Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Haunted House

I believe in ghosts.

In 2005, I was my university newspaper's entertainment editor. I spent almost every day at the old, historic house which served as the headquarters.

It was a two-story cozy bungalow, built in the 1920s. The bottom half housed the newsroom, my office, and other offices. Upstairs held more offices. We held our staff meetings in the small, scary basement.

It was a typical college landmark, with Bob Marley posters interlaced with Gandhi quotes on the walls and Ernest Hemingway novels sprawled across dirty green futons.

On weekdays, the house was bustling with eager, young journalists, writing stories on laptops or running around, laughing about the latest university scandal. On Sunday nights, the place was packed with every staff employee cranking out the latest edition for a Tuesday release.

As an editor, I practically lived in the house. I was there every single day, proofreading my reporters' stories or even just studying for a test. It was my home away from home.

But the house held a dark secret, which I didn't learn until it was too late.

I was dating the sports editor of the newspaper. His name was Joseph. One afternoon, we raced down into the dark, frightening basement, to get frisky. We made our way into a tiny room we'd never been in before, giggling and kissing and getting undressed.

It was pitch black, except for a tiny streak of light coming from the hallway. I noticed there were numbers written all over the walls of the room. I pushed Joseph away and pointed them out.

"What is all this crap?" I remember asking, puzzled. He lit up his cell phone and we squinted at the numbers, which appeared to be written in marker. The numbers looked worn and faded, like they had been there for a really long time.

"I don't know," he said, studying them. "They kind of look like footballs stats. Who cares."

And we resumed our intimacy.

The next day, I asked my friend Nancy to go down to the basement with me, so I could show her the numbers written all over the walls.

When we got to the room, the walls were stark white. There were no numbers. We went to every single room in the basement. No numbers. She thought I was nuts. I swore to her there were numbers on the walls.

Later that afternoon, I turned on all the lights again, and brought Joseph down. We studied every room and couldn't find the numbers. He seemed disturbed, but calmed me down by saying that perhaps the building manager had painted down there. He couldn't think of any other explanation.

A few months later, I was alone in the house on a Saturday afternoon. I was editing stories in my office. I kept hearing someone walk outside my door, but every time I inspected it, there was nobody there. Then, I heard a door slam. Annoyed, I walked all over the house and upstairs, only to find that every single door was locked. I was alone in the house.

Not too long after that incident, I found myself alone in the house on a Friday night. I had gone out for dinner with Jonny and then realized I had a shitload of stories to edit, so I went to the house to get some of them out of the way.

About an hour after I was alone in the house, I heard a radio turn on. It was on the sports station. I walked around the house until I came to the room where the sound was coming from. It was my boyfriend's office, which was locked shut. But he wasn't in there. He was in northern California, visiting his mother.

"Hello?" I asked into the door, perplexed. There was no answer. Just the radio.

A male broadcaster was announcing a play-by-play of a football game. It was very loud.

Frustrated and confused, I called my boyfriend's cell. I told him that there was a radio blasting in his office and did he, perhaps, lend his office key to anyone in particular?

Joseph was pissed.

No, he did NOT lend his key to anyone, and he demanded that I figure out who the hell was in his office. After all, he didn't even have a radio in there, he said. Just his computer. I, of all people, should know that. He was freaked out. I didn't blame him.

Instead of investigating the incident any further, I immediately collected my notebook and raced out of the house. I could still hear the radio blasting from his window as I ran to my car in the pitch black parking lot.

The next day, I described the incident to the campus newspaper's office manager, who oversees the house. She didn't seem surprised.

"Oh, I've been working here for five years and we always have weird stuff like that going on," she said, breezily. "Have you seen anything move? That seems to be the most common complaint."

I was floored by her flippancy.

Other than a creepy vibe, I didn't encounter any other incidents after that night.

But one week before I graduated in 2006, I was speaking with one of my English professors about my experience with the campus newspaper.

"I don't know how you can stand being in that house all the time," she told me, with a shudder.

When I asked her why she felt that way, she told me that the campus newspaper house had once been the location for the campus radio station in the 1970s.

In the late 1970s, the disc jockey who covered campus sports, suddenly died of a heart attack after being on-air. His office was located in the last room on the first floor.

Joseph's office.

I haven't been in the house since.


Swarnali said...

Whoa...that is one spooky story...I would have passed out had i been in your place. We had this abandoned and dilapidated church next to our college that people said was haunted. Every night that we stayed late in our college preparing for something, we used to hear all sorts of murmurs from the other side of the was really scary.

Vix said...

What a spooky story, compellingly told. x

Sherin said...

How freaky! Definitely a spooky story. But it's a good thing you ran out instead of investigating the radio more!

