Apparently, some of the former occupants of our house loved it here so much, that they never left.  Even after death. When Yvonne and I first looked at the house, we asked if there were any ghosts.  The answer we got was "yes".  This just made us want the house even more.  We put in our offer on the house and the offer was accepted.  Over the next few weeks, prior to the closing, we would talk to the owners who (after a few beers) confirmed that the house was indeed haunted.  We were told some very interesting tales.  As the closing grew closer, Yvonne and I began to get a little nervous about the whole idea of ghosts, but we absolutely loved this house and we weren't going to let it get us down. Soon, the closing came and went and we moved into our new home.  Keep in mind that we moved from a small two bedroom townhouse into this huge seven bedroom Victorian house.  That alone was a little intimidating.  We had no real furniture, so the house had a bit of an echo to it.  The first spectral experience happened on the second night that we here...

April 2001 - It was sometime in the middle of the night, probably around 2:30 a.m. or so when I woke up and went to the bathroom.  During the day we had been moving boxes around.  There was a pile of boxes in the hall next to the third floor staircase.  Among the items waiting to go to the attic was an old Springfield rifle from the Civil War.  ( I own a number of artifacts from two of my Great, Great Grandfathers who fought in the war)  While I was walking back, I was suddenly startled by a very heavy and loud SLAM! sound at my feet. With my heart pounding, I made my way over to the light switch and turned it on.  The rifle which had been leaning against the far wall, had somehow been thrown a distance of about 7 - 8 feet.  For the record, this scared the bejesus out of me.  Granted, I was already a little bit on edge from the stories I had already heard.  So, I decided to take the logical approach.  I'm thinking, I must have stepped on a loose floorboard or something like that, that caused this to happen.  So, I put the gun back where it was and proceeded to dance around the hall in search of the loose floorboard.  When I realized that there was no logical explanation for this, I became really freaked out.  I didn't want to wake up Yvonne, because there was no sense in scaring her too, so I went down to the kitchen, sat down and attempted to reason with Mr. or Mrs. Ghosty. I won't get into the details of what I said, but there hasn't been any more scary incidents in the middle of the night.  I believe we have an understanding.  By the way, I was skeptical about the existence of ghosts prior to that night.  My views on the subject have since changed. - Craig Schaible -

April 2001- My first encounter was in the kitchen. I usually listen to dance music but, every once in a while I put on WSOU because I used to be a heavy metal chic. I don’t mean Bon Jovi; I’m talking ”Kill your mother, Satan music”. Ok so I’m bangin’ my head, and I hear a voice telling me to “turn it down!” or “turn off the radio!” Craig was in the basement, so it wasn’t him, and we were the only people in the house... I’m not sure who it was, all I know is that I quickly changed that station. - Yvonne Schaible -

May 2001 - My second encounter happened on a bright sunny afternoon, while on the phone with my sister Jessica. I was sitting on the couch in the Living Room just chatting away when I clearly saw a large figure of a man walk past the room! He was about 6’1” tall. He walked from the Dinning Room toward the front doors and then was gone. I said to my sister “I just saw the ghost”. But then played it off to nothing, I didn’t want to scare her away from visiting. - Yvonne Schaible -

June 2001 - It was a bright, sunny afternoon in the early part of June.  I just returned home from work.  I went out and got the mail and made my way upstairs to the second floor where my office is.  I was walking standing at the bottom of the staircase leading to the third floor.  The sun was brightly shining through the window at the top of the stairs, lighting up the hall were I was casually sorting through the mail.  The sun shines directly onto the hallway floor during that time of the afternoon.  I didn't notice it until it moved.  When I looked at the floor, there was the silhouette of a man standing in the window.  The instant that I noticed it, the man turned to his left and walked into the third floor bedroom.  I instantly spun around to see but there was nobody at the window.  I immediately ran up the stairs and into the bedroom but it was empty.  I was so excited!  I yelled "that is soooo coool!  I immediately called Yvonne and told her what I had just seen.  The thing that makes this encounter rather significant is the fact that the shadow was so clearly defined and it was right in front of me, not in my peripheral vision.  If I had to venture a guess, my impression was that it was a man between six feet and six feet two inches tall.  One thing is for sure, he didn't weigh very much as none of the creaky floor boards made a sound as he walked by. - Craig Schaible -

