Ghost Week: The Traditional Haunted House


It’s officially one week ’til Halloween, so we’re in our final countdown to the best holiday of the year. And I’m in a mood to back off the comics reviews for one little week and tell some stories.

It’s funny about moving out of a town you’ve lived for a long time — it occupies your thoughts a lot more than you ever expected it to when you left. You get the usual nostalgia for what you’ve experienced, of course, but you also start remembering all the stories you’ve been told about, even if you didn’t experience them yourself.

That’s what it’s been like for me since leaving Lubbock. And I’ve had family living in the Hub City for at least 80 years. I’ve heard interesting stories from all my relatives, many passed down through generations. I’ve heard stories just living in town, stuff that doesn’t necessarily make the Chamber of Commerce brochures.

Here’s a story I heard:

There’s a haunted house in Lubbock. There may be — probably is — more than one, but this is the one I know of.

Not telling you where it is — I actually contacted the owner a few years back asking questions about it. He owns the house but lives elsewhere. He asked me not to publicize where it was at, and he asked me nicely. He doesn’t want a bunch of wannabe ghost-hunters snooping around his property, and I don’t blame him. So we’ll strip out as much of the identifying information as we can.

So like I said, there’s a house in Lubbock — not particularly noteworthy from the outside — that is haunted. As far as anyone knows, the haunting started some time in the late 1940s, when the owners, an elderly couple who had lived in the house for decades, began hearing disembodied footsteps and catching glimpses of figures in black out of the corners of their eyes. The couple died of mysterious circumstances in the early 1950s.

The next owners of the house heard the same disembodied footsteps, but the figures in black were less of the “catch ’em out the corners of your eye when you’re not looking” camp and more of the “show up looming ominously at your bedside late at night” camp.

The recently-deceased elderly couple also made some spectral appearances. They were seen occasionally huddled together in one of the closets, unnaturally pale, shivering violently, silently screaming.

The owners of the house vacated the premises one night after being awakened by flashing lights inside their bedroom. In fact, they left the house by the bedroom window and had to rely on neighbors and friends to get their belongings out over the next few days, as they refused to set foot back inside the house.

The house was empty for years afterwards. The next family who bought it thought it was a charming old house for about a month. After that, they spent some time getting awoken every night by malign whispers in the darkness. They moved out as soon as the whispers were replaced by bloodcurdling shrieks.

After that, the house was empty for quite a bit longer than before.

The current owner spent part of one night in the house. He was aware of the previous stories about it, but figured he should try to sleep in his own property. He wouldn’t tell me why he left before the night was over, but he said he wouldn’t spend another minute inside for any amount of money.

He’s attempted to rent it a couple of times. Everyone who he showed the house to thought it was unnerving and somehow “off” and they wouldn’t sign a lease. In fact, his leasing agent once brought her young son along with her for a showing — the kid piped up while she was showing off the kitchen and said, “Mommy, the bloody man says we should go upstairs now to see his axe.” The whole group went straight out the front door, and the owner hasn’t attempted to rent the place since.

It’s out there. It doesn’t sound like it’d be a good idea to go inside.

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