Appalachia Appalachian Dialect Ghosts - Haints - Spooky

The All-Overs

The all overs - creepy - the willies

A noun (usu the all-overs) Nervousness, shivers, uneasy excitement.
1917 Kephart Word-list 407 Every time I got to studyin’ about it I git the all-overs. c1940 Aswell Glossary Tenn Idoms 1 = shivery feeling. 1952 Wilson Folk Speech NC 514 = nervousness, uneasiness.

Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English

I’ve heard folks say they had the all-overs and I’ve also heard that spooky feeling called getting the willies, being creeped out, or getting the heebie-jeebies.


Have you ever been to a house or a place that scared you even though there was no obvious reason that it should? When I get the all-overs I feel like someone I can’t see is watching me and the little hairs on the back of my neck all stand to attention.

Several years ago the Blind Pig family and Miss Cindy were out for a day of yardsale-ing. 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 really get excited when I see one at an old house. I’m always hoping they’ll be selling some of Mamaw or Papaw’s treasures.

We were riding along a back road just off the main 4-lane that runs through Murphy when one of the girls said “Look there’s a sign!”

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 I 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 looking through the items, yet I could not shake the creepy feeling I had. Those little hairs on the back of your neck I was talking about-they were all on full alert as I circled the yard one more time. I became so uncomfortable that I felt like charging for the car and dragging both girls with me.

Once I reached the car the others were already there waiting for me. I wasn’t going to say one word about getting spooked because I felt silly about it, but as soon as we pulled onto the main highway Miss Cindy said “Well I’m glad to be gone from there” and The Deer Hunter said “Me too.”

I said “Oh my goodness 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? I haven’t a clue. Maybe something bad had happened at the house or maybe something bad was going to happen at the house. I just don’t know.


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  • Reply
    mary Lou McKillip
    October 16, 2016 at 7:48 am

    You need to be a fiction writer, you have a great sense of thrilling others with your writings.
    Mary Lou McKillip

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    October 12, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    I am deeply saddened by no one noticing the figure head in the top window lower left pane!
    Am I the only one seeing this. I also noticed the lines in the picture but thought it might be an antique one you cropped, (maybe a person was standing to the right or left of the house) to use for the purpose of the eeriness look of the house!
    Well, I sure wish someone saw the figure in the top window. Also there is a woman like figure in the bottom window to the left, top right pane with a long dress and apron. The apron has a black hole in it or was she shot in the leg and her figure still haunts the place. Back in the day, a lone gun shot in the extremity could also mean a quick death if it hit an artery! I got to quit this! I’m skeering myself into chills worse that a door that created a ooshie! ha
    Thanks Tipper,
    You just love October don’t you? How many murders of crows have you seen this Fall?

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    October 12, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    That old house could have been full of haints!!! : )

  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    October 12, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    Or maybe someone’s spirit was watching out the window sad to see all their belongings going to others. Ya never know!!!
    I’ve generally called it the “creeps.” We live next to a cemetery, and occasionally Bro Tom and I smell the smoke of a cigar, pipe or cigarette (one or the other, it changes), and we’ll get the creeps. We’ve even seen shadows moving where they shouldn’t be, and we’ve both seen the reflection of a woman walking through the living room in a mirror in that room where no woman was walking by. Whatever they are, they haven’t caused any trouble, so I’m not much bothered by them. As long as they behave, they’re just like us, only dead. (LOL) If they misbehave, well…then they could be something negative, and they aren’t welcome here.
    Prayers everyone’s have a great week, and a safe one. It’s a mess here in southeastern NC with so much flooding of areas east of I-95 and south of I-40. Prayers for all affected there too, and for the loved ones of those who lost their lives in Hurricane Matthew.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    October 12, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    I truly believe that there are spirits among us that are contrary to ours and are present at all times, the Bible speaks of the Prince of this World, and others that follow him.. I know that when I feel the Holy Spirit speaking in his still small voice I don’t feel afraid but comforted ..
    1 Kings 19:11-13

  • Reply
    October 12, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Ed-thank you for the comment! And you are pretty observant for sure! The photo is of a house in Clay County NC-nothing spooky about it all actually : ) But I needed it to look spooky so I antiqued it with a photo program-thats where those lines came from : ) Makes sense that it looks like an old movie sense I used the antique style option : )

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 12, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Where did you get that picture? I noted some interesting things in it. The chimley seems to have been chopped off at one time. It appears to have been originally made of rock and clay mud. Maybe the top fell off and they added a modern cinder block flue instead of rebuilding it as it was. The red stains appear to be where water has leached some of the old clay through the more recent cement mortar repair. I see vines that have climbed the chimley and the wall and traces of where others have been. All those things seem natural.
    But, I see faint vertical lines throughout the picture that seem out of place. There are several on the chimley, one of which runs almost all the way though to the top. Several begin and end in various places. Look below the bottom window. I see four lines that seem to come up from the bottom of the house and end in various places on the window. To the left of top window is a line that seems to originate at the roof and extend about a third of the way down the wall.
    You know what the lines remind me of? I don’t know if you are old enough to remember but when old movies, run on a film projector, started or ended there flashes of light and dark splotches on the screen. And there would be vertical lines scattered throughout. Your picture seems to have been clipped from an old movie.

  • Reply
    October 12, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    That was better’n the last time you told of this, but I laughed all the way thru it. I know
    sometimes you get that ‘errie’ feeling when you’re out from home. …Ken

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    October 12, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Haven’t heard of “the all-overs,” but I have heard all those other terms for that spooky feeling. And, yes, I have experienced it twice in my life — much like your description, Tipper. I interpret it as a heavenly protection from evil (unknown and unanticipated).

