Yes, I Lived in a Haunted House

Mansion The Mannequins was modeled after

Mansion The Mannequins was modeled after

Growing up, I didn’t think it was unusual to move a lot. “My family moved us fifteen times before I was even fifteen years old,” was a funny little phrase I liked to say. Funny now, not so funny then. But one of those times we moved was actually because our house was haunted.

When I was in the seventh grade, we moved to Weston, Connecticut into a home we rented from the old-time movie actress, June Havoc. This house was incredibly eccentric. It was a huge split level ranch, with five bedrooms, four bathrooms, two random rooms with drains in the middle of the floor, bedrooms with two doors. Another bedroom with a sink and tons of closets everywhere. There was a third floor that stretched the entire length of the house and held just a sink and a tub (which was where the actress supposedly bathed her seven+ dogs). The third floor also boasted a tiny little room that reminded me of a room in the novel, The Amityville Horror. It was hot and stifling in there and I once remember seeing a dead fly on the windowsill (to a 12 yr old, dead flies are SO GROSS). But this room was awesome because Ms. Havoc had left it filled with trunks and memorabilia from her old Vaudeville days. She had asked if she could keep her stuff in there and I would go up and just look around now and again. I wish I had been older to have appreciated that room more, but as I was twelve, all I really did was look inside and usually just run right back out because it freaked me out too much. There were other oddities around the house. Outside the living room was an unused, broken indoor greenhouse and an abandoned stable, which is I think is where she kept goats.

But the house wasn’t just eccentric and creepy for no reason. It also had a history. June’s husband died in there (apparently in my bedroom because that’s where he slept) and on these lovely five acres there is a worn, wooden chair that sits on the edge of a trail and looks over the river that ran through the backyard. It was supposedly where he used to sit and relax.

And to further add to the creepy factor, this house was haunted. We would hear people running across the hall upstairs, and if you went upstairs, the running would commence on the third floor. My mother was known to have called the police multiple times because she’d be in the bathroom upstairs and hear people entering the house. There was one night my sisters and I and my dad all woke up and met in the hallway – and none of us knew why. My father looked at us and said “Go back to bed, girls.” There were the times the cat would “skitz out” and hiss and dart from the room. The time our six-foot, five inch tall friend was once house-sitting and was found slinking around the house with a kitchen knife in his hand, in the middle of the day, because he heard someone running around and couldn’t find them. And then there was the living room and that whole side of the house outside. We hated that room. My parents seldom entertained in there. Right outside the living room there was a wonderfully beautiful empty plot of land with no trees – the only place on the property you’d think we’d play, build snowmen, whatever. But no. For some reason we avoided it like the plague. I would bet you someone is buried back there. We lived there for about eight months and then we were out of there.

The Mannequins FinalYou’d think this experience would scare me off of horror movies and books – but not a shot. The Shining is one of my favorite movies. I have written a bunch of short horror stories and a dream prompted my newest horror novel. In the dream, this man was resting his hand on the back of a very little boy. They stood on a hill and were looking down at a decaying mansion. When I woke up, I had the idea for my quirky horror novel THE MANNEQUINS. It’s about a film crew that breaks into an abandoned house and gets transported to a different reality run by a man they call, the Preacher. I just launched it and I’ll have it for 99 cents through Halloween if you’d like to pick up your copy. The links on Amazon are here:

US Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Dcoirc
UK Amazon: http://amzn.to/1DMxxk3
Canada Amazon: http://amzn.to/10sWenD

Have you ever lived in a haunted house or experienced anything “supernatural?” Love to hear! If you’d like to join my newsletter for the next update in the Kelsey Porter or Flying series, please contact me here.

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22 thoughts on “Yes, I Lived in a Haunted House

  1. I remember the doors opening & closing by themselves all the time. I like to freak my kids out with stories about that house!

  2. I read the Amityville Horror when I was a teen and it freaked me out. Living in a house like it would be even worse. I wonder what it’s like in the house now? Have you ever gone back for a visit?

