Haunted Rehab?

by | BiggerPockets.com

This past week I saw a thread on the forum boards where an investor asked if anyone had experienced any type of ghost in any of the properties they have been involved in.

There was a fair amount of sarcastic answers which I thought were pretty funny and there were a few answers that were more serious. Nothing worthy of Hollywood but it made me think about one of the houses I rehabbed last year. To this day, I still don’t what to think about that house but I decided to tell that story and hope I don’t get a knock on my door by the men in the white uniforms.

The house had been vacant for several months when I bought it. I knew next to nothing about the house or the previous owners. None of the neighbors offered much insight other than to say that the previous owners were quiet and private.

The first day of the rehab, I had a tree removed that was actually flush with an exterior wall. The house was built in 1994 and the tree was taller than the 2-story house. I knew the tree was a factor with the foundation being messed up. I also had all the carpet removed because there were not many areas that had not been urinated on…Or cleaned up. The result of the carpet out was a very loud house with nothing to absorb sound. The stairway was in the center of the house with 20 foot vaulted ceilings right around the stairs. With cement downstairs and wood sub floors upstairs, the was always an echo present.

There was an upstairs game room that was directly over the 2 car garage which faced South and Southwest and also had a vaulted ceiling. I thought that room would be hard to keep cool because of those factors and it was July with daily temps in the 100’s.

Oddly enough, that room was the coolest room in the house and at times it even seemed cold. I noticed it but didn’t give it much thought.

I had set up my temporary office in the master bathroom (it was a BIG master bathroom) and that room was directly on the other side of the game room.

There were numerous times, sometimes daily, that when I was in the master bathroom, I put down what I was working on to go look into the upstairs hall because I had thought I heard someone talking in the hall. There was never anyone there. What I heard was always very low, muffled, male voices. It usually sounded like there were two men talking in the hall. It was so common to hear the noises and find that there was never anything physically there that I placed a security camera in the hall. The noises that sounded like talking continued and the camera never revealed anything other than an empty hall.

When I put the camera in the hall, I had added a second camera that overlooked the stairway because it was also common for me to hear what sounded like footsteps on the stairs. Anytime someone (actual people) walked on the steps, it could be heard anywhere in the house because the steps were bare wood and always echoed throughout the house. Again, the camera showed nothing and I never saw anyone on the stairs when I would hear something and go look. I dismissed the noises as “in my head” and reasoned that I was not getting enough sleep.

In the first month, I had two people working on the house in addition to me. Neither of them knew each other and they worked different hours. In other words, they had never met. Both of them had approached me at different to ask me if I had ever heard footsteps or voices upstairs. One of them commented that he felt uncomfortable working in the game room as well. When I asked him, “why,” he said that he felt like someone was watching him and the room was always cold. I was “creeped” out.

When the house was in the latter stages of the rehab, I had hired a woman to paint the interior trim. Sometimes, she struck me as sort of “loopy” but I was happy with her painting and that was the bottom line for me.

Out of the blue one day, she came up to me and said, “You must have really pissed something in this house off.” I remember that I just froze after she said that and didn’t move for several seconds. I turned around and asked her how she came up with that observation? She went on to tell me that she claimed to be “psychic” and told me the house was full of “negative energy.” Let me say that before I had bought that house, I had thought that “ghosts” might exist in our world but I don’t remember giving the subject much thought at all.

During the conversation with her that day, (trust me when I say that I laughed at her suggestions many times and cracked many jokes about what she was saying) she told me that (her words to describe) there had been a “spirit” or “ghost-like existence” that had existed in the tree that had been on the side of the house. It had been free to come and go as it pleased until I had the tree cut down. After I asked her in a sarcastic tone if she had been drug tested recently, she said, “You must have heard the voices and foot steps in the house by now, right?” My big grin, went away as I just looked at her with a blank look and said nothing. She gave me a knowing smile and continued by telling me that the existence that this “spirit” had been used to (occupying a tree, I know, CRAZY) was rocked when the tree was being cut down and “Jumped” into the house when it happened. She explained it to me by comparing it to the movie, Stargate. In that movie, there were two “portals” that allowed inter-galactic travel and when one of the portals was closed, the people that went thru it, became trapped on the other side.

To further shut me up, she pointed out to me that the tree had been located against the exterior wall of…The game room.

She said, “you can call me crazy if you like but, why would I make up a story like that?” She added, “Based on the look on your face, you know about some of the things I have just told you.”

I was speechless because I had not said anything to her about what I had thought I had heard before and she started to work on the house after the other two contractors had finished and were no longer there. The only other thing she said about it was once the house is finished, she told me that the “being” or “spirit” will likely calm down and things should go back to “normal.

I wanted to not believe her in the worst way simply because of how crazy all of it had sounded but I have to admit that I didn’t have any explanation for any of it and the fact that she approached me with what she did…It made my hair stand up on end.

The creepiest detail came from a contractor that tiled the upstairs guest bathroom floor. The contractor was there with 2 others (same company/crew) and I had not met any of them previously. I was not at the house that day and returned at the end of the day to pay them. One of the guys was very quiet and overly reserved as the other two were much more talkative. The two that had been talking went out to their truck when the quiet one turned to me and said, “What the hell is in this house!?”

I was rather stunned and after a few seconds, I asked him, “Are you a psychic?”
He told me he wasn’t psychic but he was “more in touch with the world around him than most people.” I asked him what would prompt him to ask me a question like his.

He went on to tell me that he had been doing the grout on his hands and knees when he felt something eerie. He felt like there was someone watching him. He turned his head to look behind him and he felt something move across and through him. He said he could only describe it as something that felt like a pocket of cold air that moved right through him.

In my mind I was thinking about the fact that the bathroom he had been in was directly on the other side of…The game room.

Once the house was finished, the noise level dropped to next to nothing as carpet had been installed and the house was staged to help sell the house. After the rehab wrapped up, I never heard any of the sounds again that I and the others had claimed to have heard before.

To end on a lighter note, I checked with the state and was relieved to know that sellers are not required to disclose that a house may be haunted.

I am still hesitant to admit that the house could have been haunted but, I have not been in any other house where I heard any unexplainable sounds like I did in that house.

I just don’t have an explanation for any of it and I understand how much fun the people reading this article, will have poking fun at me for telling the story. lol

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  1. Can you check to see if the house had some sort of tragedy happen there. I would start researching the property and it might reveal itself. I like that show on tv that does that.

    Good Luck! Well at least you have a cool room to go to on hot days!

  2. I recently (yesterday) looked at a foreclosure that seemed like a great deal. When I Googled the address, I found a couple news stories about a truly tragic event that happened in the house last April. I don’t believe in ghosts but I still don’t want anything to do with it…

  3. carlos pendleton on

    i feel and understand you. as a child i heard spirits every night.walking on
    our wooden floors.it must be something about wooden floors being able to carry sound. but i could also describe them according to my mother.ca
    use she asked a neighborabout it,and the neighbor said those were the people who used to live in the house. now don’t believe for a minute,that when you die and they put you in the ground that that’s it. because that’s
    the beginning of the next existence for us. we’ve been told that we only hav six senses but i know better than that.that lady would have been burn at the stake a few moons ago.these things happen all the time. but you are not crazy,and you don’t have to make exuses for and a experien
    ce like that. i hope someone gets a true understanding from this.

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