Cooking dinner, washing dishes, doing laundry: these are just some of the everyday activities a family deals with in their home. Becky Eckle has a family of six to clean up after: her husband Tom, her daughter Samantha, her son Kris, and two ghosts.
The Eckle family has been coping with paranormal activity at their home, on the corner of Urban and South Wells streets, since moving in nearly nine years ago. Becky, a Tyler County native, moved back to the area to be closer to her mother.
“I was born here, I was born in Sistersville,” said Eckle. “I’ve moved around a lot. I lived in North Carolina for a while. I lived in Parkersburg for a while.”
The Eckles bought the house, traced back to the 1870s, from Walker Boyd in 2000. For the first three years in the home, the family got on just fine with no major commotions.
But after the Eckles began some new renovation work, the former inhabitants made their presence known.
“We started remodeling the bedroom,” said Becky. “We had already done the living room, put drywall up, and then we did the bathroom. My daughter and I weren’t here or my son; just my husband was here. He was asleep on the couch and he had made a blowout patch where he had made a hole in the wrong spot to cover it up.
There were little chunks of drywall lying on the floor and Samantha had been playing with them. She stacked them up and they were in the bedroom. When he woke up the next morning, they were thrown at him; they were on him and on the floor beside of him, and nobody else was here.”
From that moment on, the spirits started causing trouble in the Eckle household. Becky’s husband wasn’t the only one to notice the ghosts. Her daughter Samantha also noticed the new entities.
“Some friends were over, then my little girl (asked) us ‘where’s the little boy at that plays with bubby?’ I said what little boy? ‘You know, that little boy that plays with bubby.’ Bo? ‘No, not Bo. You know, that little boy. He plays in bubby’s room and sometimes he plays in your room. He has red hair and a green shirt.’ We all just kind of looked at her; she was probably 3-years-old when she told us that.”
The family believes there are two different spirits: a young boy and an adult male. It’s been difficult for Becky to get solid information on the house and its former inhabitants.
“I traced the house back when I traced the property back…but we don’t know the exact year the house was built,” said Becky. “If I ever get a chance, I’d like to know. We’ve asked people, but there aren’t a whole lot of older people around anymore that still know. We know a Hedelson lived here; I got that from the courthouse.”
The incidents in the Eckle household are your typical ghost incidents: random noises, creaky floors, moving objects, opening and closing doors, etc. The major encounters only seem to occur when major renovations are going on.
“One night we were all laying in bed; Tom’s dad was here helping him work,” said Becky. “All of a sudden seven or eight of my pictures on the wall all came flying off the wall. There’s no way even my cat could have done that. It just looked like somebody spread their arms and went right through the wall and knocked all my pictures off.”
The ghosts not only affect physical objects, but also the very temperature of some of her rooms.
“There’s one room in the house that always stays cold,” said Becky. “Nobody can sleep in there. We have an electric heater we try to put in there and it will warm up some, but it’s not like the rest of the house; it’s very cold.”
While some might scoff at the notion of ghosts and spirits, but not the Eckles; they have the pictures to prove it.
“I have a picture of a ghost my daughter took in this house,” said Becky. “It’s on my cell phone. She was playing around with my cell phone and as far as I know my cell phone does not take black and white pictures. It’s a black and white picture. It was on the wall in the living room; she took a picture of the wall and there it was.”
There are many groups with the ability to measure paranormal activity in a home, such as The Atlantic Paranormal Society (T.A.P.S.) or the Mid Ohio Valley Ghosthunters. Becky hasn’t had the chance yet, but she would like to consult with someone.
“We had talked about it and we were going to,” said Becky. “Some of my friends, after Samantha took that picture, wanted us to call T.A.P.S. or someone, but I never got to do that yet.”
For now, the Eckles are content to share the home with their phantom friends. Other than an incident here and there, Becky said that ghost activity is now as routine as cleaning the house.
“Sometimes it will still freak you out,” said Becky. “I was cleaning out the lint catcher in the dryer and I thought, at first, it was my shadow I was seeing, but it wasn’t my shadow because it wasn’t moving the same direction I was, and that made me come out of the dryer pretty quick. Other than that, it’s pretty routine. You just learn to deal with it.” “They don’t seem to be harmful,” added Becky. “Every once in a while I’ve been touched on the shoulder when I’m in the shower. Other than that they don’t seem to be harmful, but everyone is like ‘I can’t believe you live in that house,’ and I’m like ‘well, they lived here fIRST APPARENTLY.”’
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