Thursday, June 12, 2008


I spent my first night in the chateau a few months after I bought it. We had no furniture and I fashioned a makeshift bed out of several down comforters in the middle of the living room (the sleep was great the first night, but my back was killing me by the fourth night).

The living room as it looks today.


It was January 2006 and I was about to experience the most terrifying ghostly encounter of my life. I’ve lived in haunted houses many years earlier in Hannibal, so I was used to unexplained noises and movements, but this one topped any of my past experiences.

I spent the day opening packages and putting things in order – tasks that lasted into the night. I spent most of my time downstairs when around 9pm I heard a loud voice by the front door speaking gibberish. I shrugged it off to folks out on the sidewalk and later forgot about it.

I retired to my makeshift bed around 11pm. Shortly after, I was jolted out of a sound sleep. I didn’t know exactly what jolted me – a vibration or a noise -- but it caused me to sit straight up immediately. A few seconds later, I heard an unexplainable stomping sound coming from upstairs. It sounded as if someone was holding a heavy beam, and banging its end against the floor! I looked at my cellphone. It was midnight.

The noise continued every few seconds and hard as I may, I could make no logical sense of it. Anyone standing on the sidewalk outside the house could have heard the stomping from within; the vibration was enough to cause the radiators upstairs to shake. I sat in the dark for nearly 10 minutes listening with my heart pounding in my throat. Finally I got up and turned on the dining room lights. One more stomp, and it stopped. I left that light on all night long.

The dining room lights. The track lighting has since been taken down.

The following morning (after a mostly sleepless night) I ventured upstairs and found nothing amiss. Everything was in its place and there were no depressions in the carpet. I tried to mimic the noise by jumping up and down on the floor as hard as I could, but couldn’t make a fraction of the noise from the night before.

The 2nd floor hallway as viewed from my jumping spot. The bathroom is at the end of the hall to your right. This can be a spooky walk to make in the middle of the night.


I took chiding from friends on how the noise must have been the radiators (it was not), and I fully expected it to happen again the 2nd night. Around 9pm, I heard the same voice I heard the night before (the one I had almost forgotten about). This time it was an intelligible, loud baritone voice that cried in an urgent tone, “Call the Cops”. I immediately looked outside and saw two teenagers walking down the sidewalk. This was not the voice of some skinny teenager.

Upon retiring, I kept the dining room lights on. I expected to hear stomping again and couldn’t sleep. Sure enough I heard noises, but it wasn't stomping. What I heard was slow and deliberate footsteps treading the 2nd floor, going from the front to the back of the house. This went on for a few minutes, and then it stopped. Minutes later, it started again. This pacing continued on and off all night. Strange thing was, the floor upstairs was carpeted, yet the steps sounded like they were treading hardwood.

The next morning, I found nothing amiss upstairs.


Total silence. Nothing. Had the ghost reconciled my existence? Am I no longer considered an intruder in the house?


Same thing. Total silence.

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