It’s time for our favorite episode of the year—your listener submitted ghost stories! Plus, we have our own ghost story to share with you today (and you are never going to guess whose house is haunted).
You can stream the episode here on the blog or on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, and Stitcher. You can find the podcast posts archive here.
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-Emma’s office skeleton (so fun!). Here’s her haunted house tour from last year.
I mean … is there anything better than skeletons on a roof?
Here’s Amy’s ghost story photo that we mention in this episode:
-Check out diedinhouse.com
Miss an episode? Get caught up!
- Episode #117: Movie Houses
- Episode #116: (MINI) Tattoo Stories
- Episode #115: Money Dials and Buys that Spark Joy
Episode 118 Transcript
Elsie: You’re listening to the Beautiful Mess Podcast. This week we’re sharing our favorite episode of the year because it’s time to read your listener submitted ghost stories. We received some amazing stories this year and we’re going to read them in kind of a storytime format for you today. We also have a ghost story of our own to share at the end and you’re never going to guess who’s house is haunted.
Emma: Yeah, I feel like you asked them on Instagram and I’m not sure they got it right.
Elsie: They got it very wrong. We’ll save it for the end. It’s kind of a big reveal. I feel like we’ve been saving the story for the whole year and I’m honestly not quite sure how I saved it. Okay, before we jump into that, Emma let’s talk about your skeleton decor because I feel like you’re going all out. I saw you kind of put a large amount of skeletons on your roof.
Emma: Yes, I did. So I own nine life-size skeletons. They’re like I guess five feet so I’m five four so I consider that life-size. Yes, so I have nine skeletons, life-size skeletons, and I bought them at JOANN two years ago, which by the way this is not an ad just download their app if you’re interested in buying nine skeletons because you’ll really save a lot of money.
Elsie: Emma told me she got quite a deal. They were like 20 bucks or something.
Emma: I did! Yes, I’m from the Midwest so I have to do that thing that’s when someone’s like oh, I like your shirt, you have to be like it’s on sale. I got it on sale, you know how people from the Midwest do that. That’s what I have to do with my skeletons
Elsie: It’s ingrained in our brains from our upbringing to brag about our sales.
Emma: I know, exactly I don’t even know why I do it but I always catch myself doing that. Anyway, so I have nine skeletons so one of them is in my home office. I like to have a skeleton in the background for all my Zoom calls. I do quite a few zoom calls for work so I have him he’s pretending to paint. He’s at an easel behind me in my office, most of the time but he fell over.
Elsie: He’s a real crowd-pleaser in our meetings. Everyone is like waiting for it and then after Halloween is over she switches to her pink tree in the background. She kind of is like the most successful Zoom caller of all time.
Emma: I mean that time of year, the rest of the year it’s just boring all nothing but you know I at least got something going on this time of year. So I have one of my skeletons in the house, the other eight skeletons I put out in the front because basically, I’m trying to impress the neighborhood kids. We have one of those neighborhoods where there’s lots and lots of people walking around, walking their dog, lots of kids on bikes, lots of little kids in strollers, babies in strollers, that kind of thing. We’re close to downtown so we just also get a lot of traffic because people who don’t even live in the neighborhood they’re just like biking through to downtown or whatever. So it’s a very outdoor decoration friendly neighborhood so I’m trying to contribute to the vibe. I feel like I’m doing my best which is I took my eight skeletons and I hired my friend Ethan to help me because I’m scared of heights and he’s very handy and he had this really big ladder whose dad came and brought it over with them. We put five skeletons on the roof. So two of them are at this little kids picnic table eating fake fruits that I got from a craft store.
Elsie: How did you secure that up there?
Emma: So we searched around the internet because we were like well we could use nails, we could use screws, but I was like if there is a solution where I don’t have to put holes in my roof that’d be great. There’s already nails I mean that’s how you put shingles on a roof so it’s not like a big deal but I was like if there was something that would be great. So what we found online and I’m very curious to see if it holds up for the whole month is we used hot glue and wires including at times because we ran out of picture hanging wire, pipe cleaners. We used hot glue and pipe cleaners to secure these skeletons on the roof and so far they’re just hanging out. One of them’s like hanging off of the side of the gutter as if he’s falling off the roof and so far he’s fine and he is secured with hot glue and pipe cleaners.
Elsie: What’s the hose stuck to him? I’m really confused.
Emma: The roof like shingles. You can remove it with alcohol. Well, that’s what the internet said so we’ll see. If this works I’ll put something about it on our blog at some point and link where we found it because I was like I don’t feel like it’s going to work.
Elsie: That’s a good idea. One of my most asked questions during Halloween is how to get those spiders to stay up on our brick and I use the tiniest little nails. I just leave them there forever. A lot of people don’t like that answer though. They want something that’s like temporary, but I’ve tried all of those, what are they called the little sticky hook things that you can buy at the store. Whatever they are.
Emma: The command strip type.
Elsie: That doesn’t work on outdoor stuff for me at least. This hot glue thing, I’m interested to see if it comes off or if you’re just like, living in deep regret, we’ll see.
Emma: I know I have no idea. I mean I’m trying it and we’ll see. But yeah, that would be an interesting blog post that’s like it could be like all of it too. It could be indoor and outdoor, ways to hang temporary decorations, things with nails, things with no holes for people who are renting, or people whose partner is like, please don’t put holes in the side of the house just for your Halloween decoration.
