When I was a teenager, my family moved into an older farm house out in the middle of nowhere Indiana. For my parents, it was a chance to get out of the city and away from the hustle and bustle of it all. For me, it meant having to live further away from my friends and attending a new high school. At the time, I couldn’t really appreciate the isolation nor the beauty of the fields and trees that surrounded the house.
The house itself had to have been over a hundred years old, and though it had all modern fixtures, it still had the look of being old on both the inside and out. It was a one story house, and had three rooms upstairs, but also a large and completely furnished basement. Though at the time, it was only three of us in the house counting my Dad and Stepmom, I chose to live downstairs in the basement. When I say it was furnished, I mean in as much of a sense as you can furnish such an old house. Needless to say, it had a weird feeling about it down there.
But, surprisingly, it wasn’t the basement that ever gave me, or my parents, any problems. No, it was the upstairs rooms. All three of the upstairs rooms had doorways right next to each other, which I think was a common design in those days. I would guess that it made it easier for parents to check up on kids at night if they didn’t have to walk down any long, drawn out hallways to find their rooms without any electricity. My parents took the largest of the three, the one next to them became a computer room, and the third was guest room.
This being the late ‘90s, in order to spend any time on the internet, you actually had to be at a computer to do it. So, I spent quite a bit of time during the summer in the computer room surfing the web, which was no quick or easy task on a 56k modem. It was the one bedroom of the three that had no carpet, but two large old windows, so it was always a bit chilly at night, even during the summer.
The first few weeks in the house, once we finally got settled, went by uneventful. One day though, I was showing my Dad something on the computer. Our new dog, Randy, who the previous owners had all but abandoned when moving out, was also in the room with us. As I waited for a new webpage to load, my Dad and I heard what sounded like someone open the kitchen door on the other side of the house. My Stepmom was at work, and since it was the middle of the day, she wasn’t expected home. We gave each other a look of “Who could that be?” as we heard the sound of footsteps make their way across the living room floor towards the bedrooms. Because of the age of the house and the basement, you could easily hear every creek of the floorboards under the carpet with each step. Someone was obviously in the house and coming closer towards us.
Randy, who up to the point was the happiest and friendliest dog we had ever met, stood up with hair raised and began growling as he looked towards the living room and the sound of the footsteps. But the footsteps ended as they reached the small area the bedroom doors occupied. Randy refused to go anywhere near the door to the room, but my Dad walked towards the door and out of the bedroom. To his surprise, there was nobody waiting for him. And nobody anywhere else in the house, either. We checked the front door, by the kitchen, that we heard open. Only to find that it was still locked up as tightly as it had been the rest of the day.
We chalked up the experience as just something you might hear in a new house of that age, maybe just settling sounds or the wind. I was convinced, personally, but there wasn’t much we could do. A month or so went by, and I was once again in the computer room, but this time by myself and with the door closed. It was the middle of the day, just like the last time something odd happened. As I read something online, I heard the rattle of the door handle for a few seconds. Nobody knocked or anything, but I said “Come in!” and expected to see my Dad, or my sister, who was visiting for the weekend. A few more seconds went by, but no one entered the room. I went back to whatever I was reading, only for the door handle to once again shake and rattle as if someone was trying to open the door. I looked over and saw the handle moving. I said “Come in!” once again, this time louder. Nobody entered. So I got up and swung open the door, expecting to see someone, but was met with an empty hallway.
I initially though that my Dad and Sister were playing a prank on me, so I went into the kitchen and said “Ha, ha. Very funny.” Neither of them had any idea what I was talking about. I told them what happened, and my Dad and I went back to the door and examined the door handle. It was an old style two piece handle, the kind that doesn’t connect or spin together. That didn’t make any sense to me, because I saw the handle moving on the inside of the room. Which meant that something had to have been inside the room with me for the handle to have moved on that side.
I once again did what I could to put that event behind me, as I didn’t want to admit to the fact that we could be living in a haunted house. But a few days later, something else happened that finally solidified that fact. I was in my basement room, which I had been spending more and more time in ever since the door handle experience. I was reading a book on my bed, when I heard thumping sounds coming from upstairs. It was the middle of the day, on a weekend, and my Dad and Stepmom were both home. I thought that maybe one of them was hanging up a picture or something, so I just went back to reading my book. But the thuds came louder and longer, and sounded less like someone hammering and more like someone knocking.
I went upstairs and through the empty kitchen and living room towards the bedrooms. The knocking turned out to be my Dad from inside of his bedroom. All three of the bedrooms upstairs has the old style “hook and loop” locks on the outside towards the top of the door. It was something that none of us had really noticed at all, and just figured was common on older houses. Somehow, the hook on their door and locked into the loop while they were in the room with the door closed. I unhinged the door and opened it. My Dad was perplexed at how the door had gotten stuck and I told him about the lock. We took a look at the locks and realized pretty quickly that there was no real way for them to lock on their own. The loop was high up the door, and the hook required some force and effort to the push past the ceiling frame and into the loop. Something, or someone, had locked my parents in their bedroom.
That day, we removed the locks on each of the doors so that it wouldn’t happen again. That, as it turns out, was the last time anything even remotely strange happened in that house. But we could never completely shake the uneasy feeling those early events had on us. And the more we thought about it, the odder the locks on the outside of the door seemed to be. Why would someone need to lock a bedroom door from the outside of the room? Unless they were trying to keep someone, or something, inside.