Are all houses with spirits considered ‘haunted’?

By Rick Hinton

Last week’s article – “Pennies, cat food and sunflower seeds” – required a bit of communication. Sharon Kinder and I exchanged many emails prior to the article’s publication. She was happy with it, and the article seemed to strike a nerve for many. Her story is a continuing example of those “gray” areas that often come out of left field. They come when you least expect it. These kinds of scenarios leave those involved scratching their heads, raising questions and wondering if they have become a victim of the paranormal.

In one of our last emails Sharon brought up our present home on Southport Road, and the house we have in Jamestown, Ky. I have written about the strange ghostly activity in both homes previously for the paper. “I’ve been surprised about you having activity in that house (the one in Kentucky) since it isn’t as old as what I think of as a typical haunted house,” she said. “Are all houses with spirits considered to be haunted? I find your articles on the house in Kentucky very interesting and would like to hear more about it in the future. It would be interesting to read about spirits in houses that don’t fit the norm: did someone die in the house, and, can spirits follow someone and move in? I don’t consider my house haunted just because my late husband visited. I guess I connect the word ‘haunted’ with something negative. So many unexplained things … so fascinating!”

I replied, in my usual long-winded fashion: “There is no particular age of a home that can be branded ‘haunted.’ I’ve investigated homes in new subdivisions having paranormal activity, which often leads me to think it might be more about the parcel of ground and not the house itself. I’ve also investigated homes that have been around for a century or more and have a history. There are similar reports of ghostly shenanigans regardless of the age.”

The house in Kentucky. What lies within? (Photo by Rick Hinton)

I continued: “Like you, I don’t much care for the moniker of ‘haunted’ because it denotes negativity. Haunted is a broad term. Sometimes it’s not the home, but the people inside who are haunted. It might not involve anything paranormal, but rather addiction (drugs or alcohol), past childhood trauma, or a mental state requiring medication.

“When doing an investigation, Laura and I take all of this into consideration,” I told Sharon. “Also … was there a death in the house – natural causes or something else? What degree of activity is occurring, and frequency? And most important – how do they feel about it? Can you coexist?”

Our home on Southport Road is an enigma. We coexist because we don’t feel threatened. From talking to neighbors we learned an older woman was the original owner. They stated she kept a meticulous lawn and flowers in the then-1970s Southside neighborhood. After her tenure there was a period of time when our house was owned by the Salvation Army for storage and used to sort through donations. After that, a succession of owners not sticking around for too long. We have experienced lights turning on, doors and windows opening on their own accord, shadow movement, the sudden odor of grandmotherly type perfume, and a feeble, female voice greeting me with a “Hello” when I arrived to an empty house. Is it the original owner? Possibly. She passed away in a hospital, not the house, but just perhaps there’s a draw to her former home that transcends even death. Maybe it’s something as simple as a meticulous lawn?

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!