Elsie: Yeah, I’m big on leaving tiny nails everywhere because I swear you can’t see that there. On sort of like the top of our windows and doorways, there’s lots of them that have the tiny nails because you know, there’s like a garland and then you know, you don’t notice it. Then the next year, you can put it up again. So I think that’s a great solution and I’m very curious about this. So yeah, keep us updated. So we’re doing ghost stories today. This is our favorite episode of the year. I love getting these. I got them this time in two different emails. And I sat down with my coffee, read them all. I give them little ratings so you know because we can’t do all of them. So we try to just save the very best ones or like a variety. But I wanted to throw it out there that a lot of the stories I’m reading today came in last week after basically like a whole year ago, right after our episodes went up. So if you have a story and you’re hearing this and you’re like oh no, I missed it, still send it in. The email is email@example.com. You can email us anytime all year. We just save them in a folder for this type ao we’re saving them all year round. There’s kind of no time limit and we’ll do it again next year because now it is a hardcore, A Beautiful Mess podcast tradition.
Emma: So this is from Lindsey. She says hello ladies. So the only ghost story I know comes from my mother. When she was roughly 19 years old. She was coming home from work quite late one night and saw her next door neighbor an older gentleman at his front door, so she just simply said to him, good night, Mr. Blewitt. To which he replied, oh good night, Linda. And with that, she went inside and her mother, my Gran, said to her who’s that you said goodnight to? So my mom was like just Mr. Blewitt, to which my gran looked at her in shock and she said was kind of pale looking and said no. Can’t be him, he died this morning. Whoa. My mother told me that story when I was very young and I still remember it because it freaks me out so much. Yeah, that’s freaky.
Elsie: That’s a classic. This story is a classic because this exact same type of experience with different people comes up I would say the most. it’s one of the top most common ghost stories.
Emma: Like you think you see someone and that you find out they just recently passed away. Yeah, that kind of thing.
Elsie: Yes. Yes, they’re still present in a way. I love it. very creepy and fun. Okay, the next one’s from Allison. She says I live in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, Canada. I have a two-part spooky story to share from about eight or nine years ago when I was attending university and living in my older home in St. John’s just a short walk from campus. First off this house had a very creepy vibe, to begin with. It was a single story home built in the 1960s with a creepy, unfinished basement. Emma knows about that.
Emma: I like to call these murder basements.
Elsie: Especially if you have to go down there to do your laundry every time. Yes, yes. It was comfortable and cozy enough with bright windows, original hardwood floors, and the original fireplace. The house only ever gave off strange vibes when a person was home alone. And I never had any experiences like these since moving out of the said house. My husband, then boyfriend, also spoke of feeling strange in the house when home alone but never experienced anything like I did. Story number, one part, one act, I was home alone during the daytime and I was going about my business studying, tidying my room and I decided to give my mom a call. I reached for my cell phone where I had placed it on the dresser earlier and it wasn’t there. Not thinking too much about it. I figured I had just misremembered where I put it and began searching the room, then the living room, then my bags, no phone. About an hour had gone by when I began to hear it ring. I follow the sound back to my room. listening carefully. I realized the sound was coming from my trash bin. I reached in all the way to the bottom and there was my phone, strange. I shook my head and laid my phone on the dresser. I left my room to make some food and upon my return, notice that the phone was gone again. I knew for sure this time that I had not laid it somewhere out of the ordinary. My instinct told me to look in the trash bin again and there it was in the bottom of the trash bin again. I want to reiterate that I was indeed home alone and that my phone was nowhere near where it could have fallen into the trash bin, let alone go straight to the bottom. And this was the only instance such as this, and it was the beginning of me realizing that there was definitely something off in this house. Okay. So let’s unpack that for one sec. I love it. One thing I forgot to say before we got started is for our listeners, while we go through these ghost stories, listen to how much people try to justify what they just experienced and say like, oh well, it must have been this, it must have been that. Every single story almost has this where people are trying to explain it, even when there’s no possible way that it really makes sense. People will still do it. It’s just human nature and I find that so interesting. But yeah, I’m glad that this happened twice in a row because you know that you don’t always get that confirmation, but it’s like she knew for sure that she did not put it near the trashcan and it was like in there again unexplained.
Emma: I also am glad she mentioned that it was nowhere near because, in my mind, I’m like well did it fall off? Perhaps if it’s an older house, maybe there’s a bit of a slope to the floor and it’s like sliding off the dresser and it takes a minute for that to happen. But she kind of mentions like no, there’s no way that it would have.
Elsie: Not even close.
Emma: I’m like, okay, that’s very weird then.
Elsie: Okay. Act Two. I was returning home from an evening class to an empty house. My roommates had gone home for the weekend and it was just me alone in the house for the night. I kicked off my shoes and made my way down the hallway towards my bedroom when directly behind me It felt like just a few inches from the back of my neck, I heard and felt a breathy and loud hey, in a male voice. Hey.
Emma: Or was it like hey, I don’t know.
