A Love Letter to the Ghosts of Chester Avenue

I decided that in the holiday spirit, I would write about the ones that haunted my old house. Old in age, and old because we moved out earlier this year. I saw a prompt somewhere to write a love letter, and I thought it’d be funny to explore that with my relationship with the ghosts in the house.

Dear Ghosts,

I never got to say a true goodbye to any of you, but I wish I had had the opportunity to. After ten years of sharing space, you could say we knew each other well. After all, we knew many of your names from the different recordings from the investigations and the list of previous occupants of the house. And while you never called out to any of our names, thankfully, after years of changing in one of the rooms you’re most active in I figure you probably know me much better than my exes.

I always knew you were there, even when we were viewing the house before we bought it. In hindsight, it was probably incredibly creepy for a ten-year-old to immediately ask the real estate agent if the house was haunted, but her response topped it when she said, “Well, if it is, they’re friendly.” There’s no way she didn’t know. Even the neighbors knew your history and had a few stories of their own to share with us –of course, after we moved in. They recounted tales of doors opening and closing on their own, things getting moved around, and other sorts of standard ghostly activities. You did more than just that, and I am proud of you.

Nobody wants to have to believe the ten-year-old who was claiming that there’s children peeking around walls. My friends even saw you without knowing you were there to be seen. They didn’t appreciate being watched while I slept deeply, being unable to woken up for solidarity. Sleeping with the lights on made it easier to recognize what you were doing and call you out for it. Even when my cousin and I were home alone people didn’t want to believe that we heard your solid boots laboriously going up the 19th century stairs or when we heard your feet stop outside the door, leaving us with the heavy sound of silence.

But it’s all alright; everyone knows when the grown-ups start experiencing things is when they really start believing. (Of course, you know I always believed in you, and always will.) Getting into other people’s beds isn’t cool, nor is watching them take showers. You should’ve known that, even when you were alive. Maybe if we didn’t have so many open mirrors facing each other and countless antiques you wouldn’t show up in all the wrong places. Hey; if you wanted some of that cheese dip in the kitchen you could’ve asked. We would’ve served it to you so you didn’t need to drag the spreader across the edge of the plate to clatter behind us.

I still love recounting the times where you’ve frightened grown men into refusing to sleep in certain rooms of the house. Getting two straight college-aged guys to share a bed out of fear is an accomplishment that I could never achieve and fully applaud you for. I’m not sure if you were upset seeing that someone was in my bed instead of me, but I’d like to think you were trying to defend my space while I was at a different house. Even the cats would chase you around the house determined to get you out.

The first time we managed to get investigators to meet you, I wasn’t allowed to be there. I was “too young” even though I had been the one to encourage everyone to call them. They brought psychics who told us of your countless quirks. When someone explained to them that our shoes would go missing, they proposed we should ask for them back. When my shoes disappeared and it came time to ask you for them back, I was a little embarrassed. You delivered and gave them back. To this day I don’t know how you did that, but those were my best flip-flops, so thanks for understanding boundaries of a playful joke.

You calmed down for awhile, and I missed you. I no longer saw you as often, nor heard you. But one time I felt you, and that was the only time you legitimately scared me. It’s rude to energetically plop down through someone’s legs while they’re praying in bed. Listen, your god or whatever might not be letting you pass on, and I don’t think it’s a smart idea to interrupt someone potentially praying to them. That’s not gonna help you out, or me.

One of the biggest events you did was revealing yourself to my younger cousin. I was right next to her when she looked into the empty living room and began to burst out crying. I knew immediately what was happening, but she was too involved with crying to answer my questioning of what she had seen. The only reason we knew she had seen you was from her father eventually asking her why she cried and she admitted to seeing one of you.

The second investigators came after months of inactivity. Sure, we might have seen one of you on camera leaning over the baby’s crib, but it was nothing compared to what these people came in with. I did my research well, and I got the best of the best, of course, for you. This team came with laser grids, cameras, electromagnetic field detectors, and the most interesting of all, the spirit box. That was, and will be one of my favorite moments with you—all of you.

Once the spirit box was turned on and scanning throughout all of the stations, it was clear that you all were talking about us. Most of you didn’t talk to us, but we could hear you talking to each other in the background. Those who did talk to us were located from the list of previous owners when you said your names. It was incredible. You also managed to manually turn a camera off and on again. The batteries didn’t run out; you had to have pressed the button on the camera itself to turn it off. I don’t know if they had cameras in your time, but wow, that was impressive.

The medium who they brought was unofficially a part of their team, and eventually we did a séance. I would’ve never had done it unless it were with someone who knew what they were talking about. Apparently, one of your names was Sarah, and you were protecting us. We thanked you, and then one of us asked what you were protecting us from. The psychic said it was the dark man from the graveyard, and then promptly the person who asked began to freak out. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure what they expected. It was so cliché I wasn’t sure what to believe.

A couple months later when reviewing the footage, one of your voices picked up on one of the recorders. We had been in the bathroom, the investigators and I, and we were looking at the infinite mirror situation. You asked, “Who’s the kid?” And considering I was the only young person around, I’m glad you recognized me. I certainly tried to recognize you.

It’s been about a year since then, and we’ve moved houses. My dad and his wife refused to tell the next occupants about you, but I’m sure they’ll find you in good graces soon enough. I won’t ever forget you; you live on in my memories. Like I told you one of the last times I was around you: I wish you the best of luck in moving on, and I will miss you all.