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    October 12, 2016 at 11:36 am

    If this is the house? You certainly had company peering out at you from the top window!
    I see the dark eyes, nose, mouth and the top left bangs of his/her black hair on it’s head, just as plain as day! I even see the top portion of hand grasping the window sill. Top window, lower left pane! woooooooooo! Sure gives me the a total of; the “chills”, “goose bumps” and makes me “nervy” definitely causing me a bad case of the “all-overs”!
    I love that old house and stone fireplace. I’d love to walk around it and take a look at it myownself! Only, if I could carry a “protective cross”, prominently displayed, so the “spooks” could see it! ha
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS I have been to yard sales at homes that didn’t even look old and creepy but came away with some eerie feeling that I couldn’t explain! I suppose they could be a woman’s intuition working overtime or a premonition of something! Just maybe! ha I say it is our mountain magic at work!

  • Reply
    anita griffith
    October 12, 2016 at 11:05 am

    I’ve had those 6th sense all over feelings.The last time i had it real strong,i was hanging a deer stand in the deep woods.I felt strongly that somebody was watching me,but i never could find them.The next day i came back to hunt and my stand was gone.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
    October 12, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Well sir, that expression is a ‘new one’ on me! But living so far back in the Cove, we were kind of ‘out of tune’ with the rest of the world! But being ‘out of tune’ did not amount to a hill of beans!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    October 12, 2016 at 10:40 am

    There’s a rural church in West Tn where many of my family members are buried. It’s isolated with forest all around. I have always got the creeps in that whole area and my sister-in-law says she has seen “something” there. I’ve never seen any ghosts, etc but I’m afraid there might be some hanging around there.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    October 12, 2016 at 10:35 am

    I have had them a few times, not just from places either, but people too.

  • Reply
    October 12, 2016 at 10:19 am

    I am a big believer in following your gut feeling, woman’s (or man) intuition, instincts, or whatever term is used to describe that feeling when things are not right. We have more than the 5 senses. It may be divine guidance or it may be that our subconscious processes all information and comes up with logical. Common sense maybe? We don’t always question it because sometimes we can just walk into a mess we didn’t see coming.
    This reminds me of the time I took a short cut (I thought) home after a hard day out in my field of work. Something inside my brain was telling me no No NO. My over abundance of determination made me press onward. I drove and I drove and found an elderly little man who gave me semi directions with “Go up there a little piece.” Then he proceeded with directions I had to pretend to understand. So on and on I drive on a road probably used by 4 wheelers. Fortunately I ran across 2 back packing guys who gave me further directions, and I really felt uneasy as I pulled out and heard one yell, “Good luck.”
    So on and on and my gas was getting low and it would be dark soon. Miracle of miracles, I finally went past a gate that was open into a state park that looked very familiar. This was back when there was a gas pump at every little country store. I got gas and finally made it safely home. I was left to ponder all the what ifs. What if it had gotten dark and me driving in the wilderness? What if those guys had not been back packing that day? What if my Dad hadn’t always stressed keeping gas tanks at least half full? There just happened to be gas pumps at small stores, and no bear had been spotted in those days. I am just left to believe in divine guidance since I certainly was not following my gut instinct. They would never have found me because nobody knew about my “short cut.”

  • Reply
    mary Lou McKillip
    October 12, 2016 at 9:54 am

    what a story of interest. What a topic for someone to continue. I had vibes as I call them of evil spirits lurking once in a Restaurant. I too wanting to leave immediately but 1st hubby thought I was silly so I stayed.
    Tipper, you could have a fiction field day with this, perhaps the woman of the house had a very hard time acquiring her treasures that meant the world to her, dying suddenly. when she saw Family deposing of her stuff the anger kindled within her roaming spirit who refused to go through the tunnel to the light. ( fiction writer of course)
    I do feel there are evil spirits lurking and I am like you I want to get away from such evil vibes. I really enjoyed your writing of this story. I have been places that seems like I have been there before, knowing well and good I had not.
    Mary Lou McKillip

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    October 12, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Don’t recall ever hearing it as the all-overs. We said heebie-jeebies. Wonder where that came from?
    Your story makes me think of the question, Is there a spirit of place? Does tragedy linger? I think there is a spirit of place and it can be peaceful or scary. But is it from outside or from within ourselves? For example, old house sites tend to make me sad but that is from me.
    As a Christian though, I’m reluctant to go very far in the direction of the occult. I think that reluctance is rather common among us because we don’t quite know how to biblically relate with the purely spiritual. And I also suspect there are differences in sensitivity to atmosphere among people. I wish I could understand the whole thing better in large part because we humans need a perspective that takes us above the temporal and the material.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 12, 2016 at 9:20 am

    I remember that house,something was just wrong there. Serious willies there. My feeling was that I just wanted to get away, I didn’t want to know what was there.

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    October 12, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Yesterday a young woman resigned her job at a nearby inn because the new owner, apparently into the occult, “talked to dead people.” I guess that gave the young lady a bad case of the “all overs.”

  • Reply
    Melissa P (misplaced Southerner)
    October 12, 2016 at 8:10 am

    Ah HA! You do get the all-overs! Yes, I’ve had them, the heebie Jeebies, and the willys – sometimes at the same time! Some of us are more sensitive to the unseen than others. What’s rare, though, is that all y’all felt it – even those who probably don’t often get the all-overs. I would say, my friend, that there was something evil there – for it to be such a strong “presence.” Glad you got out of there and hope you didn’t bring anything from there with you (seen OR unseen)

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