This is a true story and was published in the American Journey of Ophthalmology in 1921 by William Wilmer.
Wilmer's patient named only as "Mrs H" described what had happened to her and her servants after they moved into their "large, rambling high studded house" in November 1912...
“It had not been occupied for the owners for the past ten years, though occasionally it had been rented for the winter. The house was situated on a sunny street, and although the sun bathed the outside of the house, it rarely seemed to penetrate through the tall and narrow windows. All the floors and stairways were heavily carpeted. Absolute silence reigned through the house, not a foot-fall could be heard."
“G [Mr. H] and I had not been in the house more than a couple of days when we felt very depressed. The house was overpoweringly quiet. The servants walked about on thickly carpeted floors so quietly that I could not even hear them at their work. “One morning I heard footsteps in the room over my head. I hurried up the stairs. To my surprise the room was empty. I passed into the next room, and then into all the rooms on that floor, and then to the floor above, to find that I was the only person in that part of the house. “I had not been in the house more than a couple of weeks when I began to have severe headaches and to feel weak and tired. I took iron pills three times a day and spent a couple of hours each afternoon in my room, lying down and resting, a rather discouraging process, as after resting my headache was always worse than it had been before."
"The children grew pale and listless and lost their appetites. The playroom at the top of the house they deserted. In spite of their rocking horse and toys being there, they begged to be allowed to play and have lessons in their bedroom."
“As I was dressing for breakfast one morning B (four years old) came to my room and asked me why I had called him. I told him that I had not called him; that I had not been in his room. With big and startled eyes, he said, ‘Who was it then that called me? Who made that pounding noise?’ I told him it was undoubtedly the wind rattling his window. ‘No,’ he said, ‘it was not that, it was somebody that called me. Who was it?’ And so on he talked, insisting that he had been called, and for me to explain who it had been."
“On the night of January 15 we went to the opera. That night I had vague and strange dreams, which appeared to last for hours. When the morning came, I felt too tired and ill to get up. G told me that in the middle of the night he woke up, feeling as if someone had grabbed him by the throat and was trying to strangle him."
The terror continued for the family and the servants at the home for weeks with each of the occupants experiencing terrifying visions, sounds and sickness.
"We began to trace back the history of the house. The last occupants we found had exactly the same experiences as ourselves, with the exception that they stated that some of them had seen creeping around their beds visions clad in purple and white."
“Saturday morning, the eighteenth of January, G’s brother told us that he thought we were all being poisoned; that several years before he had read an article which told how a whole family had been poisoned by gas and had had the most curious delusions and experiences. He advised us to see Professor S at once. As he was out of town, his assistant, Mr. S, came at once to our house. “We told him how listless and ill the children appeared."
After some investigation it was found that the "Haunting" had been the result of a faulty boiler which had been slowly poisoning the residents with Carbon Monoxide causing hallucinations and sickness. Dr Wilmer reported after some time Mrs H and her family recovered and never again reported any spooky encounters.
Many victims of Carbon Monoxide poisoning to this day are not so lucky as the H Family and one of the most common forms of toxic poisoning is that of Carbon Monoxide.
If you or your family experience any ghostly symptoms like those of Mrs H get your gas appliances inspected by a professional and always keep a Carbon Monoxide monitor in your home. These are available for free in the UK from most Utility companies.
From all of us at Safety Monitors have a spooky and safe Halloween!