"Death is no more than passing from one room into another." – HELEN KELLER

Reader Submission - Cleaning A Haunted House Pt.1

The following is the first part in a three part series from reader Lori Zaremba:

Cleaning A Haunted House..What I do For Money Part 1

My name is Lori and I own a small cleaning service in the Pittsburgh area. I have 22 customers and 2 employees C.J. And Marie.

I am writing this story about one house in particular, yes the haunted one. Before I begin I would like to tell all you non believers of the paranormal to chill out, I am not looking for ghosties they just show up. In the past if I saw something or heard a misplaced noise I would pass it off as whatever, now I am paying a little more attention.

In June of 2008 I got my first customer in a very nice neighborhood with all new houses (economy is not effecting this hood). From that customer I was able to get 2 other houses. One was a couple with 2 dogs and the other was a family with 3 little girls. All was great. When we first started cleaning these homes all three of us would go together. The house with the family is quite large 5,000 square feet so as a group we would work our way through all 3 levels.

The first odd thing that I would notice and shrug off was that when we walked into the house we would all feel like someone was home. I would call out for several moments without a response before realizing no one was at home. The other strange thing was the door that we would enter would always shut on me and sometimes it would lock, ok not so strange just enough for me to always hang on to my keys. Then the little weird stuff started, a roll of paper towels spread across the grand foyer, cleaning rags tossed down the steps. I would blame my helpers, what are they doing? This was the norm.

Now the fun starts. Six months into cleaning, the customer request weekly service but only the main floor and the master bath, no problem I or Marie could come by ourselves the opposite weeks. Marie said no so that meant I would have to do, still no problem.

I went my first time by myself and once again the feeling that someone was home was overwhelming. I made it through the whole main floor with no problem. I went upstairs to tackle the master bath, my foot hit the top step and I heard a door slam somewhere in the house. I called out once again," Hello is someone home?" No one was home. I proceeded down the hallway lugging 2 sweepers, a bucket and a bag full of supplies, as I was walking a rubber ball rolls past me into the master bedroom, hmmm... Where did that come from? Whatever, I cleaned the bathroom (takes an hour). Whilst gathering all my stuff and I heard a crowd of voices coming from the foyer downstairs, once again, I called out "hello, whose home?" Got all the way down there with all my stuff, no one was there.

Weeks went by with some weird stuff but once again it could have been shrugged off as whatever. Then the day came when I saw him...

I once again got to the top step and for some reason this day I looked down that long hallway and I could not make my legs move, I was frozen. I felt a sense of dread, what? I said to myself "get your butt movin and clean the bathroom!" I did. After completing my task I began gathering my supplies as usual. As I walked into the master bedroom I kicked something, I looked down and it was that rubber ball again, "now where did this come from?" As I said it I felt a crack of static electricity I looked up and I said to a man "oh your home" As the words were coming out of my mouth he disappeared before my eyes.

What just happened?

Was that real?

Did I imagine it, am I crazy?

Every hair on the back of my neck was sticking straight out. I was covered in chills and sweat. I did what any reasonable woman would do I grabbed my shiat and ran. The story does not end here this is actually the beginning. Yes, I really did see a ghost and no I do not believe I am crazy.

I did have a million questions running through my mind one of which is how can there be a ghost in a brand new home. Well I did some research and I discovered spirits can also be attached to people, land or personal items.

I will tell you this makes perfect sense to me since my mother once gave my ex- husband a haunted clock. She found this dusty old Coca-cola clock at a yard sale, it drove him crazy because sometimes it would keep perfect time, sometimes it would stop, other times it would keep time backwards and sometimes it would fall off the wall for no reason. (Shortly after I moved out the neighbor reported that the clock was out with the trash.)

As time went on I began to wonder more and more about this fella that I saw and who he was. The research I did about the land that this house was on, uncovered that it was at one time farm land. I don't know if this fella was one of the farmers who worked this land. I remember him in pale clothing but nothing stands out in my memory other than his slight build and graying hair. I also thought maybe he was attached to an item in the house but without snooping through drawers and closets everything I saw looked newer.

Weeks passed by without any interruptions to my cleaning efforts. I go to the neighbor's house that I originally contracted as a customer. I was cleaning her dining room windows which faced the haunted house. I reached for the Windex and I saw movement out the corner of my eye in one of the windows at the haunted house. I thought "hmm, I wonder who that was" I said it aloud and Nancy the customer who I was cleaning for asked me if I was talking to her. I told her I thought someone was home next door and that I saw someone in the window. She said "no, they are at work, but I saw someone looking out that window." I turned and looked at her and she had a look on her face that said she knew something. I told her that strange things sometime happen over there. She proceeded to tell me that they first looked at that house before deciding to build this one and she said she got very disturbed when they went to the second floor. She said she felt uncomfortable in one of the bedrooms upstairs. I asked her if the owners had noticed the presence in the house. She said the only thing that they have ever mentioned is that the girls won't sleep in their own bedrooms and so they all camp out in the master bedroom. Hmm, I wonder why... Nancy also told me that on several occasions weird things have happened in her own house as well. The one thing that stood out to me was that she said she has also heard groups of people conversing in the foyer while she was upstairs interesting.

Well I guess my seeing ghosty in the window that day was his way of letting me know that my next cleaning day there was going to be crazy. It was my day to clean alone.

I arrived at my usual 9am start time. I unlocked the door and prepared to go in. Just as I turned the knob I heard the dead bolt lock again. What the ****? Now my key wouldn't turn in the lock, this went on for 5 minutes, I was getting upset. I was now angry and decided I would walk around to the front door and go in that way. The only problem was I would have to run through the house to reach the security box before the alarm sounded off. I got to the front door put my key in the deadbolt; it unlocked the door knob, success. Before I opened the door I prepared for my sprint through the house, ready, get set, go! I dashed through the grand foyer and round the corner to the hall that led to the kitchen. The door to the hall closet opened (ouch!) I ran into it, but kept moving. There is a stool in the hall, I leapt over it and landed on that damned rubber ball again, its ok I was still on my feet and I was now flying through the kitchen. I arrived at the security box and got my code in with seconds to spare. Whew... What a work out!

The security box is by the back door which I couldn't get unlocked a few minutes before. I looked at the door, it was unlocked. Shaking my head I carried on a one sided conversation with ghosty telling him please don't play games. I have to do a good job, I am poor and need to make money and can't get sidetracked by such shenanigans as this.

Did I hear a giggle?

I completed my work at the house and I decided to leave the owners a note to have the lock checked, even though I know there is not a damn thing wrong with it. I put the note on the counter and I saw movement by the sink. The dish towel that was hanging on the handle of the dishwasher was slowly sliding to the right, I said "hey!" The towel fell to the floor. I walked over; it was like I was walking into a freezer. I picked up the towel and hung it neatly on the handle. "OK, I am leaving now; please keep the place clean, thank you!"

Once again I grabbed my shiat and ran.


Juli said...

Great story! Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to read part 2 and 3 (going to do it right now)!

Irene_J said...

Whoa that sound like a real good story you have there make me wish I was there to help you and be friends with this harmless kid and the man. I am glad you had a good ghosts there. House Cleaning Annandale VA

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