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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.

Dear Ghostvillage:
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 bar went.

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. 

2014 Haunted New England Wall Calendar by Jeff Belanger photography by Frank Grace
Check out the 2014 Haunted New England wall calendar by Jeff Belanger and photography by Frank Grace!

Paranormal Conferences and Lectures
Don't miss the following events and lectures:

Jeff Belanger and “The Bridgewater Triangle” at Dedham Community Theatre - April 6, 2014 9:00PM

The Spirits of the Mark Twain House - Hartford, Connecticut - April 12, 2014

Paracon Australia - East Maitland, New South Wales, Australia - May 10-12, 2014