her scream..Then there is a peafowl or something that wails off the hill in the back thru the woods..
    We have a lot of critters around..
    I have been outside late in the afternoon just minding my own business…when a snort joggles me back to conciousness…some fool deer had just got a drift of my scent when the wind changed…
    Scares me to death eventhough I’ve heard them a million times..
    Guess it is just the time of year…However, on our ridge there are mounds…that we are not sure what is under there or why they are there along the old stage coach road…There I’ve gone and done it again to myself…Pull up the kevers tonight and leave the lights on…
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…I saw the largest murder of crows that I have seen in a long, long time fly over to the next woodland…24 to 28..I counted fast…that was a bunch usually I have only three or four hangers about!

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    October 19, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Great story Tipper.. You won’t catch me going to one of those houses..To

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 19, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Tipper-Do you know what that bump out is on the old house? It looks like an elevator or dumbwaiter shaft, but it don’t go high enough. It looks too small to be a staircase. Maybe it could be a two story attached outhouse. Could it be a way to dispose of all the bodies without having to drag them down the steps?

  • Reply
    October 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm


  • Reply
    October 19, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    My daddy told us a story of when he was just a boy and was at the
    home of one of his uncles that had
    died. (Back then they brought the
    body back home after being prepared) Anyway, this uncle was
    very hump-backed like folks who
    could lay down and rock themselves
    to sleep. As friends and relatives
    were walking by to pay their
    respects, the straps broke, old
    Charlie raised up slowly and my
    daddy was on his mama’s back as
    they went through the door…Ken

  • Reply
    Paul Certo
    October 19, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Scientists claim they can explain everything with some kind of provable non-spooky cause, but they really can’t. Some places have the power to make us feel something we can’t see or explain. The battlefields at Gettysburg, Yorktown, and Antietam have given me those feelings. It’s there, and I don’t need an explanation. It is what it is.

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    October 19, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Not a house, but a place in the woods. I was about 15 or 16. I was working for a tobacco farmer. He had a horse that I would ride. There was a place in the woods where the horse would not go. I tried going into the area from every direction. The horse would always stop. She would not let anyone ride or lead her through that place.

  • Reply
    October 19, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Based on what others think, I am living in a house that sends out spooky vibes. My cousin said you couldn’t pay her a thousand dollars to spend the night here. Several friends visited a few years ago with a Ghost Hunter. While one kept her eyes on the dining room, like everyone does, another threatened to start walking home if they didn’t hurry. Some visitors think it’s the most comfortable and welcoming house they have ever stepped foot in. I live here alone and have had some very strange and unexplained things happen. One such incident caused me to make my first ever 911 call. I still can’t say I have ever been scared the spooky way.

  • Reply
    October 19, 2012 at 8:59 am

    I don’t ever remember experiencing this happening to me. Maybe I didn’t have the presence of mind to notice. I have gone to haunted houses that are in our area at Halloween.
    With all these scary stories this time of year, I remember my Granny telling this story that my Grandpa had happen to him once, although it wasn’t about ghosts. It did scare hime almost to death. She said that when Papa was a young boy that he and some of his friends were out on this moonless night. There was this old church just over the hill and like most young boys are they came up with this test of courage. They said that if you had the nerve you would go inside and go all the way to the back of the church all by yourself. The song books were kept on a table near the choir benches. So to prove you did actually go all the way to the back, you would need to bring one of the song books back with you. Papa had this dog named Sonny boy and it followed hime everywhere. This night Sonny boy was along but the boys didn’t notice. Papa was the first to go in and he was scared but he went in and just as he reached for one of the song books and turned to run back out Sonny boy (a rather large dog) had silently followed him in and had gone all the to the front just like Papa. So What, you might ask. Well Papa was scared and just as Papa turned around to go back out Sonny boy reared up on his hind legs and put one paw on each of Papa’s shoulders. Papa almost fell dead it scared him so bad! Granny always loved to tease Papa and she said she wasn’t sure but, she bet Papa had to go back home to change his underwear that night.

