Jamie Pearce Author/Founder of Historic Haunts Investigations
Friday, October 31st, 2008
As a Florida girl, I love the sunshine, the surf, warm weather, scuba diving, and Walt Disney World. Still I will never forget my time living in North Carolina. Especially living in a haunted house!
We used to jokingly call our place the House on Haunted Hill (which is my favorite Vincent Price movie). The house sat at the top of a hill in Canton overlooking downtown. We had a gorgeous view of the town and the mountains.
The house was originally built in 1909 and at the time consisted of only four rooms. It was also situated further down the hill. Later it was moved up the hill and shortly after the move several more rooms were added. When my parents bought the house in 1993 it was in sad shape and needed a lot of work. Many things had to be done before we could even move in.
Eventually, after a lot of hard work and elbow grease we were able to move in and continue working while we lived there. Our very first night in the house is when the unusual activity started. We heard footsteps on a hardwood floor above us as if someone were walking around upstairs. The problem with this was, there was no upstairs or hardwood floor anywhere in the house. When we moved in we had brand new thick carpet and padding installed throughout the house. There also was no entry into an attic.
As time passed we experienced more and more paranormal activity. We would often hear an old Victrola playing music, the sound of a percolator brewing coffee and we could actually experience the phantom smells of the coffee. We noted that things started disappearing and reappearing in other rooms. Eventually a shadow figure began appearing. A male entity would manifest which even our cat Cosmo would witnessed and react to.
The paranormal activity kept increasing, and culminated one night around 2 a.m. I had to get up and use the restroom. Along the way to my surprise, I encountered a ghost sitting on top of the ladder in the dining room, the transparent apparition of an older man looking down at me (my mom had been painting and had left the ladder in the room). I looked up at him and smiled and he smiled back and nodded his head at me, then vanished. I wasn’t "scared" startled perhaps since I wasn’t expecting it, but the next morning I couldn’t wait to tell my mom what I had seen.
Encountering the apparition of the old man seemed to motivate the genealogist in me and I felt the urge to deeply research the situation. I was determined to find out more about the history of the house. I learned where it was originally located and I came across the former owner who died in the house including discovering his obituary and photo (which looked just like the man I had seen in the dining room). The man who I'm going to dub "Jack" since he still has family in the Haywood County area had passed in the home in 1984 of a heart attack. We knew him to be a very friendly spirit and before learning his name we often affectionately referred to him as Casper.
After my research, when things started to disappear we would now call out, “Jack, give that back!” Nine times out of ten, the items would show up within a few minutes in another room. Despite the fact that we now seemed to have a handle on our resident spirit and his activities, when my parents finished flipping the house and tried to sell it in 2000, everyone who came and looked at it loved it, but no one wanted to buy it. In some cases citing some inexplicable reason or feeling that it was not for them.
I told my mom we needed to sit down and tell our ghostly resident that if the house sells he could go with us. She laughed, but we sat down and talked to our spirit and the very next day a woman came to the house loved it, and bought it! Needless to say…"Jack" came with us.
There have been several owners since my parents sold the house and it seems spirits can get attached to people (and I don’t mean possess them). None of the more current residents in the home-as far as I know-have experienced Jack’s ghost. He seems to have moved once again with my parents as he's continued to do through several house flips. My parents are now back here in Florida ten minutes down the road from me. I guess he is still enjoying keeping an eye on my family as my mom still tells me stories of his activity.
One last parting comment, my mom does have a few artifacts from the home. She kept one of the glass door knobs, an iron cross from the top of the old fence, and the key face plates from the old door on the home. Could "Jack" have some attachment to the objects or is he just enjoying relocation? As an author of several books on ghosts in the sunshine state, I can tell you Florida does seem to draw a lot of people later in their lives (or in their hereafter).