    • My sister went back a few years ago and said the people completely renovated it and it “felt fine.” She showed them some quirky stuff but it was definitely a different house than when I was there. Yes, the Amityville horror terrified me for years!

  3. I enjoy “old” houses and as a kid would scrounge around in any empty ones I could find… didn’t know the word “Trespasser” back then. One was haunted and had the bestest stuff in it, but nobody, NOBODY ever took anything out of the haunted house. If they did, they returned it really fast. My folks rented and it was always fun to discover “finds” in the attic and basement which had been overlooked.

  4. My sister’s family finally left their haunted house a couple of years ago. At first, they took to the same opinion as Old Things R New; embracing “the others” as extended family (making friends). That was the wrong thing to do… My sister’s daughter became very ill, the doctors could find no reason. (This is called Oppression). Then there were a serious of accidents with plates flying or things falling that barely missed the kids. Finally, the littlest one was trapped in his bedroom–something moved his huge dresser in front of the door, he couldn’t get out and no one could get in. The family finally had a friend come to do a blessing–she was supposedly trained by her Native American relatives. Well, she was not prepared! She ended up in the hospital in critical care.
    The family moved out and squatters moved in. Turns out the wife was extremely ill while living there. I don’t know what happened to the squatters, but my sister’s daughter’s health improved after moving out of the house.
    Everyone thinks it would be fun to live in a haunted house…until they do. Having your children traumatized and scratched or having your own health slowly drained away is not fun.

  5. How cool to have lived in a house owned by June Haver – even if it had ghosts : ( Never lived with a ghost (that I’ve know about) but have had a few unexplainable messages from beyond. Your book sounds intriguing! Best of luck with the launch – jan

  6. Some people during this time of year would cheer at the thought of a real haunted house. Not me. GET ME OUT OF THERE…. I have a hard time watching anything scary – even American Horror Story (which I have yet to see)… You’re a brave soul. Good luck with the book sales! I hope LOADS of people buy them!!!

  7. I always get “visits” at old hotels. I’ve never figured out the hotel thing with earth bound spirits. My only guess is that stay because they get lots of traffic. I understand why you left after 8 months. It’s VERY draining. Thanks for sharing with us.

    • I sometimes wish I was someone that was attuned to the afterlife, but I don’t know if I am or not. Some people get very affected in certain places, I see it happen, and me? I just am sort of chilling there.

  8. Elyse, you grew up like I did! My mom couldn’t resist Victorians. The creepier they were, the better. We always seemed to live in the haunted house in our neighborhood. Neighbors were eager to get us kids up to speed on our home’s history (whether it was true or not, I never knew), and who had witnessed what manifestation. Needless to say, friends weren’t often keen on having sleepovers. Did I ever see anything? No, though I had a great imagination, and my sister and I would often end up huddled in her bed or mine, freaking ourselves out to the thumping and rattling of old radiators. 🙂

    • I’ll be honest, I never really saw anything – though with the hysteria of everyone else, I guess I THINK I did. Now, I did really despise that living room and was creeped out. Certain places gave me the creeps, but I wasn’t witness to too many occultish things like the other family members were.

  9. Ooh, ooh, ooh! I’ve been in a haunted house before, too. It was creeeeepppy. I spent the night at a house my sister was watching for a family. It was an old home in the woods of Northern California. My sister, a very reasonable, rational girl, woke me up in the middle of the night screaming. She said she heard the piano playing and a knife had been plunged into one of the doors. Don’t remember if I ever got back to sleep or what we did the next day or anything other that my screaming sister. I never, ever returned to spend the night there.

  10. The Amityville Horror scared my socks off! Does anyone remember the scenes of George Lutz waking at 3:00 a.m. every morning as he spiraled into psychosis? I started waking at 3:00 a.m. every morning, too, even though 6:00 a.m. was my set time! It happened for weeks until I got rid of my bedside clock with the red illuminated digital numbers. That movie is the reason we have no freestanding clocks in the house! lol

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