Our Haunted House In Matawan

The Move To New House:
We moved from a suburb section of Matawan were our old house was a little Levittown 3 bedroom 1700 square foot house . I liked our old house there was a Union fort hidden in the woods. The fort was off of Van brackle Road were there was large section of woods 2

miles long that stretched all the way to route 33. The fort was old and from 1862 it was dug into the ground and all hand-built with stones. It had a large tree in the middle and was a round stone structure with gun slits and cannon decks. I found many things from the civil war I wish I had today probably be worth a lot of money now. Our first house was new construction and only 17.000.00 with a 30 year mortgage that was 80.00 dollars a month. My father being a jeweler working in the Diamond district in NY was making some decent money. My parents decided to buy a new house ! why they did that in the middle of a divorce who knows.

I was 12 Years old and my parents were just divorced and they bought a new house. The house was in an old town called Matawan. The city went back into the 1700’s and was a huge trading place. The little town had been through the civil war and many bloody battles fought there. Owned by the Lenape Indians until the Dutch and then Englanders moved in and wiped them out. The borough was only 4000 people living there the time we moved in. Most houses were large English Mansions and Tudors with slave quarters and secret passages. Many of the houses had Widows watch towers so they could see if there men were coming back from sea. Being a stones throw from bay shore and Keansburg it was a port town.

Matawan NJ

Matawan and surrounding area

The house we lived in was 224 main st few blocks from center of town built-in 1908. The first thing about the house was the Horse post’s in the front. It had a large porch as most houses did back then. 3rd floor had large windows and front rooms 2nd floor had 4 bedrooms. The main floor there was a living room, dinning room, large kitchen and full basement. Solid house all stone foundation hand laid 100 foot lawn in the front large driveway on the right leading to a huge garage. Large trees in the front and back of the house with a weeping willow almost taller than the house.  This house was 2500 Square Feet and had lots of little cubby holes and a creepy attic.

Haunted House

The Haunted house

This house was owned by many people in the past. We bought the house from a couple of Gay guys who were Interior Decorators. The house was featured in a Homes and Garden magazine. Didn’t know at the time the house later was mentioned in a book about Haunted Houses in Matawan. Their was two untimely deaths in the house was built over some bloody battles fought on that ground. The whole center of Town and south main st almost burned down from a factory fire.

Move In:
Anyhow from the first night we moved in strange things started. My room was the first bedroom overlooking the long driveway. I had one window in the back facing the garage and the weeping willow. What was cool about my room and why I picked it was the back window. It was over the rear porch so you could go out and lay on the roof. Being the back of the house I could smoke a cigarette and not get busted. In 1971 lots of kids started smoking at the 12-15 year old age. Because the porch was close to the corner of the garage I could also jump from the house to the garage roof. First night im laying in bed with the window open because it was a hot night. We didn’t have air-conditioning then if you wanted Air you had to have a window air conditioner. I wasn’t going to give up the access to my smoking and or the garage roof.

Digging Starts:
2:30 PM every night I was woken up by a noise of some one digging out back. Sounded like a shovel hitting dirt and gravel. This is a distinct sound and the ground around there is all hard rock. So I am looking out the back like I am going to see some one digging ? being a kid of course I figured out some one was trying to hide something. I tell mom about it and she brushed it off like I was nuts. I said mom what I heard sounded like someone digging right out back. She didn’t hear anything because she had air-conditioning. I tell my sister and she brushed it off telling me I am hearing things..!

Every night same time I heard that dam digging. It would go on for about hour switch between a pick and then shovel. It was loud and clear I could even hear the sound bouncing off the woods. I meet the neighbors kid next day while playing in the back. He tells me he hears the same thing every night. He has never been able to figure out what it is and has actually had his parents hear it. So we both go back there and walk around the back of the houses. In the back there was a creek and large cliff that went down about 30 feet to the water. I was always interested in the Civil war and from hanging out in the woods with my friends. We always found Arrow heads and cannon balls old bullets sometimes bones.

Proof Im Not Nuts:
This night I am going to get my sister when the digging starts so I know I am not going crazy. Like clock work the digging starts and I wake my sister and drag her to my window. Sure as shit she hears it and say’s holy crap your right. So she tells my mom in the morning and she looks concerned after we tell her. She talks to the neighbors who was also our Doctor he tells her that the people who built their house used to have slaves. Their house was built-in 1840’s. One of the slaves apparently around when the civil war started tried to kill the owner. This was an old house owned by a slave trader who had many boats. The slave was hung on the weeping willow tree in our back yard. Then buried out back along with others through the years that had died from disease etc. His house was one of the first houses in the area and was a farm. Later the farm was parceled out and houses built on these lots sold.

