May 2008
SOAR Team Member Article
SOAR Article May, 2008  By: Beth Bartow

Each person has their own reason for being interested or uninterested in the paranormal. My interest stems
from personal experiences I had while growing up as well as more recent events. I want to share my stories
with SOAR, and others who may be interested in the paranormal.

I grew up in a secluded farmhouse from the 1800’s.  The house sat atop a very large hill, and on top of the hill
my family owned 5 acres of mainly woods and some fields.  The rest of the hill/property was surrounded by
fields and again, woods. Growing up there was a wonderful experience, as my little sister and I could entertain
ourselves outdoors, looking for adventure and treasures.  We used to find old glass bottles, mainly medicine
bottles in our creek beds, old newspapers tucked into the walls, and my dad even found a very old sock buried
in the ground with about 30 coins all dating back from the early 1800’s tucked into it. I guess long ago, it was
someone’s savings perhaps.

Anyways…the old house always had that “feeling” to it.  Some people are able to sense the feeling I mean,
some are not, and some may not believe in sensing such things at all, but to my sister and I, it had the feeling of
something/someone had remained there. Throughout the whole house, it didn’t matter which room (although
some rooms were worse than others), you just felt like something was there with you.  Watching you is what it
felt like. You could sense its energy and presence. During the night was the worst.  I can’t even begin to count
how many times I awoke to feeling like something was standing next to my bed or over my bed…just there so to
speak.  My parents often humored us, but I don’t think they ever really believed there was anything going on.  If
they did, they certainly did not want to let 2 children know that were already spooked pretty often by the
unseen.  So my sister and I grew up being strong believers in ghosts/paranormal/whatever you want to call it.

I lived in the house until I was about 12, when my parents divorced so there are a lot of things I can’t
remember, but there are some things I do.  I remember particularly one event that occurred when I was about 8
or so.  I had a friend who had stayed the night at our house, and we were sitting in the living room talking about
how creepy the house felt and wondering who could be there and why. As we were talking it seemed like that
feeling crept up on us and surrounded us, as if whatever it was knew we were talking about it.  We had been
eating cosmic brownies (so good!) and I had left the other half of mine on a table behind us.  I walked over to
get it, to find that it had actually moved a few inches from where I had set it.  After showing my friend, we
decided to test it and see if something else could move.  We went into the kitchen and moved a sponge in a
specific area and ran back to the living room.  We waited what seemed like an eternity, although I am sure it
was only about 2 minutes, and went back to see if it had moved.  Crazily enough, it had.  We were the only
people in the house at the time, my mom and sister were out somewhere and my dad was outside working in
the yard or barn. We tried moving some other items and watching them intently to see if we could view the
movement….didn‘t work.  However when we would leave the area or not watch, and then look again, the items
had moved! That was probably one of the first times I knew for certain that something strange was going on.

Another incident I can remember very well is when my best friend and I were playing in my dad’s office.  This
room, for whatever reason, had always felt very disturbing to me but since I was with someone else I was fine.  
During our time in there, we began hearing very low whispering. It was as though 2 people were having a
conversation, a man and woman perhaps.  We listened attentively to figure out where it was coming from.  We
walked very quietly to the attic door and opened it slowly.  For a moment everything was silent and we thought
it was maybe just the wind.  Then it started again.  It was much louder whispering this time, so it startled us
both.  We ran downstairs to get my Mom and had her come up to listen.  Of course, we all stood there enjoying
the silence.  My Mom just said it was probably the wind and not to worry about it or be afraid.  My friend and I
knew better because it had been so distinct.  We listened time and time again after that to try and hear it but
never did.

I also remember a time when I was in the same room with my friend and we had gotten a hold of a Ouija board
my mom had from when she was young.  She had hidden it up high so that we couldn’t get to it, but being the
tricky devils we were we managed to obtain it.  We had been using it for awhile, maybe 15 minutes or so, and
were both joking around not taking it seriously.  Suddenly there was a powerful jolt on the planchette...so much
that we both jumped back and looked at each other like deer in headlights. We both knew we hadn’t moved it.  
We told my parents about it and that was the end of the Ouija board.  It was thrown out right shortly after the
incident, as my Mom said they could be evil and should never be used. She couldn’t even remember where
she had gotten it and why she had never thrown it away sooner.

One of my more recent experiences was in college in my dorm room.  I shared the room with another girl, who
also had some experiences with the paranormal while growing up. We stayed up really late one night sharing
stories and opinions, and finally fell asleep around 3-4 AM.  We were awoken by a very loud sound.  It literally
sounded as though someone had taken a huge stack of dishes and threw them on the floor it was that loud (at
least from what I can recall, I was sleeping).  My roommate and I shot out of our beds and turned on the light;
half expecting that someone had broken into our room.  I got out of bed and walked around the room, not
finding anything.  I unlocked our door and looked out in the hall, thinking that someone was perhaps out there
but there was no one and no explanation for the noise.  

We talked about how bizarre it was for awhile and finally drifted back to sleep. That morning we woke up and
began getting ready for our dreaded early classes.  I was picking out my outfit and opened my armoire where
my clothes were.  I happened to see something on the floor to the side of the armoire where it butted up
against the wall and created a small space in between the two.  There on the floor was broken glass, which
explained the noise from that night. The strange part however, was that the glass was from a dish I had to burn
scented oil with.  The glass dish sits atop the stand that holds a tea light, and you pour fragranced oil into the
dish, so they are 2 separate pieces.  I had strategically placed the oil burner on the top of the armoire in the
dead center, as to avoid it ever being able to get knocked off or allowing it to topple over.  I stepped on a chair
and looked on top of the dresser, because something most assuredly had to have fallen onto the dish to get it
to come all the way off the stand and fall all the way over to where it had.  Nothing else had moved, the stand
hadn’t even moved.  Nothing explained why what happened had happened.  Personally, I took it as a sign of
communication that our conversation was overheard by a spirit, who had decided to make it known that they
were able to listen to us just as much as we were able to talk about them. It may seem a coincidence to others,
but I think it is more than that. Everything is open to interpretation…


-Beth Bartow
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