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Probably Not Haunted

As Realtors, we see a lot of houses and we hear a lot of stories. Vermont, with so many older houses, is fertile ground for spooky stories. Here’s one for you to enjoy.

Years ago, a Realtor had a property listed for sale. The owners didn’t live in the house, but it was still furnished. This particular house was, you can imagine, an older home, and certainly not without its stories to tell. In preparation for the listing, the Realtor made arrangements to take photos in the next couple of days.

The day of the photo shoot arrived, and the Realtor set about doing the work. Although it was midday, they wanted the house to look its best, so they went through and turned on all of the lights on the first floor and all of the lights on the second floor prior to taking photos.

While turning on all of the lights in all of the rooms, the observant Realtor noted that one light in one bedroom upstairs was actually already on. 

When photos were finished, our conscientious Realtor went back through the entire house, double checking the doors were locked, the lights were off, and everything was in the right place. They started upstairs and turned off every light. In one of the upstairs bedrooms (can you guess which bedroom?), they noted that it was inconvenient that there was no ceiling light. Instead, the wall sconce (can you guess which light was on to begin with) needed to be turned on and off by hand. They chalked that up as one of those things that, while inconvenient, has just always been that way, and isn’t altogether too uncommon.

With all the lights turned off, the doors locked, and things in place, the Realtor left the house, and went on with their day.

But the next day, the owner called. She told the Realtor that a neighbor had called and said there was a light on upstairs.

The Realtor, ever diligent, went back to the house to turn off the light. Can you guess which light in which room was on? Slightly perplexed, the Realtor walked over to the wall sconce, reached out their hand, touched the switch, and turned it off.

They then left the building, perhaps walking more quickly that day than the day before.

Once outside, the Realtor (did I mention the Realtor was very thorough?) took another look back at the house. One light was on. On the second floor. In that bedroom

It is possible that another agent would have left it on. But not this agent. They took several deep breaths, and went back into the house. They walked through the empty first floor. They walked up the stairs. They walked toward the bedroom with the light on. When they got to the room, they paused, sighed, and said aloud “I’m just the Realtor, I’m just doing my job.” They then entered the room, walked through it, and turned off the light. Again.

Dreading what they would see from the outside, the Realtor nonetheless looked back. To their relief, all the lights were off.

The next day, meeting the seller at the house, the owner shared a story. Anytime a story starts with “I’m not sure I should tell you this, but…” brace yourself.. 

The seller then told a story from when she lived there as a child. During the daytime, when everyone was at work or school, the owner’s mother pulled down the shades and closed the curtains to keep in the heat, and so that the sunlight wouldn’t fade the upholstery. 

Many times, the family would come home to find the curtains pulled open, and the shades drawn up. In frustration one day while the kids were at school, Mom said to an empty house, “We just want to live here, we’re not going to cause any harm.” That was the last day that the blinds and curtains mysteriously opened on their own.

What really happened a generation ago? Who’s to say. What really happened with the Realtor and the lights in the upstairs bedroom? Again, who can really say. Did the house sell? Do new owners have anything to add to this story? Some things are better left a mystery. 

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