LPC Stories of Personal Experiences

As part of the Lanphier Parnormal Club's charter, we always encourage members to share their personal experiences.  Below are some of the stories shared by the students.

 My Night at the Hickox House by Morgan G.

My story takes place during a Lanphier Paranormal Club investigation at the Virgil Hickox House in Springfield Il.  Once the private home of one of Springfield’s most influential families from 1839-1880, it later became the first home of the men's private business club, The Sangamon Club, and a funeral parlor during the years of the Flu epidemic of 1918-1919.

While I was investigating in the upstairs parlor my K2 meter went all the way to red.  It was sitting in a chair.  We were using the divining rods and asked if I should sit in the chair.  The rods opened up as to say no, but I decided to sit in the chair anyway. No longer had I sat in the chair when my lower back got numb, down to my tailbone! I had to get help walking downstairs.

That same night in the same room two fellow investigators teared up, unbeknownst to each other.  Perhaps the strangest event in the parlor happened with me and Elle.  She started crawling around the room as if looking for something.  It was as though she didn’t know what she was doing and acting like a child.  She started asking me questions and the only thing I remember is that I grabbed my digital camera and started hitting the preview button continuously.  At the same time she asked me if I “wanted to go downstairs and play”!  I have had other incidences but that night is the most memorable of my young career as an investigator!!

Grandma was that You?   by  Morgan G.

Early in the summer of 2012 my Grandma got into a car accident.  While In the hospital, our family would go up and see her.  She was unable to talk but for a while she could communicate with her hands.  We each had a different thing with her, something unique to the person so we would know that she knew who we were . For example she used to play a game with me when I was small, gently bending my fingers over as if each were a different farm animal, with my Uncle she would squeeze his forearm etc. Grandma was able somehow to do that when we visited!  One time, my cousin was talking to her about getting better so she could visit her house to go swimming in her pool.  As a joke, she added that she could push me in.  Grandma squeezed her hand making us laugh.  I guess she liked that idea!  Unfortunately, not too long after, she passed away.  Later that summer, I was at my cousin’s house.  We were in the hot tub and I made a comment about how cold the pool would be.  I got out of the hot tub and was going to jump in to “test the waters” so to speak, but that year spiders were everywhere and even made their way into the pool.  Changing my mind, I decided to get off of the ladder and go back to the hot tub, but before I could turn around I felt someone push me in.  It was a gentle shove with hands on my hips but enough to send me tumbling into the water!  When I surfaced, I expected to see my cousins laughing, but no one was near the ladder. I got out and they were talking about how they were thinking about coming and pushing me in, but they thought I had fallen by accident.  I told them that I thought that they pushed me.  They both kind of looked at each other. We were all thinking the same thing. Grandma!!!

A Haunting in Havana, by Clarissa H.

When I was 7 or 8 years old I lived in Havana, Illinois. My family and I moved into a house which I will never forget (as much as I wish I could).  My family consisted of my mom, dad, and brother who is 3 years younger than I.  We soon discovered that the people who lived in the house had been devil worshippers, or had been messing with some form of dark arts.  I remember vividly the room upstairs was very dark with black curtains over the windows. There were strange writings and drawings all over the walls in this particular room.  There was even a hole in the center of the room about the size of an average TV.  My parents used the room for storage and blocked off the door with boxes so we could not go in.  The only other room upstairs was a small room we used for storage.  We found a box full of items in the basement which included an Ouija board among other strange artifacts.  The landlord said the previous occupants had just upped and left abruptly one day without a word to him.  He knew nothing of what they had been doing.  We suspect now that they may have been driven out.

We all slept in one of the rooms downstairs, my mother and me sleeping together across the room from my brother and dad.  Seldom did a night go by that I did not feel a presence standing next to me, leaning over the bed.  My brother also felt the same thing and we would often wake up in the night screaming.  

One night we were all in bed when I heard footsteps.  I looked toward the bedroom door as the figure appeared.  I will never forget the tall, dark, scary figure that walked through the door and stared at me.  I yelled “Dad look at the door”, and just like that it was gone.  Fortunately my father had also seen it so I knew I wasn’t crazy.  My dad got up to check and found nothing outside the door.  My brother and mom did not awaken in time to see the apparition.  He had to have come in through the dead bolted front the way the house is laid out, and according to the direction we saw him walking.  

