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Disappearing Haunted House of a Local Famous New
Withheld by Request
though it occurred some years ago, is nonetheless
In the burgeoning early days of the "Age
of Aquarius" it seemed that everyone was
tuning in and turning on to the occult and paranormal.
Unlikely advocates were found and unlikely devotees,
along with some who were at the time, shall
we say, less than willing ...
A by-product of the new relaxed mentality and
interest was that gifted individuals, those
who had psychic gifts of minimum to maximum
proportions, suddenly felt comfortable talking
about or even to some extent advertising themselves.
They would make their services available through
the bookstore and lecture circuit and were enjoying
the results of the new "fad."
One New Orleans woman was never a less likely
devotee of the paranormal and occult, or so
it seemed. A devoted Catholic who had gone to
church and prayed faithfully all her life, nonetheless
now fostered a new interest in the "unknown."
The woman, whom we will call "Sadie"
for the purposes of this story, threw herself
into the paranormal with both feet and soon
was attending lectures and sharing her interest
with newfound friends.
No one who has any interest in the occult and
paranormal can long resist the desire to know
the future, to have a psychic reading of their
very own and through various channels Sadie
was led to a woman whose talents and skill for
reaching the "other side" had already
become famous. It was easy to get appointments
and the psychic was always available during
the day, but not in the evening when she performed
seances and trance sessions.
Sadie set her appointment and ticked off the
days until it arrived. In that time she had
narrowed down a few questions to ask that interested
her and thought about what part of the future
she was most interested in. To balance her seemingly
impractical side, Sadie had a predictability
that was legendary among her family.
Thus when she told her 14 year old daughter
that she would be picking her up early from
school that day it was a surprise and interested
the girl very much. However one explains a
visit to a psychic to a 14 year old, Sadie
did this while they were en route to the psychic's
The home was located in the Lakeview area
of New Orleans; as the teenage girl discovered
it was apparently within eyeshot of a famous
local Catholic school that was a heated rival
of the teen's own school. The house was a
typically unassuming extra-urban type of the
Baby Boomer era: blonde brick and manicured
lawn; three or four bedrooms; parquet floors
and modern appliances. Oh, and a huge, bare,
oval of a dining room table in the middle
of the massive living / dining room that the
owner used for seances...
Sadie's daughter was reluctant to go inside
the house. It immediately felt uncomfortable
to her. But her mother insisted, apparently
thinking her more in harm's way languishing
in the car as the fall afternoon wore on than
inside a house where spirits came and went
freely. The daughter resigned herself to accompany
her mother inside.
The "psychic lady" was quite normal
looking, a typical New Orleans housewife with
short dark hair and brown eyes; nothing spectacular
but acceptably attractive. She was very nice
and welcomed Sadie and her daughter eagerly
into the front door. Once inside, she immediately
took Sadie by the arm and led her from the
foyer into the massive living room / dining
room combination. Sadie's daughter, for the
moment forgotten, stood rooted to the parquet
floor of the entrance foyer gaping at the
rooms around her. It seemed that every nook,
every cranny was filled with something old.
This was not the "something old"
one might give a new bride; these were OLD
things, antiques, and it was immediately apparent
that there was a LOT of character in the room.
The teen walked in step behind her mom until
the psychic turned and realized she was there.
"Oh, honey," she said in a drawl
that only New Orleanians understand, "you're
gonna have to wait up front for mom, OK?"
A sinking feeling as the door to the anteroom
off the psychic's very ordinary kitchen slammed
in her face. The daughter made her way back
to the living room and at first found a place
to sit that was near the dining room table.
Sadie had told her all about the seances that
the lady conducted there. The teenage girl
didn't know how she actually felt about sitting
so near what amounted to an oversized Ouija
board so she moved over to an uncomfortable
Louis XVI settee that stood nearby.
Soon, however, this spot came to feel just
as uncomfortable, or, as she thought at the
time, "exposed," so the girl moved
yet again, finally settling in a comforting
(at least by appearances) English wing chair
directly beside the front door. As soon as
she sat down, however, there came the sound
of a huge CRASH from the rear room into which
her mother had disappeared with the psychic.
