The Haunted House On Elk Creek Road
By James Donahue
For years my wife and I had a hobby of buying
older homes and restoring them. Nearly every old house we owned and lived in for a while turned out to be haunted. We believe
the older homes were more likely to be haunted because they have had years of history.
One of the most haunted houses
we ever occupied was located in Michigan, on a dead-end road. Elk Creek Road stopped just past our driveway because the bridge
over Elk Creek collapsed years earlier. It was the only house on the road and since we had access from the other end, the
county never bothered replacing the bridge. We were attracted by the privacy and the fact that it was a large, two-story,
four-bedroom house that needed a lot of fixing. Also we bought it at a very good price.
There was more work in that
house than we bargained for, however. The roof leaked, so we had to replace it right away. There was water damage in some
of the upstairs bedrooms. The wiring was in such poor condition I was amazed the place hadn't gone up in flames. The plumbing
was old and leaking at the joints. The well casing was rusted and falling in on itself. There were broken windows.
took a lot of effort but we managed to restore that house into a home that was a showpiece. We liked it so much that we thought
of taking root and remaining there for the rest of our lives. That was not to be, of course, but in the meantime, we sank
a lot of money in the building and grounds.
The house was tall and square. It had a large
kitchen, a dining room and adjoining living room separated by French doors, and a downstairs bedroom, where Doris and I slept.
The bathroom, which featured a walk-in shower, also was down stairs just off from the kitchen.
The second floor contained
three large bedrooms, all with large walk-in closets, and a spacious central room at the top of the stairs which gave access
to the bedrooms. There was another walk-in closet leading off from this room.
We were a family with four children so
it was a perfect home. Our two oldest daughters shared the largest of the three upstairs bedrooms at the rear of the house.
Our son had the smaller front bedroom, and Jennifer, our youngest daughter, was assigned the middle upstairs bedroom.
a born psychic, didn't like her bedroom. She sometimes played there if she had a friend over, but refused to sleep in the
room. She said she thought there was something scary there and preferred to sleep on the couch in the living room. We thought
it might have been an excuse to be closer to us and we let her have her way.
Our son graduated from high school
while we lived in that house. Not long after that he joined the Navy and left the roost. That was when we realized there really
was something strange about that house. His bedroom was located right over ours. We had been used to hearing footsteps on
the wooden floor overhead while he was living there. But they continued after he was gone. Not only did we hear footsteps,
but occasionally things were dropped.
The following year, our oldest daughter also
graduated from high school and she joined the army. The third child moved out of that back bedroom at about the same time
because of an interest she had in horses. She arranged to move in with a farm family a few miles away to help care for the
horses. They let her move in with them and put her to work on the farm. For her, it was a good arrangement I suppose. But
it left the top floor of that old house completely empty.
After that things got really weird up there.
Not only did we keep hearing footsteps and other noises, but one night all of the electric power blacked out on the top floor.
Everything was still working on the main floor and in the basement, but the power to the lights and plug outlets on the top
floor was off.
Now, understand that I personally wired that
house and I know that this phenomenon was technically impossible. That power outage involved several different circuits, some
of them servicing outlets and overhead lights on the main floor. All of the circuits fed from lines leading from circuit breakers
located in the main electric box in the basement. None of the circuit breakers were tripped, which meant there was no electrical
short. I was really baffled about how to solve this problem.
The electric problem lasted only a few hours.
The following day all of the power was back on and this never happened again as long as we lived in the house.
Next came the wasps. It was late in the fall
and wasps should have been settling down in a hive someplace, hibernating until spring. But we found a swarm of them in that
back bedroom. They were all over the walls and ceiling. There were hundreds of them. I sprayed the room rather than risk getting
stung. We swept the dead insects up and thought that was the end of it.
The next day the wasps were back, and they
were just as thick as before. Again I sprayed. Doris and I spent hours taping and calking every crack, making sure there was
no way the wasps could return. But on the third day, we found them back again, just as thick as ever. That was when I gave
up. Nobody was using the room so we closed the door and sealed the cracks. A few days after that I looked in the room and
the wasps were gone.
One day I visited with a neighbor man who had lived in the area all of his life. He informed me
that a former resident of our house had hung himself there. He said he didn't know much about the incident, but that
it had happened several years earlier. The story made sense, and helped explain the odd happenings. The man's spirit was sharing
the house with us, and may have resented our being there.
With the older children gone, Doris and I found that we no
longer needed such a large house to live in. We put the place up for sale and moved on.
Sad to say, the young couple
that bought the house fell into tragedy after moving there. The wife filed for divorce and her spouse was so grieved, he put
a gun to his head and committed suicide. He did it in that house.
Obviously we left something behind when we
moved out of the house on Elk Creek Road.