The following is a somewhat remarkable tale that my grandparents experienced. I've taken some creative liberty with the story only in the sense that, although I experienced none of this first-hand, I've written in the first-person. I am, however, reporting the events as my grandmother reported them to me, and whenever on the listening end I questioned her extensively: 'Are you SURE?,' or, 'Couldn't it have been XYZ and you PERCEIVED ABC?' I'm a sucker for 'true' ghost stories, and it helps when some care is taken in composing them.
I did submit this story to the crown.net Archive X site last week, but it's not certain that this site is still being maintained. Thanks to that site, however, I found yours.
So why does it feel so good to some of us to tell these tales? I'm no skeptic--I was raised to believe spirits were everywhere. My family was great for spinning spontaneous yarns, some based on factual accounts, others couched in Native American folklore (my grandma's side descends from the Chippewa). I myself have witnessed strange phenomena, and my first reaction is to try and find a logical explanation. This I do not to find comfort from fear, but to add strength to the occurrence by ruling out all known scientific facts.
I'll post my own (though rather unremarkable) tales sometime soon (mostly for my own edification), but this one chilled me. I wish I could say that I saw something while visiting the house described below, but I cannot. Just simply felt those unseen eyes following me... Here 'tis.
My husband and I moved to Fresno, California, in 1990, purchasing a cozy three bedroom home in a quit and well-kept neighborhood. The house had been built in 1985, yet after only five years, we were the third family to have lived there. Rather than having to ask why this was so, our realtor (who was also a friend of ours) came clean with us. She was giving us one more look at the place when she paused in the livingroom.
'The couple who had this home built was young. This was their first house together. They had a pool table right here in the middle of the formal livingroom. By all accounts they were happy, and doing well in every way. But then they hadn't even been here for two years, and it was around Christmas, when the husband stood at the end of the pool table and fired a shotgun into his mouth. You can imagine... And he never even left a note to explain why.'
Without thinking about it, my husband and I reached for one another's hands.
Our friend went on. 'I'm telling you this simply because I want to give you a choice and I don't want you to hear the news from your neighbors. Some people are uneasy about... These matters.'
I knew about the stigma attached to places where suicide has been committed, but hearing the story, I felt mostly a loss for this young couple, especially the wife. Here my husband and I stood, gray and content, looking back on many happy, successful years, and they would never have that together. I squeezed my husband's hand, not able to imagine what the pain would be like if I lost him. The story did not shy me away from this house, but drew me to it. I knew then that we would buy it and transform it into the warm and welcoming home for friends and family that it was originally meant to be.