Ghosts and Old Barns


old barn at duskBehind our farm is a large field that lies fallow in the winter and is planted with corn and hay in the growing season.  The edges of it are grown up in weeds and wild flowers.  The land slants uphill and meets tree- covered hills at the top of this wide swathe of land.  Nearer to the base of the field, just on the other side of our property, is a derelict 19th century barn where stray cats, possums, raccoons, birds, foxes, and sometimes coyotes hangout.  A red-tailed hawk patrols overhead and it’s a good place to see birds.  Tall, seemingly random trees enclose the site where the house once stood. It’s a fairly benign place to be in the spring.  Not so much on an eerie fall evening.

The farmhouse burned down in the 70’s and nearly consumed the old drunk who lived there with it, but he was rescued and stayed with my husband’s family for a time.  The foundation of the house, an old cellar, and outbuilding remain.  Everything’s overgrown and covered in vines.  The place has an abandoned look and a decidedly creepy feeling about it.  To the point where last fall my art major daughter Elise, my 13 yr old niece Elizabeth, and I (at my suggestion) decided to venture across our side of the land to the old barn and take some pictures at dusk.  Why not, we thought, feeling adventurous.

We brought a flashlight, our intent being to stay until dark and have Elise take more pics with her camera of–we weren’t sure what–orbs maybe, before venturing home.  Some people believe sites with strong paranormal activity produce orbs that show up in photographs while not necessarily visible to the naked eye.  There was just one problem with this plan.   We’re chicken hearts.

Apparently the old man who lived at that farm until his death  (several decades ago) stored newspapers in the barn.  We chanced upon a small fragment of newspaper lying in the grass with the words The Devil printed on it.  That rather took us aback.  We looked more closely and discovered this snippet came from an ancient review of the horror movie, The Exorcist.   But why did only that eerie snippet remain?  Is that all it was, just a coincidence, or a warning?  Who knows, we didn’t hang around to discover.  Later, the coyotes came out and we were doubly glad to have headed on home.

Do I think there’s something strange about that place?  Yes, but I’m not bold enough to do any ghost hunting.  I don’t know how those who do have the nerve.

21 responses to “Ghosts and Old Barns

  1. I am with you Beth ..I would not have had the nerve to stay there longer than you did.

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  2. Pingback: Ghosts and Old Barns | One Writer's Way | Haunting Investigations

  3. I have had a few ghostly experiences in my time, but I’m with you guys. I don’t have the guts to do ghost hunting. I’m too big of a chicken. Great pictures, BTW.

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  4. Sounds like there’s a book in there somewhere, and who better to write it than you.

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  5. Sounds like the making of a new story to me!
    Thanks for sharing. I love scary stories.

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  6. Definitely gave me the heebie jeebies!

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  7. Wow, you wouldn’t believe how many visitors have popped into the blog for this post. A lot of ghost hunters out there, and very quiet. 🙂

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  8. Definitely freaky. No thanks! 🙂 Let us know when the story is written about the heroine who’s not a fraidy cat like it sounds most of us are. LOL

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  9. Loved this post. I don’t really believe in ghosts, but I don’t know for sure that they aren’t real. Regardless, I find ghosts and supernatural things fascinating. I love reading about them in fiction and in true stories. Thanks for this post.

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  10. Beth-

    I grew up in a very old Victorian home in a neighborhood of Victorian homes. Beautiful house – every one of them. Turns out that they all sat above a series of tunnels that were used in the Underground Railroad. I never heard anything weird from those tunnels, which were blocked off, but a lot of people in the neighborhood did.

    We did have a player piano that played the same three notes at the same time every night. But only in that house! We moved it with us to Michigan, and it never did it again. 🙂

    Beautiful pictures of the barn, BTW.

    ~Sarah

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  11. Thanks so much, guys. Loved your stories.

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  12. Hi Beth! Great pics and love the story behind the barn. That part of Va is absolutely breathtaking. I used to live in Danville, the piedmont is not nearly as pretty!
    About your ‘yellow’ streak … where’s your sense of adventure? Girl, I’d of been all over that–as long as my husband was with me 😉
    LOL, I have an aunt who is, hmmm we Southerners call them eccentric, anyway, Aunt Ev is waaaay into anything spooky. She used to take all of us kids camping in an old cemetary 🙂 Funniest thing is, Aunt Evelyn loves to tell spooky ghost stories, she used to lay on the floor at night, (no one in Aunt Ev’s house ever slept in their beds–no, I don’t know why!) and tell us ghost stories. One time she was in her bedroom (on the floor) across the hall from where her daughter and I were sleeping (because I was there, we were sleeping in the bed ;). Aunt Ev is telling a great story, really creepy, we girls are cowering under the covers, eating up every word , she finishes and tells us to go to sleep. A few minutes later, here comes Aunt Evelyn, dragging her blankets behind her: LOL, she’d scared herself! She did that all of the time. Her hobby now is taking photos of reportedly haunted places looking for those orbs and auras you mentioned. Supposedly she has a ton of pics and wants to publish a coffee table type book; don’t know how she managed to shoot the pics, as chicken as she is 😉

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  13. Yeah, I would have run after finding that newspaper clipping too. Or maybe not, if my husband was with me…

    Interesting ghost stories and thoughts though. I LOVE old buildings-they seem to speak to me. Oh-and I ADORE old cemeteries. My mom thinks I’m kinda crazy. Maybe….lol.

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  14. Caroline Clemmons

    Beth, I must have missed this earlier but found it in my email when I was looking for something else. Story of my life. Anyway, I love old barns. Before I spent all my time writing, I painted in oils, and old bars were a favorite subject. I love the textures and colors in the old wook.

    I didn’t see “The Exorcist” because I’m a weenie and believe in demons and spirits and angels and spirit guides.

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    • Very kewl, Caroline. I love old barns too. We have a wonderful one here on our farm you’d like to paint if you still painted. I’m with you and never saw that movie either. Same reasons.

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