The girl moved to get up, wanting to see what
the matter was, but suddenly she realized
she would not move even if she wanted to:
there came a sound to her ears that fixed
her in place in complete panic, almost unable
to move. It sounded like a rush of air at
first, exactly as an air conditioning vent
will sound when the central unit kicks on
-- only there was no central air conditioning
in this house and apparently not even a window
unit anywhere nearby.
The sound of rushing air seemed to emanate
first from the back of the house, then grew
in intensity until it filled all the room
around her. Every object in the room seemed
to be keenly aware of her presence now and
everything, even the paintings on the walls
and the rare books on the antique tables all
around, seemed to perk up and join in the
rushing sound until it became a hissing like
a huge cat sneaking up unseen, about to lunge.
As the sound grew, the young girl drew herself
up into the scant comfort of the old wing
chair, seemingly the only thing in the room
that was not whispering to itself, to its
neighbors or to her. She drew her knees up
against her chest and covered them with the
folds of her Catholic girls' school skirt,
and listened and watched as the unseen tornado
swirled around the room. Faintly there came
the sounds of voices and at this the teenager
began to come unhinged. She looked over her
shoulder at the front door, one of those Florida
style affairs with the glass slats that open
by way of a rolling handle to one side: the
deadbolts on the door looked impossible to
The girl was now completely frightened and
thought she was about to scream if the noise
did not stop when suddenly there came a loud
"CLANG" followed by a scrape and
a loud "SLAP." The room fell completely
silent, but she had already jumped to her
feet and spun round to face the sound when
she saw the shadow of the postman pass in
the front window. She looked at the floor
in front of the door and saw a few pieces
of mail laying there. Suddenly she was aware
of street sounds outside and the sound of
birds in the huge cedar trees on the lawn.
With a sigh of relief the girl sank into the
chair again. But she was still wary, and soon
the silence became more watchful and more
deafening than the hissing tornado of moments
Finally thinking she would lose her mind,
the girl was relieved to hear the door to
the back room open and to see her mother and
the psychic walking toward the front of the
house. Not surprisingly when the psychic unbolted
the front door, Sadie's daughter was the first
out into the open air. The psychic looked
at her a little puzzled and then nodded almost
knowingly. The daughter was already leaning
on the car door, anxious to get inside.
With some polite "goodbyes" Sadie
finally got into the car and began to drive
"Mom," asked the teen, "what
was that banging noise I heard after you went
in the back?"
Sadie, reluctantly, admitted that the noise
had come from the back room and related that
as soon as she had sat down in the darkened
room and the psychic had set a match to two
candles on a coffee table, there was a banging
on the window, "from the outside."
It was so intense it shook down a porcelain
figure that the psychic had on the windowsill.
Not only this, but Sadie said she felt a bone
chilling cold pass her, as if on its way out
of the room, as soon as the window was struck.
Sadie's daughter didn't tell her mom about
the experience she had waiting on the edge
of the unknown that day. If Sadie herself
ever went back to visit that psychic, she
never shared any news about it with her daughter.
But the young girl never forgot, and a couple
of years later when she was old enough to
legally drive, she and the very bravest of
her girlfriends would go "cruising"
in the Lakeview area and try as she might,
Sadie's daughter never, EVER could find that
house again, though she knew exactly what
street it was on and where it stood in relation
to the rival Catholic school nearby. Years
of trying turned up nothing, nothing that
is except an empty lot where the house ought
to have been .... maybe she just wasn't meant
to find it again?
Soon, however, Sadie's daughter would have
her own and worse experiences with poltergeists
and hauntings in her own suburban New Orleans
home, and these experiences would sometimes
diminish but never eclipse this first brush
with the unknown in the house that "wasn't
NOTE: This is a true story. It is neither
Urban Legend nor local myth, but actually
happened to the author. Names have been changed
to protect the privacy of the contributor,
but the veracity of the events is without