I’m sitting at my best friend’s house at midnight, fighting to stay awake. I think about going home, and my stomach turns into a knot; I double over and a wave of fear reminds me why I’m here. My house is haunted.

Before October, I’d never had an interest in ghosts. I joked around about Northern Michigan’s Dogman and hid behind walls to scare my sister sometimes. I dressed up in sheets for Halloween and may or may not have gone to a corn maze when I was younger. But I certainly didn’t believe in them and made fun of people who claimed to have had paranormal experiences.

All of that changed when my ghost first talked to me.

I’d just showered, and I was brushing my hair. “Hi,” I heard in my ear, and I whipped around. Nobody was there. I was home alone. I yelled obscenities and called my roommate, Brie, in hysterics. From there we were suspicious and started thinking there might be a ghost in our house. At that point, I’d like to thank my friends and family for assuming there was a ghost in my house and not that I was crazy.

Maverick, our cat, doesn't like the ghost. He sometimes chases things that don't exist, and hisses at strange events. (photo credit: Emily Lawler)

People heard noises, my cat did some weird stuff, but nothing happened for a while. My friends insisted on holding a seance… We picked the creepiest place and found a child’s old-fashioned coat in my attic. We’d all been drinking and nobody could keep a straight enough face for spirit-summoning. The night ended with my friend’s mom on speakerphone reading us Wikipedia spirit-summoning instructions and everybody agreed that talking about the ghost while in our house was too scary- we agreed to refer to it as our G.

In mid-November, Brie was sitting on the couch with Maverick, our cat. They were doing homework and sleeping, respectively, while I slept in my room. According to Brie, her door beads parted into curtains and slammed together, seemingly by themselves. Maverick ran to her doorway and hissed before cowering in a corner all night.

They say animals are better at sensing things, but Maverick’s just a friendly cat of less-than-average intelligence. I’ve never seen him hiss- not when a stray cat ran into my house and tried to fight him, not when I dressed him as a reindeer, not when we played catch with “Mavball”, held his eyes so he was a “Siamese cat,” or stood on couches and held him up like baby Simba from The Lion King. So when he hissed that night, it was a big deal.

Next were the slippers. Brie went into the shower and put her slippers and robe in the bathroom where she could slip into them when she was done. When she got out of the shower, only her robe was there. The door was still closed, I was in my room with Maverick, and we couldn’t figure it out. I helped her look around the house, under her covers, under my bed… They weren’t anywhere. So she left for a friend’s house and politely petitioned the ghost to return them. When she got back from dinner and a movie, they were placed in the middle of her bed.

I have a hard time being nice to the ghost- it would be different if he paid rent or gave fair warning when he was planning on visiting. It’s not like I think he wants to eat my firstborn child or possess me, he’s just an asshole.

So when my time with the G came, shit went down. I was in the shower, and the door was shut. Suddenly I felt a draft of cold air, and suspected I was not alone. A peek outside the curtain confirmed by suspicions: Maverick stared at me for a second and then tried to fight with me through the curtain.

I kicked the bugger out, and assumed he’d gotten the door open despite his stupidity (he’s not exactly the land-on-all-fours type). But when I was going toward my room, I happened to look at Brie’s beads. One strand looked as if it were being pulled out, held for a minute, and let go. Pulled out, held for a minute, and let go.

“God damnit, G!” I yelled, “Can’t you do something useful? Like the dishes?”

I got dressed and watched the single strand move inexplicably. Maverick and I went to bed.

At 1 a.m. I woke up to a crash and looked in the living room to find our Christmas tree had fallen over. It had been up for over a month, and, outside of when Maverick had climbed to the top and tipped it over, it was pretty stable. I couldn’t find an explanation as to why it would have fallen and, like all the unexplained happenings around our house lately, I blamed it on the G. I took it as a sign I should no longer demand housework of him.

And then, earlier this week, I was in my room and kept hearing footsteps while I was doing my homework. Intermittently, back and forth, the squeaky spot on the living room floor squeaking. Annoying. Scary.

Brie came home and was sitting in her room while I was in mine. She said something, and I got up and caught a shadow out of the corner of my eye. She’d thought it was me walking across our dark living room in shadow. I’d like to know who it really was, but they’re dead and hard to track.

That night we had weird dreams, which I attribute to nerves as much as paranormal phenomenon. The next day I went to city hall and requested the records of everybody that had leased my house. The records only went back until 1993, and I could only find the companies, not occupants.

I then walked into the police office, and asked the officer on duty how to know if anybody had ever died at my house. I gave him the address, and he ran it by a few of his cop friends. Nobody remembered anybody dying, and he’d been working in East Lansing for 23 years. I’m sure they thought I was crazy.

My friend Alisha, editor in chief at Spartanedge, remembered publishing a story on an MSU student that did paranormal investigations. I contacted the student they interviewed, and she’s agreed to come over sometime next week. My parents also insisted I contact my mom’s cousin, a Catholic priest. I’m supposed to meet with him about a blessing.

I’m not really looking for answers, just solutions. I want to be able to come home at night and study, no noises, no objects moving, no shadows and no worries. Please. I’m open to whatever. I don’t know anything about ghosts, demons, Native American smudging ceremonies, house blessings or exorcisms. In the meantime, I’m going to be doing my homework at friend’s houses, and hoping people come visit me every weekend so I’m never alone.

I can only hope the G will take a vacation too.

Update 5/3: The G appears to be G-G-Gone! My mom’s cousin the Priest (Father Joe Krupp) blessed my house — we said some prayers together and he gave me a candle blessed by the bishop. Since that time, there has been¬†absolutely¬†no ghostly activity. So many thanks to Fr. Krupp and the Catholic Church.

5 thoughts on “The Haunting on Durand Street”

  1. Wow…great story.. wish you could get TAPS in there.
    Get some sleep. G doesn’t sound like a bad ghost.. he sounds bored.
    Good luck Emily, love you… Nick’s mom

  2. I love a good ghost story! Fun read!

    I was going to say – contact MichiganPRA.org, but it sounds like you’ve already done so.

    As for the “G” – it may be bored, or may be just hungry for attention. If you talked to it more, maybe you could get it to do your dishes AND your laundry.

  3. Very interesting Em! I’ve been feeling guilty for missing your birthday, so decided to tap into thebiggreen.net. Enjoyed! Happy Belated! Proud of you.
    Grandma Jo

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