October 2001 - We bought a new kitten and one of my Beagles wants to eat her.  We have been keeping the kitten upstairs.  So, we decided to try to introduce them.  I bought a soft padded muzzle for the dog to keep her from biting the kitten.  I figured that she could smell the kitten and maybe see that she wasn't prey.  Anyway, the muzzle attaches behind the dog's neck with a plastic clasp that requires two hands to release.  Anyway, needles to say, the dog wasn't too thrilled with the muzzle, but it was only for a few minutes.  She tried really hard to get it off, with no success.  We introduced the kitten and the dog still was going nuts.  So after a few minutes of that we called it quits.  Yvonne went into the kitchen and I brought the kitten back upstairs to safety.
     Yvonne while in the kitchen saw (what she thought was me) a man walk into the reception hall.  A few seconds later, she walked into the hall just as I started to come down the main staircase to take the muzzle off the dog.  She was startled to see me upstairs after thinking I was in the hall.  Then we both looked at the dog.  The dog was no longer wearing the muzzle.  Upon closer inspection of the muzzle, we noticed that the clasp had been intentionally released.  We both agree that there is no physical way that the dog could have opened the clasp on her own.  I had double checked it to be sure that it was secure for fear she would eat the kitten.  So who was the man in the hall? Who ever he was, I guess he likes dogs...
Craig Schaible

November 2001 - Some time in the middle of the night, I woke up to get something to eat.  (not an uncommon occurrence for me) I quietly slipped out of our room as not to disturb Yvonne who was sleeping and I closed the bedroom door.  I always close the door even if I'm just going across the hall for a second, otherwise we will have a few cats in bed with us.  Anyway, I finished my snack and made my way back upstairs (using the Servant's staircase) The hall was dark but I heard Yvonne coming out of the bathroom and could just make out her image crossing the hall going back to the front bedroom where we presently sleep.  She left the door open for me as I was only five or six steps behind her.  As I walked into the bedroom, I expected to see her climbing back into bed, but rather she was lying EXACTLY where I had left her when I got up, and she was sound asleep.  I didn't get it at first.  I was absolutely perplexed!  Then, I understood... what I had just seen wasn't Yvonne at all, but rather someone else who walked across the hall, opened the bedroom door and vanished into the night.  I thought about waking Yvonne up to tell her about it, but instead I just went back to bed...Craig Schaible

April 2002 - My wife was in Arizona visiting her Sister who had just had a baby.  I was alone in the house for a week.  I had been doing alot of restoration work on the house and the quiet was nice because I was really able to lose myself in what I was working on.  Anyway, I had a late dinner in the Living Room.  When I finished, I shut off the television and made my way to the basement to do some painting.  The area of the basement where I was painting is right below the Living Room.  I was down there for 20 minutes or so when I heard a very deep, authorative voice kinda yell something.  "Bla bla...bla, bla bla..."  (keep in mind it didn't actually say "Bla Bla Bla", I just have no other way of writing words that I couldn't make out...) When I heard it my thinking was it was the T.V. Then, "BLA BLA BLA...BLA Bla bla"  That is when it dawned on me that I had shut off the T.V.  Now, I am looking up at the ceiling of the basement, where the voice came from upstairs and it happened a last time "Bla Bla BLA BLA BLA... bla bla Bla"  Obviously I could not make out what it was saying through the floor.  All three times it was a deep man's voice, almost like he was barking out orders, firm, but not mean.  Kinda like an adult would say "Hey you kids, stop doing that" .  It's kinda hard to describe, but all three times the voice started out faint, got louder, then faded out.  Almost like someone trying to yell something out to you from a moving car. I stopped what I was painting for a moment and walked upstairs.  The Living room was dark, the T.V. off and the dogs were just sitting there.  I finished my painting and went to bed.  This was one experience that I can honestly say there is no explanation for.  It was very real and very clearly coming from inside my Living Room.  All I know is he was yelling at someone, but it wasn't me...Craig Schaible

November 2002 - I was home alone, it was around 5:30 p.m. and I had just arrived home from work.  We are in the process of having the wallpaper hung un the Parlor and I was anxious to see the progress of the day's labor.  It looks amazing!  The room is finally coming together.  I walked around the room for the better part of 10 minutes and decided to head upstairs to change clothes.  I stepped into the hall and there was a woman at the other end of the hall in the doorway to the Dining Room.  This was a little different than other times as she was more "ghost-like" as I could see the dining room table right through her.  I no sooner saw her and she faded away.  the incident was very Hollywood in nature, almost like the way I always thought it would be like to see a ghost.  It wasn't scary at all, it had a peaceful feel to it.  I know that sounds a bit nuts, but you had to be there to understand.  Craig Schaible