We had many other occurrences that were frightening.  We had doors that flew open on many occasions.  The house had some doors that would swing open by themselves.  There were times we would stack 3-4 large, heavy toy boxes in front of the doors and the doors would still open, sending the toy boxes flying several feet across the room.  The closet had a sliding door which would open by itself.   We would hear a pounding on the floor which emanated from the basement.  Our kitchen lights would often flicker on and off for no reason.  I was touched on at least three occasions that I recall.  

The scariest time was when I was riding my scooter in the house and was pushed off with great force, the scooter flying 5-6 feet across the room.  I recall being terrified, screaming and crying for a long time. Sometimes I remember feeling ice cold spots particularly in the basement, and would always sense a presence in that location.  One night while my dad was at work my mom was in a panic and made my brother and I wait outside with her until dad got home. We had to be outside at least an hour and my mom never told us what happened.

I used to sit by the window in the living room spending long periods of time just staring out the window. I don’t know why.  One evening, it must have been around 8 pm I saw a dark shadowy figure walk in front of the window.  I told my mom but nothing was to seen.  I am sure she believed me though.  I swear to this day what I saw. I believe it to be the same figure I saw in my room that night.  

There were many other incidences that took place while I lived there, too many to recall or perhaps I do not want to remember.  My parents also witnessed many strange things but refuse to talk about them to this day.  

I talked to my grandmother recently and she shared a chilling story with me.  She had come to watch us one day as my dad was getting ready to go to work and my mother was gone.  My brother and I were napping on the couch.  Over one of the interior doorways hung a sheet since there was no door there.  As my father walked through the doorway, the curtain wrapped itself around his neck, choking him for a good minute and a half before he could break free.  My grandmother said she was so frozen in fear that che could not react; she was in shock.  My grandmother also told me stories of the front door opening and slamming continuously for almost an hour and of wind chimes going off in the kitchen with no breeze to set them off.

We moved out of the house as soon as we could but it was not for 5 long months.  I do not know what happened to the people who moved in after us and think about stopping by to talk to the current occupants whenever I go back to Havana. The house looks like it has been remodeled and I wonder if that perhaps stirred things up even more.  I just know I am forever grateful to be out of that house.

Terror in My Bedroom, by Kim H. 

When I was 10 years old, which would have been four years ago, I experienced something unexplainable and terrifying.  My cousin was staying at my house because my aunt was watching my sister and me while my parents were out of town.  This would have been on a Friday because my parents were away for a weekend trip.  My cousin was just was 9 years old at the time.

Like a lot of children at that age we were having a great time goofing off, bouncing on the bed and silly things like that.  We happened to be home alone for just a few minutes while my aunt ran down the street to drop my sister off at a friend’s house.  While bouncing around we were both suddenly yanked off the bed.  We were pulled off onto the floor on the same side of the bed as if our legs had been pulled out from under us.  I landed hard onto my back, I don’t remember how my cousin landed but it was hard.  

I looked down at my legs where it seemed the invisible force had grabbed me and to my horror saw all kinds of scratch marks. They looked similar to claw marks from what I recall and were all over the bottom of both legs. The marks lasted a day or two before disappearing.  My cousin for whatever reason was not scratched. 

We were terrified and ran crying and screaming out of the house where we sat until my Aunt returned home. It was not long but it seemed an eternity.  She would not believe us when we told her why we were outside, not even after I showed her the marks on my legs.  She went inside to check the house out and written on the living room TV in my mothers makeup were the words “they will pay”.  My aunt thought that we had written it because we liked to get into my mom’s makeup.  It was not us!  

Sadly my aunt never believed any part of the story. She felt that I had scratched myself.  My cousin and I were both angry about that. My parents returned Sunday night and had the same reaction as my Aunt. My cousin and I felt all alone!  I did not go into my room for over a week.  It took me awhile to get comfortable in my own room once I returned...  I never had anything happen again in that house, which we no longer live in.

