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Home > Open Vault > Vault Archives > Haunted Diary

The Open Vault
First-Hand Paranormal Reports.

Haunted Diary
LOCATION: Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA
DATE OF INCIDENT: 1999-2000.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is a 16 part Open Vault feature sent in to us by an X-Project reader who has lived in a house allegedly haunted by its previous owners.

We received an antique cedar wood trunk as a belated wedding gift from my mother. It arrived the third week of October. We donít know how old it is but it came from an antique shop in McPherson, Kansas, a place my Mother has been to several times, and she knows the owner well. We blessed our house ourselves on November 7, 1999. It was after that we began having, what we believe, are paranormal experiences...

ENTRY #1: Mid-November 1999

The first incident happened while I was doing laundry in the basement. I heard a man coughing. I can remember stopping in mid-motion, wet laundry in hand. I knew what I heard but realized I couldnít be hearing that noise because I was alone in the house except for our pets (two cats, Toonces and Magnus, and one dog, Maddie). I looked around for the source but didnít find anything that could even begin to make that kind of noise. And, when I went upstairs, all our pets were there, so I know they couldnĎt have done it.

During this time period I began to feel constantly watched. This feeling continues although it is intermittent. My husband, my son, and I have noticed all of our pets following "nothing" with their eyes. This has happened in every room in the house. Sometimes the cats will follow a "nothing" that goes right over them and they almost fall over backwards to see where the "nothing" is going. Maddie began barking at nothing in the basement stairway. When I would hear her barking I would run over to turn on the stairway lights to see if I could find what caused her to bark but nothing was ever there.

These were the first indications that we had a haunted house. Twice more since then Iíve heard the coughing. All three times I was alone and the coughing seemed to come from the area of the utility room. These incidents unnerved me so much that I stopped going into the basement unless I absolutely had to. And, when I did have to, it would only be during the day and I would keep up a running dialogue about nothing in particular, just to hear my own voice.

-- Mea

ENTRY #2: End of November 1999

It was after 9pm. My husband was at work, my son was in bed, and I was on the computer in the living room. Everything was quiet until I heard my husbandís drums, in the basement, being played. A few seconds passed, then I heard what sounded like the freezer door being slammed closed. I thought someone had broken into the house. Butcher knife in hand I went into the basement to look around. I didnít see anyone. The drums looked untouched and the freezer door was closed, so I went back upstairs. The next day I told my husband about the noises and we went into the basement. He wanted to know for sure what I heard (he kept trying to say that it must have been our furnace and ducts). He opened and closed the freezer door. That noise matched the one I heard. Then he banged on his drums. The sound the bass drum made matched what I heard. Regardless, he kept telling me it was our furnace.

About this time I truly began to believe we lived in a haunted house. I mentioned my thoughts to my husband and son but we all kind of laughed it off. I have always believed ghosts and hauntings were possible, so I knew that what was happening in our house was possible but, at the same time, it was so improbable that it was laughable. I told a few friends about the strange things going on. One emailed me about the website "Shadowlands". And the people on the message board were very helpful. I told them what was going on and they made me realize that we werenít alone.

-- Mea

ENTRY #3: Mid- January 2000

One afternoon, feeling brave, I decided to confront the ghost I thought we had. I went into the basement by myself, started walking around and talking to nothing. I said, "I know youíre here. Youíre dead so you need to go where youíre supposed to be. I wish I knew why you were still here." I didnít hear anything, which made me feel braver. To this day I donít know why I said this part, but I did, "If you decide to stay then you need to do housework just like everybody else that lives in this house! And weíll have to find a name for you...what do you think of George?" When I stopped speaking I was standing beside the coffee table, opposite the couch. I heard a barely audible male voice whisper in my left ear. I couldnít tell what was said but thought what I heard was Jeremiah, Jemininah (sp) or Gina (Gy-na). I couldnít move and had to tell myself to breathe. When I got up my nerve I asked out loud, "What did you say?" When I didnĎt hear anything else I sprinted upstairs.

