In movies there’s always a backstory to the paranormal activity. A recorded death or a previous owner who practiced black magic. In reality, you might not ever get those answers. That’s one of the hardest parts of living in a haunted house: living with the unknown. Who are the spirits? Why are they there? How did they die? There aren’t always death records or sordid histories to explain it all. Does that mean the house isn’t haunted? I wouldn’t be so hasty to assume that. Instead, with all the knowledge and experience I’ve gained, I would lean more toward the possibility that these weren’t spirits at all.
– Danny Raye
In our new Ford Explorer, we drove to the Square where all the official buildings were. We parked a little way’s from the building that wasn’t the courthouse and had to walk across the Square to get to it.
“What if we find out that our house is on Indian burial grounds?” Mom said.
“That wouldn’t make any sense. Nothing we’ve experienced has anything to do with Indians or slaves or anything like that,” I said.
“You sound like such a grown up,” she said with a smile.
“A girl can learn a lot from Ghost Hunters,” I said.
Mom held the door open for me. We went in and there was a metal detector for weapons, I guess. I took off all my rings and put them in the little tray. I passed and was clear. So did Mom. Then we went down this narrow hall to a place that looked like a blank. There were people lined up with documents in hand as they were going up to these glass windows with holes in them where secretaries stood on the other side.
Mom pulled my jacket to tell me it wasn’t that way. It was this room off to the right. There were desks crammed so tight in this room that it looked uncomfortable to work in there. Papers were everywhere, women were walking around in nice skirts.
“Hi, we’re here to view property records on our house,” Mom said to the lady in charge.
“Okay, right this way.” The chunky lady showed us to a wall of file cabinets. “What lot is the property on?”
“I don’t know. It would be Kentucky Hills.”
“Oh okay. Let me see here.” The lady sorted through files and files until finally finding a really big old brown book. She sat it on the file cabinet and opened it up to the middle section. “Right here. Here are prints of the land your house is on and these are records of previous owners of each property.”
“Will deaths be recorded on here too?” Mom said.
“Thank you,” Mom said.
When the lady walked away, I took her place beside the book.
“Lot 22,” Mom said. “That’s where our house is.” She showed me the print on the paper. It didn’t look like much of a house, but that was our street and the surrounding area.
“The house was owned by five people before Paul’s dad bought it. But I don’t see any names of people who died in it. The previous owners moved out, I know that much. No one died in their family.”
The pages of the book were old and dusty just like a book you would find in a secret library. The kind of book that would hide awful memories. But this one didn’t have anything new to tell us.
“So no one died in our house or on the land?” I said.
Mom flipped the book closed. I touched it one last time to feel the dust on the cover. It was so wonderful to touch something with so much history.
“These are just names that have been recorded, Ray. So if someone died on our land before our house was there a hundred years ago, it’s likely we wouldn’t know about it. There weren’t any names recorded of people who died where our house is. That doesn’t mean no one actually did.”
That made sense. What didn’t make sense is how we drove down here to get answers and were driving all the way home without any answers at all.
“Looks like we’ll just have to find our own answers,” Mom said.
“How?” I said.
“How does T.A.P.S.?”
“EVP sessions mostly,” I said.
“Then let’s go to the pawn before they close and get a recorder. We’ll buy brand new tapes, see what we can capture.”
“Really, Mom?” I danced with excitement and grabbed her arm.
“Really. We’ll set it up in your room tonight.”
“Maybe we’ll catch the footsteps we all hear,” I said.
“Or the whispers you hear when you fall asleep.”
“Anything would be nice so I know I’m not crazy.”
It was six am, Saturday. I woke up in a hurry to get to the recorder I had set up in my room the night before. The tape had been filled, and the recorder shut off automatically, so I turned it on and rewound it to listen from the top. It had recorded for four hours and I listened to all four of them in a row. I even skipped breakfast because with all the stuff we have been going through, I just knew we were going to catch an EVP. We had to.
It took four hours of the tape before I heard something. And there was no mistaking what it was.
As fast as I could, I ran downstairs to the kitchen where she was getting more coffee. “Mom, listen to this.”
I played the tape for her. There was static and other noises of the house and then there was the voice.
“Sounds like a boy,” she said.
“Yeah, like a teenage boy. A little older than me, maybe?”
“Yeah,” Mom said. “What’s he saying?”
“Julia’s trying to come in,” I said.
Mom listened again. “Ah, yeah. Play it one more time.”
I played it again. And again for Brandy when she came in.
“Oh man.” She shivered, walking away fast to take her medicine. “That’s creepy.”
I played it for Sara when she woke up. She didn’t care too much about ghosts, but even she thought it was scary.
I wasn’t scared or creeped out. I was excited! This was my first EVP! I caught a dead person talking.
“Julia’s trying to come in.”