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A Haunting in Felton, Delaware

By Robin M. Strom-Mackey

Dave, a coworker of mine, dropped a bombshell on me one morning. He had lived in a house believed to be haunted. An old colonial style home built in 1900, on a 9-acre farm. Old houses see their share of both life and death, both the joyous moments and the tragic. This one had its own tragic past that seemed to collide with the present on a regular basis.

His parents purchased the property in 1982 after a series of tragedies had befallen the previous owners.

The gentleman who had owned the property with his wife had passed away in a bathroom on the first floor, which now has been torn out to create a dining room space. Then the couple’s daughter had fallen very ill and eventually died, the cause of the illness unknown. Presumably bereft, the mother eventually hung herself on the banister from the second floor.

Dave’s parents bought it before Dave was born, so this was the family house he grew up in.

Dave noted that the rattling banister was a frequent occurrence. He said it sounded as if someone were gripping the banister and shaking it violently. The family got used to the sound, as very often happens. But when Dave’s friends came over it was a cause for concern. They would hear the violent rattling of the banister and wide eyed, they’d implore Dave to explain the eerie sound. Laid back as Dave is, he would just tell them, “Not to worry about it. “

But the climax came one day, when he was leaving his bedroom to go to the bathroom. Before leaving the room, he could hear some unidentified thumps on the wall. Probably used to the strange sounds in the house, he didn’t appear to think much of it, until he walked out into the hall.

Caption: Dave's former bedroom in the house

There standing in the hall, right next to his door was a girl bouncing a ball. As he watched she threw the ball against the wall with a thump, thump. She was a fairly young child, dressed in what Dave described as an old-fashioned night gown. She had dark hair of shoulder length, and she was semi-transparent. Dave recalls that he only saw her from the waist up. The ball she was playing with was dark as well. Indeed everything, Dave surmised, was leached of color as if he was looking at a black and white photo.

As he stood in the doorway of his bedroom in shock, the girl looked at Dave and waved. Dave turned around and went back into his room. Not wishing to see her again, he stayed in his room for twenty or thirty minutes before the urge to use the bathroom became too much to bear. He left his bedroom hesitantly and entered the hall. The spectral girl was gone.

But she would return. Dave would see her several times, always in the same position between Dave’s room and his brother’s room, always bouncing her ball. She’d glance at Dave, and Dave would wave back. Dave said she never caused any mischief, she just played with her ball.

Apparently, the rattling banister and the small, girl specter just came with the house. Dave’s parents have since sold the property, but presumably the child still resides in the old homestead.

Caption: The cowboy wallpaper bedroom was Dave's brother's room. In between the two bedrooms was a closet. Dave's room was the last door on the right. The wall in between was where the girl ghost was seen. And the banister at the end of the hall was where the rattling occurred.

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