There are many who don’t believe in ghosts or haunts or whatever you wish to call them.  Wish I were one of those who doesn’t believe but when you have seen apparitions first hand, when you have lived through supernatural phenomena, when you have heard the voices, it is a total act of futility to say that you don’t believe.  I have seen many things since childhood that would spook anyone but I didn’t ever expect the going-ons we had at 624 Arlington Dr., in the Summerset subdivision near Mt. Carmel, which is located in Clermont County, southern Ohio.  I have tried to tell these things to many people because it somehow makes me feel a little more rooted in the here and now to tell them.  Few people ever believe me.  Some even shy away from me, probably thinking I am a total whacko.  Even the people who lived these events with me have suddenly found rational explanations for the things that happened.  That Is, all but my sister, but even I think she goes overboard with her memories.  After all she was only 5 years old at the time, but who am I to disbelieve her memories.  That she has memories of this house at all at her age, is testament to the power this place had over all of us.  Well, here goes;
624 Arlington Drive was a small subdivision residential house not for the affluent but for the middle class working man’s family.  It was a wood frame house with decorative brick-work halfway up the front, an attached garage and a fairly large fenced back yard.  This area of Clermont County was, and I suppose still is, known to the locales as summerside estates. 

There was nothing remarkable about this 3-bedroom house that you could tell by looking.  Just another house but it sure was an improvement from where we were leaving.

I had been raised basically as a country boy.  Living in suburbia so dad could work at Ford Motor company but spending all our free time in the country with my Great Grandparents and Grandparents.  I did not like the city, which is what I considered Clermont County.  Looking back now, I was in the urban country, just didn’t know it.  That is I didn’t know it until my dad sold our little house on Bantam lane and bought a house in Hamilton County, Ohio.  This house was much closer to downtown Cincinnati.  It meant that I had to leave my little country school of Glen Este and enroll in Colerain High school.  Boy, was that ever a shock to the system !  I hated it. I begged my parents to move us back to Clermont County.  We only stayed in Hamilton County for one year, then after much pleading, my parents found 624 Arlington Drive.  I thought things would be ok now.  I didn’t have any idea of the creepy, sometimes horrifying things that were to come.

I was 15 years old when we moved into this house.  My Mom and Dad were 34 and 35 respectively and my brother, David was 7 & my sister, Joy was 5.  Dave and I shared a room.  The house, like so many subdivision houses was basically a box with 3 bedrooms, one hallway, livingroom (with a picture window) bath, kitchen leading to a laundry room, which led to an attached one car garage with a spring loaded overhead garage door.  The back yard was certainly big enough for a large dog or for some beagles to hunt with.  There was a woods close by to play in and within just a couple of days I had discovered the large deserted so called “haunted” house, which lay just outside the subdivision but within easy walking distance.  Something to explore, I thought.  It was very old, large wooden two-story farm-house with a family cemetery in the rear, which dated back into the 18th century.  What more could a teenage boy hope for other than maybe a teenage girl.  Well, she came along later and became an occasional co-star in the horrors at 624 Arlington drive.

Our moving in day came as one might expect, with lots of confusion.  All of our furniture didn’t make it.  Somehow the moving company messed up and got lost in the 30 or so miles between where we left and where we were moving to.  Dad worked 1st shift, which started at 6am.  We were all tired from moving so we were in the bed by 10pm.  About a ½ hour after lights out, I heard what sounded like something in the attic scratching against the rafters.  I didn’t say anything, as I didn’t want to scare Dave who was in the bed with me, but after a few minutes he asked me what the sound was.  I got up and told Dave that it was probably a mouse and that I would tell mom.  I went out of our door and straight across the hall to mom and dad’s room.  Mom asked me what was wrong.  I told her about the noise and she told me to ignore it and we would check on it the next day.  After that episode all was quiet.  Dave and I went off to sleep and were safe and secure in our new bedroom. 