Elsie: I don’t know. Don’t try to do the voices. That’s rule number one. Okay, again, this time was just outside my bedroom door and I heard another loud, hey,. I knew there wasn’t anyone home. I called my boyfriend in an absolute panic. He was also out of town and wasn’t able to come to keep me company. I was afraid to call anyone else to tell them what had happened. I was certain that they would just think I was nuts, valid. I went to bed, pull the covers over my face, and didn’t move until the sun came up the next day. And then she says those are my stories. Enjoy, the end.
Emma: Let me ask you this if you had a friend call you and they were like, I keep hearing a voice and I know that there’s no one in my house. Would you come over and just hang out with me? Would you do it or would you be like, oh, sounds like you got a ghost and I’m not going?
Elsie: I mean, I guess it would depend on how scared they were acting. If it sounded exciting. Maybe yes. But if not, I think I would invite them to come to my house like, wouldn’t you think you should both go. I mean, I guess it depends on which direction you’re looking for.
Emma: Yeah, and I don’t think I would think they were nuts. I don’t know if I would instinctively believe them. But I would think that they believe it so there’s that But yeah, I don’t know if I’d want to go over and keep someone company if they thought their house was haunted. I’d be like I don’t want to go over there.
Elsie: Well, if they were really really scared, I wouldn’t want to.
Emma: Yeah, this one is from Mel. Mel says I used to live in an 18th century tenant building in Edinburgh in an apartment on the top floor. My husband and I used to get a feeling of doom and unease on one of the stairwell landings on the way up to our flat but we just would brush it off as the general spookiness of an old building. Doom and unease, yikes.
Elsie: There’s our justification. All right, next.
Emma: Just a spooky old building. We lived on the top floor, four floors up and there were no buildings opposite. As I was watching TV I saw a man with dark hair and a long red military coat walk past and the reflection of the window across our hallway. I got up wondering if my husband and his friends had come back early but I was still alone in the apartment. I basically ran to bed and hid under the covers until my husband got back. A couple of weeks later my friend was visiting and as we sat in the living room she said, I don’t mean to alarm you, but there’s a male ghost in a long red coat standing in the corner, but he’s harmless. I hadn’t told anyone other than my husband at that point because I didn’t think anyone would believe me but that was confirmation enough. We moved a few months later. I hope that was spooky enough for you.
Elsie: I love the detail when more than one person sees the same ghost. That is the ultimate confirmation. Okay, this one’s from Julie. Hi ABM podcast friends. Hi, Julie. I love listening every week. So when I saw the call for ghost stories I thought I would write in mine. When the ghost of my dad answered my call for help. Whoa, we are hooked, Julie, take us on this journey. 2011 was a really, really tough year for me. I was a junior in college in 2011 and my dad was diagnosed with stage four kidney cancer at the end of April that year. Without getting too much into it. It’s a heartbreaking but beautiful story. So okay, I promise it has a beautiful ending. Without getting too much into it, we were not given an honest picture of his chances of survival and we were shocked when he passed away on July 3rd. Oh, that’s so quickly.
Emma: That sucks.
Elsie: Partly due to malnutrition in the hospital. It was a horrible time. My dad was the most kind, gentle, artistic person, not a malicious bone in his body, and the person who understood me most in this world. Everyone who knew him was absolutely devastated. Cue to the fall of 2011, I had managed to go back to college for my senior year after losing my dad and a few months later, my maternal grandmother, Nanny was diagnosed with lung cancer. She decided not to go through treatments since she had experienced it years earlier for breast cancer and she knew how hard it would be on her. During my winter break from college. I stayed with her. My mom was already staying with her to help take care of her to help. It felt like a nightmare to be going through this again so soon. Nanny has been one of the few elements of constancy when we lost my dad. Then we were trying to put ourselves back together. One night I was in the upstairs guest room where I always stayed when we were at her house. I had woken up in the middle of the night in a total spiral of anxiety. How was I going to handle the death of another beloved family member when I was barely managing the grief as it was? How was I going to go back to school for my last semester? How would my mom manage with my grandmother when I went back to school and the end home hospice nurse could only come twice a week? I was laying there panicking when I decided to ask my dad for any help or peace he could give me. I’m agnostic and I didn’t really expect anything to happen. But I felt like my dad was the person I needed most in that moment. Okay, I think that’s interesting that she mentioned being agnostic because I don’t think that you have to believe in God or any certain religion to believe in ghosts.
Emma: I don’t know I don’t really know the rules on that.
Elsie: Everyone’s web of spirituality is different though.
Emma: Yeah, that is interesting.
Elsie: Okay, I laid there a few more minutes, and then the bedroom door opened about a foot wide. I thought it must be my mom. Instead, a glowing orb floated in. I was overcome with the feeling of peace and well being and I was certain that things would be all right. I didn’t know how long the orb stayed in there. But after a while, the circle floated out and I watched the door close and went back to sleep. The next morning I told my mom what had happened. She put down her coffee and looked at me with a very strange look on her face. She told me that my grandmother had called to her in the night and then my mom checked on her. Nanny said that she had seen a flashlight shining in her face. My mom searched the house and there was no intruder, no sign of disturbance, and the house was still locked, including the bolt locks that could only be locked from the inside of the house. My mom slept with a knife under her pillow for the rest of the night, but nothing ever came of it. What a terrible thing to have to sleep with a knife under your pillow. Yeah. Okay. Nanny passed away a few days later. The day before she passed, she wasn’t coherent, but she was laughing to herself and making sounds that weren’t quite words but that were her usual lively cadence of conversation. My mom and I clearly heard her say, Zach, my dad’s name. We both think my dad had come there to be with her as she passed from this world to the next, whatever that may be. My dad still makes appearances, usually in my dreams. Oh, I love this story, where he gives me loving messages to pass along to my family before saying he has to go to the airport or get on a plane now. But seeing that glowing circle, feeling the peace, and finding out that my grandmother saw it was one of the most intense experiences I’ve ever had. That’s a beautiful ghost story.