This made me realize that we were haunted for sure. I started calling our unwanted houseguest "the houseghost". The whisper I heard brought up several questions. Was the whisperer just telling me his name? That would work for the name Jeremiah but what about the other two names that could have been said? Those were womenís names. Was he introducing me to his wife? And if that was the case, does that mean we have more than one houseghost? We knew that a husband and wife had originally owned the house but we hadnít heard their names. I wanted to find out this information.

-- Mea

ENTRY #4: Mid-January 2000

One night I was on the computer in the living room and Toonces was asleep on my lap. For no apparent reason he jumped into the air, hair bristling on his back, and ran out of the living room. This was the first time something like that happened. Itís happened a few more times since then. Another night the dog started barking at "nothing" in the basement stairs and kept it up throughout the entire house, backing up the entire way. To my knowledge this hasnít happened again. I continued to feel watched whenever I was home. Sometimes it was just that feeling you get on the back of your neck, the "you-just-know-something-is-watching-you" feeling. Other times it was like they were almost on top of me, the "almost-being-touched-but-not-quite" feeling.

For some reason the strange things quieted down quite a bit during the last part of January. It was a welcome relief. I told my husband that the basement felt "empty" somehow. Since all the things seemed to center on me he hadnít experienced anything. He told me that all the things IĎd been going through was in my mind. I got mad! If my husband wanted to see and hear the things I was experiencing, thatĎs what heĎd get! I went into the basement to do some talking...

-- Mea

ENTRY #5: Beginning of February 2000

I made a mistake. In the basement I asked the houseghost to come back and prove his existence to my husband. A few days later, my husband was putting some things in the attic. As he was coming back down, he found a tiny black and white picture on the stairs. It was a picture of two younger men dressed in university garb from what seemed to be in the 1930ís. That made him think twice about the things Iíd told him since Iíd personally swept or vacuumed the stairs at least once a month since we moved in and hadnĎt seen any pictures. I put the picture on the refrigerator and itís there now. Where did the picture come from? Did it fall from the rafters like my husband said? Was the houseghost trying to prove his existence? Who were the men in the picture?

The picture incident seemed to be a turning point in the activity. It began to pick up and it went from being strictly audio to visual, as well as me being able to be touched by the spirit.

I also started finding out things about spirits: Some roam around. Some attach themselves to a property, an item, or a person. Some will follow you from their regular haunting place. Very few are evil or bad. Most retain the personality they had while living. And I found out some of the reasons for why they didnít "pass over". About this time I got it into my head that we probably had more than one houseghost.

-- Mea

ENTRY #6: Beginning of March 2000

When we first moved in we removed the door that went from the kitchen to the basement stairs. However, weíd been keeping the door between the kitchen and dining room closed since we were laying tile on the kitchen floor and didnít want the pets getting into the adhesive or grout. Weíd moved all the pet stuff into the living room so the pets had no need to go into the basement while the tile work was going on. I was in the basement and saw the back end of our cat, Toonces, as he walked around the corner to the utility room. I knew I had to get him or heíd be blocked from the litter box, food and water. I went around the corner to pick him up and he disappeared before I had a chance to grab him. He was there one instant but dissolved the next! I ran up the stairs and Toonces was on the bed asleep. I told my husband what happened and he said it might have been an animal that got into the house. That night he left out some pet food to see if we had a raccoon or rat in the house but nothing showed up. Since then Iíve often wondered if that wasnít an incident of a repetitive haunting.

March 17, 2000

We keep the French doors in the three-season porch closed in the winter as itĎs too cold. My son was home from school, sick, and he went into the porch to check for mail (thatĎs where our mail slot is located). The French door, with the hardest latch, had been opened about halfway. (The latch on this door is so tight you have to push your body against the door to get it to latch or unlatch.) The screen behind the French door had been knocked out of the sill, the table in front of it had been moved over slightly and the chair beside the table was knocked over. These things were bothersome but what was really bothering at me was why were the spirits still here? Why wouldnít they go where they were supposed to be?

End of March 2000

I decided to set up our video camera in the basement. I asked the houseghosts to show themselves to the camera and to talk to it. I explained that since I couldnít see or hear them very well that perhaps the camera could pick them up better. My son and I set it up and started it a little after 9pm. The next day we both watched it. Unfortunately we didnít see or hear a thing.

