I’ll be the first to admit that 2020 was not my best year. Like most of you, I’m sure, I had high expectations at the outset. After all, I’d successfully retired early, successfully downsized in a remarkably efficient fashion to a large truck and suitable 5th wheel camper with my DH (Darling Husband).
Our anticipation of the next stage of our adventure was full of promise. We had lived and traveled for five years, marking off all the sites and escapades of the journey on our combined bucket list. We enjoyed volunteering, being outside, open campfire cooking, the life of carefree non-attachment, living as close to “off the grid” as we were comfortable with at the time.
But of course, all good things come to an end. I felt the need to settle down and take writing seriously once again. Around about Labor Day of 2019, my DH and I decided to settle down and purchase and brick and stick house. He chose Alabama. Specifically, northern Alabama, the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
I found the area to be not only beautiful but the scenic hiking trails spectacular. The residents here are warm, friendly, and welcoming. Our search for a house went well, even if we were outbid on several fronts as the home sellers’ market was hot when we arrived. It has long been my belief that these things work themselves out exactly as they should.
After three months, we purchased a few acres including the original farm homestead. The home had been lovingly refurbished, restored, and offered everything we were looking for. Plenty of space for our families to visit, an open layout for entertaining, and in a small town with a terrific community.
I made myself at home, made a few friends, joined a club or two, and began to settle in at the homestead.
Interesting that several of my new acquaintances, one of them my close neighbor, one of them the relative of the original homestead family, told me a story about a man who had drowned in the nearby lake.
The lake is man-made, extremely deep, and very cold. A beautiful spot for kayaking—one of my favorite pastimes. In fact, I became involved with a group of women who routinely went kayaking and then socialized over a shared lunch. This activity became a godsend as the pandemic forced many into isolation.
While learning about one another I shared with the group my story of growing up in a haunted house. And that sharing brought out stories of locals who had died by drowning in the lake.
Now if you’re wondering if the haunted house found me, well…it did.
My first night in the house, which was built more than 100 years ago, the lights in the kitchen came on by themselves. I saw the lights power on through our open bedroom door and ran to see if someone was in the kitchen.
My DH had been sound asleep beside me, and no, I did not get him up as I thought it was merely bad wiring in an old house. Yes, we’d had an inspection, but it is possible to miss some things.
I turned off the lights and went back to bed.
Several nights later, the lights again awoke me after midnight. The following weeks I lived with dresser and cabinet drawers opening without reason. Returning to the house after a few hours away, the house often greeted us with misplaced items: keys, groceries, and personal items.
But none of this bothered me. I’d grown up in a haunted house, remember?
Then one day my neighbor stopped to chat, and as we sat visiting, simply passing the time of day, he shared the story of his uncle who had lived in the house when the lake was first made.
He told me his mother never believed the uncle, who had been visiting with his estranged wife attempting a reconciliation, would’ve left without telling her. He said how his mother refused to empty his closet or store his personal things since she knew in her heart he would return.
Well, he did return. To the original homestead house, sold twice over, where I now live.
My ghost is like an old family friend. He’s a quiet spirit, mostly well behaved, and genuinely polite. A spirit with a sense of humor.
When my DH acquired two feist puppies from a local friend, my ghost determined to help me train them.
I have to tell you it creeps me out to see the puppies run across the field and suddenly stop, sit and hold their paws up for obvious shaking. Then they lay on their backs to get tummy rubs before they bounce back and resume the run across the field. Weird.
About the Author
Born and raised in southeastern Pennsylvania and seasoned in west Texas, Ane traveled with her husband and enjoyed writing from wherever they roamed. Currently writing from Arely, Alabama, she is working on a Regency series Talk of the Ton, including three stories. There’s a New Earl in Town, a secret baby story, The Trouble with Harry, a woman disguised as a man to support her family whose employer falls in love with her, and Mismanaging the Marquess, about a widow who falls in love with the man who killed her husband.