Emma: Yeah, seriously, I am crying a little bit.
Elsie: Thank you for sharing that, Julie.
Emma: Yeah, I love the idea that you know, if you do pass away and your loved ones are still here, especially if you had a young child, just in college, you know, that you could still communicate with them. I find that a very comforting idea because that would be hard to pass knowing that you’re leaving someone so kind of so young. What a beautiful story. I’m glad that happened for her.
Elsie: Me too.
Emma: Because what a hard time to live through. That sounds like a very hard year. Alright, this story is from Megan. My name is Megan and I’m a student at a university near Nashville, Tennessee. I just recently left my job at the college library that I worked at for almost three years. One day while I was working there, I went to the basement to clean. I had heard a grown man shouting something like hey. They’re always saying hey, but I knew there was no one there so I ignored it. Then everything was quiet until every printer, fax, and other machine went off at the same time. Yeah, I was like that was weird and went upstairs and told my supervisor. She was like it was probably the ghost we have around here and she was dead serious. She then told me that in the Civil War, the Union took control of the school and used the building that’s now the library as a medic hospital. Whoa. Many soldiers died in the building due to injuries. Now people can hear shouting and screaming at night sometimes. I thought she was pranking me until I looked it up and it was true. I was also told that Lorraine the woman from The Conjuring series came to campus one year for a Halloween story night and the librarians invited her to check out our ghost. She went down there and was like we need to leave. I can’t take the screams. Whoa, the librarian told me it was quiet when they went down there so it was very creepy. Lorraine told her they seemed nonconfrontational just very loud. I guess she has seen worse. Yeah, I was told all this when the first ghost story episodes came out, so I knew I had to tell you guys this year. I 100% did not believe in this stuff until I heard about my library. I now work at a movie theater, which would be a cool haunted place, I think. But I really missed the library. She misses her ghosts.
Elsie: Yeah, if you have to leave your ghost especially once you realize that they’re harmless. You could miss them.
Emma: So far we haven’t had any ghosts that mean, mean bad, or have any malice? Hopefully, they’ve all been pretty harmless slash sweet dads. Yeah.
Elsie: I mean, I kind of think that all ghosts or maybe almost all ghosts are harmless, but they can still be scary. Yeah. From Gabrielle. Okay, I swore I would never tell the story again. Because I don’t know if I believe in ghosts. But …
Emma: Good opener. Gabrielle.
Elsie: I know I like the opener. That’s a hook. My sister was visiting from out of state and we were playing cards at my kitchen table. It was dark outside and I could see the reflection of our kitchen in the window. I suddenly caught the image of a young girl walking past the window, then realized that it was in the reflection of my kitchen and that she was walking behind me. I turned quickly in my seat to see that nothing was there. I turned back to the window to see that the image was gone. My sister was laughing since I’m sure i looked ridiculous. I told her what I had seen and she said that it must be the wine. There’s that justification. Okay, in my experience I’ve drank a lot of wine in my life.
Emma: You sure have.
Elsie: It does not make you see ghosts. Has it ever done that for you?
Emma: No no, never seen ghosts because I had too much wine. No.
Elsie: No. We laughed about it for years until one day I was moving and I was taking the kitchen drawers out to dump into moving boxes because that’s how you’re supposed to pack right. When I reached the last draw near the floor, I noticed a few papers and things had fallen out from behind the drawers. I love a hidden artifact that you find while you’re cleaning or renovating. I love that. I grabbed this stuff and looked at it and it was old mail and junk from the previous tenant. I stopped cold when I saw a photo strip that looked like booth pictures that showed a man and a woman with a young girl in the photos. The girl I saw years ago in the reflection in my window. I know that’s amazing that she could like recognize her so clearly and she knew it was the same person. I quickly ran over to my neighbor’s house and asked if she recognized the people in the photo. She said she did that they were the previous tenants and that the little girl had passed away while living in the house. That’s a good one.
Emma: Whoa. Also surprised that that never came up before. She must not have talked to this neighbor all that often, which I understand. it’s not like you talked to every single neighbor.
Elsie: Well to be fear, if a new neighbor moved next door to me, I wouldn’t be like, let me tell you about the person that died in your house because it is a little bit rude.
Emma: I get that but I wouldn’t not not talk about the person that died in the house. You know what I mean?
Elsie: I would wait till they asked.
Emma: I guess Does this mean that you should always ask your neighbors, hey, hello, I just moved in. Did anyone die in this house?
Elsie: Well, you know that I do think that you should look that up if that’s something that’s important to you. It looks upable, and I looked it up for my house. I’ll talk about that at the end. I mean, I personally don’t think that dying in the house is the only way for a ghost to be there. I don’t think people think that. I don’t even know if it’s the main way and also you know like people die in homes. I don’t think it should like ruin real estate or anything like that.
