Thursday, July 05, 2018

The Frat House


I recently received the following account:

Love your blog and read it every night. I want to share my experiences, but also want to remain anonymous.

The following is my accounts of what I experienced while living in a haunted fraternity house. As the time goes by since I’ve lived there my memories of what I experienced are beginning to fade so I’ve decided to write down and share everything I remember.

The fraternity house stands in the middle a bunch of factories and warehouses in downtown Cleveland. It’s presence is very out of place as it’s one of only a few historical houses of its age still standing in the area. When I lived there it was very run down, holes in the foundation and some of the floors and just looked like the your quintessential haunted house. I haven’t done any research and the history of the house I learned was just hearsay passed down from the fraternity brothers who lived there before me. I’ve heard that it was once a house of prostitution and a halfway house before the fraternity purchased the property. I’ve heard of some deaths that occurred on or around the property in the past. I heard that the owner of the halfway house had been murdered in the 3rd floor bathroom which was converted to a storage closet when I was living there. And there were two fraternity brothers who passed away. One who heard a gun shot in the streets outside the house and went out to investigate and was shot himself and died on the front steps. Another was involved in a deadly car crash a few blocks away from the house.

I joined the fraternity during my first semester of college with my group of friends I had made and was spending most of my extra time there hanging out and partying on the weekends. By the end of my first year of college I had planned to move in that summer because of an irresistible opportunity of $75 bucks a month rent for my own room and utilities.

I never had a good feeling about the house. From my former experiences growing up in a home with some paranormal activity going on I believe I developed some extra sense to feel spirits or entities around me and I can remember these feeling being off the chart when I was in the house. I can remember I had a strange dream premonition before I moved in. In my dream I was walking up to the house (but it was on a hill not surrounded by concrete streets and buildings) on a stormy night with thunder, lightning and winds howling around the house. It was was full of rats...overflowing! I could see them piled on top of each other through the windows and pouring out from under cracks under the doors and windows. The premonition actually came true as after I had moved in I had discover there was a big rodent problem in the house.

When I had first moved in it was the summer before classes had begun and I had found myself to be alone in the house and completely terrified. I found myself alone there often as I was not from Cleveland but grew up in another city about an hour away. Most of my roommates who were from the Cleveland area were not around on weekends and during college breaks.

I’m a musician by trade and spent a lot of time practicing my instrument during college, as much and any time I could. It always kind of bugged me when I would practice and notice someone listening and I could always tell if someone was looking through the practice room window at the school of music even if I had my back turned to the door. I guess that sixth sense again telling me someone is there. I can remember the first week I moved in the house during the summer finding myself alone again I decided to practice in my room at the house instead of walking to school. I can remember as soon as I began playing I could feel like someone was standing right next to me watching. It was very distracting and creepy to the point that I never practiced there again.

The first major experience I had next to the constant feeling of a presence watching me and following me around was the first of what learned later was a lot of poltergeist activity. I was asleep in my loft in my room when I heard a window close to the bed fly open violently. As frightened as I was I got out of bed to investigate the window. Now I guess if the window was open as its frame was wooden it’s possible due to changing levels of humidity the wooden window frame might expand or contract causing the window to fall and shut. But it was opened, defying all laws of gravity. This left me afraid and puzzled the rest of the night. This was the beginning of a long time of being very fearful at night, just waiting to see what would happen next.

We spent a lot of time with our “sister sorority.” These girls were at all our events and a number of my frat brothers were dating the girls in that sorority. Around Halloween our fraternity and their sorority would go to dinner and then to a haunted house, you know the type you walk through and costumed employees jump out and scare you. We would then head back to our house where we would take everyone to the basement hit all the breaker switches in the electrical box cutting off all power to the house and light some candles and tell ghost stories. After about a half hour it was like the whole house began to shake and we could hear banging on the floor upstairs and pipes rattling in the walls. All the girls ran out the front door screaming that night leaving us trying to explain away what had made the noises.

As I mentioned earlier I slept in a loft, each room was rectangular shaped with raised platform at one end and a small wooden latter to get up there. There was enough space up there for a twin mattress and a little shelf I put at the head of the bed where an electrical outlet was. It was my habit of plugging my cell phone in the outlet and placing it on the little shelf above my head to charge while I slept. The ladder to get up there was also positioned at the head of the bed. I had just got into bed, plugged my cell phone up and pushed the phone and cord to the back of the shelf. As I’m about to fall asleep the phone and cord fall off the shelf onto my head. I thought, OK maybe to wasn’t pushed that far back on the shelf. So I put them back up on the shelf again making sure it was not going to fall again. A little later the phone and cord fall on me again. OK now I’m pretty freaked out and I put the phone back on the shelf a third time. That’s when I feel a phantom hand grab my shoulder. I slept with my sheets over my head that night in absolute fear.

One night we are partying at the house and I had to walk through the kitchen to get to the first floor restroom. There were folding tables set up against one wall of the kitchen for beer pong games which diverted my path to the restroom right past the entrance to the basement. As I walked past the basement stairs I felt what I can only describe as a strong wind that came from the basement. This “wind” was a burst of energy or force that pushed me back and that seemed to pass threw me with strange a feeling that had me convinced I passed through a spirit or an entity passed through me.