-- Mea

ENTRY #7: Early April 2000

It was just after dark. I was in the kitchen laying floor tile and my son came up to me saying he had a weird feeling. We suddenly heard a loud bang in the three-season porch. I had him find out what it was (my hands were full of grout). The same hard to unlatch French door as before had been unlatched and left slightly open. Nothing else had been moved this time. He latched the door again and came back into the kitchen to tell me what happened.

A few days later the same door opened again. I donít remember that entire incident. What I do remember is that my husband had checked the French doors and they were closed. (I think we left the house and came back.) He went into the porch and found two French doors ajar. He latched them again and asked us if we had opened them. We said we hadnít. This upset me. I firmly told the houseghosts that we lived in a different age from them and it was too dangerous to leave the doors open when we werenít home. Theyíve stayed closed since.

April 11, 2000 (11:13pm)

I was getting ready to go to bed and walked into the dining room to get something from my purse (it was on the chair beside the attic doorway). Out of the corner of my left eye I saw the attic door open just enough to be able to stick my little finger into the opening. I turned my head and the door immediately slammed closed, hard enough to feel the vibration through the floor. Although I didnít see anything in the stairwell, in my mind I had the image of a short, hairy, pointy-eared creature being forcibly yanked up the stairs. I felt very scared and couldnít move for awhile (probably a few minutes). When I could move again I called my husband at work.

Because of this unnerving incident I re-blessed the house by myself the following weekend. Since I have a bad back, and the attic door at the top of the stairs sits in the floor and is very heavy, I didnít bless the attic. Things calmed down after the re-blessing and the house no longer felt 'scary', it felt clean, as though the creature pulled up the stairs was evil but it, the evil it emanated, was removed from the premises. This made me feel much better and much less unnerved so I started talking to the houseghosts more.

-- Mea

ENTRY #8: Mid-April 2000

The attic noises began after the re-blessing. They wouldnít occur every night, but when they did happen it would always be after 9:15pm. Heavy footsteps walking around or heavy items being dragged on the floor. Iíd tell my husband about the noises the next day and heíd check the attic, but nothing would have been moved.

I really wanted to get some answers on the things I was experiencing. I got up enough nerve and called the previous owners. I used the pretense of needing to get in touch with the original owners so we could give them the black and white picture my husband had found on the attic stairs. Steven Mann (previous owner) told me the original owners were both deceased. I asked him what their names were. He said, "George Jochum is his name...and I think her name was Gina." He thought the picture might be his wifeís but wasnít sure so heíd have her call us. I thanked him and hung up.

Now I was wondering about a few other things. When I talked to the houseghost the first time I said we had to come up with a name for it. I came up with George. Why did I blurt out that name? I donít even like the name George. Where did it come from? Had the houseghost somehow subconsciously told me his name? And in the basement, when Mr. Jochum whispered, was he was telling me the name of his wife because I had already guessed his name?

-- Mea

ENTRY #9: Later Half of April 2000

Things have become more active:

I started seeing white, grey and dark misty figures in the corner of my eye. Iíve seen them all over the house, not just one place in particular. One night, after my shower in the basement bathroom, I was blow drying my hair and felt a hand caress the skin on the outside of my right thigh. Nothing was there when I spun around. I did shoot the "nothing" with the hair dryer though and told it to stop touching and watching me shower because it was impolite to do so. The touching of bare skin hasnít occurred again.

Another night I felt something tugging at my bra, through my shirt, in the middle of my back. When I turned around nothing was there. I yelled out, "Quit it!" This type of thing hasnít occurred again either.

The garage door was found open. We had all come in together and witnessed it closing. Nobody had been in the garage from the time we got home until it was discovered open later that afternoon.

I also began to see orbs around the house. The first time was when I was sitting at the computer in the living room and saw a yellow light in the corner of my left eye. I turned my head to look and saw it hovering above the speakers in the corner of the living room beside the front door. It immediately disappeared.

April 20, 1999
A few times now Iíve seen lights going thru the house leaving streaks of light behind them, like "sparklers" leave streaks behind them.

