In late September 2014, David and I bought our first house. Since we had very little money and were also looking for “character,” we had been house-hunting for quite awhile.
Yet, we had an amazing realtor who specialized in “hard cases” and she got us in to view a lovely old house on the very night it was being placed on the market. And we fell in love. The old house had rose bushes and a beautiful staircase and it was simply perfect.
We signed the paperwork that very night on the vintage kitchen table which had been left behind.
We were to be only the second family to own this house, as the previous owner had died past the age of 100, and her father had built the house many years before.
We loved all of this. We wanted to honor that family and do all we could to shine up this lovely old home.
However, before we left that first night, I raced up the stairs to turn off the upstairs hallway light which we had accidentally left on. And, as I flicked off the light at the top of the stairs, I could physically feel the darkness of the little hallway envelop me.
I shivered and quickly ran back down the stairs to meet my husband and the realtor who were standing, waiting, on the front porch.
“I think this house is haunted!”
It was exciting. But I hadn’t ever lived in a genuinely haunted house before and “exciting” didn’t quite cover it.
We felt so happy to have found a lovely house we could afford just in time for October, which is the best month. But, while we had asked the family if we could keep the vintage kitchen table, we did not ask to keep the oval mirror which hung at the bottom of the stairs and which gave us the creeps.
In our excitement, we made all kinds of plans to update and cosmetically improve the interior. Days after the paperwork cleared, we refinished the beautiful oak floors and the house seemed to enjoy the extra attention.
And, upon her first viewing, even Hemi, who didn’t like much of anything, seemed to approve of of our new home.
We updated the single bathroom upstairs. This was a challenge because apparently this room was once part of the set from the movie Silent Hill.
As we tried to cosmetically update it, removing layers of wallpaper and tiling, we found that underneath it all was a layer of “brown” and this “brown” refused to be covered.
We’d paint over it and, slowly, the brown would start to gruesomely seep through the white.
Eventually, we found that it took roughly seven hundred coats of thick white textured paint to cover that brown which may have been hell itself stubbornly leaking through.
But I don’t think that’s the case because that bathroom was later considered to be the “Best and Most Safe Room” by both Hemi and myself as we’d both spend many hours hiding there.
Yet, in the beginning, with every unexpected and potentially creepy thing we found, we simply further appreciated all the weird and wonderfulness that came with our purchase of a character-rich old house.
We appreciated that the mouse infestation they’d once had no longer existed.
We also appreciated how the previous occupants did not use insulation and, instead, simply stuffed the walls full with memories. We found old cigarette cases and glorious boxes of postcards and photos stuffed into the walls.
We appreciated how, when adding on a first floor bathroom to the exterior, no one died in the unexpected discovery of an eight foot drop to a previously unknown room which was distinct and inaccessible from the basement below.
We appreciated all the extra storage. We found an extra room inside the interior of the second floor guest room closet which wasn’t in itself weird. However, the odd makeshift particle door which didn’t quite cover the entrance to the room beyond did help to make the dark room beyond that much more unsettling.
But, unfazed, we decided that creepy extra room was to be “Christmas Storage” and I put my creepiest possession in charge of it. No one would dare mess with Christmas Doll #1, who had survived a flood and who I had rescued from the basement shelf in my parents’ rental home. She was on my team and would regulate if regulation was needed.
In other words, we did our best to stay chipper and counter anything that seemed a bit off. The old house was full of surprises but that’s what old houses are known for and that’s what gives them their irritating charm.
At the same time, there were other unexpected things which happened which we could not dress up or downplay.
For example, one night during our first week in the house, I was woken by a weird sound: a steady and continuous “thump,” “thump,” “thump.”
At first, I continued to lay in bed, wondering if whatever it was would just stop. But, after a minute or so, the noise continued and it started to spook me simply because I couldn’t figure out what was causing it.
“Thump.” “Thump.” “Thump.”
A rhythmic, steady thumping.
So I got out of bed and walked out of our bedroom to stand at the top of the stairs in the dark, still hoping that the sound would simply stop.
But it didn’t. And it was also coming from the first floor below.
So I carefully started to walk down the stairs, step by step, as the steady thumping continued.
As I descended, I fought off the same feeling that had overcome me on the first night in the house after I had turned the upstairs hallway light off and the darkness flooded into the space abandoned by the light with almost a physical, tangible quality.
I worried that we had made a huge mistake as there was mysterious thumping, this house was apparently haunted, and now we were stuck in a mortgage.
