November 16, 2002
Footsteps in the Bedroom
By Jeff Belanger
Ghosts seem to find the most peculiar ways of making their presence
known: tapping on your headboard when you close your eyes at night,
walking up and down staircases, opening and closing doors, even
messing around with electrical equipment like stereos and televisions.
The most frightening encounters involve actually "seeing"
what you believe to be a ghost. These little noises combined with an
actual viewing of an apparition can be downright torment.
This week's encounter comes to us from Phinex Griffen of Matoaka City
Limits, West Virginia. It's not uncommon for a change in architecture
or residence to stir up the supernatural. Many times a new family
moves into a home and causes things to be unsettled. Phinex moved into
a home with a bit of West Virginia coal mining history, and his family
started making changes to the house structure. What followed was
frightening and many times intimidating for the family.
We moved into our house about three years ago. The house was built
sometime around the 1940s and used to be a bar called "The
Miners' Inn" until about ten years ago. Since then, the house has
been a ceramics shop, and then two women ran a flower shop in the
building. It was rumored that they were witches.
The house has two levels-the top is the living area and the bottom's
forward half is concrete with tile on top, while the other half of the
lower level is dirt. There were lots of symbols on the walls of what
was the bar, but we painted over those with white paint. And we also
disposed of a Ouija board we found here.
The upstairs is normal, but we believe there is a guardian angel
living there with us. She always watched over the little girl, my
niece. The downstairs has a cold, uneasy feeling. Even more so now
that we are fixing it up. We're adding concrete where there was dirt,
and we're creating more rooms in the space.
Downstairs, my five-year-old niece sees things, like a man with long
ears, "like a bunny," she said, standing at the door.
My sister, who is a recovering intravenous drug user, saw another
sighting one day when she was doing drugs in the bathroom. She laid
the drugs on the dryer and bent down. When she came back up, her drugs
were in the sink with the water on. She also says she saw the angel
walk up to the door where she was sleeping and stare at her. It tried
to scare her off.
Mom, Dad, and I have also seen the angel walk around-we used to see
her a lot, but not since we concreted up the downstairs. Recently, we
have heard, felt, and seen things downstairs-disturbing things-stuff
to put your hair on end.
In the storage room, my Mom was stacking extra cushions and when she
turned around, they fell. So she went to pick them back up and a
powerful wind came by. It blew her hair back and she saw bright
colors: reds, blues, yellows, and their mixtures. It could not have
been a window, as there are none back there.
Other things happen at night. When we're all upstairs we hear noises
like stuff knocking, feet on the floor-bare feet, pops, cracks, and
stuff dropping. But when we check it out, there are no signs of
anything. I am not one to let something like this scare me, but lately
when I go to bed, I have had a weird feeling.
About two or three nights ago, something happened to me. I just turned
off the light and closed my eyes when I heard a sound like a bare foot
on the floor-it really spooked me. I have a lock on my room, so I
reached over to my desk lamp, and right before I turned it on, a
bright white light-like in a ball shape with a weird tail behind
it-streaked by. It was like a comet that came from the center of the
room toward the bed. When I clicked the light on, I grabbed a sword I
keep in my room, but nothing was there. So I put my sword down. When I
went to go back to sleep, I left the light on. Every time I would
close my eyes, I would hear the "foot" noise.
Phinex's house seems to have a lot of history. Coal mining is an
industry that had more downs than ups for the workers as time
progressed through the twentieth century. I'm sure The Miners' Inn saw
its fair share of downtrodden workers trying to forget their troubles
in beer and whiskey. And the pub must have also seen some celebrations
during more prosperous times for the local mine. The footsteps heard
through the house may be those of former patrons wondering where their
These kinds of hauntings are very common when there is trouble in the
family (like a drug user). There is unrest in the building, and unrest
in the family, and they're living in a setting that used to be a
tavern for coal miners. There must be many kinds of energies swirling
in and around the former pub. Hopefully when things settle down with
the construction and the family problems, the spirit activity will
calm down as well.