Exploring the Unknown

The Fifth Bedroom

We’ve all experienced that feeling before, while walking into a foreign building for the first time; the feeling that someone is watching us, lurking in the dark, about to jump out or sneak up behind us.  I experienced that feeling today.

Some days, my job blesses me with the opportunity to visit some pretty amazing buildings.  Today, I toured a grand, 4,000 square foot, prominent 1886 house, located in Manitowoc.  My feet glided effortlessly from room to room as I spun in circles to admire the home’s original character.  Part of me wanted to “ooh” and “aww” at each and every detail of whichever room I was in, while the other part of me couldn’t wait to keep moving onto the next room to see what else this glorious house had to offer.  I placed my hand on the worn, curved wooden railing that guided me up to the second floor.  I entered the grand ballroom, which had been converted into the largest bedroom I’ve ever seen.  The wood burning fireplace was soiled with ashes and soot from the past 150 years.  The entire home was painted in light, airy hues of sky blues, morning dew and daisy yellows- very welcoming and clean pastels added to the home’s exuding comfort and feeling of freedom.

And then… I had one last room to see.  Upon turning the corner to enter a fifth bedroom, my foot moved forward to step inside, but quickly halted, still wavering slightly in the air, came backward and then planted itself firmly a few feet outside of the room.  That feeling.  My tour guide waved me forward, motioning me to make myself at home in the room.  I hesitated.  In a moment, I poked my head inside the door, glanced around, nodded and stepped back again.  That odd feeling struck me hard.  I didn’t know what caused it, but I knew I wasn’t interested in exploring it further.  We returned to the main floor, where I immediately fell back into my dreamy state of historic appreciation.  I began asking about the history of the house.  My guide shared bits and pieces of broken facts and stories of the prominent owners who built the boasting house, up on a hill, overlooking a once beautiful view of Lake Michigan.  Outside, the home was now surrounded by a countless mixture of new and old homes- littering the serenity, leaving slight slivers of water, only visible from the upstairs ballroom.  As the home’s guide continued, something she said made my thoughts pause; and right then it came full circle.  She stated almost in passing, “And there was also a murder in this home.”  I stopped her from moving on and politely inquired for details.  “Well,” she continued, “All I know is that the man living here, beat his step daughter to death.  She was only 14… it happened in that fifth bedroom upstairs.  Not a good situation.”  To avoid sounding too interested, I did not push for more.  Instead, after leaving the home, I began my own research.  Within a few minutes, microfiche obituaries revealed the original owners had both passed away in the home from short term illnesses.  I did not come across any news articles regarding murders or unexpected deaths matching that address.  Probably the tragic murder purported to me was only an old wives’ tail that has gone along with the whispers, creaks and rumors of 150 year old house… but then again, why for that feeling?  What caused such an abrupt change in my demeanor?  I would never proclaim myself sensitive to the paranormal, but I do feel that we each have abilities of premonition.  We all can read and sense how people are feeling, just by looking at them or by getting physically close.  What science says we can’t do the same with locations?  Maybe we can…

I found an interesting study done a few years ago, that examined that unexplained feeling of dread and worry.  Possibly it’s not unexplainable at all.  The study explored the effects our physical environment plays in how we as people react emotionally and mentally to unseen changes.  The article emphasizes why it is critical to measure for magnetic fields, radiation, radio waves, electrical currents and other types of varying environmental factors while investigating.  Having read this, I can’t help but assume the fifth bedroom is probably exploding with electrical current and radio waves, radiating under layers of lead paint and crumbling plaster.  Then again, all stories originate from something… quite possibly a tragic murder in a fifth bedroom was the unfortunate start to this one.  And so my research continues…

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/03/opinion/03iht-edblum.html?_r=0

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