-- Mea

ENTRY #10: 4/26/00 (11:18pm)

I was going to bed and called for Toonces, to go night-night. (He always goes to sleep with me, under the covers with his head on my pillow.) He walked down the hallway but stopped in mid-stride when he got to the bedroom doorway. I called to him again but he wouldnít come in. I thought to myself, "I wonder if thereís something in here with me that I canít see?", so I said out loud, "Would you please leave the room so Toonces wonít be afraid to come in?" Out of the corner of my left eye I saw a dark misty form, barely perceptible, go across the ceiling and to the doorway. I followed it with my eyes until it got to the doorway. Toonces took a few steps backwards then sat down, staring at the doorway. A shimmery, billowy curtain of light formed in the bedroom doorway. On the other side of the curtain I saw a faint figure of a man.

Since I was looking at Toonces on the floor I got a better look at the bottom half of the figure than I did the top part. Everything was grey toned but he was wearing lace-up boots (brownish-grey), slacks (medium grey), and a shiny, silver, square belt buckle. By the time I had worked this far up the figure it was almost gone. I looked at the face but couldnít see anything. I could barely see his shoulders and head. There also appeared to be a hat brim. Then he was gone.

By this time I was no longer afraid but intrigued by what was going on. I ran out of the room to see if I could get another glimpse of the man. I ran thought the curtain of light and it was very cold wherever the light touched me. All the hair on my body stood on end. I kept telling myself that it was real because none of it seemed that way. I couldnít see the man anywhere so I decided to go back to bed. I went through the curtain of light again and sat on the bed. The curtain of light lasted a few more minutes before it disappeared. Toonces finally came into the bedroom and we went to sleep. The next day, and for a few days after that, I felt energized, calm and so happy that I couldnít stop smiling.

-- Mea

ENTRY #11: May 2000

5/6/00 (Afternoon) - Rebecca Mann, the previous owner, came over to see the picture Robbie found on the attic stairs. She thought it might be hers, but she didnít recognize it. I got up my nerve and started telling her about the strange experiences in the house. I asked her if she experienced anything like that. She said her kids were always saying, "TheyĎre still here, Mom" (meaning the Jochums). She also said they had experienced the same thing with the garage door opening by itself as well as other noises, but they (she and her husband) just chalked it up to being an old house. Right before she left she did say that Mr. Jochum supposedly had died in the three-season porch.

5/7/00 (8pm) - I was filing some paperwork in the basement and heard a manís voice singing. It sounded like the backward masking they have on TV. I ran upstairs to tell my husband and son that I heard Mr. Jochum singing. We all ran downstairs but he wouldnít sing anymore. Since then Iíve thought about it and have wondered whether he was trying to say something and I only thought he was singing.

5/9/00 (11pm) - I saw a little orb on our bedroom floor. It was bright yellow, a little smaller than a ping-pong ball and it rolled away from me. It was wobbly, like a bowling ball when it goes down the lane slowly.

5/17/00 - Itís been really quiet lately, but that has happened before. It gets quiet as though the houseghosts are "recharging their batteries" then things start happening again. The only things going on lately are the pets still see "nothing" and the dog barks at "nothing". I see the occasional orb and misty cloud around the house. These are always seen upstairs.

5/27/00 - Robbie and I were gone all day. When we got back home Krist said he experienced the front door and his bedroom door closing by themselves. I donít know if itís true since I wasnít here.

5/30/00 (about 11:30pm) - Robbie was sitting in the overstuffed chair and I was standing in back of the computer chair telling him that Krist had heard a kidís voice calling his name from his room. Without any warning a cold wind went right through me, giving me goosebumps and taking my breath away. The experience seemed to last a few seconds (I didnít look at my watch to know for sure).

Robbie didnít see the goosebumps so, in a fit of bravery, I asked "it" to go through me again so my hubby could witness it for himself. We waited a few minutes and "it" went through me again. The same thing happened as before, I felt the coldness, it was hard to breathe and I got goosebumps. Then Robbie decided to find the camera so he could take pictures in case the same thing happened again. We spent a few minutes looking for the camera, then we went to our original places. I asked "it" to go through me yet again. It did. This time Robbie snapped 3 pictures, all that was left on the film. I told "it" to stop going through me as I was starting to feel exhausted and very hot. I walked into the bedroom and stood in front of the chest of drawers to take off my slippers. "It" went through me again even though I had asked "it" not to.

