How to you picture a haunted house? An old, time-worn structure with storm-battered shutters, weathered roof, and rooms darkened with dust, cobwebs, and feelings of dread. Just the kind of place a ghost is likely to set up residence. But what if the house is brand new? Fresh paint, sparkling floors, and not one door that creaks with age. It's not an atmosphere that would seem to attract a ghost. In truth, however, ghosts are reported in new structures all the time. Just ask Sherry P., whose new home has been plagued with haunting disturbances that rival anything seen in 150-year-old gothic Victorian mansions. This is Sherry's story....
AFTER 18 YEARS of working more than 70-hour weeks and saving every dime we could get our hands on, we finally had it - our dream house! We built our sprawling, modern colonial on our 120-acre farm, located in the small town of Addison, Alabama. Addison lies in historic Winston County, famous for being the "free state of Winston" during the Civil War, in which citizens decided they would withdraw from the Union and become an independent state with no ties to the Confederate or Union armies - with the exception of being a major supplier of moonshine!
We made our big move on December 7, 1995. Things were absolutely perfect, that is until our 13-year-old daughter, Brooke, started complaining about feeling like someone was in her room watching her at night. Her bedroom is upstairs, far from our downstairs master bedroom, a choice she had made due to the fact that we also had a new baby daughter who wasn't fond of sleeping at night.
At first, I felt that it was just her fear of being alone upstairs. Then strange things started to happen, but only when my daughters and I were in the house. Doors would open or slam shut on their own, lights and televisions would switch on or off by themselves. These things usually occurred when we were sitting in the downstairs breakfast room.
My husband, who never seemed to be present for any of these activities, would always have a logical explanation for the occurrences. They were caused by drafts from the heating and cooling units, he told us, or power surges. Those logical explanations eased my mind and life went on... although odd things continued to happen.
ACTIVITY TURNS GHOST-LIKE
One night, a few years after we had moved in, after my husband and I had gone out with friends, we returned home for after-dinner coffee. While we were all sitting around the table chatting, we heard a noise from Brooke's room upstairs that sounded strangely like someone sneezing. All conversation stopped immediately. Every one of us had heard the noise. I called out to Brooke, but was reminded by the rest of the group that her car was gone from the driveway and she wasn't home. We ended up joking that it was just "our ghost" and continued our visit.
After our guests had gone for the evening, my husband insisted that I go upstairs and find out who was there. (Thanks, honey!) He even encouraged me to take a weapon. But I knew something he had not been able to accept for years: there was something not human living in our home. My search, as I expected, turned up nothing, but at least now my husband had experienced some of what we girls had been experiencing for some time!
My infant daughter would not sleep in her room, period! It wasn't that she wanted to be in our bed, she just didn't want to be in her room. Even if I got her to sleep in another part of the house and then put her back in her baby bed, she would wake soon after with terrifying screams. I tried every approach to solve this problem, from white noise machines, night lights, soft music, even leaving the TV on, but nothing soothed her fears.
When I purchased a queen-size bed for her room, so I could at least manage a few hours sleep, I discovered the reason for her anxiety. Noises from upstairs, sounding like footsteps, dragging sounds, even voices would continue all during the night. I was so freaked out that I would move us to the living room sofa most nights just to escape the sounds from above.
Next page: Apparition of "the man"