MS. REBECCA SHEIR
Welcome to "Metro Connection," I'm Rebecca Sheir and it's the last full week of October, so all you longtime listeners out there, you know what that means, it's time for our annual haunted D.C. show.
MS. REBECCA SHEIR
Where we spend an entire hour investigating the hair raising, the spine tingling, the blood curtailing and the potentially other worldly stories of life in the Washington region. We'll take you to Annapolis, Md., where we'll visit the ghostly types who may be strolling the city's streets.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 1
Well, first of all, as far as I know, there's no demonic entity in town that's going to try to suck your soul down to hell.
And we'll chat with actors at a haunted forest tourist attraction and hear what it's like to spend all day scaring the bah-gee-bees out of visitors.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 1
I almost remove the human element from my thoughts and keep it very primal.
First, though, we'll visit a place that's definitely not a tourist attraction, though it may very well be haunted. At least that's what this woman would say.
MS. HEATHER FREEMAN
I think it is a ghost or a haunting spirit that chooses to stay here.
And this woman.
MS. DARLENE FELTON
Hey, a lot of times I say, okay, I can tell you're here. As long as you're nice, you can stay.
And this woman.
MS. KARI AN BEHRENS
The whole time I'm here, I get creeped out because it just feels like somebody is watching you.
The place we're talking about is an old log cabin in Hume, Va. A town in Fauquier County where wounded Civil War soldiers used to come for treatment. And it's in this very log cabin that I meet the three ladies you just heard. The cabins previous owner Heather Freeman.
I lived here from 2002 to 2006.
The current owner, Darlene Felton.
It felt like Grandmas house. When we got here, we just instantaneously wanted to lay down and take a nap.
And Warrington, Va., resident Kari An Behrens.
I'm good friends with Darlene and she boards my horse here.
Have you been here as a house sitter?
And as a house sitter, Kari An's, had her share of, how shall we say, curious incidents in the nighttime. Like, when Darlene and her husband went on their first long vacation in like five years...
And it was kind of hot in here when I came home. After I fed the horses, so I went out all over the house and opened up windows. So I fell asleep on the couch and I woke up and it was like midnight and I was getting ready to go upstairs and I went to go shut the windows and they were already shut. So needless to say, I didn't sleep all night.
Or the time she did sleep all night, but upon rising, she found something a bit off about the shelf of figurines at the bottom of the stairs.
I went to go to bed one night and ask I walking past the horse figurines, the one carousal horse was knocked over. So I picked it up and I leaned it up against another horse. And then when I came down in the morning, it was upside down.
Kari An says, she always hesitated to tell Darlene these stories. But it turns out, the women have actually shared some enigmatic experiences of an olfactory nature.
Every so often I get, like, a woof of this tacky smell.
This very, very strong flowery...
...like a tacky flowery...
...Avon type perfume.
Kari An has smelled the perfume outside.
It was like somebody sprayed it, like, right in front of me.
And Darlene in her upstairs bedroom.
Like, someone sprayed it in your face.
Now, Darlene and Kari An may be the only ones who say they've smelled perfume but they're not the only ones to say they've heard...
And this is where I always hear the footsteps, always in here.
Like, I hear the creaking. And we both just walk across...
That's what I hear in the middle of the night.
As we walk around upstairs, Heather Freeman recalls a night when her husband, Scott, woke her up with her snoring. Unable to resume her sleep, Heather left the master bedroom and went across the hall to the guestroom.
So, the door is shut like this and I'm laying in the bed and I hear this -- a sound just like this...
...coming down the hall. And I said, Scott, is that you Scott? And they just kept coming and it would slow down and it'd keep coming. And then I heard this exact sound...
...and the door is very hard to open, opened.
At which point, snoring be damned, Heather scampered back to Scott and didn't get up until morning. Heather also tells about the time she had someone watching over the cabin while she and Scott were away.
And we had a beautiful mirror over the fireplace mantel and she said, one night she heard a huge crash and the mirror wasn't just laying flat as if it had fallen off the wall, it was clear on the other side of the room, smashed up where the sofa was. And there was no way that it falling it could've winded up over there
Talk about things going bump, or in this cash, crash in the night. But here's the thing, about that corner where he mirror ended up...
MS. ELIZABETH LEBLANC
Wrong chair, right corner.
This is Elizabeth LeBlanc, she accompanied me to the log cabin where I spoke with her independently of Heather, Darlene and Kari An. Elizabeth didn't want to know too much about the house or the women's experiences since she describes herself as an intuitive adviser, specializing in spirit and animal communication. And it seems she's communicating with the former, right now, as she sits in a corner of the living room, gazing out at the fenced in swimming pool in the yard.
This was a favorite corner but it's like the person, with all due respect, doesn't want to look at the view because it's changed so much. It seems like everything's just in the way.
Elizabeth gets this same message, the same feeling when we visit the master bedroom upstairs. The one where Darlene Felton smelled that flowery perfume.
It's like a cantankerous man, who's saying, "I built this house, I put this together. I," whatever. So I think it would be hard to feel like it was yours as much as he's indicating to me. If you didn't have a hand in the making of it. And he's very particular about how it's kept.
Records do indicate the cabin has changed a ton since it was built, presumably in the 19th century. Sun porches have been tacked on, staircases have been taken away. The room we're currently in, just above the living room, was added several tenants ago, prior to that, the living room was two stories high. And from what Elizabeth is sensing, this cantankerous man isn't exactly delighted with the changes.
But who listens to him anyway? Except when he works to get their attention. And I'm not really sure what he does but I think when he wants your attention, he gets your attention.
And he's certainly gotten the attention of Darlene Felton, Heather Freeman and Kari An Behrens. When we all sit down at the kitchen table, this time joined by Elizabeth LeBlanc, the women share even more instances of slightly disrupted living or as Heather Freeman attests, disrupted moving-in.
The moving van broke down on the way here. It was a late fall, heading into winter and when we got here, the home inspector missed that they had the gas furnace hooked up incorrectly, and so the gas was pouring into the house.
But, get this, she isn't the only one whose move-in seemed cursed. If you ask Darlene about her move-in day, she responds with one of those laugh-so-you-don't-cry chuckles.
One of the movers wasn’t careful with the upstairs bathroom and we ended up losing the kitchen ceiling because it overflowered. And all of our boxes were here in the kitchen, so it was like Niagara Falls on all of our boxes.
Now, whether all these accidents and aromas and inexplicable bumps, crashes and creaks actually are the work of a cantankerous guy with a Get Off My Lawn attitude, well the truth is, we'll probably never know. But in the meantime, while Kari An still feels a bit iffy about the cabin, especially sleeping in it...
I started taking Benadryl at night.
Heather Freeman says, it feels good to visit the place.
I never had any encounters where I feared for my life with a ghost. I did have a fright, but it's a charming house.
And as for Darlene Felton...
Kari An is, like, I don't know how you live here. And I said, well I'm not afraid. I guess if I was afraid, I'd leave but I'm not afraid yet.
Why aren't you afraid?
I don't know. I can't explain it. I guess, you'd be more afraid if you didn't believe in it. I know that sounds backwards but, you know, I definitely believe in that kind of thing.
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