5/31/00 - I was taking the laundry to the basement and as I leaned over to put the full basket on the floor, out of the corner of my left eye, I saw something moving between the TV and the coffee table in the rec room. I looked up to see only two legs...pacing! I could see round-toed boots and slacks up to about the knees, then nothing above that but a dark grey mist. It looked like the same shoes of the houseghost I saw in the hallway. They were going back and forth between the TV and the coffee table.

I called my son to come down. When he did, he said he saw a misty grey torso as well as a head floating above the coffee table (I didnít see the head) What he saw also seemed to be pacing. I told him what I saw then asked him to get Robbie.

They came downstairs. I asked Robbie if he could see anything, but he didnít see a thing. Both Krist and I described what we saw. I even walked over to where "it" was, but the closer I got, the dimmer "it" got. By the time I got to the spot, "he" was gone. I waved my hand in the area but didnít feel any temperature change. I walked back to my husband, turned around to face the place where I saw the ghost, and asked "nothing" to show himself to Robbie. Nothing happened. As we were discussing the experience, something went through me again. I got cold, got goosebumps and lost my breath.

-- Mea

ENTRY #12: Early June 2000

6/3/00 (about 3am) - I took our dog out. In the corner of the backyard, farthest from the street light, I saw a whitish shape in the shadows under the two lilac bushes. The shape seemed to come out of the ground and floated upwards into the sky. It made me very uneasy so I hurried the dog along in her business and got back inside.

6/3/00 (3:49am) - I looked at the clock when I went to bed) I was sitting in bed, doing a puzzle magazine, when I heard a petís collar jingling from the hallway. I looked up and the shimmery, billowy, curtain was in the doorway again. My son had a friend staying the night, and they were in the basement, so I yelled at them to come upstairs. When they got to the doorway I asked them if they could see the curtain. Both said no. Magnus and Maddie kept going through the doorway but Toonces hunkered down in the hallway and wouldnít come into the bedroom. The curtain stayed in the doorway approximately 10 minutes. It appeared to be attached to the outside of the doorframe, with 6 attachment points so that it looked similar to the way a shower curtain is hung. There was a larger gap between the middle 2 attachments than there were between the other attachments. (See the following picture.) It also didnít go all the way to the floor, but billowed slightly, as though being pushed around by a slight breeze. When I looked through the curtain, the far side of the hallway looked "rubbery", as though a portion of the floor was going down a little bit and a portion of the wall was going up and out.

-- Mea

ENTRY #13: Mid June 2000

6/6/00 (3:15am) - My husband awakened me from a sound sleep saying, "I saw something! I saw something downstairs!" After asking him to explain (I was still half asleep), he said he was laying on his stomach in the basement, playing with the dog, when something whizzed back and forth over his head. "A white light was flashing above my head, going the entire length of the room. It went back and forth, back and forth." He also said when he looked for it he couldnít see it but when he stopped looking for it the light came back and he could see it in his peripheral vision. I asked him how big the light was. He said he thought it was about the size of a softball. I am so glad this happened. The houseghosts are finally showing themselves to him!

6/14/00 - Our cat, Toonces, died on Monday at about 5:30pm. My husband told me that when he went to the bathroom, early this morning, he heard a noise outside the closed door. He said it sounded like Toonces. (Toonces hated being left out of the bathroom) so he opened the door and said, "Hello Toonces", then he closed the door and did his business. He also said yesterday evening, after Iíd gone to bed, he saw our other cat, Magnus, playing with nothing by the freezer and she was playing like she did with Toonces.

-- Mea

ENTRY #14: Mid-Late June 2000

6/15/00 (9:48am) - My son called me at work. He said he was really tired because he was awakened in the middle of the night and couldnít get back to sleep until after 2am. He said he went to sleep with the fan on but it awakened him by alternately running regularly and bogging down. The light in his bedroom was off went he went to sleep but after he awakened it went on, then off, then both, really fast, like a machine gun. He leaned up in bed to see better when he noticed Toonces, our deceased cat, sleeping at the foot of his bed! He said when he went to grab Toonces, the cat jumped off the bed, ran to the closed door and went into it.

