By Thomas D’Agostino www.tomdagostino.com
The ghosts slowly began to show themselves. One morning Arlene, while walking by the doorway of the parlor, started talking—to whom she thought was me sitting in my favorite chair. I was in the study and heard her speaking. I shouted from the study, and she screamed, realizing she had just addressed a ghost. Another morning I came into the kitchen from the back door. I was working on the car and needed something from the cellar. As I breezed through the kitchen, I saw Arlene standing at the table out of the corner of my eye. I mentioned I needed something in the cellar. That was when I heard her hairdryer turn on upstairs. I looked back and there was no one in the kitchen.
One morning, a woman in a long black dress walked by my office door. We have seen her on several occasions in various rooms of the house. Late at night we will hear the chairs downstairs sliding as if someone is getting up from the dining room table. Items still move about the home with the aid of unseen hands, and guests are still prone to the ghosts’ want for attention.
Late one evening, Arlene and I were standing in the kitchen when our dog Robbie gave out a loud howl and made a dash for the parlor. We looked in his direction and saw a dark figure walking across the room. We both followed at Robbie’s heels, but the figure was gone. Robbie had just chased a ghost.
On many occasions we see someone walk up to the door of the front porch. The dark figure appears to knock on the door—then vanishes.
One day I was outside feeding our bunnies when a man repairing an overhead next door asked, “You still have ghosts?” At first I thought he may have read an article on the house, but then, upon closer inspection, I realized it was Mr. Grinold, the man who sold us the house. He related how many of his workers walked off the job because of the strange activity that took place while they were renovating the house. Workers would put tools down right beside them and they would vanish from under their noses, only to be found later in an unexpected place. Workers would often hear footsteps coming up the stairs when no one was there. Many times they could see the staircase and hear the creaking of the stairs, but no physical body was there to cause the noise.
Neighbors occasionally stopped by telling us they saw the ghosts of former owners on the second floor balcony or looking out the windows. One of our neighbors knocked on the back door one afternoon and saw, as plain as day, a small man and a child in the kitchen. He ran back and told his wife who already knew of Putnam’s most haunted house. This is the same man and child we have witnessed over the years.
A woman came over one day telling us that she grew up in the house and often sat on the stairs at night for fear of staying in her room. Her room was our present bedroom, and she often saw a woman dressed in an old style nurse’s uniform standing at the foot of her bed.
We researched the history of the home and found the place was at one time a convalescent home for the mentally ill. Several other former residents came forth and shared their experiences with us. One was witness to a little girl that would appear in the bedroom at the end of the second hall. This is where our overnight guests have heard the giggling and sounds of a child while sleeping in that room. Another visitor related that there was once a barn in the backyard that he used to play in. The barn was torn down when two women hanged themselves in it at the same time.
These are but a scant few incidents. There are many, many more that occurred and still do occur as you read this. They are not violent or malicious as much as they are “in want” to simply be part of the home they loved in life.