Ghostly Remodeling Stories

Haunted House
    Over the years I have encountered some really scary and crazy things, I thought it would be fun to share some of them with you.

     In 1978 my parents and I partnered up on a condemned house in a nice neighborhood.  We started out with fumigating the structure.   The next day I was tearing out the rot and had pulled the lath and plaster off of one wall.   I was removing the contents of accumulated webs, dust and old plaster.  I pulled my gloved hand back full of debris and something in my hand was staring back at me.  It was the beady eyes of a large Rat!  Well I half jumped out of my skin, threw the rat and ran across the room.  The rat had died in the fumigation with it's eyes open and almost scared the stuffing right out of me.  I was sure glad that nobody was there to see me panic.

     Then next day, I was working in another room and started hearing scratching noises.  I looked over at the wall and saw a ghostly apparition gyrating across the wall.  The temperature in the room seemed to drop suddenly and I could feel goose bumps crawling across my neck and my hair raising up.  It was over 100 degrees, but it felt cold in this room.  I slowly and silently shuffled toward the crawling mirage on the wall and held my hand in front of it, to block the light.  My shadow was blocking the room light, but inches from my face the phantom spirit continued its' snake like dance.  Suddenly the noises became sharp; popping and cracking directly over my head. 

     Let me give you a little background on this house.  The previous tenants of this house had been hells angels.  One of them had committed suicide in the back yard, under a huge Walnut tree.  The house had been condemned due to unsafe electrical systems.  The water supply was WWII boiler tubing, because pipe was scarce during the war when this place had been built.  The structure was infested with termites and powder post beetle.  The basement was dark, dusty and uninviting with its' very steep stairs.   It was the perfect set up for a real haunting.

      Now, back to the story, I looked up and there was a hole through the roof and ceiling. Sitting in the attic space was a grey squirrel intently working on a nut from one of the trees in the back yard.  His tail was gyrating back and forth.  The sun was projecting the image on the wall at a steep angle.  My shadow did not block the image.  Suddenly it was hot in the room again.  If I had not seen the squirrel, I would probably believe that I had seen a ghost to this day.    

Creature Under the Floor

     I was working under a house, where the owners had been having a problem with Raccoons and Skunks going under the house.  My job was to secure the foundation to keep the critters out.  Their daughter was distraught because her cat had disappeared for a couple of days.  Her parents thought maybe a raccoon had taken her.  My employee Jim and I were filling in some of the open spaces with stone and mortar to match the foundation and had gone under the house to plaster the back of the stone work.  I saw some insulation that was sagging between a couple of joists and went over to put it back in place.

     When I touched the insulation, it was warm, heavy and damp.  I figured a Raccoon was nesting there and whispered over to Jim that I was going to push it out with my foot so that it could run out from under the house.  Jim got out of the potential pathway of the fleeing critter and I put my foot against the closest part of the hump to push the animal away from me.  I began applying pressure and the next thing I knew the insulation opened up over my legs and the critters rolled out onto my stomach.  I went into a blind panic and lurched upward, smacking my forehead hard on the bottom of the floor joist.  It just about knocked me out and I was flopping like a fish and seeing stars.   When I finally collected myself, Jim was laughing so hard he had tears making mud on his dusty cheeks.

     It turned out that I had found the cat and her new litter of kittens.  Aside from a bump on my forehead and a headache, the rest of the job was relatively uneventful.  Everyone was happy to have Kitty back safe and sound.

Killer Bees Between the Floors

      My friend Bob and I were remodeling an upstairs bathroom and were gutting out the old bathroom to prepare for the new one.  The house was built in 1907, so the remodel also included a complete re-pipe.  I marked the floor for cutting and began cutting with my Skilsaw.  After shutting off the saw, a loud buzzing was still coming from the floor.  We began to pry the flooring up with a crowbar and instantly the room filled with Yellow Jackets.  We both beat a hasty retreat and shut the door.
     We returned, armed with several cans of Bee Bopper.  We slowly opened the door a crack and began spraying the opening in the floor.  By the end of the day we had filled 2 - 30 gallon garbage cans with dead wasps and wasp nest.  2 joist cavities were completely filled with the nest.  It was unbelievably massive.  The nest was around 12 inches deep and five feet long and filled 2 - 16" wide joist cavities.  The amazing part was neither of us received any stings.