When I was in college, my parents and brothers moved to a big brick house in a little town just up the bluff from the Mississippi river. The house was, I think, the nicest house my family has ever lived in. The downstairs was open and spacious and each room was connected by these beautiful French doors. There was a big, formal staircase at the front of the house and an informal staircase at the back of the house leading into the kitchen.
Strangely enough, the house next door to it was set up almost exactly the same, except a little smaller and, where our house had square walls and straight hallways, the house next door had curvy walls and hallways.
When we first moved there, my mom and I were talking at Walmart about how cool the two houses were and the woman who was checking us out was like, “You live next to the Methodist Church?” We said, “Yes.” She said, “I lived in the house next to yours. It’s haunted.”
She then proceeded to tell us how she and her husband had rented the house, just for a few months, right after the previous owner had died. She said that the previous owner’s death had really stood out for the community because it was the last time anyone had been laid out at home. So, the body laid in the front room for three days and then they came and took the coffin right out the front door, and across the street, and into the Catholic Church for the funeral. During the funeral, she said, the bell at the top of the church rang out once for each year she’d lived. Again, an old-fashioned moment, a nice touch, except that no living person was ringing the bell.
The woman at Walmart said that when they were living there, there was still some stuff of the old woman’s in the house. Specifically, she said that the woman’s hope chest was still under the front window. She and her husband, though, had turned the parlor into a bedroom and decided to move the hope chest into the dining room and use it as a kind of bench seat at the window there.
She said that the night after they moved it, they woke up to the sound of it dragging itself across the floor. She said they found it in the doorway and decided if it wanted to be back under the front window so bad, they’d just put it back and leave it there. So, they did.