Saturday, March 31, 2018

Knock Knock. Who's there?

It is very cliché when talking about ghosts to hear tales of doors opening and closing by unseen hands. However, in the house that this blog is about, this very thing has happened countless times over the years. In a house known to be haunted with plenty of unexplained activity in it, I would be surprised if it didn’t have doors opening and closing with no scientific explanation.

I know what you’re thinking: “Why would a ghost bother opening a door when they can apparently walk right through walls?”

This is a great question and probably one of the first I will ask, should I ever get the opportunity to have a good old-fashioned gab session with a disembodied spirit. (Believe me, I have questions.) I would assume the opening and closing of doors is because they want us to know they are there. Like all the times they spin coffee mugs through the air. Or walk around on creaky floorboards overhead. Or bang on the  walls of the 
unoccupied bedroom upstairs. Or rock in empty rocking chairs. Or call us on the phone. The list goes on and on. 

Who knows why they do anything? They have their own agenda to which we are not privy. It’s like they think it is none of our business or something. They live in our houses but apparently think they don’t have to answer to us if they don’t want to. 

The very first incident I heard of doors mysteriously opening and closing in our house was when I was a young girl, maybe 7 or 8 years old. Hearing adults talking about weirdness and unexplained goings-on was just second nature during my childhood. It concerned me and freaked me out of course, like it would any kid, as it was obviously going on in my own house and I spent a lot of time playing by myself upstairs. I was usually scared to some degree to go to bed at night but I got used to it after a while and came to accept it as the way my life was. 

 As you have probably read elsewhere on this blog, I did hear a lot of noise coming from the empty spare bedroom that shared a wall with my bedroom. It was always a “spare” room so no one was ever in there. No living people, anyway.

So as I said, the first time I remember hearing about doors opening and closing on their own was very interesting and startling to me. The incident happened to a family member. He was in the largest upstairs bedroom one afternoon. He would have been a young adult at this time. My mother always said he told her he was reading on his bed. There is a door leading into the bedroom from the large walk-in attic and another door that leads out into the front hallway where the other bedrooms are. Suddenly, he looked up from his book as the door leading into the attic was opening. No one was there but it opened all the way. In a few seconds the other door opened, as if someone had come into the room through one door and exited through the other.

Currently, my son sleeps in that bedroom. There is now a sliding lock on the door that goes into the attic. He often locks it, goes to work, and comes home to find it unlocked. His elderly grandmother is the only other person in the house and she is not able to climb the stairs.

In the walk-in attic, there is also a set of rickety dark stairs leading down to another door that opens up into the kitchen. This door doesn’t close one hundred percent tight, thanks to many layers of paint around the door and casing over the last hundred years. But it does close enough that you can consider it “shut”. I agree it can become slightly ajar because of this but there is a handful of people (myself included) who have been in the kitchen and happened to look towards it at just the right moment when it has opened way further than you would expect due to natural movement in the kitchen or because the house is ‘settling”. It opens a LOT on its own.

 When my mother was a little girl, an older family member used that back staircase regularly when it was time to go to bed. He would take his lantern, traipse up those back stairs, through the two bedroom doors mentioned above and settle in for the night in what is now the “spare” bedroom. Does he still take that route at the end of the day? Possibly. 

Just off the kitchen is a wonderful pantry. And in the pantry there is a door that leads into a typical dirt-floor cellar. While there has been a lot of “activity” in the pantry, nothing unusual goes on in the cellar that anyone is aware of. However, over the span of many years there have been very loud, unexplained banging noises on that cellar door (from the cellar side) to which no explanation can be found. Not like knocking, but like loud “I’ll-bust-this-door-right-down” banging. It never usually lasts long. If you open the door and look, there is never anything visible. Lots of people have heard it. It is totally random. No one has an answer.

One particular occurrence of this was the day my mother’s friend passed away. My son and mother were the only ones in the house. Before they were notified of the death, that cellar door slammed shut (so it must have also been opened first by whoever or whatever) with an alarming noise. My son went to investigate and tried to open it but this time could not budge it even a little. It normally opens no problem, with absolutely no resistance. Finally, he hit the door as hard as he could and it finally gave. Nothing visible was responsible. Was this a forerunner to the death they would soon learn about? Did the deceased come by to let them know her time had come? Again, the answer is “possibly”. 

In a previous blog post entitled More Recent Haunted Events at the Homestead from 2011, I mentioned how my mother had experienced the dining room door slamming shut very forcefully while she was in the adjoining kitchen. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: There is no wind blowing through the house. Cats can’t slam doors. There is no reasonable explanation for such things to be happening. Yesterday, my mother told me of another incident. She was sitting at the kitchen table last week and suddenly the dining room door just simply closed. Then immediately after, it opened right back up (she keeps it open all the time). She is used to all of this by now, so doesn’t get alarmed too much.

There have been other door-related incidents over the years, such as the door knob on the spare room door rattling in the middle of the night while people slept in there, to more recently the ghost of a deceased cat clawing and scratching at the front door to be let in. It stands to reason that since ghosts/spirits/etc can exert enough energy to move objects, make noise and sometimes even materialize, they can just easily open and close a door when they want to.

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