Friday, June 5, 2015

My Grandmother's Haunted Attic

This is a true story about my Mom's mother ~ my maternal 
Grandmother, whose name was Marie.  The facts I am about to
tell you are ones that were told to me by other family members
and some of which I experienced first hand.

When my Mother was only eighteen years old, her father became very ill and
died.  This left Marie widowed and alone with my Mom and her sister Eleanor
Susan who was only eleven years old.  

Marie was a stunningly beautiful woman and as a consequence had many
suitors after her husband died.  She chose to marry an equally handsome and
very tall robust widower from Sweden.  His name was Godfrey.  Shortly 
after their marriage, he moved Marie to his home in Indiana.  From what I have
been told, my Grandmother was very happy in her new home.  She had a
beautiful garden and grew most of her own vegetables.  Godfrey planted an
apple tree at her request and fenced in her garden with a charming 
picket fence.  She became very active in the Lutheran Church that Godfrey
attended.  It really seemed to be an idyllic life for Marie and her young
daughter, Eleanor Susan.  My Mom was away at school in Ohio.

But there was a dark and secretive side to Godfrey.  He would 
sometimes become very depressed.  Marie also wondered why Godfrey 
kept the door to the attic locked.  She wanted to store some of her
own excess belongings there, but Godfrey refused to provide her
with a key.  She finally stopped asking.  

As Godfrey seemed to be suffering from more bouts of depression,
Marie decided to send young Eleanor Susan away to a girl's 
boarding school back in Ohio.  

After Marie sent Eleanor away, she learned the truth about her
new husband Godfrey.  She knew that Godfrey had been married
once before and that he had a daughter from this marriage and that
both his wife and daughter had died quite suddenly.  What she did not
know was how Godfrey's former wife and daughter died.

From some of the church members she finally learned that both the
wife and daughter died in her house.  The wife had been unhappy and
one day while Godfrey was at work, this woman went into their
kitchen with their daughter, turned on the gas in the stove without
lighting it and they both went to sleep and died.  

Godfrey was devastated.  He especially adored his daughter.  He resented
his newly deceased wife for taking his child to the grave.  Being 
widowed herself and also suffering through the loss of a child, Marie
understood Godfrey's periods of depression.  She encouraged him to do 
things he enjoyed and tried to build a warm and comfortable home for him.

As much as she loved her new home, Marie became alarmed over the 
 odd little noises she would hear.  This was especially true as she sat at her
dressing table putting on her powder and her lipstick ~ getting ready for
the day.  She could hear footsteps in the hall.  She knew that only she
and Godfrey were in the house.  And Godfrey was a large man and these
foot steps were light, like those of a young child.  She would call out,
"Who is it?  Who are you?"  No answer.

One day she found the key to the attic and opened the door.  There was a 
big old trunk in the musty space.  One of those lovely old trunks with the 
rolled top.  She opened the lid of the trunk and inside were children's 
books and sweet little dresses all neatly folded.  Dresses that no doubt
belonged to Godfrey's little girl.  There was also a rocking chair under
one of the attic eaves.  In the chair was a beautiful doll.  As Marie
looked at it, the chair began to rock very slowly. Marie knew that this
little girl's spirit was in that attic room and that spirit was playing with
her beloved doll. 

When Godfrey learned that my Grandmother had opened the attic door, 
he was not angry.  He had kept that door locked to keep his late
daughter's things safe and I suppose to protect her spirit.  

Over the years, every family member who stayed overnight in that
house heard Godfrey's little girl playing in the attic.  She is a 
friendly little ghost and never means to harm.

Years later, after my Mom married my Daddy and I was born, 
they would take me to visit my Grandmother and my step
Grandfather.  I loved Godfrey very much.  I followed him 
everywhere.  He took me on fishing trips and helped me to
catch my first fish.  Because I reminded him of the little blonde
haired girl he lost long ago, he didn't become depressed

On the day my Grandmother died, we went to Indiana for
the funeral.  After the service, I went up to the attic and
played with my own dolls.  I was very young and it was
the first time anyone I loved had passed away.  As I 
played quietly with my dolls, the little rocker in the
corner started to rock back and forth.  I am not sure that
I understood what that meant at the time, but I do now.

My Aunt Susan (she dropped the Eleanor)  
still owns the house in Indiana.  She left it just
as it was when Godfrey died.  The trunk is still in the
attic along with the rocking chair and the doll.
I suppose one can still hear the footsteps in the 
hall and I am guessing that dear little spirit is still
playing with her doll.  

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


  1. two little girls playing together, across generations.

  2. Replies
    1. It's always been a big part of my life because so many family members experienced the sounds and the movement. My Uncle, Aunt Susan's husband refused to spend the night in that house whenever they visited.