The following morning about 7am, mom woke me up quietly so as not to wake Dave.  I could tell that something was wrong, not the house burning down kind of wrong but wrong enough for here to want me up with her.  It showed in her eyes.  I had never seen this look in her eyes before but this is the first time that I remember being treated as an adult by my mom, which was fine with me.  Anyway, she led me to the livingroom and said “listen”.  I stopped and listened intently.  After only a moments pause I heard a child calling out “Mommy”.  It was very close and sounded labored, maybe even in a slight panic.  Mom asked:  “did you hear that”?  I told her I had and she breathed a huge sigh of relief.  She said she had gotten up to see dad off to work and to wait for the moving company to showup with the remainder of our furniture.  Dad had not had time to get off the street when mom heard the child’s voice calling for  “mommy”.  She had searched everywhere.  Including the front and back doors, the garage, out in the yard. No stranded or lost child could be found.  Now please keep in mind that this was not some spooky sounding unearthly voice, which would instantly conjure up spectral images or lend your imagination to thoughts of ghosts or goblins.  Rather, it sounded like a child who was in trouble and needed our help and we just couldn’t find the troubled child, to help. Mom’s motherly instincts to protect a child were definitely aroused but to no avail.  This child just could not be found.  We even discussed the possibility that there was an old septic tank or cistern on the property that a child could have fallen into but this wasn’t the case.  We were both baffled not knowing what to do next, so we did nothing.  Turned on the TV and tried to ignore it.  Now, in those days there were only 3 channels to watch.  Game shows on channel 5 NBC or soap operas on 9 or 12, CBS and ABC.  Mom watched “As the world turns”.  Several times during that show, she got up, turned down the TV and listened for the child’s voice again.  If we stayed busy or occupied with something we wouldn’t hear this ethereal child but stop for a moment and lend an ear and it was back.  “MOOMMMMYYYY”, each time starting out in a slightly scared tone of voice and over a few minutes working it’s way into a near panic sound.  Not much could be gathered from this voice.  It sounded like a child of maybe 3 or 4.  That strange age where your voice doesn’t give away your gender.  By the passage of several days, we had turned this voice into a sort of game or maybe Mom and Dad did this so Dave and Joy wouldn’t be frightened.  I’m not sure.  You would need to ask them that, but you cant ask dad cause he’s now dead and Mom has convinced herself that it was somehow caused by our kitchen appliances.  Although you can see the nervousness in her face when the subject is brought up.  I find it strange though that as much as my Mom enjoys her pictures there is an obvious blank spot in our picture history, which just happens to span the entire two years we lived on Arlington Drive.

Several weeks passed.  Our unseen friend was still with us.  It was really starting to get on mom’s nerves.  It was as though she had failed to help a needy child.  Then one afternoon mom got a phone call from the only person she had met in the neighborhood (can’t quite remember her name but I’m working on it).  During the phone call and in the course of normal conversation, she asked mom if we had met or heard from our ghost yet?  Mom was totally shocked.  I don’t think ghost or supernatural was in her vocabulary until that moment.  Mom asked what she meant.  She went on to describe that, “our house was haunted by a little girl who had died in our back yard, apparently by accidental drowning”.  She went on to say that her house (which was on the next street over) was also haunted by a little boy who had choked to death in her bed room and that the first house on the top corner of the subdivision had had a fire in a play house out back where two small children had burnt to death.  All three houses were “haunted” by these tiny spirits.  Of course, mom didn’t tell this to our little ones but I was listening to mom’s side of this phone call so I had many questions when this call ended.  I doubt that mom would have told me had I not been present.

Well, our little spirit or ghost became our parlor entertainment.  Mom and dad would have people over from church for dinner or to play cards and would eventually turn into a quiet time so our guests could hear our spirit voice.  “MOMMMMY” was heard echoing through our house for weeks or maybe even months.  I have to admit that I took advantage of this phenomena, as well.  I had a girlfriend named Donna that I went to school with who was a good friend but wouldn’t give me the time of day romantically so I decided to invite her over one weekend when I knew Mom,. Dad, Dave and Joy would be gone.  Well this little ploy backfired on me but good.  From the moment Donna walked in things went terribly wrong.  She felt sick upon entering the house.  Shortly after sitting down at the kitchen table, the voice started and wouldn’t stop! This child’s voice kept calling for it’s mommy.  Suddenly, Peanut, my little dog began barking hysterically, obviously frightened.  He glared at the picture window as though someone was staring back at him.  In the same instant we heard what sounded like the garage door lock handle turning then the door flew open with such force that it jumped the track. The door from the garage to the laundry room opened and slammed shut followed by the lights going out.  Of course, as you might suspect the next not so mysterious thing to happen was Donna flying out the front door, under her own power, and as fast as she could.  She would never come back.  Can’t say as I blamed her either.  I wanted to run myself but was much too curious to leave.  I followed her out the door, waived goodbye and then re-entered the house to find the lights back on, Peanut hiding in a corner whimpering and all quiet in the house.

I told Mom all about it but I’m not sure she believed me.  She asked me if I had done something to scare Donna thinking it might run her into my arms.  Not a bad idea I thought but not what had happened.  Dad and I fixed the garage door with only a little fusing from dad who, no doubt, thought I had slung his garage door open with no thought to damage.  Whether they believed me or not, the entertainment value of out little uninvited guest was at an end.  Mom didn’t think this was fun anymore.  My parent’s friends,’ who had been to the house and listened to our voice in the past, were discouraged by mom from listening for it.  She would say things like…”oh, it’s nothing, lets play cards or lets eat and leave them [spirits] alone”.

