The Story of Skansen
Our family was having dinner recently and I asked if they missed our home on Skansen Street. That was our boy’s childhood home and we decided to sell it in 2014. Up until then, it was the only home they had known. They both, without hesitation, said ‘no!’ Surprised, I asked why they didn’t miss it and they began telling us about all the frightening things that had happened to them there. They were happy when we decided to sell it. Below are the collective memories of events that happened there.
Here’s where it started. In 1996 we built our home on land that was previously farmed, probably with grapevines. I was pregnant with our first born, RJ at the time. We were somewhat settled in when my husband and I went shopping. When we returned, the kitchen and living room were covered in flying ants. They were everywhere. We assumed they had come down through the chimney and perhaps this used to be a favorite spot for them. The only way we could think to get rid of them was to vacuum them up. Somewhere, I have a video of this event.
According to our youngest, Michael, the back bedroom had the most activity. He said that he would wake up in the morning and his closet door would be open. We always kept the closet doors closed.
He also stated that sometimes he would wake up in the middle of the night and our dog, Catahoula, would be in his room standing there staring at him. This was unexplainable because Cat slept in our bedroom on the other side of the house and all of the bedroom doors were closed at night. For Cat to get into Michael’s room, our bedroom door would have to be opened, then Michael’s door open. Both doors would then have to be closed.
RJ’s rendition was even more disturbing. When he was a toddler he was sleeping in his crib. We heard a loud, shrill cry and ran in to see what was wrong. He was standing up in his crib sobbing. He pointed to a stuffed cow that his daycare provider had bought him at the local thrift store and said, ‘Evil cow!’ We removed the cow from his room and got rid of it the next day.
One night when he was a little older, we heard him screaming in the middle of the night. We ran in to his room, picked him up and held him. He continued to scream uncontrollably for what seemed like a very long time. He finally settled down and we placed him back in his bed. The next morning he had no recollection of the event.
One evening he was reading in the master bedroom. The lights flickered and he saw a green hand reach around the corner from the closet toward the bed. Then the door slammed shut. He ran out of the room to yell at us for scaring him. We didn’t know anything about it, other than that we heard the door slam and had assumed we were being too loud as he read. His little brother was asleep at the time.
One night he was sleeping in our bed. The light beside me had a creature wrapped around it and was looking at RJ. He cowered under the covers with the hope that if he didn’t look at it, it wouldn’t be real.
The boy’s rooms were on the west side of the house and our room was on the east side. They would often end up in our bedroom. When they were very young in the bed with us and as they got older, they would sleep on the floor. On a night when RJ had woken up and was heading toward our bedroom he looked outside in the back (we didn’t close our backyard blinds and much of that part of the house was windows. There was an alley separating our backyard from the neighbor behind us. As he was walking toward our bedroom, he saw a disc-shaped object hovering over the neighbor’s house. There was no noise and no color. He ran to our room and woke us up to look. When we did, there was nothing there.
He was playing a video game in the back bedroom. As he was playing, a birdhouse that was on top of a terrarium flew across the room, narrowly missing him. There had been no one else on that side of the house at the time. He ran out and had us come in to see where the birdhouse had landed. We had no explanation for him. He said that it had made a sound like someone pulling something out of the refrigerator and that it had been twitching and then flew in an arch, not a straight line, across the room.
His closet door would periodically open and shut on its own.
One day RJ was kicking a soccer ball against the corner of a wall near the master bedroom. He would kick the ball into the corner and it would come back to him and he’d kick it again. One day as he was doing this the ball didn’t come back, the room was dark. Then, after the hesitation, it came back with more force, like someone had kicked it. No one else was in that area.
In the front bedroom, RJ and Michael were going to sleep after a late night of gaming. RJ was playing a 10-song playlist. There is a song called ‘Rain’ and the lyrics include the word ‘devil.’ The devise began looping on that word. They had kept the light in the hallway on, as they always did, and RJ noticed that a shadow had crossed in front of his door, which he could see from the bottom of the door. Then another, then another and then several. They were all heading towards Michael’s room (the back bedroom). He describes the event as ‘shadow after shadow while the song is repeating the word ‘devil’ on his device.
Other than the flying ants when we first moved in, the only other strange thing that happened to me was when I was cleaning two rings in the kitchen. I placed them in a cleaning container to let them soak. When I opened the container a few minutes later, the rings were gone. I was the only one home and hadn’t left the kitchen. My mother came over and tried to help find them. They were just gone, and I’ve never seen them again.
My father lived with us for a few months. He slept in the back bedroom and often commented that the battery-operated toys in that room would start-up in the middle of the night and then stop as suddenly as they started.
At one point I was writing an article for a magazine on ghost hunting. I had three supernatural experts come to our home before heading to the haunted spots in the city. While there, I asked if they could take a look at our property. One of them was a producer for History Channel’s ‘Ancient Aliens’ show. They walked around inside and outside of the house. They said our house was not haunted but that the house next door, to the west of us, was. They said it was a male and that he wasn’t violent but was mischievous. They said that he craved attention so if things were happening in our house it was probably because the neighbors were away, and he was bored.
We were aware that the boys were scared but never really gave it any credence. Perhaps we were in denial, or perhaps they just had very active imaginations. We’ve lived in two other homes since then and haven’t had any disturbing events since then, thankfully!
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