The Doll House

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It was my first year of college and I had decided, last minute, to go to a really small music school in a small town in South West Iowa.  The town consisted of about 7,000 people and it was a huge culture shock for me as I was born and raised Los Angeles.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, Why on earth would you want to go to a school in the middle of nowhere to go to a music college when you could’ve just stayed in LA?! And to be honest I actually liked the idea of going away for college, they had offered me a scholarship and they also gave me a place off campus with four other music students.

My room mates names were Mike, TJ, Tim, and Katie and they had all witnessed some strange happenings in our year at the doll house but this is just my experience.

The doll house was a huge, two story, victorian style house that was built so early in the towns existence, that the town had put an official plaque at the front of the house, next to the front door, recognizing it as a historical landmark. Now you may be wondering why we used to call it the doll house.

Well, everyone in town called it that because it was painted a soft shade of purple that made it look like a giant doll house.

Creepy, I know.  Who paints a house purple?

Let me give you a quick layout of the house as it’ll help you picture the events that transpire throughout my time living at the doll house. I remember the first day I moved in, the landlord had told me to put my stuff in whatever room I wanted as it was a “first come first serve” kind of thing, so I immediately put my stuff in the master bedroom upstairs and two of my room mates, Mike and Tim, had already moved into the rooms next to mine.

All the rooms in the house were painted weird pastel colors like a doll house too. Mine was this mint green color, which I actually kind of liked, and Mike and Tim’s rooms were pink, Katie’s room was yellow and Tj’s room used to be a study or an office so it was just white.  I remember thinking how dirty the house was which I later found out was because the doll house was known as the party house.  I moved in and started to take a little tour.

There were three entrances to the house; the side kitchen entrance which was right next to the two car garage, the front entrance and another side entrance on the opposite side of the house, next to the stairs, that we never used.

There was two bedrooms downstairs and three bedrooms upstairs each with their own entrances but in order to get into Tim’s room you had to either go through Mike’s room or you had to go through a door that was in the dining room that led to secret stairway up to his room.

There were always people at our house even if they didn’t live there because our house was basically a place where all the music kids would just hang out and party, so I was hardly ever alone. And I remember never feeling creeped out by sounds and things because it was always either my room mates or someone else from the school who would just come over to hang out and use our internet or something.

But one day, a few months into living there, I remember being alone for the first time because it was getting close to finals and recital time and everyone was at school practicing.

I had decided to go home and get a quick bite to eat and work on some homework there.  I remember getting a bowl of cereal and going straight to my room to start working on my theory homework.

And something you should know is that the door to my bedroom didn’t actually latch and instead had a door knob and a hole on the side of the door where the latch would’ve been.

I didn’t mind because the door did actually close but that was because it was a little swollen from the humidity there.  It took a bit of force to open and close it, and made a big cracking noise when you tried but like I said it was an old house and I didn’t mind.

Anyway, as I was sitting there doing my homework on the floor I heard a CRACK!  and my door opened.  I looked up and immediately got a little scared but I shook it off and blamed it on a breeze running through the house so I got up and forcefully pushed the door closed.

I went back to doing my home work and about fifteen minutes later, CRACK! and my door had opened again only this time it was a little wider as if someone had pushed it a little harder.  I immediately got so annoyed and thought it was Mike trying to mess with me so I stormed into his room but he wasn’t there.  I checked down stairs and no one was home.

I went back upstairs and shut my door again feeling really creeped out but I didn’t want to leave because I didn’t have a car then, which meant I would have to take all my books and backpack and ride my bike back to school. I wasn’t about to do that so I just decided to suck it up.

I stayed in the room for a good twenty minutes before, CRACK! my door started to open again. I ended up leaving my stuff there and biking back to school without my stuff.  That was the first of many strange occurrences but the creepiest was spring break.

I couldn’t afford to go home or leave town during spring break and neither could Tim so the rest of the room mates left and we stayed behind.  He had told me he was going to stay in town and that he would probably just chill at the house.

Tim was this quiet, keep-to-himeself kind of guy and he and I didn’t really talk too much aside from the normal good mornings and good nights and occasional chores and things that we needed for the house so, I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t really see much of him during the break.

He was a bit of a night owl so I found comfort in seeing his light on every night I would come home from hanging out with my friends or practicing at the school.

I remember always leaving early and coming home late around 2am sometimes during that week and I always looked up to see the light on in his bedroom window and I even found myself purposefully checking if the light was on before entering the house just to feel better about not being in the house alone.

I would usually go straight to my room and go to bed and sometimes I would hear him walk through Mike’s room and go into the bathroom which also had a closet with the washer and dryer in it and I would hear him run the washer and dryer.

So throughout the week this went on. I would leave in the mornings, I’d come home, see his light and I would hear him walking around and washing clothes. And as I said I wasn’t too close to him so I never bothered to even check in on him and it was always late and I was always so tired that I would just fall asleep.

Friday soon came around and I had just woken up around 11am and I went down stairs to the kitchen to get some breakfast.

I pulled out some eggs and then went into the freezer to pull out some frozen waffles when Tim walks through the side door.  He had bags as if he was going somewhere and so I asked him, “Hey Tim! Where are you headed to? Break is almost over.”

Thinking it was strange for him to be going somewhere so late in the week and what he said next sends shivers up my spine even today.

He responded, “What are you talking about?  I just got back from the twin cities with Forrest.”

I dropped the box of frozen waffles and felt the blood drain from my face. I felt cold and he asked me what was wrong. I frantically told him that there was someone in his room and that I saw his light on at night and that the washer and dryer were on and everything.

He looked at me confused and I could tell he was worried and kept asking me if I was ok and he didn’t seem to understand from how fast I was talking. I started to have panic attack and he slowly tried to calm me down by helping me breath slowly and when I finally could, I told him everything that happened.

He got so spooked , he didn’t want to sleep in the room for a few days after that.

We later found out that his room used to be the servants quarters which is why it was connected to Mike’s room and had its own stairway that led straight to the dining and kitchen area.

Mike’s room used to be the nursery room so the servants would have access to the kids whenever they needed them.  The house was probably haunted with the ghosts of the servants that used to live there.

Other strange things would happen at the doll house, like balls bouncing down the stairs and laughter being heard and footsteps upstairs when everyone was downstairs and a bunch more but none as scary as when I was alone at the doll house and didn’t even know it.

I never stayed alone in that house again and I moved out the next year. Last I heard the owner actually sold the house and I’ve since moved back to California but I’ll never forget my year there. It made me believe in things I never thought possible.

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This actually scared me. What’s kind of sweet though – it’s like the spirits knew the light gave you comfort so they left it on for you. It doesn’t sound like they meant you any harm because if they had, things would have turned out a lot different.