Portsmouth, NH – Real Ghosts, Private Home – pt 4

This concludes a true story that began at Portsmouth – real ghosts, private home


Our last night in the house, the footsteps returned, louder than ever. It was late in June, and about three o’clock in the morning. I remember hearing the footsteps, pounding up the varnished pine stairs as my family slept. Hard, leather-soled shoes.

For some reason, I thought that I was the only one who heard them.

Then the noise woke up my husband, and he leaped from the bed and turned on the lights. He shouted into the hall, and the steps paused.

My husband returned to bed, but sat up, prepared to go out to see who it was if the noise resumed.

It did. The footsteps suddenly continued, like someone was now running up the final few steps to the second floor where we slept.

Then the noise stopped, as if the person waited one or two steps from the top. My husband and I both went out to the stairway, turned on the lights, and saw nothing unusual. After checking the locks on the front and back doors, we left the lights on and nervously returned to bed.

Adrenaline pumping, I checked the stairs and hallway many times that night, but it remained silent. Something felt malicious to me, but that was probably my imagination after too little sleep, and the accumulated stress.

We moved out the next day. (My now ex-husband’s independent summary of the footsteps that night, are on the …Other notes page.)


The night after we moved out, a huge Victorian house in back of ours burned to the ground. The distance between that house and ours was about 100 yards, at the most.

Our house would have been filled with smoke. The fire would have been seen from the window where — in my dreams — I’d seen fire reflected.

We were miles away, sleeping peacefully under the stars on the first night of a well-deserved camping vacation. When I saw the newspaper the next day, I was both stunned and relieved.

Someone else lives in “our” house now. It’s been fixed up, and the neighborhood may be improving after all. Perhaps we made a poor financial decision, but I don’t regret leaving that house after all we witnessed there.


I took photos of the house on Sunday morning, Oct. 17th, but I felt as if someone was watching me from the house. Perhaps someone was; it’s certainly odd for a woman to stand in front of your house with two cameras, taking pictures. Nevertheless, when I picked up the prints, something about one photo nagged at me. It didn’t look right. One of the windows had a reflection that didn’t seem right to me.

Below, I scanned the section exactly as it appeared in the print, and an enlargement of it on the right. To me, it’s the man’s face, looking to the right, with an indented scar beneath his right cheekbone. He’s wearing round, dark sunglasses from either the 19th century or the hippie era. He has long-ish, light colored hair, and he’s slightly balding at the top.

From a 19th-century Portsmouth city directory, I know that the first inhabitants of the house were probably a man from England, his brother, and his son. All of them worked with leather, making shoes at a local factory, I think.

He’s the man in brown that I’d seen in the house. I’m certain of it.

Ghostly man in wondow of Portsmouth house. Close-up of ghostly face in window.

But, maybe I’m just jumping at shadows, and perhaps you see something different in the image… even just the reflection of the lilac bush in front of it.

You can read more about this photo, and see a sketch of the man, at Portsmouth – portrait of a real ghost

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