The stairs in the house turned so I gathered my nerve at the small landing
and turned to face the second length of the stairs which led straight down to the intimidating mirror which hung in the entry area below.
I really didn’t want to be sneaking down those stairs, investigating some odd steady thumping noise, and staring down into the oval mirror we didn’t ask to be included with the house and which were too afraid of to unhook and remove.
Thus, as a compromise, I turned but then sat on the first floor of the descending staircase and continued to scoot down the stairs on my butt.
I avoided making eye contact with the mirror below and instead worked up the courage to, after scooting my way down four or five steps, rise to my feet to look right over the railing so I could see what the hell was causing the thumping sound.
And it was our fucking dog.
I saw her big butt and I also saw it was her tail making the noise.
She was sitting down in the living room, Sphinx style, staring ahead at something in the room beyond which was out of my view from the stairs, wagging her tail steadily.
“Thump.” “Thump.” “Thump.”
I just sat back down on the steps and, a bit mesmerized, watched her continue to wag her tail at an unseen someone or something.
She was alert, her head high, her ears perked, staring straight ahead at someone else who was causing her to wag her tail.
It took me a few seconds but I continued to sit on the stairs and eventually, softly, called out her name:
And her head immediately jerked right to stare up at me in surprise and utter delight and, as she did so, her tail wagged much harder.
She looked up at me with her big dog grin and continued to wag her tail happily but she did not get up. Her immediate response gave me the confidence to get up and slowly walk down the remainder of the stairs.
I ignored the mirror as I turned and walked forward into the living room to see whatever Hemi was looking at in the room beyond.
But there was nothing there.
There was literally nothing in that room which was to become the dining room, but, as we had just moved in, was still empty.
Hemi had been staring into a big empty room and wagging her tail at someone or something I could not see before and could not see even after I made the effort.
By this point, the dog had deemed it worth her time to rise to her feet and greeted me more enthusiastically. I weakly reached down to pet her, still staring into the dark, empty room ahead.
Yet, I was reassured our dog had been happy to see whoever and whatever she’d seen.
Hemi was scared of everything. She had been a two-year-old rescue and was simply a skittish creature. Everything scared her.
The direction “up” scared her. Outside scared her.
We’d put her outside and she’d just look at us as if were punishing her.
So, while I was now certain the house was haunted, I was comforted that whoever was haunting it had to be a really calming presence for our nervous, jumpy Mastiff to look so pleased and happy to see them.
Yet, the early encounter paved the way for what was to come.
If anything, we wanted to show the house ghosts that we were good people who could hang with the spooky and weird.
We felt prepared for unexplained happenings and the such. In soft defiance, we made ourselves at home.
We unpacked our monster coffee pot.
We hung the mirrored talisman above our bed. According to the friend who had given it to me, some Mexican street kids had made it to ward off evil spirits.
And, besides, I had red wine, Jesus my personal Lord and Savior, and we always had our fierce attack dog.
And, for a time, things were okay. For our first Christmas in the house, I got the scary-as-hell Christmas dolls out and we decked the halls.
We even dressed Hemi up and made her stand in the scary dark corner with the stairs and creepy mirror for our holiday pictures.
And I threw a bunch of colored fairy lights over the mirror to help mute the bad energy it exuded.
We were going to Christmas cheer the hell right out of our first home which also happened to be haunted.
But, if anything, all our antics only fueled the activity and we found that we were only at the beginning of some truly colorful years to come.
6 thoughts on “Our First House Came With a Haunted Mirror We Didn’t Want”
Although haunted as hell, I still love and miss that house. Can’t forget all of the beautiful hard work you guys put into it to make it even better. (Also look how fucking cute Hemi is in all of those pictures 😍)
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I knoooooooow, my CorCor. It was “good haunted,” I felt. Well, the stories you and some of the others have are not as fuzzy as my own but… yeah, I miss the old house. I wish we could have kept it. And OH THE BABY MONSTER. I know. How we miss her. 😭🥰🖤😘
And you leave the readers hanging! Yes, a true author! Love it Hilly:)
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Hahaha you know my desperation my beloved Evie! Oh yes! 😻😻😻😻😻😻😻
Yes.. I hated that mirror. I always avoided looking in it and was so very happy when the downstairs bathroom was finished. Lol
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Oh my gosh… yes!!! That downstairs bathroom was not done quickly enough. It changed EVERYTHING. I wish it had been done sooner!!!!! And yeah… that MIRROR!!!! SO CREEPY!! WHY DID THEY LEAVE IT BEHIND??? 😂