Ghost house

A few months ago, I saw a ghost house.

You’ve doubtless heard some variant on this story: a family is driving at night, they notice a spooky house, then later on they find out that the house was burned to the ground ten years ago. Or they drive home the next night and pass the same house on the wrong side of the road. Or both.

Well, this happened to me here one town over from Angelborough. There’s one road that connects the two main highways (ten miles away in either direction, but you guessed that already) and on the eastward highway, there’s one house that’s a national landmark. It has a little sign and everything.

The property next door to that was for sale. The property contained two two-unit houses that looked in dire need of being torn down. And one day, as I passed, I noted the for-sale sign was down, there was construction equipment all over the place, and the homes had been gutted.

A few days later,  driving back along that same road, I looked over at the site of the demolition, and the houses were back again.

Cue much confusion, because I knew I’d seen those houses knocked down, the property totally cleared. I had the landmark of that national landmark house, after all, and I was in the correct town. I knew where I was: I drive through there four times a week! But those demolished houses were quite clearly standing there, same as ever (and still, I’d mention, in need of demolition.)

The next time I drove through, I passed the demolition site again. Houses down. Only this time, I paid attention.

The road has an S curve. You can see the landmark house from pretty far up the road. The pair of duplex houses is immediately adjacent to the landmark house. The demolition site is further around the curve.

It’s simply a trick of the mind: I’d assumed those houses would be knocked down, and when I saw a demolished house at around the right part of the road, in view of the landmark house, I chalked it up as that pair of homes and then paid attention to the road (you know, because I’m in control of a very big, very heavy vehicle.) The duplex houses, on the other hand, are better-visible from the other direction, and I saw them first rather than being able to see the demolition site.

This little mental trickery happened in broad daylight, while I was totally sober, and there were no reasons to be frightened. (To tell you the truth, I was a little relieved that no one expected to live in those horrible houses.) But you can see how under the right conditions, if I’d never passed that way again, I might have inadvertently spawned a new ghost house legend.


  1. Blue

    I saw a ghost motel once. At least, I think I did. 😉

    There was this really cute little motel close to me, with beautiful scenery, including a river with little stone bridges. The old stone houses around it had the same stone bridges. They must have been built at the same time. I probably passed the place a dozen times.

    I needed a temporary place to stay once, and I promptly trotted down the road to the motel – but it wasn’t there. I went up and down the road and all the roads near it. Nothing!

    There was some new construction in the area, and they may have torn the motel cottages down, but how would they ‘tear down’ the hill it was on and the river?? It’s a mystery to me.

    Of course, this is the same town that took out a street so they could put the highway through – but didn’t change anyone’s address on that street. So if you are looking for them with Map quest, forget it. You’ll end up in the middle of a field. 😀

  2. Scott

    In a ghost house, is there a ghost mortgage? Is there an on/off switch, so when you see the tax collector coming, you can make the house disappear?

    I could like a house like that 🙂

    1. philangelus

      I don’t know how it operates, but if you’re paying a ghost mortgage, you may come home to find you have no house because it got demolished. Then you have to wait until it randomly reappears until you can go back in and get your stuff. 🙂