In many neighborhoods were what we referred
to at the time as "haunted houses". The correct term for
these houses should have been "abandoned houses." Some
of these houses were abandoned because the owners could not afford
to make the mortgage payments and litigation was underway or soon
would be. Other houses were or would soon be seized by the local
municipality for nonpayment of property taxes. In either case they
were run down, overgrown with weeds and in general disrepair.
Stories were often told about strange noises coming from the houses
at night, mysterious lights seen in the house at night and for any
haunted house worth it's salt, there were always stories of ghosts
being seen. No one ever heard the noises or saw the ghosts but everyone
knew someone who did.
I was once part of a group that had accepted a dare to go into
the neighborhood haunted house on a Friday the 13th. after dark.
On the appointed night we met and proceeded to the back of the house.
No one had brought a flashlight and we made more than a little noise
raising a rear window and climbing into a room.
When we were all in we started our exploration toward another
room. We had taken a few steps toward another section when we heard
hushed voices, moans and soft footsteps coming toward us. What followed
must have looked like a scene from a Laurel and Hardy movie. All
the brave souls turned tail, raced back to the window we had raises
and beat a hasty retreat to the safety of the street.
Prior to reporting our exploits to the darers the following day
we settled on stories of strange creatures that we had to fight
off in order to escape. It was then that we learned that some of
"the older guys" had learned of our plans and were lying
in wait for us.
At today's real estate prices are there any more "Haunted
houses" in the neighborhood?.