I went Exploring..!
I went next few weeks climbing all over the creek and the backyards of all the old houses in the area. I found many more Arrows and bullets, a cannon ball, a dogs skull, chicken bones all kinds of stuff. Being older and wiser now I would have never brought this stuff home like I did. I now know that many items can have energy attached to them some could be bad. The whole area was full of death from wars, slaves, disease etc. I was one of the few kids around to have a full set of Britannica Encyclopedias. Back then these were expensive as hell. But my dad made good money and he figured it was a good investment. Little did he know 25 years later the whole set would be on a hand-held phone..LOL

Door Slams:
Now it’s about 2 months later and every night at 3:00AM we had a new sound. Only now this sound was in the house and on the third floor. My room was to small for the full hutch that held the Encyclopedias. We put the encyclopedias on the third floor in the front room which I guess was a bedroom at one time. The door would be slammed shut every night all by itself. We used to leave the window open because it would get so hot up their. Remember I said creepy attic ! from day one when you walked up to the third floor, you got this really heavy feeling, scary feeling. Even my mom didn’t like it up there if she needed something would send me or my sister. The door slamming was unpredictable it could happen any day but always at 3:00PM. Mom yelled at us one morning because she heard the door slam shut and thought it was us.

Sleep Over: My sister decided to have a sleep over with her new friends Peggy and Nora. I was happy Peggy was my first true love and she was a shapely blond hippy chick, that looked like she was right out of rolling stones. I was so happy I figured I would get my first Real French kiss. You know back in 1973 kids were so different than todays kids. We hung out all day we played monopoly and Chinese checkers. We ate tons of candy and pop corn. Smoked lots of cigarettes on the back porch because back then you could walk into a drug store and get cigarette’s. Since Cigs were only 50 cents a pack it wasn’t hard to come up with that kind of money. You could buy a ton of candy for 2 dollars and 6 ounce coke bottles were 25 cents. After a really cool day with horsing around and listening to tunes on the juke box. My dad bought one of those old Rock Olla Juke boxes that was full of oldies and 70’s 45’s.

Night time was setting in and my Sister decided to use the upstairs room. The room was huge it was 25 feet wide by 13 feet deep. It was half the house and had sloped ceiling on both sides. We used to play handball up there you could use the angled roof it was great place to play. My Dresser with the encyclopedias was the only thing in the room. they figured they take the sleeping bags and spread out on the floor. It’s night-time and completely dark out at 9:00PM. Everyone is settling down from hard day playing, drinking, music etc.. I’m laying in bed on the second floor and I can hear them all giggling and talking about boys. I’m trying to figure out when I could sneak up to see Peggy. Peggy didn’t want me to let Nora know we had a little thing for each other. I fell asleep watching TV on my little 8 inch black and white TV.

Then at 3:00AM I hear Bam and lots of girls screaming bloody murder. I mean these girls were screaming like it went through your bones. They come tearing down stairs screaming all the way didn’t even stop on the second floor. They went straight out the front door and onto the porch. I was so scared from the noise of them coming down the stairs and screaming. I didn’t even come out of my room until my Mom did and now she was screaming at them. There trying to tell her what happened but all 3 of them were shaking and talking at the same time. Finally they calm down and Michelle my sister says they had the door open and it slammed shut. Then they couldn’t open the door even though it wasn’t locked. And one of my Encyclopedias was thrown across the room and landed on the floor next to them.

The door part I got but the Encyclopedia thing I wasn’t buying I Said you sure it didn’t fall off the shelve while you guys were running at the door. They all swore to what they said and said they weren’t going back in. They asked me to go up and get there sleeping bags and stuff. My mom although she didn’t believe all this ghost crap and sounds. She chalked it up to the old house does strange things and makes strange noises. I go up to the second floor and I am standing on the landing looking up. Sure as shit I see someone peek over the banister. I freaking yell and run down the stairs the girls start yelling again and my mom is panicking now yelling shut up. I told my mom what happened she said your all freaked now and you’re seeing things. I said I know what the fuck I saw and I am not going up there to get there shit till daybreak. They pile into my sister’s room all of them on the bed I don’t think anyone slept that night. I didn’t get my kiss either so I was pissed off at the ghost or what ever was doing this.