Emma: Well some people might want to ghost in their home.
Elsie: That’s true. It might be a feature.
Emma: It might be a feature. Yeah, I don’t know, depends on the person I suppose. This next one is from Priscilla. Priscilla says. I love listening to your first installments of ghost stories. They were all pretty cute and lighthearted. Okay, I feel like I know where this is going. I do have one ghost story that I would like to share although it might be on the spookier side, like scary movie spooky. Alright, so this is a one that listeners can skip ahead if you’ve already been spooked because I guess Priscilla’s gonna get us.
Elsie: I’m buckling my seatbelt.
Emma: Yes, so I lived in a little mountain town during college. It was a weekend night and my friends and I were downtown. It was nearing midnight. So my friend and I left the bar we were currently at and called the rest of our friends to meet us at a late night restaurant before heading home. Right after we got off the phone with our friends, both our phones died. Oh, that’s the worst. But we were half a block away from the restaurant and there were a lot of people out still so it was no big deal. My friend and I discussed if we should take the alleyway or the main sidewalk to the restaurant, and like I mentioned the restaurant was half a block away so either decision was fine. As soon as we turned into the alley, we heard a small whimper near the streetlight post, my friend and I looked over and a girl is crying, lying on her tummy in a puddle. Oh, yikes. My friend says are you okay. That’s when I realized that isn’t a puddle of water. It’s a puddle of blood. Oh, my friend and I run over to her and together lift her up by her arms, and her head rolls back revealing her face, which was severely beat and bleeding. We lay her down and I hold her while my friend runs to get help because both our phones were still dead. We stared at each other’s eyes and I spoke to her to keep her awake. But every once in a while she would repeat don’t let him get me, don’t let him take me and her eyes would start to roll back. Then I would speak to her and she would come back to her senses and seem more alert. This happened on and off for what must have been 10 minutes until the paramedics showed. At this point, there was a whole crowd around us. This is where the ghost story starts. Every night for months after that incident, I would dream of bugs coming out of my offices like scary movies. I would wake up from these nightmares pretty calm even though when I opened my eyes there would be a tall, dark masculine figure right at my bedside. I would stare at him without blinking and turn on my bedside lamp. As soon as the light was on, it was gone and this continued. I finally decided to go see a medium because I couldn’t get rid of these occurrences. When I arrived to the mediums home she asked me why I had brought death with me. She physically saw the dark figure behind me. I explained the situation in the alley to her. She explained to me that when I was trying to keep the woman coherent she was saying don’t let him take me, I was interfering with death’s duty, and apparently when you interfere with death, they tend to hold a grudge. Luckily, the medium was able to give me a bunch of good methods on how to rid myself of the dark douchebag. This is what she says. Eventually, I was able to sleep again without the peeping Tom. Yay. Okay, that’s the end. That’s how the story ended. Wow.
Elsie: Yeah, she told that story very upbeat and like it was no big deal. It sounds really dramatic to me.
Emma: Yeah, it sounds like she kind of saw someone die. They were very close to death and maybe they made it through I don’t know, we just know the paramedics came. So I don’t know if that person died or not. Sounds like they were not doing well. Then death was following her around for a while, so much so that she went to a medium. That’s a good idea because what else would you do.
Elsie: I feel like it would take a lot to make me seek out an alternative like that. It sounds like she had a very successful experience and did all the right things. But that is real, that’s a really, really scary story.
Emma: I mean, I have a lot of follow-up questions. What were these good methods on how to rid myself of a dark douchebag? What are those? Can you tell us that Priscilla? Yeah. Was it, were you burning? Sage? What do you do for that? Also, I’m just curious, did she google it before she went to the medium because I feel like that’s what I would do. Because I would be like, oh well, this is private. No one will know that I’m googling this but that’s a very traumatic. Whoa.
Elsie: That’s probably the most intense story that we received. But yeah, I had to include it because it’s like a 10 out of 10. Right. This next story comes from Micah and Olivia who are twin sisters. They say here’s a ghost story for the podcast. A little background info. My dad loved all things spiritual, but he felt strongly that he did not believe in ghosts. My mom, however, is logical and no-nonsense, but she 100% believes in ghosts. Two years ago, my dad passed away suddenly and we were all left reeling from grief. In the days and weeks after my dad died, my mom would always pray that my dad’s ghost would come to visit her at night, knowing that he didn’t believe that was possible. One day she finally decided to wash his remaining laundry. She was grieving that his clothes would no longer smell like him. Later that night, she felt something waking her up from her sleep. She said my dad’s smell was all around her and she felt so calm and happy that he had finally visited her. That’s a sweet one.
Emma: That is a sweet one. And I really understand the idea of if someone passing away or saving things that smell like them. I really get that. I’m like, yep, that would be such a hard day to wash like the last thing that reminds you of your loved one. This is from Viola. Alright, she says I have a ghost story for you. While it was happening, I remembered your ghost story episode. Oh, while it was happening she thought of us. Wow. Okay.
Elsie: She said it happened yesterday night. She emailed us the next day after this happened. So that’s awesome.