Now, I don’t know if I was already becoming interested in the occult worlds or if these things caused my interest to be peaked but I started reading everything I could read about ghosts, hauntings and witchcraft.  After reading some particularly interesting and detailed book I decided that I wanted a ouija board.  Mom finally agreed once I showed her that this was just a game [yeah right].  I began to have regular communications with something by way of my ouija board.  It started with the typical teenage questions about life and loves and quickly expanded to questions and communications from the dead.  This entity identified itself as the source of our voice but would not give a name.  Mom and dad got into this game too.  Soon this “game” was the family entertainment and I had to be inventive to have my time with the ouija.  I found a new book which was written by a self styled Satanist.  This book gave detailed instructions on building a “more powerful ouija”.  This one is to be made from glass with the numbers, words, letters and symbols to be painted on from beneath in blood.  Preferably human blood, mine had to make due with blood from the chicken mom was fixing for Sunday dinner, regardless, I made my “more powerful ouija” and began to use it regularly.  It didn’t take long to realize that this ouija did in fact bring me closer to something.  I just didn’t know what, but suddenly our benign child voice calling Mommy soon changed and evolved into something frightening.  We would still hear our now routine….”MOOMMMMMYYY”, then we began to hear another sound that was strongly reminiscent of an adult woman crying uncontrollably.  There were no recognizable words but the voice was as plain as day.  First, MOMMMYYY followed by a Mother’s uncontrolled crying.  A few of mom’s friends would come over to listen to this new sound but none stayed long and fairly quickly none of their friends, or mine for that matter, wanted to come over.  Our social life seemed to be over and for a teenage boy who just turned 16, that could spell total disaster.  So, with lots of free time on my hands and with Mom and Dad seemingly looking for excuses to leave the house, I spent more and more time with ouija.  We became constant companions.  I had a large number of “contacts” that I spoke with through ouija regularly.  These entities had names and most were happy to share these names with me.  Some were normal names that you might hear anywhere or anytime, others were otherworldly names that I could never have thought up by myself.  Names that I have never heard before and never since.  As I am now completely convinced that for the most part, my communications were with demons and evil entities who were devoted to convincing me that my time was better spent with them and ouija then with my church and church groups to which I was actively engaged. 

Our little sounds, MOMMMYYY followed by uncontrolled sobbing continued to evolve.  After about of month of the sobbing a new sound was added.  First, MOMMMMY…….FEMALE SOBBING, now we could clearly hear a male voice comforting the woman who was sobbing.  The scene was clear enough.  It was a child’s funeral!  You could close your eyes, listen to every sound and clearly see, in your minds eye, a small church with a tiny casket at the forefront.  A Mother all in black with a Father, trying to be strong for his wife, standing next to her chair with his hand on her shoulder and maybe whispering words of comfort in her ear.  This change in our noise signaled the beginning of a change in the atmosphere of our household.  Ouija became much more responsive, answering my questions faster than ever.  Poor Peanut, my dog, he became besieged by something unseen.  He would be sitting in the middle of the living room floor with the family and suddenly yelp for no reason.  He would cry out and jump up as though someone had just kicked him.  He would then run around the room as though scared to death, usually ending up by running down the hallway, toward my bedroom, that is until the evening he and I were home alone.  Peanut jumped, growled as though trying to be protective of me, then made a shot down the hall.  I had jumped up with him, being startled by the noise and sudden movement, I watched him run down the hall only this time he stopped in front of Joy’s door, frozen in place, looking down the hall at the spot where the doors to my room and mom’s room opened opposite each other.  I suddenly realized that there, imprinted, on this spot on the wall, was a full size shadow of a man or at least a man size shadow that had the shape of a man.  It stood about 6 feet tall, head, shoulders, arms, hands on hips and legs all clearly visible.  The head was tilted down as though it was starring at my dog.  Peanut finally broke and ran for a bedroom.  The shadows head actually moved as though it were following Peanut.  Once the dog was out of sight the shadow then dropped it’s arms and appeared to calmly walk into my Mom’s bedroom. 

I should have been scared to death.  I should have ran out of the house looking for help.  Instead, I was rather calm.  I clearly remember a strange feeling of dizziness but this shadow seemed somehow familiar.  I believe now that it was the same entity that I spoke with through ouija.  I don’t know why I think this but I do. 