Daybreak its early and we all go up there step by step and there is a real bad heavy feeling. Get to the top of the landing the door is closed which they said they didn’t close. We Slowly open the door and I notice the door jamb is cracked from the force of the door slamming. On the Floor is the book laying 2 feet from the door with a crack in the plaster wall. Now plaster walls are hard as crap and they don’t dent like sheet rock. There is paint on the corner of the book. The book is laying open on the floor and the page is open to a civil war map. Britannica the books were sometimes split like c there was 2 books c-h c-I etc. This freaked me out allot I started putting together the story , the place, the stuff I collected from the back.

This started to happen to often that the book would be found laying on the ground open same page every time. Now my mother was hearing and seeing strange things so she was slowly believing something not right. Eventually we sold the whole set and the furniture because we needed the money. That’s when things really got bad I think some how we had pissed of what ever was there. And now with us all having experiences and I think the more you believe or expect things to happen. Some how I think this feeds what ever energy or being is making itself known. what ever this was I thought it wasn’t happy with the women in the house. As time went on Women had more problems than anyone else on the third floor. that room if a women went in that room the door would get stuck you couldn’t open it. Some of my sisters friends get a sick feeling and Nora had her hair tugged on once.

The Bird:
Now we had a new thing start to happen a black bird would come to the dinning room windows every morning at the same time. He would fly up against the window hitting it hard. Fly back and forth from the branch hitting the window hard every freaking morning. If you went outside it would fly away then come back hit the same spot and use the same branch.

The Cat:
 We didn’t have any animals but there was this scruffy cat called buttons that hung out. The cat was friendly and a stray even though it ate birds often around our house. It never touched that Black Bird. One summer day the cat in the driveway meowing like crazy. I go out and feed it after it’s done eating I go upstairs and get the 22 I had. I often would shoot the tree or targets I but up in the back by the fence. 22 Short almost like a cap gun and back then cap guns and real guns looked the same.

Winchester 1890

Exact Same Gun I Used

So the neighbor’s never complained. I always had fire crackers and m80’s left over from 4th July from my dad. Now my DAD wasn’t living with us he was living with his Girlfriend at the time he hardly came around. Only time I would see him was during a ball game he owned. When I played in little league in Aberdeen. I was on the cubs and his team the Diamonds, of course since he was a big Jeweler in NY.

Watonka Hawley PA

Camp Watonka Hawley PA.

I was in the boy scouts and went to sleep away camp in the summer. In camp Watonka in Hawley PA, they had a NRA gun program. My dad was a big gun collector had lots of old guns. Im talking black powder flintlocks, browning over and under, old style western colt 40. I signed up for the NRA pro marksman contest it was cool and shooting I was really good at.

We used to go to Englishtown all the time and skeet shoot when he was around. I did qualify that summer as a NRA pro marksman. The Following Summer I got the Expert Badge. I got a nice badge and certificate, I had to shoot sitting, laying down, standing, prone.

NRA Expert

NRA Pro Marksman Qualify for the Expert Badge

Back to the cat after I feed the cat went upstairs got the gun went out back setting up targets. The cat was meowing like made and looking at something like he was going to attack it. My sister was coming down the driveway. As she got closer he meowed more angrily she got about 5 feet from him at the cat leaped on her. It was cold out so she had a pretty heavy jacket on and that was a good thing. She threw the cat off and he yelled, went right for her face and I yelled buttons. She crouched down as this cat was trying to tear through her back. He was actually on her back clawing her like a tree.

I butted him off her back with the rifle butt and she was on her knees with her arms in front of her face. The cat ran right back and jumped on her and I still had the gun in my hand. I turned the gun around and from 3 feet fired a bullet into the cat’s back . It yelled then took off into the backyard. Her jacket was torn all to hell on her back I could see bite marks going through. She ran into the house to tell mom and then I went to find the cat. He was dead laying against the fence. Now that cat had been feed with Michelle and never before today bothered her in any way. You thinking Rabies ? nope we bagged the cat and had it tested for rabies because she was scratched.

The Exchange Student:
 My mother decided to have an exchange student as a way to help around the house etc. Well this was my second love Amelia a college girl from France Peggy was safe for now. This girl was a typical hippy left liberal from France and didn’t like our food at all. But she was my first attempt to learn the Guitar she played a 12 string

To Be Continued:

About brianjayharris

I'm Disabled from Ankylosing Spondylitis my Back and Neck are Fused. I'm a Father, Brother, Divorcee, Friend, Lover, Philosopher, Spiritualist, at times a Comedian. I have Travelled too and lived in other countries. I have seen real poverty and death in South America. I used to work in construction and later as an Auto Mechanic. I grew up in a Middle Class America very different then today. Americans used to be Patriotic and proud of their heritage and beginning’s. It was your duty to serve your country and a privilege. I'm Proud to be An American and o make no Excuses for it..!
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