Emma: Wow, she really thought of us. So my son of two and a half years old wakes up in the middle of the night, which is very unusual these days. I go into his room, pick him up and hold him while sitting in the rocking chair in his room. Then he starts saying mama look over and over and pointing at something. The room is pitch black. There’s nothing to see. I tell him to go to sleep, everyone is sleeping. Then he starts giggling and says, look what Mr is doing. I don’t actually even believe in ghosts but he was very convincing. He keeps repeating it and giggling. He’s wide awake and clearly seeing something and he’s never done anything like this before. His room is the same as usual. Then I remember we bought our apartment last year from a luckily nice elderly couple and the husband died about two weeks after they moved out. I convinced myself that if this was his ghost, it was probably a friendly one and maybe he just had stopped by to see how we’d renovated his old place.
Elsie: I love it when people have to give the ghost a reason and a meaning because it’s like who knows, but I do that too and I like it.
Emma: It’s probably also like this is what I would do. If I was the ghost I’d drop it and see how.
Elsie: Because there’s nothing worse than a ghost that doesn’t make sense.
Emma: True. This is from Valerie. My childhood home in South Jersey was built in an old peach orchard.
Elsie: Whoo, that sounds nice. That sounds beautiful.
Emma: Beginning of a rom-com, I’m interested. Let’s see where this goes. Our Town is full of history and I don’t know exactly what happened in the peach orchard. But I do know that I had a lot of experiences growing up there. When I was younger, I used to have conversations with unseen people in our kitchen. It never bothered me though, and it never scared me. I never saw anyone but definitely heard lots of voices. As I grew that slowed down. I never felt really comfortable sleeping in my room. I always had night terrors and would sleep completely covered head to toe, even in the summer. Then one day I was in high school, I woke up and sat straight up in bed. I thought I had just woken up from a dream but then I felt something grabbed my arm. I could feel a tight grip right above my wrist. I started breathing very heavily and panicking and trying to brush the feeling off with my other hand. Then it let go. I started to calm down and then it grabbed me again. I swear I’m not making this up. I started yelling and brushing it off again and it let go. I could feel individual fingers release off my arm. My mom came into the room to check on me and I turned on the light. There were fingerprints on my arm. My mom said my arm probably was just asleep and my brain tricked me. I didn’t sleep in my room for two weeks after that. Yeah, I mean me either. Years and years later, I brought the experience up to my mom again and I told her I really believed it happened and she said my arm was asleep. She said of course I believe that happened. I just couldn’t stand to have you that scared anymore. Oh, how are you supposed to say to your child that you validate their scary spirit interaction? It blew my mind. Oh, that’s interesting. Yeah, poor mom. What do you say if you’re like, yeah, seems to be there’s a ghost after you. Good night.
Elsie: That’s a really good brain exercise because I don’t know what I would say to my kid if that situation happened.
Emma: Try to downplay it too but then also be like, let’s just try to burn some sage. I’ll probably be like let’s just move.
Elsie: We have one last story and it is from Amy. This one has a photo attached. So I will put the photo in the show notes. I left this one for last because it’s kind of a fun one. It’s not really scary. It’s kind of a what would you do?
Elsie: Yes. Hi Elsie and Emma, love the podcast. I’m not sure if this qualifies as a ghost story. It doesn’t. But we just purchased a 1920s American foursquare, my favorite kind of home, and are planning to renovate and update it. I just found this lady sketched on the wall in the attic and then yeah, there’s a picture of it. You can see it, Emma. It’s a little spooky. Our family has a lot of opinions on this and what we should do to avoid being potentially bothered by an associated spirit. Guess we won’t know for sure if the house is haunted until we move in, what would you do? I would just move in and see what happens because I think that this is kind of a scary-looking picture. It does kind of look like something from a horror movie, a prop from a horror movie. But I don’t think that it can tell you for sure that you’re going to have some kind of epic ghost experience. But if you do write us back, because we want to hear about it. I think try to enjoy it. I don’t know.
Emma: Choose your own adventure. I mean, she mentioned they already purchased it so that’s done. I guess I would definitely try to contact previous owners if possible. Go talk to neighbors and kind of be like, what’s the deal.
Elsie: You wouldn’t be too embarrassed to do that?
Emma: Well, since she has a photo of something I feel like you could take that on your phone to the neighbors or if you’re emailing a previous owner and be like hey, notice this what’s up. What’s up with this, any information? I also feel like renovating like when you do major things, you know, even tearing down wallpaper but definitely moving walls or tearing up tile or anything like that, I feel like I’ve heard before that that really tends to disturb any spirits. Not that it necessarily makes them angry, but just to kind of stirs things up. So I don’t know, I guess I would be a little hesitant on some of that too if I thought there maybe was something in the house because I’d be like maybe I’ll just leave this tile and save some money, and maybe I won’t have the ghosts come out. I don’t know.
Elsie: So your solution, seriously, would be like avoid renovating?
Emma: I am less enthusiastic about meeting ghosts than you.
Elsie: For my opinion, if she has this picture in her house, and they discovered it, that is the beginning of a story and she needs to just read the rest of the story and see what’s there.
Emma: So you kind of think you’re already on the roller coaster and the bar has gone over your lap so you just got to ride it.
Elsie: Exactly. Just enjoy the ride. That’s what I would say.
Emma: I’m like, maybe you should yell to get off. I don’t know.
Elsie: Should we move on to my haunted house story that I’ve been saving a whole year?
Emma: Yes, I can see you’re chomping at the bit to tell this story. Let’s do it.
