Ghost at a Tea Party

A very good narrative of a haunted house story, sent to me by the woman who lived it. She and her family took a religious approach to ridding themselves of their ghost.

This is the story of a house we used to live in on East Chestnut Street in Lancaster, Ohio. In '83 we moved into the old two-story house as it was a cheap place to live. It was a real find as far a apartments go because it was in good shape--painted, wall-to-wall carpet. Who could want anything more, right?! Over the course of the next 6 yrs we were to discover why such a nice house was so cheap.

There was a little girl of about eight that my daughter of five saw and sketched out with great accuracy. She's always been very talented in artwork even from such a young age. She talked of her tea parties with the little girl and how a skeleton would come down through the ceiling and chase the girl off through the closed window. The girl wore early 1900s clothing, such as a high-necked collar, long-sleeved dress with fitted button-up sleeves, and petticoats. My daughter who'd never seen button up shoes before drew them perfectly. The girl had long red hair which hung in long curls which were tied back with a large bow.

We saw the picture and thought it strange that my daughter knew to put all of those fashion elements together, having never seen them before. But it was most frightening when my sister-in-law drug me into the hallway to listen to my daughter's tea party. There she was, just inside her bedroom door in full view of us with all of her stuffed animals and dolls seated in a circle with a space big enough for another child. My sister-in-law whispered for me to listen carefully. I did, and heard my daughter's voice offering tea to the space in the circle--and then another voice I didn't recognise. When I heard it I didn't see her mouth because her face was turned away from me. Again she spoke and as we looked on I heard the other voice speak...but my daughter's mouth was shut.

I calmly told my daughter to come into the other room where we asked her about her friend at the tea party. That's when she showed us the picture of the girl and explained how another spirit chased her out of the room. She also modelled a clay figure of the girl as she looked after she changed into a skeleton. My sister-in-law and I were shaken to say the least but it wasn't to be the last of the ghostly activity.

We saw, from time to time, a young girl who looked very much like myself when I had my hair wound on top of my head. Her hair color, stature, and build were so much like mine that my sister-in-law very often mistook her for me. After much research I found that the house was built in circa 1905 by the Skinner family. Their fifteen-year-old daughter, according to old newspaper articles, had been with the boy next door who was going to shoot his gun while out for a walk on North Columbus Street. Her best friend across the street decided to come along. They arrived at present-day Forest Rose cemetery, which was then a field, and the boy decided not to do any shooting. On their way back down Columbus Street the Skinner girl was walking in front of the boy who had the gun under one arm as he walked. The best friend came up behind him and yelled "look out, i'm gonna shoot," and grabbed the gun, which went off, hitting the skinner girl in the side. According to newspaper accounts the girl was home in bed for ten days, getting better, and then took a turn for the worse and died. This occurred in our living room, upstairs, which was, in her lifetime, her bedroom.

The third ghost we never saw, but heard all too often. It sounded like a man walking down the upstairs hallway dragging one leg. We'd hear him walk up the stairs quite often. He wasn't shy about it as he'd do this while there were more than a few people at the top of the stairs. After I woke up time and time again hearing him beside my bed breathing I'd had enough. I reasoned that he'd have to pay attention to the calendar and bills with the date on them and frankly I had nothing to lose except him. It seemed to work after I showed him these and told him he had passed on. Some time later the woman across the street told me of a man who lived upstairs at one time who had worked for a metal company and been hurt by machinery making one leg crippled. That made me a believer! I guess some people for one reason or another don't know their body has died.

The little girl turned out to be a poltergeist and liked dumping pots and pans off the countertop and stove from time to time. She was seen outside by the boys next door who mistook her for my daughter until they saw the red glowing eyes! It may have been her who caused fires on the stove when the burner wasn't even on and the pan afterwards was stone cold. Downstairs they said it sounded like kids running in the hallway and rolling all over the floor upstairs. They blamed it on my children until we moved. That's when they were horrified to hear it again and again even though they knew no one "living" was up there.

through all my research I found that the Skinner family raised their children in that house and then sold it to another family. That family lived there for some years and sold it to my landlord. That landlord owned the property around fifteen years before my family lived there. During those fifteen years the house was rented every year by someone different until we moved in. We had nowhere else to go and so had to learn how to deal with the ghosts. After six years I was glad to move out as fast as I could. I had our new apartment blessed and anointed with oil to make sure we had no problems with it.

The people who rented downstairs complained about fires on a stove which was cold. Then there was a curtain that caught fire while draped over a lamp which wasn't even plugged in. One night both apartments were affected when a loud sound like a car engine up against the house went on for some minutes, rattling the glass in the windows. After close examination we could find no reason for the noise.

I have to mention that one night I woke up with someone's hands choking my throat. Trying to fling myself up to fight, I found I was wrapped chest to foot with my blanket tucked under my body, with my pillow vertical under my back! I fought my way out of the blankets, flipping the lightswitch next to my bed on. A quick look and listen told me nothing was there. I looked at the mirror which faced my bed and saw the finger marks on my throat! I read my Bible the rest of the night with the overhead light on. For some nights I slept with the light on.

Toward the end of our tenancy at that house I began to make new friends up and down the block. One older lady asked me if I lived in the haunted house. Seems all the neighbors knew about it the whole time but had neglected to tell any of us about it. She told of seeing people fleeing our house screaming wildly.

Within a couple of years of moving from that house it was set afire by the upstairs tenant in an attempt to commit suicide. The upstairs had to be gutted and the downstairs suffered such smoke damage that the residents had to move out with what they could rescue. Although the house has been renovated since the fire, I don't know if anyone is living there now. I only hope the ghosts are finished with that house.

The scariest part is definitely the little girl's tea party with the ghost, which talked to her...but the fact that the upstairs tenant later tried to commit suicide is also pretty sobering.