In the Fall of 2001 I received a telephone call from a young couple named Hal and Lisa, who lived in North Adams, Massachusetts. They had been given my number by our mutual friend, John. Hal and Lisa had recently bought an old house, which they were in the process of restoring and which they were convinced was haunted. John knew that I had lived in a few houses where there had been some paranormal activity, so I guess he thought there was something in my experience that might be of benefit to Hal and Lisa. I asked Hal what made him and Lisa think their house was haunted. He explained that while they had not seen a ghost, "strange things" were happening in the house - such as doors opening and closing by themselves, lights turning on and off by themselves, thumping sounds emanating from their bedroom floor amd walls, the sound of footsteps racing up and down the stair, and a clanging sound in the cellar that sounded as if someone was banging the water pipes with a hammer. He asked me if I would come to visit them at their house and perhaps get a feel for the strange things that were happening there. I told him that while I didn't fancy myself as some type of 'ghost buster,' I was not a stranger to paranormal activity and I had on a few occasions both seen and communicated with ghosts. Or what I prefer to call 'spirits' - some of which were friendly, some not so friendly, and some entirely indifferent to my existence. I told Hal that I would visit when it was convenient for the both of us. We agreed upon Sunday evening at 6 o'clock.
When I arrived to their house I was a little surprised to find it located on such a busy highway. Somehow I imagined it to be located off the side of a country road or in a more residential neighborhood. They met me at the front door and escorted me into the living room, where we sat to chat and have a glass of wine. After they had reiterated the paranormal activities that had been troubling them, I asked them to tell me what they knew about the history of the house and its previous owners. What I learned from them was that the house was originally built around 1920. They didn't know anything about its original owner, but they had purchased it from a Mr. Hubbard, who was 87 years old and living in a Nursing Home. Mr. Hubbard had granted his lawyer power of attorney, so it was his lawyer who represented his interests at the sale of the house. According to what the lawyer told Hal and Lisa, Mr. Hubbard had lived in the house for over fifty years. During the first ten years Mrs. Hubbard lived in the house with him. But, sometime later she fell in love with another man and the two of them ran off together. Mr. Hubbard never gave up hope that she would one day return to him, but she never did. After she left, Mr. Hubbard became a drunk and a recluse. By the time Hal and Lisa bought the house it was quite run down. But, it was located close to the bank where Hal worked and Lisa had plans to open a Garden Center on its 3 acres of land, where she intended to sell plants, flowers, lawn ornaments, and various other types of garden supplies.
After we had talked for a half hour, they gave me a tour of the house. The living room had an oversized fireplace with a ceramic tile front. There were book shelves built on each side of the fireplace. It also had a couple of cozy window seats. The dining room was average size and had two built-in china cabinets with beveled glass doors. The kitchen was large and long. It still had its original white enamel sink, but its stove and refrigerator were later models, that were probably purchased in the 1950s. Towards the back of the kitchen was a breakfast nook with built-in benches and with three windows overlooking the back yard. There was a small room off to one side of the front hall that might have originally served as a den, sitting room, or sewing room. There was a small half bath tucked away beneath the front stairs. Half way up the stairs was a lovely stained glass window depicting Daffodils and Irises. The upstairs of the house had a full bath, a master bedroom, and two smaller bedrooms. There was a door in one of the smaller bedrooms that opened into an attic storage space. The cellar of the house had dirt floors, except for a small area of concrete, which had been poured to support a newer oil burner and hot water tank. It also had a door that opened to a small room with shelves on its walls, which was no doubt once used for storing jars of homemade jellies, jams, pickles, etc.
What I sensed from the house was a combination of anger, frustration and fear; very similar to what I sensed in the house where Lizzie Borden's parents were murdered. There was a chilling drop of room temperature in the master bedroom. And the cellar almost overwhelmed me with a sense of dread. The phrase "doom and gloom" actually came to mind.
After we toured the house, we again returned to the living room to chat and have another glass of wine. Hal and Lisa exchanged glances and then Hal looked at me and asked, "So what do you think?" I told him (them) I thought that while the house might have once been filled with love and laughter, it had since been inhabited by the angry spirit of someone who at one time or another lived and died in the house. I further explained that when some people die suddenly or under traumatic circumstances, they don't know where to go and so they cling to the people and places that are most familiar to them. No sooner had those words departed from my lips when an invisible hand snatched the wine bottle up from the coffee table and hurled it at the fireplace, where it shattered into bits and pieces. And in less than two seconds later Lisa shrieked, "Ouch! Oh my God! somebody just pinched my arm!" I knew then that the spirit had been listening to our conversation. I stood up to address the spirit. And as I gazed around the room said, "We realize you're very angry, but we're your friends, not your enemies. So if there's something we can do to help you, please find a way to let us know." I felt an invisible hand gently stroke my cheek. But, the moment I sat down the television in the living room came on at full volume. Hal rushed to turn it off. Then, out of fear and frustration, he searched the room with his eyes and shouted, "What do you want from us?!" And at that precise moment the door in the front hall flung wide open and a brisk cold wind came whipping through the hallway and into the living room. I turned to Lisa and said, "I think that's my invitation to leave." But, then I stood up to address the spirit again. And with less than a friendly voice said, "But I'll be back!" I told Hal and Lisa that I would return the next evening at the same time with my friend Kitty and that the four of us together would perform a Banishing and House Blessing. They opted to spend the night at a nearby motel.
