Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ghosts and House History Research

Today, as I was finishing up project work at the Registry of Deeds, a woman stopped me and asked for help. She was researching her own house.  After I got her back on track, she shared with me that she was researching her house to try to identify the ghosts that were providing some activity in her home.  She said there was a little girl and an older gentleman.  The older gentleman was not as sweet tempered as the little girl.

I'm a big fan of ghost stories.  I love reading them every fall.  I particularly love the "true" ghosts stories just for the potential that they might be true.

I'm intrigued by the concept of ghosts and old houses.  I want to believe in ghosts but at the same time I'm not so sure that I want to come face to face with them.

I love the idea of independently researching the history of a house and seeing if the information matches up to the ghosts that dwell within.  I know that there are paranormal groups that do this sort of thing. I don't really want to get that involved but I would love to try it once or twice.

If you have a house with ghostly activity in Norfolk County, Massachusetts then contact me and let me know! I'd be willing to research the history of your house to see if we can figure out who the ghosts are.

If you don't live in Norfolk County I still want to hear your ghost stories! How often do ghosts and old houses go together?  And have you ever tried to research the history of your house to figure out who the ghost is?

You can email me privately (rambles (at) if you don't want to write a  public comment.

I hope someone takes me up on my offer!

Photo Credit: Photo by glenngould used under the creative commons license.


  1. Marian,

    I have two stories in Maryland, both of ancestor's and their descendants of mine.

    One was a Murder that took place in a how where I gave a talk about the family who lived in the house. But, I hadn't found the murder story until AFTER I have the talk.

    The second has been on a local Ghost Hunting TV program. That house is on my ToDo Research list this summer.

    Thanks for your story. I am guessing that you have a few others to share.

    Thank you,


  2. It doesn't have to be an old house. My parents bought their house new and and probably 15 or so years after we moved in a ghost showed up. I have heard it could have been along with an item. We never saw the ghost just heard it. It would sound like someone was coming in the house but nobody would be there. My dad was out of work and use to hear it (for him to admit that was something). I think we all heard it (I didn't even live at home then) but nobody said anything. Can't remember why but someone mentioned something then each peson said yes I have heard that...By the time the house was sold it was not there any more. Christine

  3. Thanks for this! It got me thinking about a family "ghost" story that I needed to write, so the story appeared on my blog tonight, with a link back to you, giving you the credit for the idea.
    The world is indeed a strange, unexplainable place.

  4. For those of you who aren't familiar with Mel's blog, you can find the post he refers to at

  5. Hi, I am trying to research the ghosts in my old apartment but I dont know where to start. I moved out a little over a year ago because it got so bad. There was an older lady and a man who was very violent. I am finally ready to try and understand how they came to be in the house. Do you have any tips on where to start looking?

    1. Lauren,

      Were you in an apartment building or a house? And how many apartments were in the building? That will make a big difference in how you approach this.

      If you were in house, you can search the deeds first to find the owners of the house. If it was an owner occupied multi-family that will make it even easier because you can search census records for the owner and that will lead you to the other occupants as well (granted it's only every 10 years so tenants might change in between).

      If you are in a building you might need to resort to historical telephone books, city directory or residents or voter lists that are published in some states (they are in New England).

      Do you have any sense how old the building is - 20th or 19th century? That will also determine how best to guide you.