Andrés Corella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrés Corella said...

Omg jaja do you know how scary is reading this at 4:00 am in the morning with all lights off! (Yes I don´t sleep very much)I would´ve just died haha probably ran screaming out of the house you know "not trying to be dramatic or anything" Spooky story indeed.

The Black Label

The Grande Dame said...

That is really creepy! The numbers on the walls thing is just weird!

Miss Laia said...

That's so scary, I don't know if I wouldn't moved after that, so coward... specially about the letters on the walls. OMG!!

David Macaulay said...

wow - great ghost story Jen - and yay for the idealistic days of student journalism

Bunny Moreno said...

There should have been spooky music playing while I was reading your post LOL How sad though-someone should have lite a candle for him or just bless the place. He may still be clinging to that place. xox

JenniH said...

Rrrrrr, creepy. I believe in ghosts and spirits in somewhat dimension. I mean - how can we know for sure all about everything?

Arielle-HumblePieVintage said...

I totally believe in haunted places. That's so weird about the numbers and the radio. At least people didn't think you were crazy. I think that's the worst; when people don't believe you.

PuppyLovePrincess said...


Amy K said...

Great story! Gave me the chills!

Much Love

Shannon said...

Okay - I now have the heebie jeebies.

And that's a real thing, you know.

Tights Lover said...

Wow. I do have to admit, I love these kinds of stories. That said, I can't believe it took you that long to not go back into that house. I'd have been gone after the numbers on the walls thing...

Hope you're doing well. I've missed ya!

Mary Jo at TrustYourStyle said...

I love how you wrote this, especially the first part about going down to the basement. It felt very cinematic. Hope you develop it more!

xo Mary Jo

ravenlocks said...


This is so creepy and yet I love reading about people's ghost experiences. I have had a few of those experiences myself. One was with a "good" ghost. I found out after we moved from a house we grew up in that an old lady lived in our house. She died in my bedroom!

Looking back, I always felt that there was someone or something living there with us. Once a relative of mine spent the night at our house. He said that he woke up in the middle of the night and a woman was standing above him. LOL! Years after we moved out, my parents still kept the house and rented it out. Turns out the tenants started complaining about being "spooked" at night. Creepy!

Oh, and I know I'm writing a lot but...the Bay Area (where I live) is said to be the most haunted in all of California. It's no surprise because all of the Native Americans were brutally killed off and mistreated during the late 1800s-early 1900s. So there is a lot of pain in the history of this town. There is also a place called Glen Ellen Developmental Center. Look it up if you get the chance. It also has a tragic history and it's super haunted.



Nicki Fanning said...

You're very brave, I would've been nervous after the first spooky happening, and being there on your own scary. I've always been sceptical about ghosts but there are so many weird happenings like this makes you wonder. Thanks for your kind comment too..
Nicki fannings blogspot

A BRIT GREEK said...

Eerie and kinda spooked now!

Saw this and thought of you, know you've written about her before - these pics of real life Barbie are pretty extreme:


Blond Duck said...

ACCKKK! Chills!

Ms. Dainty Doll said...

Ooooh...yes yes yes! I love haunted places and stories like this!! This was brilliant :)) There was a haunted house & milk farm where I used to live in America that was meant to be haunted by a woman who died there. They said you would go to sleep inside and some how wake up outside in the morning, if you survived. And a lot of accidents happened outside the house as cars would crash as they said they saw a woman doing her hair in the house. All interesting :) x

Krista said...

You write beautifully my dear and had me mesmerized at this story! I love the secrets of old places, sometimes revealed but usually not. Maybe ghosts are really here to let us know the end isn't really the end but a beginning of something else. Keep writing you are incredibly skilled!

Audrey Allure said...

That is so creepy; I'm such a scaredy-cat I don't think I could be in any old house alone at night, haha.


Wow hun, you're such a little investigator! I would have been pretty spooked and left the moment I heard something, lol. Such an interesting story to read. I definitely believe in ghosts, there were weird things that we heard in an old Victorian house my grans had.

Rachel Jensen {Da Paura ♥} said...

Such a scary story!! You write so well, I was on the edge of my seat!


shooting star said...

scary totally!! scary!!

Kim (A Very Sweet Blog) said...

oh my god jen! that is crazy spooky wild! hahaha i wouldn't have gone back either!. i have chills now. hahaha

Jo said...

You were really brave. The numbers, the loud blaring from your bf's office etc... I would not have run out when I heard somebody outside the room. You were courageous enough to even go out and up to check.

sherene said...

Never encountered sppoky, ghost thing in my 31 years and no intention of trying lol!

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