  • Reply
    Ron Perry
    October 19, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Great story..something that your family will always remember. I have had that feeling once or twice in my lifetime.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    October 19, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Oh yea, that’s happened to me several times. Sometimes it is just an outside spot. Doesn’t have to be a house.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 19, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Tipper, I remember that house. It really was a bad feeling. My guess would be that something bad happened there, and the feeling still lingers.
    Some places I feel things but they don’t necessarily feel bad, just “something” is there.
    Over the years I’ve learned to honor the feelings I get and if it feels bad, leave quickly.
    Just because we don’t ‘see’ it doesn’t mean there isn’t something there. There is much in the unseen part of the world.

  • Reply
    October 19, 2012 at 8:15 am

    I once lived in a house that originally belonged to an old maiden lady. She passed away in the house many years before my parents and I lived there. Most of the time everything seemed normal, but occasionally we would hear steps on the front porch. And we waited for a knock on the door that never came. The steps were never associated with windy days and were steps not the sound made by the settling of an old house. Also, my Aunt Mer lived in a home on the Virginia Tidewater. She claimed to have a poltergeist, Mama pooh-poohed that. Once when we visited her, as we dined, from the kitchen came a clattering. Several of the pot lids had jumped from hooks in the wall. There had been no accompanying movement elsewhere in the house and the lids would have needed to be lifted from their hooks. Very eerie.

  • Reply
    Russell N Oakes
    October 19, 2012 at 8:11 am

    I know the place you are talking about. An old man and woman lived there many years ago. They had no children and no one would help them much. One winter they were found dead huddled together in bed under a single quilt. Authorities said they succumbed to malnourishment and exposure. Their bodies were laid to rest side by side in the county paupers graveyard with only two little metal plaques to mark the beginnings and ends of their existence.
    The county tried for years to find heirs to the old couples property. When they finally put it up for auction, not one bid came in. So the old homestead sets empty today or at least that’s what everyone thinks.

  • Reply
    October 19, 2012 at 8:05 am

    I believe that hair raising feeling was your intuition. I also think we should pay more attention to our intuition and not make light of it or reason it away. There has to be a reason you felt so uneasy and the way you like old grave yards I doubt you were thinking “ghost”. It is the same reason I pay attention if my dog growls and puts his hair up at someone he has never met. I trust that feeling in my dog and I trust it in myself.

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    October 19, 2012 at 8:02 am

    I have had the same feeling walking into or around a couple of old houses. Some of the houses at Halloween time are man-made spooky and those give off a scary, but not the prickly feeling. I always felt that at my aunt’s country home, on a particular parcel of her land, made me creepy with hairs on my arms and head moving. I didn’t walk on it after the second creepy time. I bet if you looked into the history of the old house you were near, you might just find out some interesting story. Happy haunting!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 19, 2012 at 7:36 am

    On my way to work I drive through the town of Rhodhiss. Every year they have a Haunted Park to raise money for their fire department. This year their little “Haunted Park” sign is camouflaged in a field of electioneering signs. I don’t know which is scarier.

  • Reply
    Stephen Ammons
    October 19, 2012 at 4:47 am

    Yes I have been to a spooky house and the picture on this post reminded me of it.
    It was a old two story house on hospital hill in Bryson City and we were having a haunted house with the profits going to charity. This was part of the North Carolina Jaycees santa pal program.
    We were all dressed up in various costumes and having a ball and having a good turn out. To make a long story short it came my time to go upstairs to rattle chains, moan, scream, and basically make the place sound haunted.If i remember correctly there were three of us doing the sound effects when I heard the door nob rattle at the end of the hall. I walked to the door which led the outside and told whoever that they needed to pay like everyone else. A little while later we all went outside for a cigarette break and I thought about putting a sign on the door letting them know it was locked. Much to my surpise there were no steps leading up to the door and a person would have had to been thirty foot tall to rattle that door nob. I was told later that we were haunting a already haunted house. Every time I would drive by that building I would feel as if something was watching me from that second floor.

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