I grew up in a family that seemed to experience odd things from time to time. So, I was always aware of the possibility that energy can still linger even after people have passed on. I was always uneasy as a child, especially at bed time, and I never knew why. I just always had the feeling that I wasn't alone. I never saw anything, but the feeling was constant. I now realize that I grew up in a haunted house. I have done extensive research on the home (which is over 100 years old) and the property. Through my research, I discovered that a family named The Benjamins lived there the longest. They experienced several tragedies in and around the home in the 1930's. It is because of these tragedies that I believe they still haunt the home. I have experienced odd electrical phenomena, my sister has actually seen an apparition of a man in her bedroom and my mother believes that the entities protect her and the house. I used to fear what I could not see, now I have a huge desire to give it a name.
I am excited about doing investigations. I have never actually been on an investigation with a group. I've tried smaller investigation with me and one other person, but never with people who had such an interest in it. I know it will probably scare the crap out of me at first, but I know I can put my fear aside to dig deeper into the paranormal. My sister and her husband have been experiencing some odd happenings at their home (less than a mile from my mom's) and we're going to check it out. Hopefully, we'll get some good evidence. Who knows..maybe this will turn into a regular gig! If we find anything, I'll post it all right here! :)
Update: We did, in fact, investigate my childhood home (and have done quite a few since then). We got two EVP's. One in the bedroom where my sister saw the aparition of what we believe to be Justin "Judd" Benjamin. On the recording, you can hear me ask "Is anyone with us?", there is silence, then you hear a camera clicking (as someone was taking a picture) and then you hear a very faint "Yesssssssssssss" in a man's whisper. The second EVP was in the living room. We were all sitting in the living room talking about the history of the home and we mentioned Keith Benjamin. He was the grandson of Justin and Jesse Benjamin and when he was a child (in the 1930's), He was struck and killed by a gasoline truck outside of the house (on the corner of Oak and 15th.) In the 1930's, they didn't have immediate emergency responses, so they could have brought him into the house and that might have been where he perished. I don't know this for a fact, just a possibility. So, we were talking about that and recording. When we played the tape back, you could hear a child say a very quick and playful "Hi", not once but twice. It was right after my husband said the name "Keith Benjamin." There were no children in the house at this time.
We also got a few odd orbs in the backyard that night. You can see them here...
Eventually, I will upload the EVP's to the Haunted Niles Facebook page.
Shortly after our investigation, my mother called me and said that we stirred up some activity in the house. My mother lives alone in the house and at the time, only had a couple cats there with her. She always kept her bathroom door open because the cats were always in there hanging out. But, for a week straight, she said every time she went to that part of the house, the bathroom door would be shut and there was a strong smell of old rose powder or perfume. She hates that smell, so she didn't have anything in the house that would smell like that. She said that finally she yelled out "Please stop shutting my bathroom door!" and it stopped. My mother believes that whoever haunts her house is a protective spirit who looks out for her and our family. So, she still remains there. Not me! I moved out as soon as I could and haven't looked back!
Here is a picture of one of the graves of the Benjamins, who are buried in Silverbrook Cemetery. I visit them from time to time to pay my respects.
This is my story as to why I investigate. I have lived through the experience of a haunting that still goes on to this day. Niles is a hot bed of paranormal activity. We have a lot of history here and the spirits are just waiting for their stories to be told. Feel free to share any stories you have on Haunted Niles (FB page)!! If you want to send a private message or inquire about paranormal investigation.research you can send an email to KatSut1978@aol.com and put "haunted niles" in the subject line.
On a side note: My references for the history on the house and the Benjamin family were found in an abstract we have for the house and in the historical archives of the Niles Library. I am only going by evidence I have collected and our experiences in the house. I do not know for an absolute fact if the house is being haunted by any of the Benjamin family. These are just conclusions I have come to based on what I have found. I am not a psychic and I am not telling this story to gain any kind of profit or recognition. It's just what my family has experienced.