After a lot of hard work I had won the yearly undergrad concerto competition sponsored by the School of Music and was preparing for the performance that went along with it. I was pulling other music students out of the hallway in the School of Music into my practice room every chance I got to play through my concerto for them to get as much experience I could performing in front of people. I thought the most judgmental group I could play for was my frat brothers. So after a chapter meeting I got up in front of all of them to play my piece. After I was done and everyone had gone home or back to their rooms, I was standing on top of the front stairs within the view of a large sliding wooden door that closed off the chapter room where our meetings took place. This door was serious, made of solid hard wood and at least 10 foot high and 6 feet across. It was easy to move on the rollers and track to shut it, but when you pushed it open and closed you could feel it’s weight. As we are standing at the top of the stairs I was discussing my performance with two of my closest friends in the fraternity when the door violently slammed shut on its own, with enough force that when it hit the end of the track it swung back and half way shut again. We looked at each other in astonishment “did you see that!” We all seemed to say it to each other at the same time.

Now for the dark stuff. The things I don’t like talking about. At the time I was really practicing hard and taking lessons with two different professors at the same time. After a dinner at a bar with friends of greasy food and a few cocktails I was feeling tired and figured if I went to practice I would really not get anything done. Instead of going to the practice room after dinner as was my habit I decided to go to bed early and wake early to make up the missed practice time. As it wasn’t my usual schedule to go to bed at 7:30 pm I found myself trying hard to fall asleep despite the heavy food in my stomach. As I lay there trying to relax I could hear faint talking, a conversation between two voices coming from inside my room. It was loud enough to distinguish speech patterns from two different voices, but faint enough that I could not make out exactly what they were saying. This continued until I began having images projected into my thoughts. These images were not my own thoughts, I knew that much. They were disturbing to say the least of intricate geometric pentagram shapes, with a baby in the middle attached to weird umbilical cords going into its mouth, nose and ears. Very disturbing and this left me contemplating my own insanity. After I sensed those images I was convinced I was dealing with something more than just a haunting, something more darker.

On a trip home one weekend for mom’s cooking and a free washer and dryer to do my laundry, I decided to take the crucifix which hung in my bedroom through my childhood. I was raised Catholic and figured the crucifix might help protect me if was hung it in my room at the frat house. One day not long after I hung my crucifix I returned to my room in the frat house after a long day of classes and practicing and unlocked my door to find the crucifix I had hung on the wall had been balanced upside down on the tiny nail I used to hang it from. I was astonished and spent the next hour trying to re-position it the way I found it, it was impossible! I placed it back on the nail the right way and then a few days later it was just gone. Vanished. I never found it again.

One night after some drinking with my friends I had what you would call some “liquid courage”. As I laid in bed I spoke to whatever it was saying in my mind “come on, touch me again, I’m not afraid”. I made a huge mistake that night I believe I invited it in somehow. Ever since and to this day I have periodic thoughts to hurt people, my friends and family. They are not my thoughts. I’m not a violent person! It’s like something tells me to do that. When I feel this I say a prayer to myself and have never actually went though with it, but it’s there...always haunting my thoughts and it’s been decades now since this has started.

One night I had been getting ready for bed after a long day. I climbed my ladder up to my loft to get some rest and as soon as I laid down the lights in my room turned on by itself. I even heard the light switch click over on its own. I felt aggravated and a little pissed off more than frightened this time. At this point I may have gotten used to this type of thing. So I climbed down my ladder, walked across the room and turned off the lights and got back into bed. Again the lights turned on. This time I was really pissed at having to again climb down the ladder and turn off the lights. Standing at the light switch for the third time I finally spoke out loud to whatever it was and said in a firm voice “Stop messing with me, I’m tired leave me alone!”. The lights stayed off and I learned valuable lesson that night. Whatever it was, it was feeding off my fear and this time I finally stood up for myself. Things got better from then on. The oppressive heavy feelings I had in my room subsided and I felt empowered to stand up for myself.

One winter it was record-breaking cold, and the wind rolled off Lake Erie and through the Cleveland streets making it feel like pins pricking any exposed skin. It was painful just to walk to and from school. The ancient boiler heater in the house had broke down and the space heater I was using did little to warm up my room. A friend I had back in high school had recently moved to Cleveland to attend law school and after meeting up with him for drinks one night he invited to put me up on his couch until the heater in the frat house had been repaired. Soon after I started staying on my buddy’s couch I received a strange voicemail on my cell phone. All of this occurred over a decade ago and the exact details have escaped me over the years. Here is what I remember about the call. It came up as all symbols, number signs and stars, not a actual phone number. So I ignored it thinking my phone was malfunctioning or something. Then I noticed there was a voicemail. It was a strange low voice in a tone that sounded electronic like with a fuss to it, like you would hear from radio static. It said something like “you’ll never get away” or “you’ll never escape” I played it for my buddy I was staying with he said “wow that’s freaky man, someone is messin' with you”. I knew it wasn’t someone messing with me it was the voice of whatever had been haunting me at the frat house.

I eventually graduated and moved to a southern state for grad school. I’ve had a few weird paranormal experiences since but nothing like what I experienced while living in the frat house. My experiences there got me interested in all things paranormal. TV shows, books and podcasts in my quest to understand what it was that was in that house and what caused all my weird and frightful experiences. AL

Haunted Cleveland (Haunted America)

Ghosts of the North Coast: Legends, Tales and Haunted Places of Northern Ohio

The Super Natural: Why the Unexplained Is Real

Real Hauntings: True American Ghost Stories

Real Ghost Stories: Haunting Encounters Told by Real People

Lon's Suggested Reading List - Books & Films / DVDs

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