I do recall hating the basement, which had a typical creepy feeling to it.  My sister’s bedroom was in the basement and she would never sleep there.  We will probably never know why that happened that day, and just hope that nothing like that happens again.  The event certainly has increased my interest in the paranormal and drives me to find out more.

The Spirits of Buffalo, by Beverley J.

I recently moved to Springfield from the little town of Buffalo, Illinois.  My paranormal experiences, of which there were many, took place in the old Victorian style home I lived in before moving in May.  The house, built in the 1880’s, is located a few miles outside of Buffalo near an old cemetery.  I am told that at one time where the house is located was near the center of Buffalo, which basically relocated after some fires.  Apparently there was a house on the spot of this home which burned down during the fire so this is at least the second structure on this spot.  I have tried to research this, as well as the history of the house, but as of yet have been unsuccessful.

I lived in this house for ten years, from the age of 4 until I was 14.  I have never been comfortable in this house, which we still own.  I have one sister who is 8 years older than me and she told me that I had an “imaginary friend” from the age of 4 until I turned 7.  I have no recollection of this at all but she said she would come into my room and ask me who I was talking to and playing with and I always told her it was my friend.  I do not believe it was my imagination with everything else that happened in this place.

A great deal of the activity seemed to revolve around my sister’s bedroom on the second floor.  I never liked that room and she did not either.  She said on several occasions she would see a figure in her doorway.  It looked like a little girl with brown hair and a white dress.  Once my sister moved out my dad decided to do a little remodeling and he encouraged me to move into that room. I did so for a month or so but could not sleep in there.  It had curtains where the closet door used to be and they terrified me.  I just sensed something very unpleasant there.  I had closets in my old room and never had any feelings like that.  I would get up every single night to go sleep on the couch downstairs once everyone else was asleep.  I would be up in the morning before anyone realized what I was doing.  After a few weeks of this I decided to try moving my bedroom into the basement where I had more room.  One day my friend Scottie heard a male voice which sounded like it was coming from my room downstairs.  If I were not home yet some of my friends would come in and wait for me.  He assumed it was my dad, but he was not home at the time.  That certainly made a believer out of him.  Some of my friends and I formed a band and would practice in my basement.  We would record our music and along with it recorded many strange voices, and noises.   Many of my friends refused to even come near my house after a time.

I saw other strange things while living there.  I believe I saw the little girl my sister spoke of in a doorway.  One day I saw an unexplainable white mist swirling in the hallway.  It looked to be the size of a child.  I thought maybe I was imagining it so tried to debunk it.  I was thinking maybe it was an odd reflection or something.  I took pictures many pictures but never could come up with a logical explanation.  The attic was another place I would not go.  It was a frightening place like my sister's room.  We would sometimes hear footsteps and loud banging noises coming from the attic.  Things would disappear like keys for no reason, or mysteriously be found in other places.  I remember other members of my family at times blaming me for moving things which I never touched!

I eventually moved back into my original bedroom which was most comfortable for me.  The most frightening thing I can imagine happened to me in this room on our last night in the house.  We were moving the next day and in the middle of the night my bed started shaking violently.  It left marks on the floor from the way it was bouncing up and down.  I sat up and saw a black transparent mass.  Like any kid would do I pulled the covers up over my head.  It then felt like snakes were under the blankets.  I was so absolutely terrified that I could not move or act.  Morning finally came.  It was the longest night of my life.  I WILL NEVER GO BACK INTO THAT HOUSE!!

The story does not seem to have ended there with the house.  Since moving away we have been renting the house.  Several people have moved in and just as quickly moved out.  The longest anyone has stayed was two months.  No one ever says why they are moving, they just say personal reasons.  That is what my dad says anyway.  He has always tried ignoring the experiences we have had in the house, being skeptical and always coming up with potential scientific explanations.  Perhaps he has been told things by the former tenants and does not want to encourage my beliefs, or perhaps those moving out do not want to talk about it because of fear that people will think they are crazy.  Could be the experiences are so troubling that they do not want to speak of it?

The final strange story took place just weeks ago.  The house has sat empty for a few weeks now.  Despite that we had a fire in my sister’s room recently.  Mysteriously the fire is contained to that one room; the very room that has terrified me for so long.  The fire department and electricians could find no explanation for it. For now the room is blocked off and we intend to keep it that way!

