Thursday, April 27, 2006

Haunted? Old houses are rumored to retain their residents for a very long time ... I'm told

About a year after we bought the house, we made both upstairs rooms into bedrooms. My sister came on a visit from Utah and slept upstairs in the bedroom where in the photo below shows a red circle around the window to that room.

About a year after that visit she was out here again and we were talking about the Tokeland Hotel which - as the seagull flies - is less than 5 miles across Willapa Bay from our house. However, we have always driven there which is almost 40 miles one way going out to Hwy 101, up the coast thru South Bend and Raymond and West on State Route 105 to Tokeland. The Tokeland Hotel has some rooms that are haunted. As we talked about that, Sis looked at me and told me the following ...

"Arthur, one morning after getting up, I came in from the bathroom and sat at the chair there to put my shoes on. Something drew my attention to the bed (she'd just slept in) and I looked up. I saw a woman sitting there on the bed and somehow knew that she used to live here."

Yeah, yeah yeah ..... and I soon forgot about it.

Yesterday at work I was interviewing a woman - I'll call her Dot - who was a pre-teen in the late 1960's and knew the elderly lady, June Bochau, who'd lived most of her life in this house. Born in 1877, June Bochau died in 1970 at the age of 93 and was still living in the house with her son.
Dot remembered for me how she used to brush the old lady's hair, telling me that she remembered mostly how long it was.

Dot then told me that later on, when she was older, she was back in the house helping another owner do some clean up. She said that June's presence was still in the home even though she had died a few years earlier and that June's presence was most strongly felt in the bedroom where the window is circled below.



I then remembered my sister's story. I'm sitting in that room as I write this since it is now the room where Lietta and I spend probably half of every day while on our computers.

I came home last night thinking about June Bochau, a character about whom I've heard many stories in the 3 1/2 years we've lived here.

Lietta is not here right now but down the road some 40 miles this week in Long Beach with her mother so I'm home alone. I moved Lietta's computer chair with it's arm rests and high back out from her desk and turned it to face me last night.

Every so often I'd turn and look at that chair which is the only place left in her former bedroom where June Bochau could sit down right now.
No, the chair did not move and although the window is open, the curtains did not rustle.

Nevertheless, I think about Dot who told me that she got chills up and down her spine when I told her what house we had purchased and were now living in.

I think about my sister who is not prone to telling ghost stories ....

I look at that empty chair, look out the door to the upper tower room where I can see above the houses in the immediate nearbye streets ... and think some more about June Bochau.



This is the room behind that window in the other picture. That's me at my computer and immediately to my left is my clothes closet.
Lietta's computer is separated from mine by that waist-high cabinet to my immediate right.
Her computer module is in the corner and the window looking out would be to her right if this were a panoramic view.
In the bottom right corner, Lietta's desk chair with a red sweater draped over the back sits empty.
I turn and look at it and just smile.



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