Hal locked the back and front doors and the three of us left the house together. During the drive home that night I did a mental review of what had occurred in the house and I came to the conclusion that dispite all the ruckus, the gentle stroke to my cheek was definitely a feminine touch.
My friend Kitty was twenty years older than me. She was born in Romania, but was raised and educated in England. She had more recently moved to Vermont from New York City. She was a spititualist and psychic medium, who lectured on the subject of paranormal activity and had appeared on several different television programs in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. She had also worked with the NYC police department in helping them to locate the bodies of people who were presumed to have been murdered. She considered herself a Witch, but she didn't wear the Halloween type of garbs that most adherents of the New Age religion of Wicca wear. She dressed in very ordinary clothes and in fact, bore a striking resemblance to Nina Petrovna Khrushcheva, who was the second wife of Soviet Leader Nakita Khrushchev back in the 1950s and 60s.
When Kitty and I arrived to Hal's and Lisa's house, they were sitting in their car waiting for us. They hadn't dared to re-enter the house by themselves. But, considering their lack of experience with the paranormal, their fears were understandable.
Lisa gave Kitty a quick tour of the house and upon their return to the living room Kitty said, "These walls are saturated and oozing with hate and rage." Hal offered us a glass of wine, but Kitty insisted that nobody consume a beverage containing alcohol before performing a Banishing.
We jointly decided the living room was the best place to conduct the Banishing.
I'm not going to disclose the techniques, ritual tools, invocations and incantations required to perform a Banishing. But, if you have an interest to know, a quick internet search will produce lots of reading material. Suffice it to say that during the first half hour of the Banishing, "all Hell broke loose." All over the house doors opened and slammed shut, the hammering of water pipes reverberated throughout the house, lights flickered on and off, loud thumps and bumps were heard from the room above our heads, the living room floor shook and trembled as if a fright train had passed through, dishes in the kitchen were heard smashed upon the floor, a chair in the living room was overturned, and kinck-knacks on the fireplace mantel were thrown and shattered against the walls. Eventually the ruckus began to gradually subside and then at long last there was a deafening hush that came over the house. I knew at that point the spirit had left the house and had found its way to the heavenly realms from whence it first came. We swept up some of the broken dishes from the kitchen floor and then took a brief coffee break before we proceeded with the House Blessing. At the end of the evening I was confident that Hal and Lisa would be able to enjoy their home without any further disturbances.
A week later I called them to ask how things were going. They were happy to report that things had been quiet and peaceful.
But, this is not the end of the story......
Three of four years passed, when one day as I was driving through North Adams I decided to stop at a Pizza Shop, where I knew two sisters who worked there. They were regular customers at my nightclub in Hoosick, New York and their father owned the Pizza Shop. I was never a big fan of pizza, but their father turned out a plate of spaghetti and meatballs that was out of this world. While I was sitting to eat my spaghetti, Lisa came through the door. We both noticed each other at the same time. She put in her order for pizza and then came to sit with me for a few minutes. I asked her how things had been going at the house. She said she didn't know, because she and Hal had sold the house two years earlier to a group of investors who tore it down to build a Shell gas station. She and Hal had bought a ranch style house in another part of town and she had opened a florist shop in downtown North Adams, which she said was doing a very good business. I congratulated her and told her to give Hal my very best regards. We said our goodbyes. She picked up her pizza at the counter and headed for the door. But, then she suddenly turned around and came back to me to say, "I almost forgot to tell you that when they torn down the house and bulldozed the property, they unearthed the skeletal remains of someone buried in the cellar." I asked her if the remains had been identified as male or female. She said she didn't know for sure, but thought she later heard they were female. And then she quickly added, "But they could have been there even before the house was built."
I said, "That's possible, but not likely."
She asked, "What do you mean?"
I said, "Well, considering the paranormal activity in that house, it seems more likely the skeletal remains were of someone who actually lived and died in the house. And I think whoever originally built the house must have dug a cellar hole, at which time they would have been more likely to discover any skeletal remains that had been there prior to the house being built.
She took a moment to consider what I had said and then asked, "What exactly are you saying?"
I said, "Well, I wouldn't bet the farm on it, but my guess is Mrs. Hubbard never really ran off with another man."
She said, "You mean you think Mr. Hubbard....."
I said, "Yes, that's exactly what I mean."
Last edited by NoelW : 29-05-2023 at 11:17 AM.