The Ghost Amongst Us - A Personal Story

My parents divorced when I was young. I lived with my mom during the week, spending the weekends with my dad. Almost every weekend, we would go to visit my aunt and uncle, who lived in a modest tri-level house in Lombard, Illinois. 3 bedrooms and one bathroom on the top floor. Living room, dining room and kitchen on the second floor. Finished recreational room and small tool room for my uncle on the bottom level.

We would pop in for a quick visit and friendly chat. My aunt and uncle would entertain me with snacks, bad TV, cigarette smoke, and the coveted Junk Drawer in the kitchen. I use to spend hours separating all the useless goodies in that junk drawer, imagining the possibilities. Every visit was like Christmas – you never know what you’re going to find!

My aunt and uncle had a Yorkshire Terrier named Oliver. And in true terrier fashion, he would bark up a storm at any little thing that passed his way. During our visits, my aunt would jokingly speak of times when Oliver would stand frozen, barking at the stairs leading to the bedrooms, for no apparent reason. She did admit to hearing creaking at the same time, as if someone was walking up or down on the stairs, followed by the faint sound of a bell ringing afterwards, but she never saw anything. In the middle of the night, the sounds of footsteps up and down the stairs and throughout the bedroom hallway became so bothersome that my aunt insisted my uncle keep his shotgun at his nightstand, in case this invisible walker were to enter their room in the middle of night. As if you could shoot a ghost. Or so my aunt thought.

Unbeknownst to me, with each visit, every single time I walked up or down the staircase, the picture frames that lined the walls would ‘tilt’, depending on my general direction. My family eventually noticed this strange occurrence, only to quickly laugh it off. My dad would tell me “Tara, don’t walk so hard, you’re shaking the damn walls, haha!”

One day, at a family gathering, everyone noticed, including myself, that when I walked down the staircase from the bathroom towards the living room, the series of photos hanging on the wall seemed to not only follow my every step, but a random photo rose off the wall, floated mid-air, and was thrown down the steps. Straight for my head.

Luckily, my uncle saw what was happening and quickly grabbed me, throwing both of us to the floor. The family gathered to examine the picture frame that lay shattered at the bottom of the steps, filled with confusion and slight fear.

Needless to say, I never went to the upper level of that house again.

After some research, the family learned that their house that built on the same property of a house that burned down in fire years before, killing a man and his little dog.

That would explain the footsteps going up and down the stairs and roaming the hallways, and the sound of a small bell.

Apparently, they either didn’t know they died in that fire, or refused to move on.  And it was obvious that the previous occupant didn’t care for me that much, for whatever reason. I’ve always been hypersensitive, and as an adult have been more in tune with specific abilities that I now consider a blessing more than a curse. So perhaps this was someone’s way of trying to get my attention to help him? Or a serious attempt to hurt me, maybe feeling jealous of my youth and life force?  Either way, the outcome has been traumatizing. And also began my ongoing interest in the paranormal, hoping to gain a better understanding.

36 years later, I still wonder. My aunt and uncle have long since sold that house and retired. And no, I’ve never been back to the house on Kennilworth to find out the answers to my personal attack. Some things are better left unanswered.

It was only after the birth of my son did the activity start up again.

Blog to be continued...

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