Elsie: So excited. I am so excited. I’ve never ever ever been so excited to talk about something on the podcast before. So this is the craziest thing. Okay, so the best part about it is so we started having ghost experiences and almost all of them were my husband’s experiences. He is way, way, way, way less of a ghost enthusiast than me. He’s very much a skeptic interested in it but a skeptic. I feel like if people thought they all came from me, they would be like, yeah, you just imagine that because you like ghosts so much.
Emma: Yeah, no offense. That’s what I would think.
Elsie: Okay, so the first experience happened exactly a year ago, the morning after we recorded our ghost stories, and we recorded our two episodes all in one day last year. So we were reading ghost stories for hours and hours and the next morning, the first thing happened. How cool is that?
Emma: So you’re saying you think maybe the ghost heard you reading these stories? Yeah, they’re like cool, they’re into ghosts, we can come out now.
Emma: That’s your theory.
Elsie: A little bit of backstory. Okay, so we are homeless built in the 1990s. I think that’s why everyone voted that your house was haunted because your house is old and my house was new. Also, I looked it up, no one’s ever died in our home. That’s recorded.
Emma: Okay. How do you look that up?
Elsie: Remember the diedinhouse.com. We used it for your house and that’s how we know about Marilyn.
Emma: Do you think that’s really accurate?
Elsie: Yeah, I think it’s searching records. I think it’s just searching public records.
Emma: I don’t know. I’m just asking. It seems like maybe it was legit. Maybe it wasn’t, I don’t know.
Elsie: Emma’s house has a Maryland ghost. Or well, a person that died there.
Emma: Haven’t met her.
Elsie: Maybe not a ghost. Mine doesn’t have anything like that because I definitely checked after these things started happening. One of them’s really good. The rest of them are kind of like medium good. If I wrote these in, I probably wouldn’t have even read the stories. But since it happened to me, I’m going to share them because it’s exciting and it’s fun. The first one is that Jeremy, here’s the kids open our door and run into our room in the morning. He is jumping out of bed angry because we have certain rules in our house like in our kids are not allowed to leave their bed and run into a room in the morning especially like in a loud way, that’s not part of our routine. So he’s jumping out to sort of like, tell them, you can’t do that and he realizes that they’re not there. That it’s not happening and he goes and checks and they’re completely asleep. That was the first one and he told me about it but he did definitely justify it and say, well, maybe I was dreaming and maybe he was until the second one started. The second one, he says he was totally awake. It was another morning one and he heard Nova and Marigold running from room to room and slamming the doors in the hallway. So he went to check the monitor and they were both asleep again. So that was the first time that we were like, I think we might have a ghost in our home and it might be a kid, a kid ghost or the sounds of a kid because it’s always like kid related. Around this time, we also started having a problem with bats. Our bat problem, it’s mostly solved now, we actually don’t know for sure if it’s bats or birds. But what it is, is the sound so everyone’s probably experienced a bird running into your window at night or flying into your window. But in our bedroom, it sometimes started happening 5 to 10 times in one night. It was like constantly so it wasn’t like once in a while, that’s happened in other Holmes before. It was absolutely constantly and it was always during the hours when we were falling asleep, or you’re just constantly being woken up by that noise. So that started happening that never really stopped. It happened as recently as this past week. What was weird is that it happened right after I said to Jeremy, did you notice that the bird thing stopped happening, and then it happened that night, like a bunch of times, like five times again, weird and creepy. Okay. So the third time.
Emma: Wait, wait, you’re saying that you don’t think it’s a bird? You think it’s bats or you’re saying it’s a ghost?
Elsie: We know we have some bats living in our porch outside and it also could be birds. We don’t know what it is running into the window, or why. It might be totally unrelated to ghosts, but because it happened so much, it kind of feels spooky. I don’t know, I don’t know how it all ties together. People can take from it what they want. So the third one, I was very excited that we potentially had a ghost after the first two things happen. But I was sort of just like, I wanted to wait and see what else would happen. And anyway, so Jeremy and I were talking about it before bed, and he says you should try talking directly to the ghost. I was like, hi ghost, nice to see you. We’re glad you’re here. Welcome to our home and so I went to sleep and the entire night it was like I was woken up every 30 minutes. It felt like you know how it feels when you’re asleep, I don’t know for sure but it felt like I was absolutely constantly being woken up by three things, the sound of the bats or birds running into the windows, the feeling like a presence was coming towards our bed crashing outside of our room, and doors opening and closing. This one’s super weird. We had this little blue retro kids ride on car in our garage and it’s something that we got for Nova’s, I think third birthday. So we’ve had it for a few years, and it was getting older and we knew that. It was kind of like dying a lot and hard to charge. So one day, Jeremy heard this clicking sound in our garage, and he went out there. He noticed that it was coming from the car. He had never heard the sound before but he saw that the key was in the car, and it was trying to start. It seemed like the car was trying to start. So he was like, okay, that’s a little weird but this car is obviously old and dying. So he took the key out, and it kept trying and making the noises even with the key out in his hand, it was still turning on. So not very long after that, we did this huge Craigslist free in our driveway thing. Basically, gave away all the stuff in our garage that had accumulated since our move. So we gave away that car and it went away. My friends who I was telling the ghost stories in real time we’re like, so let’s find out if the ghost goes with the car or stays. The next one is kind of just the basic one but Jeremy sees the kids are asleep. We usually are watching TV with our baby monitor every night. Then he hears Nova yelling and talking loudly, which is a very normal thing at night. He checks again and they’re asleep again, but he hears it again. So he goes up into their room and they’re completely asleep. So yeah, that is the five separate things that happened. I don’t know what it is. I don’t think it’s scary. I think it’s kind of cool. The one where I was staying up all night was a little scary. If that happened a bunch of times that would freak me out but it was just the one time. What do you think, do you think it’s or do you think that it’s imagined?