My House is Haunted- By Ariel R.

In 2010 my dad, my older cousin, and I moved into the house in which we currently reside.  At first, everything was normal but within weeks strange noises began occurring.  My cousin heard a baby crying from the closet in his bedroom, as well as a growl on another occasion.  This room has been my room ever since he moved out.  Noises occurred infrequently for the next few months.  However, when my little sister moved in sometime in 20122 a radical change happened literally overnight.  While on the main floor (the house has a basement, and upstairs where the bedrooms are) I heard footsteps coming from the kitchen, I looked, and nothing was there.  On another occasion we heard sound coming from my bedroom so my cousin and I went to check it out and old time music was playing.  It was so clear and we could not figure out where it was coming from!!  

Since January of 2013 my little sister sees ghosts and even plays with them.  She is 7 so you might find it hard to believe.  She says there are a mom, a baby boy around one, a 5-year-old boy, and a nine-year-old girl.  My sister will tell you exactly what they look like and what they are wearing.  In my house, you’ll often hear footsteps, kids giggling and talking, doors open and unlock, lights flicker on and off, you’ll feel like someone is watching you and following you.  My sister will tell you exactly who they are, and you’ll feel cold air.  One time I asked my sister to have the spirits leave and she said: “ no they are my friends, I play with them, how dare you try to make them leave, I hate you!” 

In July we had the Springfield Ghost Society do an investigation and they said our house is haunted.  They picked up voices of a kid and adult voice.  My little sister says they did not die in our house; they just want to stay here.  She also says their dad did not die here either, he passed at another house.  However the dad has yet to visit our residence yet.  We did visit the library to research the house and found that the original house on this site burned down in 1890 and the current house was built in 1910.  The house remains active with each of us having had multiple experiences, and my sister has made some new friends!!
Crackers and Doors, by Kanishia G.

This story takes place late one night in December of 2012.  My best friend Tajzin had come over to spend the night.  It was late and I decided to take a shower before going to bed.  My friend and younger sister, who was 7 at the time, were in the living room listening to music and dancing.  The next thing I know they both come running into the bathroom hysterically screaming and crying.  They were yelling that someone had opened the door to the bathroom.  They told me how it started creaking and when they looked over it was slowly opening on it’s own as if someone were opening it.  I heard nothing of course being in the shower but I got out immediately.  I cannot put into words the terror that they were displaying that night.  This had never happened before or has it happened since and I have no explanation for the door opening like they say it did. I do know that the door was tightly shut when I got in the shower.  My parents believed us but figured their must be a logical explanation.

I may have thought the door was their imagination, or some fluke, had it not been for some things that had taken place earlier in the day.  The first bit of strangeness about that day was the fact that I remember thinking nothing weird had happened since the night we played with the Devils Cards (see The Devil Cards).  The Card incident had happened about two months prior.  As I am thinking this I walk into the kitchen and get some crackers to snack on.  A few minutes later I notice the package of crackers lying on the floor in front of the pantry shelves.  I just figured I must have somehow been responsible and placed them back on the shelf.  The shelves are very wide and I carefully put the crackers on the back of the shelf against the wall, where they are always kept.  Well I ended up picking them up twice more that day, and finally gave up and left them on the floor.  I guess perhaps I was in denial because I just figured somehow it was my fault.  Like I said earlier I was the only one home that day.  When my mom got home and asked me why they were on the floor I explained what happened.  She believed me and we just forgot about the incident.  I find this day to be more interesting then frightening in thinking back on it!


(Note: I have experienced things since I was a very young child. I was around 7 years old when I went to my grandma’s funeral. I got home and I saw my grandmother sitting in a chair across the table from me. I saw her looking at me for several moments.  Was it my imagination?  I don’t know.  I have not been to a funeral since; I have a fear that if I do something will pop up.

I Think We Have Guests, by Jalisa Y.

