I don’t usually start a blog post with an audio clip. This one, however, is pretty impressive. My husband and I were in the back bedroom of a house that will not sell. The door was closed. We did not leave during the time we recorded this, and we neither opened nor closed any doors. I know this because we are talking about a cord under a lamp; we were both examining it and commenting on the ugly, utilitarian nature of it and how it was off balance due the cord wrapped underneath it. That was all we were doing. There is no explanation for the closing door and the squeaking door you hear in the audio.
Let me back up. The agent for this house has asked me to keep this post general and neutral regarding its location. She contacted the PHW for help with a home that has sat on the market for several months now, something almost unheard of in a very tight, competitive real estate market. This house is located in an area where homes sell quickly and often for over asking price. She was fairly desperate to sell, since the son of the owner needed to move his mother out of there ASAP. As of this writing, there were multiple accepted offers that fell out of escrow because the buyer changed his/her mind at the last minute.
This can happen occasionally, but never have I heard of it happening repeatedly. When a buyer pays for an inspection and appraisal and removes the contingencies, 99% of the time the sale goes through. And yet, in this crazy hot market, this had happened more than once to this home that–from the outside–was innocuous and pretty in a standard, West Valley way. Since I was only able to set up a walk through and investigation during an open house, my husband and I were the only ones in the group who could make it. We were determined to figure out this mystery, and we might have done so.
I did my research. The owner’s father had passed away about a year ago, and spent his last weeks in bed in the back bedroom. The bed where he lost his battle to cancer occupies a far corner of the master bedroom. The owner’s mother doesn’t want to sell, but realizes she has no choice. Right away, you have a potent mix of grief, attachment to the house and fear of the future that combine to drown the house in emotion. But there was more. As we drove up to the house, I noticed the window next to the garage. Something was wrong with that area of the house. As we walked in and dispensed with the pleasantries with four real estate agents who were all there to see what we would do, my husband took some EMF readings.
The entryway EMF levels were off the charts. They were even higher in the room by the garage, the one I didn’t like on an instinctual level. The high levels in the entryway could be explained by the alarm system, whose central hub was by the front closet; however, this did not explain the crazy readings in other areas of the house. An electrician had checked all the wiring and electrical systems as part of the routine house inspection, and he had found nothing out of the ordinary. Almost immediately, the back of my head started throbbing. Oddly enough, when I first heard about this house and was on my way to drive past it, the same headache seized me in the car. Listing to the audio in my office provoked the same, physical response of intense pain in the back of my neck and head.
While in the house, the head pain might be explained by the high EMF readings; however, I don’t understand the other incidents. In any case, the house had other issues, as well. It was largely empty, since the sparse furniture had been pushed back to the walls. The windows were without decoration of any kind; no moldings, no frames, no decorative flourishes anywhere. The tile floor gave the house an institutional feeling. Outside in the back yard, the ornate, white lampposts were all leaning to one side, as if some mischievous child had pushed them. The outside, enclosed patio was marred by oddly shaped cut-outs that were supposed to be windows, I think. Everything seemed slightly off balance or strangely constructed, like someone’s home projects had all gone slightly awry.
It was the back bedroom that took my breath away. It felt heavy and strange. The sick bed in the corner oozed misery. My head felt as if it were going to explode, and my dizziness almost knocked me off my feet. My whole body responded and reacted to the emotional energy in the room. I ran audio and a couple ‘ghost apps’ while taking pictures to document the physical issues in the home. Then, I simply meditated on the situation.
I came to the conclusion that the mother’s grief was the core issue, more than a conventional haunting. She was holding on to her husband’s memory and spirit, and the home had absorbed the sadness of his passing. She didn’t want to leave, I believe, because she felt that he was still in the house. The interplay of her mourning and her need to hold on to her husband might have trapped part of his consciousness in the house. His presence, however, was not as strong as her pain. I don’t think he can move on nor can that house ever sell as long as the mother of the owner refuses to let her husband transition to his new reality. I think she still feels him in the house and believes that if she moves, she has lost him completely and forever, even though all she has now is a faint experience of his spirit and her memories.
So what explains the fact that people walk into the house, stay less than two minutes, and leave? What explains why someone would attempt to purchase the home, spend money on inspections and appraisals, and change their minds in the eleventh hour? I understand why people come in and walk out of that house; the combination of the high EMF, the ‘off balance’ visuals, the lack of decor, the strange positioning of the furniture, are enough to drive potential buyers away. It’s harder to explain the buyers’ last ditch cold feet. As investigators, many of us pick up on a home’s emotions, ‘vibes’ and energies very quickly, because we’ve trained ourselves to do that, and it’s our intention to divine the spirit of a place. However, for someone not looking to connect to those energies and simply buy a house, the spiritual and emotional issues in a house do not present themselves right away. Over time, on the third, fourth or fifth visit to the house, the buyer feels progressively more uncomfortable. Something ‘works’ on her, creating a feeling of unease that won’t go away and increases with every hour she spends there. This produces an anxiety that ramps up and resists a buyer’s ability to deny the obvious: the house is haunted.
The living can haunt their own homes with equal or greater force than the ontologically challenged (the dead). Sooner or later, everyone figures out that a house does not want to be sold. As of this writing, this home is still available. But I won’t give out the address; you would never buy it anyway.
EVP #2: For those with good ears and headphones, you will hear a faint “no” after my question.
EVP #3: Odd thumps and bangs occurring during the EVP session. Please note that the agents are constantly talking in the background and form ‘white noise’. Any anomalies you hear are close to the microphone and not coming from distant rooms where people are talking.
EVP #4: Here I am speaking with one of the agents about the house and the bedroom. There is a very sad sigh under our conversation and perhaps some words. This is not coming from any of us.