I will never forget that overwhelming feeling I had as a child when my mom would drive me down a beautiful red brick street, known as Abend Street, in my hometown of Belleville, IL.
I quickly began obsessing over it... making my mom drive me down the street anytime we were on that end of town. Eventually, those "on that end of town" drives turned into nightly bike rides three miles across town just so that I could see it on a daily basis. It felt like we were going back in time and I loved every-single-second.
I fell in love with one house in particular... and little did I know just a few short years later I would be living in it.
In 2011 I met the love of my life, Chris Hettenhausen. Not long into our relationship I started driving Chris down Abend Street for my time travel adventures. One night, while driving down Abend, we noticed a for sale sign in the yard of our soon to be home. The house was in foreclosure at the time so we decided we should get out and take a closer look....
Chris said "let's get it." I thought it was just the beers talking, but sure enough the next morning he still wanted to go for it! After nearly 5 months of hoping hoops, jumping hurdles & sneaking in with Chris (when he proposed in the back bedroom) we were able to call her ours. We became a team. I the design and Chris the builder.
From the minute, no, second, that I passed by this home I was more than drawn to it. It's a feeling I still have today - I just cannot explain it and much of the time it was a sad feeling, even though I loved it so much. Whether making changes or trying to keep things as original as possible I would easily get emotional over it. Now, I could go on and on about the daily occurrences Chris Johnny and I had, but for now I want to share with you what was the most significant experience all 3 of us had as a family. You see, my whole life I believed in ghost, spirits, or whatever you want to refer to it as, Chris on the other hand...not so much.
Almost every single night while Chris and I laid in our big empty 5,000sq ft. home I would hear voices, but we always had a fan going or the window unit so it would always drown out most of it. Every night for nearly a month I asked Chris if he could hear it, and he never did so I eventually stopped asking. When I would tell other people what I heard the best way I could think to describe it was as if there was a party going on or someone having a conversation in the next room.
One night....Chris was upstairs showering, as I was downstairs bathing in my clawfoot tub that I adored dearly. On my way back upstairs I could hear Chris talking away. When I made it all the way up to the bathroom he said I keep telling you I can't hear what you are saying. I told him it wasn't me that he was hearing. After seeing the look in Chris's eyes realizing he was having a conversation with someone that was not me he then became a believer. On a weekly basis when waiting for Chris to come home from work, or waiting for him to come inside from doing yard work I would hear him yell "BABE" but then he would never show. It always sounded EXACTLY like my husbands voice. After awhile it honestly became normal, and I just knew it wasn't really him that I was hearing.
There were times it was more quiet around the house, and then at times I never felt alone. Most of the time I felt a very strong presence of a woman and when she was around I always smelt roses, but it would only last for one breath then I could no longer smell it.
While pregnant with Johnny things really picked up. We had a lot of renovations going on at the time, and that always seemed to make activity pick up quiet a bit.
While I was a few months pregnant with Johnny trying to sleep was not easy. Not just because of the aches that come along with pregnancy but because the voices picked back up. I could hear what sounded like a party going on nearly every night when I would lay down. From time to time I would also hear someone say HEY, and wake me out of a dead sleep. It kept me awake which means my eyes were almost always open looking around the room. Before long I started to notice a shadow that would cover the light shining through the window transom on the bedroom wall from the hallway. It was as if someone was walking back and fourth outside of the bedroom. I would then feel pushing all around the foot of the bed by my ankles. It was as if someone was trying to wake me. So many times I would say to my self we are those stupid people you yell at in a movie! But for some reason we couldn't leave....
The rest is to be continued... but for now I will leave you with a picture of who I belelive is Elise Romeiser, original owner of the home, looking at me from our bedroom window(top right). She has on a white blouse and hair pulled back.