Gallery B

Ghosts That Kill
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When Haunted Houses Become Deadly

By James Donahue

Over the years my wife and I entertained a hobby of buying old dilapidated houses, restoring them, living in them for a while, then moving on to the next project. I found the carpentry, electrical and plumbing work a great diversion from my regular job as a newspaper reporter and writer. My wife loved the design and decorating end of each project.

We worked on and lived in several old houses all over Michigan, and I must report that at least four of them were haunted. One large four-bedroom country home located on a dead-end road was among our favorites. And it was among the most haunted. We had incidents there when the lights went out for no apparent reason in one upstairs bedroom, when we heard footsteps on the floor when nobody else was in the house, and when vacant rooms were found filled with wasps.

By the time we lived in that house we were familiar with haunted buildings and knew that we were obviously dealing with spiritual forces. That was before we lived with the Native Americans in Southwest and learned how to clear bad energies with smoke, incantations and our minds.

We learned that this particular house had been the scene of a murder or possible suicide in past years. An old gentleman who had worked for one of the local funeral homes told us the story after we bought the house and moved into it. He drove the ambulance that picked up the body.

After we sold the house and moved on, the next owners went through a bitter divorce. The husband was so despondent over what happened that he committed suicide. He did it in the house.

If you think our former home was a death house, consider the case of a large building in the Gatow district of Spandau, Germany, where nine occupants met untimely deaths over the course of 15 years.

--Two men living together in the building learned that they were both suffering from advanced stage of AIDS and committed suicide.

--In 2000 another man taped up all of his doors and windows, turned on a barbecue and died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

--In 2003 a brothel owner who was living in the top floor apartment was decapitated while speeding on the Autobahn on his motorcycle.

--The worst case involved the murder/suicide of an entire family, apparently because of unresolved debts. The husband was believed to have suffocated his wife and their two young sons, ages six and three, by suffocating them. Then he killed himself by placing a plastic bag over his head. Their infant daughter was found in a local baby hatch.

--The ninth and most recent death in the Berlin death house was a scientist who got involved in a minor traffic accident, and for some odd reason, attempted to outrun the police who came to investigate. He died in a crash while traveling at high speed and lost control.