Emma: It kind of sounds like this ghost, if it’s real, which I don’t know sounds like a good chance, sounds like he or she is more interested in hanging out with Jeremy.
Elsie: I know.
Emma: If it’s a little kid goes baby they were born of a daddy’s boy, daddy’s girl.
Elsie: Okay, well, I’m excited to see what happens next, if anything. All right. Well, that was really fun. I just want to say thank you to everyone for supporting our podcast year-round, but this episode definitely makes us feel like the warm fuzzies and we get the nicest messages, the nicest emails every single week. It really is like something that makes us feel close and like a feeling of friendship with our audience. So thank you for being a part of our podcast. All right, we’ll be back next week.
Hey ABM Team! Are y’all still accepting ghost story submissions? If so, how do we submit them? Thanks!
Okay so I have some answers for you. Some states require you to disclose that there was a death or murder in the house before you buy it but Washington state definitely does NOT.
My husband and I bought our first home in April 2021. It’s over 100 years old which is exactly what we wanted. I love old house charm! Knowing it was so old I was pretty sure over the years there had been a death or two but didn’t think much of it. I also googled the house address before we closed and didn’t find anything. After moving in we talked to the neighbors and they told us this was the “worst house on the block”, The cops were called a lot for domestic abuse and drug use and selling. Okay, not great but atleast they’re gone now, right? Well, after living in our house for two months my neighbor across the street said to me “we (meaning all of the other neighbors) have been talking about it and nobody wanted to tell you… two people who used to live in your house were arrested for murdering their cousin and storing his body in the freezer in the garage” ? so of course I kind of freaking out and I google it, still nothing. So I went on our towns newspaper website and searched our address and the last name of the previous owners and I finally found it. Not only did two previous occupants kill their cousin in the garage, dismember his body, store it in a deep freezer and then later dump his remains at a local park but ALL of this happened in November of 2020!!!! Less than 6 months before we moved in! In our old house we were renting my 5 year old daughter wouldn’t sleep in her room because she said there were ghosts in there, so we were really particular about making sure our new house had good vibes before we put in an offer. we love our house so much and even named it “The Holly House” and still don’t feel any bad vibes here. I will say that the detached garage where our laundry is has always given me creepy vibes but I just thought it was because it’s an old garage. According to the articles I found the person was killed in the garage so hopefully that’s true and it wasn’t in the house. The person murdered here didn’t actually live in this house so I doubt he would stick around when this wasn’t even his house, I know ghosts usually go to a place that they feel comfortable.
A few more things.. When we moved in I found a baseball bat that the previous owners left behind in the closet with our water heater. I pulled it out and thought “ hmm that’s odd, maybe it was for protection?” And put it back But after reading the newspaper articles it says the victim was killed by blunt force trauma.. I should probably take it out of the closet but I’m kind of scared to touch it now. Another thing, a few years before we moved in, the city decided to move the sewer pipes for everyone on my block from the back yard to the front, below the new sidewalks they were putting in. The previous owners declined to have their pipes moved..is it because they would have had to dig up the backyard and they didn’t want “things” to be found back there?! So who knows what we’re going to find when we start landscaping the back yard.
Other than the fact that I live in a murder house.. I really do love our house. It was in rough shape when we moved in but we’re slowly but surely improving it and making it our own. I can’t tell you if I would have wanted my neighbors to tell me right away about the murder, I think because they waited two months it allowed us to make our own memories in here and that was helpful for when we finally found out. Also diedinhouse.com showed nothing. Maybe it’s because it’s reported the murder happened in the garage or maybe because it’s still an ongoing case?
I love your podcast and I love all of your home decor advice. I use it to make my house more of The Holly House and less of the murder house.
I had a similar experience with bats and birds keeping me up in high school. I could hear the bats chirping and moving around in the ceiling every night from 1-3am then as soon as the sun started to rise birds would fly and tap on my window. It was the worst and I always over slept from being kept up at night.
PLEASE tell me that you’ve listened to the Spooked podcast. It is literally just ghost stories from people. They are all true, and all so creepy and scary and amazing. Immediately thought of both of you and this episode from last year when I listen to the first episode. Definitely check it out!
Ah, I remember the instagram poll on whose house was haunted and I definitely did NOT think it could be Elsie’s! I hope you’ll keep sharing any ghostly occurrences that happen with us 😀
I am DEAD at the exchange about how the skeletons are secured to the roof. Hilarious.
I am so invested in learning how this works out!
this was a great episode! I want to make sure you guys have seen this video from Jimmy Fallon so I’m leaving it here (although it’s more relevant to your conversation about Nancy Meyers-ing your home!) https://www.instagram.com/tv/CU8ngfjtUtp/?utm_medium=copy_link
haha- we love it!!