Monday, February 6, 2012

The House On Devil's Hill

My friend Ann posted something about a house she lives in where the whole neighborhood has had trouble over the years with what many believe to be ghosts or something like it. Personally, I've always said that people are haunted—not houses. But—I could be wrong.

This is a very strange house that my parents bought when I was three years old. The whole family had so many strange and frightening experiences in it that my parents sold the house less than fours years later. Much of it may be chalked up to childhood imaginings. But other things defy explanation.

No sooner than we had moved in, my big sister started coming down with the most incredibly painful migraine headaches imaginable, and they would lasts for days. She never had them before. I started seeing shadows moving in the basement that didn't look human. My sister later started seeing them too. My dad was the youth leader at church and we sometimes would have parties at the house for Thanksgiving or Halloween etc., and the guests would often see strange and frightening things too. Then the dreams started.

I think I was the first. I had terrible nightmares of demons and evil looking clowns. Eventually I began to think the devil lived in my closet and I demanded that it be shut before going to bed. An evil clown lived under the bed though, and I could only dive under the blankets to hide from him. A child's imagination? Probably so. But that didn't make it seem any less real. One night my parents heard me screaming and came running to the bedroom only to find that the door refused to open. It had no lock on it that I recall, and I wouldn't have locked it anyway. In fact, I wouldn't go to sleep unless the door was kept open a crack. Of course I had a nightlight too. My sister to this day insists that when my dad got to the door, it was hot to the touch. It had somehow gotten shut and jammed tight. He had a heck of a time opening it. That same night my mother decided to switch beds and let me sleep with dad. She had a nightmare that night where the devil had her by the neck and was choking the life out of her and woke-up gasping. My dad, level headed guy that he was, refused to believe there was anything satanic going on. Then he had a dream of a terrific car wreck where a young couple were killed. He didn't know who they were, but the next day he saw their picture in the paper and that they had died in a car wreck just as he had dreamed it.

The house is surrounded on three sides by a steep drop-off with a creek at the bottom. This brought an enormous amount of snakes into the yard every year, many of them copperheads and cottonmouths. We killed seventeen in one year, and all of us had very close encounters with them, so much so that it became very unnerving just to walk out the door.

Then something, or someone, killed my dog. I found him in his house one morning with blood all underneath him where he lay as if it were seeping out from his belly. He was just a few years old.

My sister got an Ouija board one year for Christmas. My parents thought it was harmless fun. Then it started giving us messages that could not be explained. It began to give my sister information about things she could not possibly have known about. A few years ago I read the following in the autobiography of Christian author G. K. Chesterton:

My brother and I used to play with planchette, or what the Americans call the Ouija board; but we were among the few, I imagine, who played in a mere spirit of play. Nevertheless I would not altogether rule out the suggestion of some that we were playing with fire; or even with hell-fire. In the words that were written for us there was nothing ostensibly degrading, but any amount that was deceiving. I saw quite enough of the thing to be able to testify, with complete certainty, that something happens which is not in the ordinary sense natural, or produced by the normal and conscious human will. Whether it is produced by some subconscious but still human force, or by some powers, good, bad or indifferent, which are external to humanity, I would not myself attempt to decide. The only thing I will say with complete confidence, about that mystic and invisible power, is that it tells lies. The lies may be larks or they may be lures to the imperiled soul or they may be a thousand other things; but whatever they are, they are not truths about the other world; or for that matter about this world.

Well this certainly mirrored my sister's experiences.

No sooner than we moved to this place my parents started having marital problems too and very nearly divorced. It seemed that this house brought us nothing but trouble. Down the street a quarter mile was a turn onto Devil's Hole Road which ran beyond the hills in back of our house and served as a back-road to a little nearby town. The road is called something else now. We never knew why it was originally given the name it had. Our Catholic neighbors across the street said that the house we lived in was once the location of another house that had burned down, and the rumor was that some devil worshipers lived there long before us.

Well, who knows if that's true or not? I don't believe there are just a whole lot of devil worshipers in the world. But I'll tell you this much. Call it the work of the devil or bad mojo, but my parent's soon got fed-up with the house and our bad luck there. They had intended to stay there for life but decided a change of scenery was in order and we moved away. No sooner than we had moved, our luck began to change. There were no more nightmares. My sister's migraines completely went away. Everything just seemed better and back to normal. And forty-five years later my sister will still not go near the house on Devil's hill.


  1. I do believe in imprints, good or bad. So much is beyond understanding. The case of your old house seems a very bad imprint. Horrifying. And much worse than I've ever personally experienced! Good to have left and wiped the 'dust' off your feet. Definitely there was haunting in that house, however one would define such!

  2. I think most of it was pure imagination, at least on my part. Everyone has dreams that come true from time to time like dad's. I don't know what to make of that spirit board though. My sister and I don't remember what all it said to her anymore. Wind blows doors shut. I don't know if it was really hot to touch or not. My sister is the only one who seems to rememeber ti that way. At any rate, there's a big golf course subdivision on the other side of the woods behind the house now that Devil's Hole Road runs along side of. I work out there all the time. The house doesn't scare me at all anymore.

  3. Someday we'll talk. We've had our priest out here several times.

    I know the paragraph below is a copied message but really, I love reading you and Cale. I can always count on you to have a different perspective on things (see the jury post) or entertain us or what witty comebacks to comments. I hope you accept the award, even if you don't pass it on.

    I wanted you to know that I love your blog and have awarded you the
    Versatile Blogger award! You can go over to my site, Moving On To The Past, to receive your award. Thank you again.

  4. Thanks for the complimentary words on my youtube page. It's not likely that you will see me on the basketball court, but, I do have a vintage Ektelon racquet.
    You might be interested in picking up a copy of a book called, "Seeing the Unseen" by Joe Beam.
    It is not about ghosts per se, but, about spiritual warfare and the author goes into some of these issues.