Farmhouse Haunting

Occasionally, after people learn that Natalie and I live in an old farmhouse, the topic of conversation turns to ghosts. Apparently, ghosts and farmhouses are closely linked in people’s minds. To date, Natalie and I have never experienced any supernatural behavior in the house, except for that of Chip Coffey (if you’ve never watched Chip Coffey, check out some episodes of Paranormal State or Physic Kids—you’ll laugh.)

Occasionally, the house does smell like Natalie’s great-grandmother, Vicie, or tobacco smoke, yet no one’s smoked in the house for decades. Although the house  creaks and cracks at night, I no longer attribute these noises to dead folks. Still, the noises can be a bit spooky. For me, it didn’t help knowing that Natalie’s great-grandfather was “laid out” in our bedroom. Back then, since they didn’t have funeral homes for visitations, a body was laid out in the home till the funeral. We’ve had quite a few family members laid out in our house…..uncle Abner, however, was resigned to the front porch, that is a funny story for another post.

Great-great-great grandpa Joe Camp standing beside the coffin of his brother Abner

Perhaps the saddest death that occurred in our house was that of Claude, the twelve-year-old son of Natalie’s great-great grandparents, Lawson and Ponola. He died at night of an unknown ailment that caused “flying rheumatism,” or severe pain that “flies” from joint to joint. The very next day, his grieving mother gave birth in the house to another son, Burl. I can’t imagine the emotions that family must have experienced in such a short time.

An addition from Natalie:

Though many people cringe at the number of people that have been laid out here, and that at least one person has died in the house – it really doesn’t bother me. My Poppaw and his father were just two of the many babies born in this house, my mom spent time here as a child, I used to play in the back yard when I was little. This house has LIVED, it’s seen life through multiple generations, joyous times, sad times, hard times. This house’s story is so complete, yet so circular and never ending, and I take comfort in the fact that it’s been here all this time observing, watching us change – we’re all so different, yet still so much the same.

5 thoughts on “Farmhouse Haunting

  1. My husband purchased our 100+ farmhouse from the neighbors – it was part of the family farm and the surviving family carved out their own plots around the farm. I have been told that not only did the house experience the “laid out” relatives, but just about every birth of relatives. It was common that the daughters returned to mother’s home to give birth. The neighbors can easily rattle off 10 names of who was born in the house. Yes, we have the “died in that room” too. My kids and other visitors swear they heard things and that it is haunted. I just ask the ghosts to work with me, warn me if there is a problem and don’t mess up the house 🙂 Interesting picture – seems odd to take those pictures nowadays…but the history in that one photograph is so rich.

    1. I love stories like that! Old houses just have so much more character and life in them than newer ones do. If we really had ghosts I’d ask them to work with me by learning how to use the vacuum cleaner while I was out!

      Uncle Abner (the one in the coffin) was a really unusual guy – we’ve got some great stories about him, I’ll have to get some of them up here one of these days 🙂

  2. Sounds like the house has seen a lot of love through the year. I would imagine any spirits who stuck around do so because they have such good memories of the place.

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