Annie’s Haunted House


Annie Wilder Essays  on Living in a Haunted House

Ghost House Stories
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Every house that has been lived in has a story to tell. I don’t know exactly how it works, but I believe that the actions and emotions of past inhabitants — even their beliefs, hopes, and fears — linger in the places where people once lived. And sometimes, these dormant memories from the past come alive again.

I live in a house filled with stories, an old Victorian in a historic Mississippi River town. I like knowing that for over a hundred years, families have lived here, raising their kids, making meals in the now antique stove, looking out the same windows that I look out each day. There’s something magical or sentimental or energetically powerful about this house. My family and I have had many spirit visitors, odd vivid dreams, and remarkable experiences since moving in. Old-fashioned spirit sisters from long ago, the ghost of the old man who lived here before me, the apparition of a grieving woman, these are some of the spirits who have come back to the place they once called home — my house now. My Irish family spirits have come by when their help is needed, with whispered messages of support, positive energy, and even a sit-down visit from my Irish great-grandma’s spirit. Some of the ghosts who have appeared here seem to be just passing through…

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Living with Spirits
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When people find out that I live in a haunted house, the first thing they usually want to know is, “How can you live in a haunted house? Aren’t you scared?”

“Sometimes,” I say. “But moving is too much work … ”

It’s true that there have been plenty of times when I have been very scared by the spirits in my house. But it’s also true that I love my magical old house. I’ve been living in my house for ten years and I never know what’s going to happen next, ghost-wise. Every day holds the possibility of a small (or not so small) adventure. At times, it seems as if my house or the house spirits are responsive to me. This spring, I had a small bonfire in my back yard, which I had been afraid to try by myself because I was worried about the fire getting out of control. A few days after my bonfire, a severe thunderstorm blew through town. When I went outside the next morning, there was a muddy, soggy sheet of paper plastered to my porch wall, blown in by the storm. I have learned to pay attention to what the wind brings, so I looked at the paper to see what it had to say. It was a fact sheet filled with helpful hints and I laughed out loud when I saw the headline — “Campfire Safety.”

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