Being the good little sister that I am, I have roped my big sister, Sam, into a variety of things over the years. More recently, one of those things is cleaning vacant rental properties that I manage through P.J. Morgan Real Estate. As promised last week, the following is Sam’s account of an experience that was a bit more “paranormal” than usual.
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I slammed the door of my SUV shut, slung my purse over my shoulder and loaded up my arms with as much of my cleaning gear as possible. I was definitely going to need to make a second trip. Walking up the steps to the front door of the small house in an older suburb of town, I was ready to attack the day. Even though the sun wasn’t yet up, I was and I was pumped to get to work.
Cleaning vacant houses for my sister Hannah had been interesting thus far. Tenants tend to leave behind the strangest things when moving out. That, teamed with my sensitivity to spiritual energies, made my side job highly interesting in the least. Most of the time, the houses just feel empty. Occasionally, I feel someone watching me, but I never feel threatened or in danger. This house would be the exception.
Entering the house, I unloaded my first trip’s gear, and, after confirming that the front door was still unlocked, returned to my car to gather the rest of my supplies. I had locked myself out once or twice since I started cleaning vacancies and had learned (the hard way) to triple check every door before passing back through it.
When I returned to the house, I set the rest of my cleaning gear down and began to walk through the house to review what needed the most attention. As I walked from the family room to the kitchen, I felt a watchful gaze – angry, possessive and hostile. I tried to remain calm as I continued through the house, but the energy quickly intensified. The hairs on my arms and along the nape of my neck stood on end in anticipation. My stomach began to twist and lurch and I quickly determined that I shouldn’t be alone in this house.
I dialed Hannah, “Sis, I don’t think I can clean this house.” I didn’t apologize for it being 6:15 in the morning, I just jumped right in. “Something doesn’t want me here. It’s really affecting me and I can’t even focus.”
Hannah sleepily replied, “I have a showing there at ten today. I don’t think I can get anyone else to clean the house that quickly.”
“I’ll try,” I started, feeling terrible for putting her in such a position, “but if I can’t, maybe we can meet here later to do a quick run through before your showing? I just can’t be here, by myself, in the dark. It’s too much.”
Hannah yawned, “I understand. Call me back and let me know what you decide.”
I ended the call, lifted my head and tried to muster as much white light as I could. I headed to the staircase that lead to the upstairs. I thought that I owed it to my sister to check the entire house out before leaving. Placing my hand on the railing, I began my assent. The stairs were narrow and steep with a door at the top, just like in scary movies. My eyes locked on the door in front of me, but the feeling that I was not wanted there became increasingly strong and I began to feel a steady push on my chest to return from where I had come. With each step, my legs grew heavier, the pressure on my chest and shoulders more deliberate. I finally reached the top of the stairs, exhausted from the effort.
I opened the door, fingers still gripped around the railing, and slowly leaned forward to peek into the hall that led to the bedrooms. The air was heavy, with a static charge. In one of the bedrooms, I could see a small door that likely lead to a crawl space or attic. Nope. Nope, nope, nope. A creepy mini door was a deal breaker. I flew down the stairs and called Hannah.
“I can’t stay,” I sputtered out as soon as she answered.
“Okay…” she replied, waiting for a response.
I picked up my purse and started shoving the rest of my gear towards the door, while still on my phone. I walked to the front door and calmed a bit. My hand moved over the lock, instinctively checking twice. Door still unlocked, I grabbed the key from my pocket. I went to give the door handle one last twist, but it held steady. The handle had just locked.
Confused and panicked, I put the key in the handle, but it stuck when I tried to move it. I tried the deadbolt. Already locked, too. “Someone really doesn’t want me in this house,” I warned Hannah. “I’ve been locked out by a ghost!”
Hannah and I decided to meet back at the house shortly before the showing and I bolted down the street. As I got in my car, I noticed that the static tension was still in the air. “Okay…” I said to my empty car. “Is there something you want to tell me? If you want to tell me something, I’m here. I’m listening.”
“Hello!” a bright, squeaky, childlike voice called from the backseat of my SUV. I jumped.
My two-year-old daughter’s play phone had gone off at a very inconvenient moment. I was POSITIVE I turned that thing off a few days ago. Then, “Hello!” rang out again.
“I’m sorry,” I answered, “I wasn’t in the house to cause you any harm or disrupt you in any way. I was there to clean the house. To dust and sweep.” I knew I wasn’t making much sense, but I kept talking anyway. “I’ll be back later today, but, again, I’m coming only to clean the house. I’ll respect your space if you respect mine.” I’d never negotiated with a spirit before, but hey, there’s a first time for everything, right?
There was a short pause before another message shot out of the play phone. “Talk to ya’ later!”
“Okay,” I replied, “I’ll talk to you later.”
I drove home and immediately called my mom to tell her what had just happened. Her maternal instincts went into overdrive and she refused to let my sister or I back into the house without her present.
So, a few hours later, Hannah and I met our mom at the house. We all entered and began exploring.
Although I didn’t feel the extreme hostility I had felt a few hours before, we still experienced plenty of activity that let us know we were not wanted. While cleaning the main floor bathroom, I popped my head out the door several times because I kept hearing my name spoken at various levels of softness. On the third or fourth time, I bumped into my mom coming down the hall.
“Are you moving anything around?” she asked me.
“No, why? Are you calling me?”
“I was in the basement and it sounded like big pieces of furniture were being moved around.”
I looked at her for a moment then finally replied, “Ma, look around. There’s no furniture on this floor.”
Her eyes went wide. I asked her to wait outside the bathroom door as I finished, so I could focus on the task at hand.
When we were all done cleaning, we had a few minutes left before the potential renters were due to arrive. We headed down to the basement, because, honestly, that’s where all the fun is in a creepy house, right?! Once there, we each began to experience some weird effects. Hannah’s stomach turned, my mom’s knees and legs started to ache and my head began to swim. It wasn’t long before we shot back up the stairs.
My mom was hesitant to leave my sister in the house for her showing, but instead, we acted like rational adults and went to wait in the car. Across the street. On speaker phone with Hannah until the prospective tenants arrived.
Every once in a while, my sweet sister lets me know that the house is vacant again and asks if I’d like to go back and have another look. So far, I’ve declined her offers, as the eerie voice echoing “Hello” has yet to be forgotten.
• • •
Like the good little sister I am, I will keep asking Sam to re-visit our “favorite” house. Needless to say, I am extremely lucky to have a sister who is willing to help me out on a moment’s notice and who was willing to recount this very spooky tale. So the next time you see her, try to play an automated “Hello” or “Talk-to-ya-later” just to creep her out for me. After all, ’tis the season to be scary!
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