Bayless, Raymond - The haunted house of Mrs. Bruce Ogden in Eagle Rock, California
Type of Spiritual Experience
For convenience I have placed this observation under Attila von Szalay, as the two men worked together.
A description of the experience
Experiences of a Psychical researcher – Raymond Bayless
A very strange adventure befell both my brother and me when in 1938, in Denver, we had returned to our home one evening and found no one there. My brother went upstairs and I stayed downstairs. Suddenly, for absolutely no reason that I was able to discover, I had an overwhelming impression that something frightful was in the house. So powerful was this feeling that I actually started to run for the back door and, as I was passing the staircase, I almost collided with my brother, who had just dashed wildly down the stairs.
We both ran out of the house through the back door and, when outside, compared notes. It turned out that he too had a horrible feeling that something fearful was in the house and had, as did I, started to run from the building to escape its presence. Again, I have absolutely no explanation to offer.
The occurrence was particularly interesting, inasmuch as my experience was "confirmed" by my brother's similar spontaneous impression.
Other spontaneous happenings have occurred to me, as with many people. Such incidents are certainly common, but I will describe to some extent three "haunting" experiences which I have had the good fortune to encounter. One of the most interesting spontaneous events which I have witnessed occurred in the home of Mrs. Bruce Ogden in Eagle Rock, California.
I must first mention that her home had the neighbourhood reputation of being haunted, and, in fact, when I first moved into the area I was told about the house which was termed the "Haunted House of xxxxxx Drive."
One afternoon at about 5:45 p.m. I was having coffee in a breakfast room with Mrs. Ogden when the distinct sound of the door handle and lock mechanism of the front door was heard in operation as it always sounded when the door was opened. I got to my feet and started to answer the door without the least thought that anything unusual was happening. As I started to walk to the door Mrs. Ogden remarked, "That's only the ghost." These curious words made absolutely no impression upon my mind and, in reality, I thought she was having a bit of fun.
When I arrived at the entrance hallway, I clearly heard the front door shut and the latch mechanism fall into place. Of this there was no doubt. However, to my complete surprise I saw that the door was tightly closed and had never been opened. I reached a position of just a few feet away from the door when I distinctly heard the sound of three footsteps on the carpeted floor walk away from the door toward a stairway. The footsteps were no further than one and one-half yards from me; the hallway was fully lighted; and there was no doubt that an invisible walker had stepped across the area directly in front of me.
Mrs. Ogden afterward told me that these sounds had occurred previously and that was why she had remarked to me, "That's only the ghost." She had been absolutely factual and serious. Other interesting phenomena occurred within this house, including an incident which I "witnessed" that featured an invisible hand which slowly scraped across a window screen directly in front of me. The screen did not bend from any pressure, however. It was early in the evening and I could see the driveway and the adjoining house clearly, and no one who could have, in theory, been responsible for this episode was to be seen. I can not imagine any normal explanation, but the occurrence fits well into the house's pattern of haunting.