  3. Wow, I loved that story! Of which you were a part. Now I know where you got your name. Stories like this make me wonder about what happens after death. What does it say to you?

    1. To me it seems that Godfrey's little daughter loved her daddy dearly and did not want to leave him. So when he moved her things into the attic for safe keeping, she moved in there too and played with her doll and felt comfortable knowing he was still in the house. She was quite young when she died. I am not exactly sure of her age, but I think she was only about five or six years old, maybe seven. Her death was not her fault, it was the fault of her mother's depression. I have never learned why the mother was so depressed. I doubt that people discussed that issue very often years ago, so I will probably never know. But as I said, the little girl ghost seemed content to play in that attic room surrounded by things from her forever childhood.

  4. What a great story. I feel as thought I just finished reading a new mystery book.

    1. I am glad you enjoyed reading about it. Our family has told that true tale to many through the years. Now I have shared it with my readers. I think it's a way to make sure that little girl's memory lives on. A life cut short and the daddy left behind to grieve.

  5. I'm reading this while laying in bed with my first cup of coffee. Great story-telling skills! Thanks for sharing.

  6. What a wonderful, wonderful story, Susan. Thank you so much for sharing it. There are so many things in this world that we cannot begin to understand. What a selfish thing for that wife to have done-to take their sweet little innocent daughter with her to the grave. So sad. I am so glad you healed the hole in Godfrey's soul and I think that would have pleased that pour little soul that stayed in the attic. xo Diana

    1. Thank you. It was a selfish thing for the mother to take her daughter's life while taking her own. Who knows what was running through her mind. It was a different time and people were not as open with others. Perhaps if she had received some counseling things might have been different.

  7. Great story. We have lived in two different houses which had a ghost. I know this as sure as I am sitting here!

    1. Isn't that the truth! Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read my own experience.

  8. Oh my! You literally had me sitting on the edge of my seat reading--at one point I had goose bumps! Wonderful story telling!

    1. That makes me laugh because lot's of people had goosebumps when they would hear those little footsteps in the hall. Thanks for visiting me today Mimi!

  9. Love stories such as this one. You are a fine story teller.

  10. Such a fascinating story, and so well told, Susan!
    Helen xox

    1. It's a story that has been told in my family for years, but this is the first time I am sharing it with all my readers. Somehow that little girl has always stayed with me.

  11. Well that was quite interesting!!! :) Amazing.

  12. Fascinating story and I loved the way your Grandmother turned the house holding this sadness inside to one of acceptance, by not moving the toys, and filled it with love. I knew someone who lost her son through a hunting accident between brothers. Before she died, she had a dream that the deceased son was standing at the end of her bed and he said, "I am just a step away." Perhaps, the world of souls is indeed very close to us.

    1. Oh, I agree. I think they are always just a step away. Thanks for stopping by!

  13. I love family history such as your wonderful story. I really believe that spirits are here with us. After my oldest son died at the age of 34, he appeared, but in a fog,(in front of my bed) one year later on the anniversary date of his death, and told me everything was alright with him, and not to worry. (dream or real?, I want to believe it is real)...

    1. I think it was Bonnie because you are not alone in your experience. I am glad to know that you were visited and comforted by your son's spirit. I am sure he is with you every day.

  14. My Paternal Grandmother was a very spiritual person and told the story of when her husband passed away. He had high blood pressure and it was back in the day before they had medications for it. He was in the hospital as his kidneys were failing, and she had gone home a distance of 50 miles to check on her animals. Her daughter who was still living at home at the time was there with her. During the night my Grandfather came to her and talked to her, telling her not to worry that he was okay. She called to her daughter who was sleeping at the other end of the house to tell her what had just happened. Her daughter told her that he had also come to her and stood next to her bed. The next morning the hospital called to say that he had passed away during the night. It just happened to be the same time that he had paid them a visit. I was once told that our loved ones come to us in a dream because that is the only way we feel comfortable with their presence. What ever the reason I am thankful that they come.

    1. Your story is a wonderful one too! Others have told me about experiences very similar to that one. It really reaffirms that we live on in some form after we shed our human bodies. One day each of us will know, but for now we can only imagine. Thanks for your visit Jill.

  15. What a fabulous story and I love the pictures that accompany it....visiting from Over 40 Bloggers!

    1. Thank for stopping by and I am glad you enjoyed the story.

  16. Well, I just had chills reading that story.. I hope that house stays in the family. Really a sweet story! It certainly makes one ponder life....and death and afterlife.

    1. I have not visited the house since I was a child. The last time my Aunt visited, the ghost was still there. I do hope that the house stays in the family.

  17. Wonderful story telling, Susan. I was truly on the edge of my seat. I'm glad the house is still in the family :)



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