I believe my family and I have experienced paranormal activity several times throughout the years.  The house we currently live in seems to be active as was our previous house.  Most of the experiences have occurred the last four years or so.  I moved to my current house in October of 2010.  The strangest thing that happened at the house I formerly lived in would have to be the TV in my room changing channels and turning on by itself.  I think perhaps it is a child spirit because the TV turned on to the Disney Channel, a station I had not been watching on my TV!  My older sister thinks the activity could be attributed to my Grandpa on my mom’s side.  She believes that because when she was younger, she saw grandpa’s spirit standing over her while she was sleeping on the couch in the living room. She says she was very scared at the time.  We would hear strange noises in this house, and have even had dishes fall off the kitchen shelf for no apparent reason.

The house we now live in has some strange things too.  We have been told it is a sight with civil war history.  Our neighbor said she has seen two civil war soldiers at her house.  She likes to investigate paranormal sites and seems quite believable.  She says she has taken pictures of these spirits and I hope to see them soon.   The eerie thing about where we live now is the strange concrete slab that sits in the middle of our back yard.  It is about a 6 inch tall square.  It has a name on each of the four sides.   I have younger brothers who are 9 and 10, and like me, they get very creeped out in that area.  It just doesn’t feel right to us.  Both my brothers have said they feel like someone is standing over them at times when they go bed.  My 17 year old sister and mom will hear loud banging sounds coming from upstairs too, when no one else is home.  We do not feel threatened by whatever is there, if anything, but I do  feel that we may have guests!!    

My Grandpa Loved Butterfingers, by Alexus H.

Halloween was one of my grandpa’s favorite days of the year.  He loved two things about it above all else…scaring people and Butterfingers!!!  Sadly my grandpa passed away last October, shortly before Halloween (2011).  However I am not sure that his passing stopped him from having some fun with me one last time!  

I had been out trick or treating with my friend and when we came home I went through my bag full of candy as anyone would do.  I can’t eat butterfingers so I took them out of my bag and went upstairs and put them in my brother’s room.  He was still out with his friends and no one else was home.  I came back downstairs reentering my bedroom and to my terror there were three butterfingers lying on my bed.  My friend was with me the whole time and could not have done it.  I was very frightened by this and told my mom as soon as she got home that I thought we had a ghost in the house.  She calmly explained to me that it had to be grandpa since it involved Butterfingers and a good scare.  It still makes me nervous but as time passes I believe it was grandpa saying a final goodbye.  I have had no other incidences in the several months that have passed since then.

The Devil's Cards, by Kanishia G.

Tajzia and I have been friends for 7 years now, which would make it half of our lives! We have been through a lot together but nothing like what happened to us one night in the fall of 2011.  I was at Tajzia’s house spending the night and we decided to go online and do what my friend called the “devil's cards”.  She had done it before but I had no idea what she was talking about.  I am still not sure how they work but I guess it is something to do with Tarot Cards. 

While we were in her bedroom, playing around with them we heard a loud ‘BOOM’!  We realized that the noise had come from an iron that had been sitting upright on her shelf.  It went hurtling to the ground making the loud sound as it crashed to the floor.  We were terrified to say the least considering the circumstances surrounding the incident.  I really wanted to stop playing the cards and Tajzia agree so we did.  It may have been a coincidence but the iron was sitting upright against the wall on a shelf, which is at least a foot and a half wide.  How it flew off the shelf the way it did is a mystery.  We shut the computer off and went to bed and fell asleep putting the experience behind us.  We were alone since Tajzia’s parents had gone out for the evening.

They returned late that night and they were quite angry with us upon returning home.  They were blaming us for having made a mess in the living room because all the blankets etc that should have been on the couch were lying all over the floor!   We know we did not do it but we suspected that it might have had something to do with the Devil's Cards and the iron incident.  We were very spooked but at the same time found it interesting.  However, despite our curiosity we have not dealt with the cards since then!!

The Shadowy Figure of Hickox House, by Madison S.

I’ve always wondered what side to believe when it comes to the question:  “Are ghosts real or imagined”?  Well I am done wondering because I’ve figured out where I stand!  The 9th of February is a night I will always remember for many reasons.  It was the night of my first paranormal investigation at the Virgil Hickox House, and perhaps the night I saw my first ghost. 