April 2004 - It was well after midnight when I woke up to go use the bathroom.  As I opened the bathroom door (on my way back to bed) I looked down at my cat who was lying on the floor in the hall.  I immediately noticed a very strange look on his face.  I walked out of the bathroom and directly INTO a bluish whitish ghost-like thing, which needless to say startled me.  I know I said something out loud, exactly what, I don't remember.  I went back to the bedroom and turned the lights on.  I woke up my husband and told him what had just happened in the hallway.  He reassured me by asking:  "Did it try to hurt you?" My reply, "No."  "Did they ever try to hurt us?" My reply, "No." "Were you just startled by it?" My reply, "yes."  Feeling a little better, I cuddled up next to my husband and went back to sleep.  But that is not the end of the story.  Sometime around 5:00 in the morning I awoke to a woman standing at the foot of my bed, holding onto the bedpost.  She was staring right at me!  I immediately grabbed my husband and loudly said "There is someone standing at the foot of our bed!"  My husband did not want to open his eyes right away, but when he did, she was gone.  She had been much different than what I had seen in the hall hours earlier.  She was just a regular person, in the flesh (so to speak).  She was quite matronly with dark brown hair that was pulled back away from her face.  She was wearing dark rimmed glasses and was wearing a very plain dark dress.  Yvonne Schaible

 

So, the stories stop in 2004...what gives???

First, I have to give my own personal disclaimer.  The fact is that there are plenty of things that are unexplainable.  Before I moved here, I did not believe in any sort of spirits or ghosts or any of that sort of thing.  As of today I have a much more open mind as I simply cannot explain away my experiences.  After doing a great deal of research, I pieced together a lot of history and some of it correlates to the paranormal activity in the house.  The following is my theory based on what I found out.

In 1890 the house was purchased by the Reilly Family.  My Reilly was an executive for the Lipton Tea company and was known travel abroad quite frequently.  We know that the Reilly's had at least two children.  A boy and a girl.  The boy was born sometime during the 1890's and the girl: Elaine Reilly was born in May of 1900.  Records show that all of the Reilly's died leaving little Elaine the sole survivor and heir to the family's two homes at the tender age of ten.  She spent the remainder of her childhood in an orphanage in Brooklyn NY.

Inheritance law was quite different back then as opposed to today.  There were no such things as Guardians in the event a minor inherited property and money.  They just couldn't sell it or spend it.  So the house sat empty for the next eleven years until it was sold off.  Back to my paranormal theory.  This ten year old girl witnessed the death, probably by disease, (as there is no police records of any foul play at that time) of her parents and brother.  At least the first one or two were probably laid out in Victorian style in the parlor.  She watched her whole life just slip away in this house.  We know that she never married and was known as a bit of a recluse in her old age, wearing black clothing, most of it mens.  She passed away in 1980 at the age of 80. 

After learning all of that, I started looking at the dates of the paranormal activity.  It started right around the time that she passed away.  I had collected those dates much earlier than ever learning about Elaine Reilly and her life and subsequent death.  My feeling is that her spirit may have returned to the place of all her childhood trauma.  Looking for God knows what.  What was even stranger was that it was in Spring 2004 that I found all the information about her and completed the pieces of her life story, and that is when the apparition of the woman appeared in our bedroom.  The next day all paranormal activity in the house ceased, never to return.  Maybe she just needed someone to hear her story, before she could be at peace. 

Again, just a theory, but it made lots of sense to me, and that is what I believe may have happened.

 

Here are some stories from the former owners of the house. Maybe were not so nuts after all?

October 1980: "I was in sixth grade.  I ran home from school and was the first to get home.  Normally, my mom was home when we got there, but this day she wasn't.  I decided to call my neighbor to see if they knew where my mom was.  I was sitting in the Dining Room looking down the center hall.  As I was on the phone with my neighbor, I watched my bike roll across the floor from the Living Room into the Den.  I started screaming!  My neighbor sent her son over to come and get me, because I couldn't move, and I was screaming into the phone". - Bridget Jaramillo -
 