A night or two later, while we were all in bed but had not had time to get to sleep yet.  There was suddenly a large bang on the outside wall of the house.  This would have been the left side of the house and it’s the outside wall that my bedroom and mom’s bedroom had in common.  This banging was so loud, it sounded like someone was outside with a baseball bat beating the siding to a pulp.  By the time I was up out of bed and yelled in to my parents room, dad was already up, pants on and coming out of his room with two shotguns in his hand.  He handed one to me and instructed me to go out the back door, he went out the front door.  As we rounded the corner to the wall being attacked the noise stopped.  There was no one there.  No footprints in the mud.  No damage to the wall or siding.  We sat up for hours waiting for the banging to return.  It did not.  Finally we went back to bed.  As I finally started to fall asleep I remember hearing the scratching in the attic once again. 
About this time I had met a girl in the neighborhood that I liked named, Diane Grey.  She was sort of the wild child in the neighborhood but we still hit it off and started to hang around together.  Funny thing though, she would not step foot inside my house.  Said there was something creepy about that place.  To my knowledge she was never told anything that was going on but she still picked up on it and refused to come inside.

Several more late night noises occurred with no explanation, late night taping on bedroom windows, scratching at window screens, the sounds of little feet running past the front door.  The lights coming on in the middle of the night, all over the house.  3 times we returned from church to discover the smell of gas in the house and all three times it turned out to be that all pilot lights on the kitchen stove had been extinguished with the burners turned on.

As you might expect all of this played on the family’s nerves.  A lot of what I saw and heard was ignored as I was just a kid with an over active imagination, as Dad liked to say but enough of this was experienced by them that they knew something was truly wrong with this place.

One Sunday night, after church I spoke with our pastor about all of this.  I told him about ouija and he felt like by using ouija and other forms of communication with the dead, I had invited spirits into our house.  He tried to convince me that ouija was not a game but was of the devil and that I could place us all in extreme danger both physically and spiritually.  Being a slightly defiant teenager, I didn’t accept this.  To be honest, I didn’t want to give up ouija.  We had become close friends and I felt like it made me, a rather ordinary kid, into something special.  I continued to carry on with my “talks” with whatever force I was talking with until the day came that I walked into the living room and found my dad asleep in his chair with my ouija board sitting on his lap.  This in-and-of-itself wouldn’t have been too terribly unusual except that the planchette was moving by itself.  It was going back and forth between yes and no with no one touching it.  It was at this moment that I realized that there was a force affecting me and that ouija had a hold on me and through me, my entire family.  I took the board outside, laid it on the ground, found a hatchet in the garage and chopped it into tiny fragments.  Next I took my “special” glass and blood ouija out side, placed it over a garbage can and smashed it. It took 3 whacks from the hatchet to brake it.  It was not tempered glass, just a plan piece of glass but it didn’t want to brake.  Later that night my dog strangled to death on my lap.  The “little noises”, which had lessoned, considerably were suddenly back with a vengeance.  There was renewed pounding of the walls and windows and very, VERY shortly thereafter we moved.  I don’t know the details of how they found a new house so quickly but it was obvious that they wanted to move NOW!  I don’t remember doing any packing.  I believe mom and dad had people do this for us. 

This is the end of my story except to add that there were many other supernatural happenings that occurred to me during this time that I have not included here as they occurred elsewhere, and are a story of their own.  I still, on occasion, see spirits and other manifestations but I make it my life’s goal to give them none of my time or attention.  I have wanted to write this down for a long time, just never got around to it.  Now that I’m started, perhaps I’ll write down some of the other things that have occurred to me.  I believe that through ouija I opened a doorway to another world that may never be completely closed for me.  If I told my family all of the things that I see and hear, they would probably consider having me committed.
I wish whoever may read this to know that these things are true.  I did not make any of this up and have not embellished this story for effect in any way.  Also, I should point out the several months later, I visited the people who were living in this house and in passing, this new resident asked me if we had ever had “anything” happen here.  When I asked why he asked, he just said, “never-mind”.  He also mentioned that they had given up on having any pets as they all die for some unknown reason including a 1-year old monkey, which had died of a “heart attack” according to the Vets autopsy.  I have not concealed the true address of this house and I have not changed any names.  This is all true and correct.  If there is a moral to this story, I don’t know what it is.  The only advice I can offer is NOT to buy any house at 624 Arlington Drive no matter how cheap it might be and don’t ever touch a ouija board no matter how alluring it may seem.  I’ll continue on seeing my occasional spirit or whatever it is but the events at 624 Arlington drive shall never leave my memory so long as I live!

Written by me 01/2006

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