My partner and I were standing in the library looking out the window towards the far side of the room.  I turned around slowly and looked around the room.  While inspecting the room, my eye caught an all-black figure.  It was very tall, taking up almost the whole door.  I saw it gliding or floating past the outside of the doorway, which would have placed it in the first floor hall.  What I remember most is that it seemed to have a very large head.  As it went by I noticed how it was obstructing the various pieces of construction tools and a ladder that were sitting in the hallway.  I stopped and stared at the doorway for at least a minute trying to find an explanation for what I had seen.  What could it have been I thought to myself? 

We tried to debunk it numerous times.  We had someone walk up and down the stairs to see if the reflections from the door caused it, or if it was just a shadow being thrown from another part of the building or outside.  Nothing we did was anywhere close to the spine-chilling black figure I had seen moments before.  We checked to see if there was someone else in the back part of the building that would’ve caused it but the only people downstairs were in the library and in the room in front of the library.  It also looked nothing like a real person walking down the hallway would look. 

I don’t really know how to react emotionally to my encounter with this ghost-like shadow.  It came and went in less than 30 seconds but continues to stay with me to this day.  It is just a bit overwhelming when you’re a wimp like me! At the same time, though, I feel like I achieved my goal that night, and I don’t regret going.  I actually would love to go again.

Tragedy in Arlington, Kansas, by Chansy R.

My Ghost Story took place two years ago when I lived in Arlington Kansas.  I was 12 at the time.  My best friend lived in an extremely old single story house with a basement.  She lived with her mother who was frail and in poor health, being on an oxygen tank.  My friend, her mother, and her grandmother have all ended up in the hospital from being pushed down the stairs that lead to their basement. It is not a very pleasant place to say the least. 

Who haunts the place?  My friend believes it is a lady named Elizabeth.  The story goes that a long time ago Elizabeth was married off by her parents at the very young age of 13. She had twin daughters age 6 and a son who was less than a year old.  Elizabeth was brutally murdered by her husband in this house when she was just 19 years old.  Her husband pushed Elizabeth down the very steps my friend had been pushed down.  The stairs are steep and lead to the basement with a concrete floor. He did not stop there however.  He choked their young son, and stabbed the two daughters to death before shooting himself in the head.  No one knows why he did this. 

 When I spent the night at this house I would sometimes hear crying.  It sounded like a girl but I could never tell if it sounded like a child or an older woman.  Perhaps it is Elizabeth herself.  It was so weird when I first heard it.  My friend said she would often hear the crying in the middle of the night.  Her family seems to think that it is Elizabeth pushing people down the stairs for revenge.  If that is the case she may not have been the most pleasant person in life.  My friend broke her arm the time she was pushed, and as I said, her mom and grandma also ended up in the hospital at different times.  When her mother was pushed down the stairs she was actually being choked by the chord from the oxygen tank.

Well…. I too was pushed down the stairs on what would be the last time I ever set foot in the house.  It all happened so fast it is hard to explain. I am not sure if I was trying to be hurt, helped, or perhaps both being there seemed to have been more than one spirit involved.  I recall being at the top of the stairs when I felt two hands on my back pushing me or perhaps guiding me forcefully down the stairs. I definitely remember feeling the hands on my back. The next thing I remember is tripping and as I was falling down the stairs I reached back and grabbed the rail which slowed down my fall. The door to the basement was open when I started the fall but closed just as I reached the bottom of the staircase.  I feel something helped me because if the door would have remained open I would have fallen hard onto the concrete floor of the basement and likely ended up badly injured like my friend and her family. As it was I hit the basement door but having slowed my fall I was not injured.

I have no idea what was at work this day. It seems that perhaps more than one spirit was involved but whom?  My friend told me many other strange things that happened in that house but I cannot recall them all.  I know in the basement is a separate room where the furnace is located.  They have the doorway blocked to the furnace room with mattresses, boxes, etc. thinking that this is the center of the activity in the house.  They think that perhaps Elizabeth stays there and they were trying to block her in.  I never set foot in the house again.  When I would visit my friend I would remain outside. I know they wanted to move but they owned the house and with the mother ill they were in no position to move financially or otherwise. I know I could never have lived there. Knowing what I have learned about such things since having moved it seems that perhaps they should have the house investigated by experts. Perhaps then they can find out more about the spirits there, and be able then to deal with it once and for all!