For most people, Halloween only comes around once a year. But at our house, we experience weird, spooky things all year long, things that I can’t explain.

There have been many times that we have heard the door to an upstairs bedroom suddenly slam shut, as if someone or something was very angry. That normally wouldn’t concern me. I’ve raised teenagers, so hearing a door slam shut is nothing new. But no one uses that room and the entire family, including the dog, was downstairs at the time. No windows were open, and the wind wasn’t blowing, so who or what slammed that door? 

I am sure there is a reasonable explanation. I just can’t seem to find it.

On the stairway landing between the first and second floor I will occasionally hear a loud scratching, gnawing sound. I have tried for years to determine where it is coming from. But it never lasts long enough for me to track it down. It’s a scary sound, almost as if something is trying to get in or get out. I’m not really sure I want to know the source.

Sometimes late at night when everyone is in bed, we will hear a loud crash somewhere on the main floor.  We turn on the lights and search the house from top to bottom, but we never find anything out of place. We know it wasn’t the dog and we don’t have a cat. But something definitely went bump in the night.

Other times while we are all together on the main floor, we will hear a strange, loud pop noise from upstairs. I can’t describe it and I can’t think of anything that would make that sort of sound. But it’s not my imagination. We all heard it, even our dog. She looks up the stairway and growls. 

Our small dog keeps a tight watch on everything in and around our house. There have been times when she has just stood there, just staring and growling. Nothing seemed to be going on outside, and everything appeared normal inside. I have no idea what she is seeing or hearing, but she clearly doesn’t like it.

I don’t know what it is, but if she doesn’t like it, I don’t like it.

I don’t believe in ghosts or goblins, but I will admit that strange sounds that I can’t identify or explain do make me a bit edgy. One night as we were lying in bed, a loud noise came from underneath the bed on my side. Having just cleaned there several days before, I knew there was nothing under the bed except the bare floor. Even so, I could not make myself take a look.

I have never seen any ghostly apparitions roaming the hallways, or floating across the room. I’ve never heard any spooky voices or shrieks in the night. The only moans and groans I hear emanate from my son’s room each morning when he rolls out of bed. 

As to the other unexplained spooky noises, I do my best to ignore them.  I have no idea as to what is making those sounds. But since they have always left us alone, I’m not going bother them. 

There are plenty of areas in this big old house that would be perfect for ghostly creatures to dwell. Crawl spaces for example. If I were a ghost, that’s where I would hangout. Although I don’t really believe anything deadly is hiding there, I do my best to avoid those spooky, dark, cob-webby places. 

If any supernatural beings do live in my house, I want to keep them happy. 

On Halloween night, I always leave a big bowl of candy out for anyone or anything that wants it. I’m not a superstitious person, but I figure a little insurance couldn’t hurt. 

Over the years I have noticed that a large amount of that candy will be missing the next morning. My son always insists that he didn’t take it. I’m pretty sure he’s guilty, but I’m not taking any chances. 

I am sure that all of the strange noises in my house have perfectly natural and reasonable explanations.  But if you pass by my house on Halloween night and see any strange beings floating in or out of the attic, please don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.


CourierTraveler reporter John Shelman can be contacted at (620) 442-4200 or

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