December 24, 1980: "My parents were invited to a Christmas Eve party.  My cousin was visiting us for the holiday, and he decided that he wanted to work out.  We knew that we had some "free weights" in our storage room in the attic.  My two brothers, my cousin, and I went up to the attic (about 10:00 PM) to see if we could find the weights.  While we were all looking, it was very quiet.  All of a sudden, we heard a woman singing "The First Noel", and it was coming from the same room that we were standing in.  While she had a beautiful voice, she sang it in a scary way....kind of like Marilyn Monroe singing "Happy Birthday" to President Kennedy.  We all freaked out and ran downstairs.  My cousin thought maybe there were Christmas Carolers in the area and that somehow their voices echoed in through the windows of the attic.  We ran downstairs and outside, and there was nobody around.  I will NEVER forget that as long as I live"!!! - Bridget Jaramillo -
 
June 1985: "My boyfriend (now husband) was over my house with his friend.  We were hanging outside in the backyard having a barbecue.  It was about 7:00 PM or so.  I went inside to get us all drinks and to start washing the dishes.  I turned around and glanced out the kitchen window facing Watson Road.  As I looked, I saw Nelson and his friend jump over the bushes, run down the hill, and get in their cars and leave.  Later on, Nelson called me to tell me what happened.  While they were outside, they heard me calling to them.  They said I kept yelling "Nelson, come here, I need you for  a second."  The voice was coming from down in the basement.  They went through the outside entrance into the basement (off the back yard).  The voice got louder as they got into the basement.  They got to the middle of the basement, and then the voice just started laughing.  Nelson said it sounded exactly like me, only I wasn't there.  The voice was actually whispering in his ear, as if someone was standing right next to him, except nobody was there.  They ran out of there as fast as they could!  The ghost really liked to mess with Nelson.  I'm surprised he ever came back again"!!! - Bridget Jaramillo -
 
November 1985: "Nelson and I rented the movie "The Evil Dead".  He was working a late shift at Mobil.  He didn't get out of work until midnight.  He and his friend came over so we could watch the movie.  Since it was so late, we had all the doors to the Living Room closed.  When it got to the part in the movie where the camera went to the basement, things started happening.  The single door in the Living Room used to stick because there was carpeting in the room and the door was too big.  The door started shaking, as if someone was trying to come in.  We thought it was one of my brothers or sisters trying to scare us.  Nelson and his friend decided to go through the double doors and into the hall to scare whoever was out there.  When they got there...nobody was there but the door was still shaking.  They came back and sat down next to me.  All of a sudden, a blue light came shining through the top of the door, and the door swung open.  We were petrified!  We finally ran out the double doors and left.  I called my mom to tell her I was spending the night at Nelson's house.  She then told me that she watched the movie earlier with my brothers and sisters.  When it got to the part where they went into the basement, the lights flicked on and off and boiler made a terrible "explosion-like" noise.  They ended up not watching the end of the movie.  I guess the ghost didn't like that movie!!!" - Bridget Jaramillo -
 
Summer of 1988:  Kandice was 4 years old.  Her and Nelson were the only ones home at the time.  It was just before sunset.  Nelson was downstairs making them something to eat while Kandice was playing upstairs (left at the staircase, front room facing Watson and Martine).  There was no light switch in those days.  There was a pull-down string light that a 5 foot person would have to reach up to shut off (trust me on that...all 5'2'' of me).  Anyway, the door was slightly ajar (less than a foot open), and the light was on.  Nelson came upstairs to tell Kandice the food was ready.  Before he got to the room, he heard her talking to someone.  He just assumed she was playing with an "imaginary" friend.  As he approached the door, Kandice ran out and started to close the door behind her...simultaneously, the light went off.  Nelson asked Kandice who she was talking to, and she said "the old man".  Then Nelson said "how did you turn off the light?"  Kandice said "the old man did it".  Nelson opened the door and stepped into the room.  He looked up and saw the light string still swinging.  He turned on the light to make sure it didn't blow out.  He then put Kandice on the bed to see if there was anyway that she could have jumped off the bed and turn off the light.  There was NO WAY!!!  Nelson then picked Kandice up, and they spent the rest of the night downstairs!!!  Kandice (as well as the other kids) had many conversations with the "imaginary" beings in the house! - Bridget Jaramillo - 
 

September 1992: "My sister Kerri was AWAY at college Freshman year when she had a dream about my grandmother coming to her and
showing her everyone sleeping.  It was kind of like when the "ghosts" from A Christmas Carol showed Scrooge scenes with his family.  She called my mom the next day, and my mom told my sister that she had the same dream.  A few months later, my dad was out of town on business, and my sister couldn't sleep.  She was visiting for the weekend.  She went into my mom's room (about 2 AM), and while they were sitting on the bed, they saw something...it ended up that they both saw a white figure floating from the mirror and into the dresser.  It was pretty scary!"
- Bridget Jaramillo -