Old Houses Have Secrets

Old houses have secrets, in closets, in the attic, under floorboards, especially the second step to the upper floors. Always feel for a loose brick in the chimney my grandfather told me. He contracted to tear old houses down, a “junk man”—so I thought. Actually, he was an explorer of antiquities. He first searched for the forgotten hidden treasures of the past inhabitants of those houses. Treasures those inhabitants held close to their hearts and trusted to reveal to no one until it was too late to remember. I always thought he was just saving the copper pipes, window glass, mantle trim, brick and stone to resell to contractors for the upscale mansions that were being built along the main line of Philadelphia. I was the “gopher”, go for this and go for that. I was always going for something I couldn’t find and when I returned my grandfather would have this ironical grin on his face. I learned some valuable lessons from my grandfather.

The old house I live in now is no different, there are hiding places, magical areas for a grown up kid as myself to venture into. My house was built in 1882. By 1901 the house’s main parlor was being advertised for rent as having a séance room, seventeen feet square, with bay window, closet and upright piano. How many séance’s were held here over the years and who were the people who attended on a regular basis? What knowledge was obtained and was all the information revealed or was it suppressed, then written down and hidden away? Could I find something that no one else discovered? Had anyone ever tried?

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