About five years ago, my young adult son moved into the big white farm house on our other farm. We have two farms located near each other in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and both homes are well over one hundred years old. Some of his guy friends moved in and everything was fine, then he and his fiancée (now wife) got to work remodeling the house. At first, no one thought much about the noises. Neither of them even mentioned a thing to me.

Then one night my son called, alone and uneasy. He was hunkered downstairs with his cat. Seems there were footsteps he couldn’t account for and a certain bedroom upstairs with a door that wouldn’t stay shut. No matter how many times he closed it, come morning it was always open.
Earlier that week, his fiancé had been distressed when the bathroom doorknob turned and the door opened on her. No one was there. It freaked the cat out. Didn’t do her much good either. She was promptly converted from a disbeliever in ghosts to one strongly considering their reality.

Now, she’d gone away on a trip with her church and none of my son’s other friends were around. The last of his roomies had moved out.
I suspected all the remodeling they’d done to the house had stirred something up. So, I went over. Here, I’ll digress to say I’d dreamed earlier of a small grave plot way back in the fields behind the house and of a restless spirit associated with both. As it turned out there is just such a cemetery, an antiquated one. After I arrived that evening, my son and I went upstairs to the suspect bedroom and shut the door. I wanted to scream, and not just because I'm claustrophobic.

We held hands and I repeated the Exorcism prayer sent to my mother from an Episcopalian woman in England. She’d written my mother about visiting the church manse at the invitation of the new priest who was plagued by a poltergeist--one so violent, it had flung portraits down from the hall upstairs and hurled a saucepan lid across the kitchen. But the congregants, along with the priest, had prayed it out.
As this was a Christian prayer, my son and I did the same. Never again did he or his fiancé hear footsteps or have any more trouble with doorknobs turning. That bedroom door remained as they left it and the chill feeling I had in the room is gone.

Now, what do you think of that?

By Beth Trissel

Here's the Anglican prayer. Do not try this at home if the presence you sense is evil, only with a strong group of Christians, the more, the better. And join hands. *Even if you think I'm nuts.

“In the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, may this distressed soul be relieved of his obsession with this world and sent to where he belongs.”

I added, 'go to the light,' although a truly evil presence won't, but a troubled, restless one may. Seems only right to offer that as an option. :)


  1. Nightingale // May 1, 2008 at 6:17 PM  

    I think that's one of the best ghost stories I've ever read. I felt chilled! And I do believe in ghosts. There was a room in our old farmhouse in SC that was very chill (it had never been finished and the house was built in 1917). Philip's mother from England said something tried to push her down the stairs!

  2. Mary Marvella // May 1, 2008 at 6:31 PM  

    My brother and his wife we remodeling a house they bought when things began to move from one place to another. They we re certain they founds things in places they had not put them.

    a psychic said a child was buried beneath their pack porch. later they found a small slab with a name etched into it. Beneath the porch? Yep. The name was the one the psychic gave them.

  3. Beth Trissel // May 1, 2008 at 7:03 PM  

    Wow, Linda and Mary. Creepy.

  4. Pat McDermott // May 1, 2008 at 7:05 PM  

    An interesting reminder that we don't know all there is to know, Beth. Thanks for sharing this story.

  5. Beth Trissel // May 1, 2008 at 8:40 PM  

    Thanks, Pat.

  6. Mary Marvella // May 1, 2008 at 9:31 PM  

    One of my books grew from the question "Have you seen the ghosts?" when my EX and I were signing papers to purchase a house for my daughter to rent out rooms in college.
    I got the names and the fact the the house was well over 100 years old.
    I ran with that one!

  7. Beth Trissel // May 2, 2008 at 8:59 AM  

    OK, so why does our comments section under this post not record the accurate number?

  8. Gerri // May 3, 2008 at 1:49 PM  

    That was interesting, Beth. I do believe in ghosts--or something else--and know there's alot that's unknown and unexplainable.

  9. Beth Trissel // May 3, 2008 at 7:27 PM  

    So true. There's much we do not know or understand out there.

  10. Pamela K. Kinney // May 4, 2008 at 2:29 PM  

    Alot of paranormal investigators say that when one remodels a home it can bring up paranormal activity. Maybe because the spirit or spirits don't like someone else changing what might have been their home in life. And Beth, you know I believe in ghosts-LOL. Lately, i've been a part of paranormal investigators, investigating. Saturday before RT, I was with the Ghost Chicks, and we investigated that night, Cold Bluff Battlefield. Many strange things happened, including my EVP (voice recorder) being turned on while it was turned off and in my book bag. My voice came on and it was heard by me plus the investigators and the ranger we had with us. That night I heard footsteps behind me, plus we got so many orbs, even green and red ones, in our photos and more.

  11. Beth Trissel // May 4, 2008 at 4:13 PM  

    Wow, how interesting, Pamela. Tread with care in your investigation...in case someone or something doesn't want you there.