The Haunted House

i worked in a haunted house once. true story.

i don’t know that i believe in ghosts, but i do believe that their are forces in this word that people play with and they shouldn’t. my haunted story isn’t bout Casper and it’s an X-File, it’s just my experience in a, for lack of a better word, haunted house.

in Huntington there is this old Victorian home that stands on the main drag of town near the south end. driving by, you might turn you head to get a better glance, but you wouldn’t expect anything unusual to take place there. it was a Bed & Breakfast for years, but around the time i turned 15 years old, it became a Tea House Cafe/Giftshop. as we lived across the street from it, it was pretty easy for me to get a job there. thus began my experience at the Purviance House.

you need to understand the layout of the house before you can fully appreciate the drama that ensued, however, so you here go… It was a large, two-story Victorian style home that was build over 100 years ago. there was a servants staircase from the kitchen to the servants quarters on the second floor. the servants quarters were positioned above the dining room and parlor. the main staircase was a curved open staircase that led to the families rooms. there was also a wine cellar and a widow’s walk.

the Tea Room attracted guests from across the region. the food was good enough, the men and women, young and old all frequented the place. but it was very niche. our clientele was specific. people didn’t just swing by for a quick bite of lunch. they came in for an experience… with the atmosphere and the food and their friends. however…

one balmy afternoon i was serving tea to a table of two ladies. it was a table like any other, except one of the ladies kept looking at me like she had a question, but didn’t know how to ask it. finally, as i was giving them their bill, she grasped my arm and said, ” someone died in this house.” now, you can imagine that this statement threw me off balance a bit. i didn’t know the history of the house at this point. i just knew that it was pretty and that from time to time we offered tours. trying to quickly regain my composure and not flee in terror, i told that lady i would go and get one of the owners who happened to be a historian of the house. the owner came back with me to the table and proceeded to tell the ladies the tale of the Purviance House. i won’t go into the whole history of the home, but i will tell you this: there was a very wealthy family that lived there, they had servants and a son that died at a young age because he fell down the stairs.

the fact that the child died on the stairs wasn’t well known. however, i can’t tell you the number of times someone came to the Tea Room for the first time and stopped me in passing to ask me/tell me someone had died in the home. i also had more people than i can say stop on the exact stair that the child tripped on and say that they “can feel a ‘presence’ or a ‘spirit’ here.” i even had one lady tell me that she could feel a small child holding her hand while she stood on the step.

then there was the high school students tour we did one evening where one of the girls in the tour stopped on that same step and said that she heard a child crying.

we are just getting warmed up with this ghostly tale…

this house had doorways with windows above them (i’m sure you have seen the type). as this was a gift shop, we displayed teacups and saucers on the ledges above the door. the saucer rested again the window glass and the teacup sat in front to its mate saucer. there were probably five teacup sets in each window. to say that you couldn’t get the saucer out from behind the teacup without moving the teacup was an understatement. one morning, however, we came in to prep for lunch and in each doorway all the saucers were on the ground broken and all the teacups were still in place. freaky, right?

i should interrupt my tale here to tell you that the general consensus among those that “felt” and/or “sensed a “presence” in the house was that there were two spirits in the house: a good one and a bad one. the good one was the spirit of the child – playful and childlike. the bad one was a disgruntled servant that died in the house – not evil, just mean and conniving.

one evening after a dinner party we had to venture down to the wine cellar. there is no electricity in the wine cellar, so we lit a lantern with a glass chimney and headed downstairs. this isn’t a drafty cellar and there are no gusts of wind that surge through the space. also, the kerosene in the lantern wasn’t low. i’m sure you can see where this is going… we are in the wine cellar, putting things away when suddenly we could hear a wind in the chimney of the lantern and the flame went out.

then, and this is one of my favorites, we were cleaning up after a different dinner party. there were only three of us in the house and i was in the dining room and the two others were standing the in the two different doorways talking to me when we heard footsteps above us. light little running steps at first, the a heavy step like that of a man in boots, then the sound of moving furniture. we walked up the steps when the noise stopped to investigate… the furniture was moved from its original spot.

there are other tales that i could share about the haunted house that i worked in for many a summer, but those are the ones that stand out the most in my mind. i hope you enjoyed them. what do you believe? spirits… ghosts… entities?

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  1. * Jon Goodson says:

    interesting. huh

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 6 months ago
  2. * Brenda Fager says:

    So, I started reading this blog entry and got about halfway through but couldn’t finish…..I got spooked. Just so you know, I tried…..:)

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 6 months ago

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