6/15/00 - Krist told me one of the French doors in the three-season porch had opened up by itself again.

6/25/00 - I was doing a load of whites in the basement so grabbed the bleach bottle from the cabinet. There was no cap on it. I wondered where the cap was. I knew Iíd put it back on the last time Iíd used it because itís dangerous to not put the cap back on and Iím the only one who uses bleach in the laundry (hubby and son wonít because theyíre afraid theyíll ruin something). Anyway, I started looking for it in the cabinet and around the washer and dryer but didnĎt find it. Just in case, I asked the houseghosts to bring the cap back if theyíd used it. I was facing the laundry hamper and immediately after I asked, and right before my eyes, a blue 2% milk jug lid fell from the ceiling and landed in on top of the dirty clothes in the darks section. I told "them" thanks but wondered if the lid would fit on the bleach bottle. Sure enough, it did.

-- Mea

ENTRY #15: 6/26/00

The lamp on my husbandís side of the bed worked fine all day long yesterday (he had knee surgery last Thursday so has been spending quite a bit of time in bed) but stopped working correctly later in the evening. Attached to the lamp is a gizmo that makes the lamp a touch lamp. It has five stages: dark, very dim, dim, medium, and bright. In the evening though, the lamp suddenly only had three stages. Dark, very dim, and dim. Today though itís working fine again.

Tonight I went into the basement to get my hubby some tools to work on his guitar. I sat on the couch in the rec room, searching through hubbyís toolbox for screwdrivers, and I suddenly felt "the bad" in the corner of the rec room between the trunk and the entertainment center. I didnít see anything but it felt like and invisible blanket was getting larger and coming closer. I had goosebumps all over. Magnus was on the stairs and she was staring at something I couldnít see. I ran up the stairs and into the bedroom, breathless, where I told Robbie, "ĎThe Badí is back!" We went into the basement. Robbie stood right where I felt the ĎThe Badí. He didnít see anything but I still felt it, even though it wasnít as strong. It dawned on me that that spot is directly under Robbieís lamp.

-- Mea

ENTRY #16: UPDATE: May 2001

I've stopped keeping a spirit diary since it's mostly the same things occurring over and over and we have all pretty much become accustomed to the experiences (as much as one can become accustomed to things like this) so they no longer bother us as much as they used to.

All of us have seen the orbs in all different sizes (softball sized down to pea sized), in all colors (bright white through all the colors of the rainbow to a shiny black) and in all forms of motion (zipping around or shimmying at eye level, rolling on the floor or ceiling or around bed legs, fast and leisurely).

Doors still keep opening up by themselves. Just two weekends ago the front door that leads from the living room to our three-season porch opened up by itself and our dog, Maddie - who has a habit of running away whenever she gets loose - got out the door and ran to my son and I in the back yard, cowering behind me when she got to us. This is completely backwards from her normal behavior (just ask our neighbors how many times we've had to run after her because she got loose!) and she came running TOWARDS us this time? The basement door that goes from the house to the garage opens by itself all the time but none of the pets ever goes that door unless a person goes with them.

There are only three new things I can think of:

One is I saw a woman's bottom half. I was upstairs looking at the bottom of the stairs. Out of the corner of my eye I caught the floor length, dark colored skirt of a woman walking in the basement. I saw it just long enough for "her" to walk behind the wall at the bottom of the stairs so didn't get a good look at anything but the skirt. I term "Librarian" came to mind when I saw the skirt.

Two is that we found out that the original owner (George Jochum) died in his bedroom (our bedroom now) not the three-season porch like we were told.

And three is that after my husband's lamp had it's original lighting problem it has continued to have lighting problems. We've switched bulbs, dimmer switches and plugins but it still goes on by itself at 6:46PM. I assume that's when Mr. Jochum died in the bedroom. I'm searching for more information on him to see what I can find out but it's like looking for a needle in a haystack. If anybody knows anything, please let me know.

That's about all I can add to the happenings. I avoid going into the basement when it's dark if at all possible because I am still uncomfortable down there but otherwise things have calmed down (thank goodness!)

-- Mea

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