My Old Kentucky Home

I’m from a real winner of a town that goes by the name of Harlan. I guess you could say I’m “from” a couple of places in Kentucky. My parents split when I was 3, and so I moved away from my birthplace to live with mom. But, dad stayed there, where he was from, and so I went back there every other weekend and part of the summer as ordered by the good ole court system.

Harlan, Kentucky.

It can go by other names…Bloody Harlan… or Hell on Earth as I like to refer to it.

I’m only writing about it today, because I can’t get that place out of my head. More specifically, my grandparent’s house. I grew up in that house. It was the first place that was home to me, when I was born. As a kid, when I “went to dad’s house”, it was really their house I was going to, because he lived there. I think it haunts me. I think it haunts everyone that has ever spent a significant time there.

Granny, Pap, and me -- sometime in the 80's.

I dream about it. A lot. It’s not always a house either. Sometimes I’ll be dreaming I’m working, but it’s there. Or I’ll dream it’s my house. Sometimes my grandparents are there too, and sometimes they aren’t. My granny and pap are gone, I lost them both in 2009. Now some new family owns their home, and I wonder, does the place haunt them too?

If you have doubts that there are ghosts in this world, visit that house. Your doubts will fly away.

My uncle killed himself in that house. I didn’t know him, it happened before I was born.

Another uncle was killed Christmas of 1984 – I wasn’t even a year old yet so I don’t remember him, but I’m pretty sure I have felt his spirit.

They are there, they are still there in that house. It wasn’t always scary thinking that, but for some reason I always had to run past my pap’s bedroom if the door was open, because I was scared of it.

I had a weird childhood. I grew up there at my dad’s parent’s house, I grew up at my mom’s parent’s house, I grew up in a trailer mom rented from the college she attended, I grew up in a house on a hill, I grew up in a different house on a different hill….but when I think back to my childhood memories, more often than not, I think of that house.

I think it’s part of my soul, my psyche, and I can’t even explain why.

I’ll never be able to go back into that house, and that hurts. I’m terrified of the house. I love the house. I can’t explain it. It’s just a house. My grandfather’s grandfather built it – I wish it was my house. I hate that town though. It’s a bad seed. It bears rotten fruit.

Someday I will think of the right words to turn that house into a ghost story. It wouldn’t all be fiction.

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12 thoughts on “My Old Kentucky Home

  1. Your post gave me goosebumps. I’ve felt my grandfather’s presence in his house after he passed. The house is still in our family. It is weird to contemplate strangers living among your family’s ghosts. This is a must write ghost story. Love to read it someday. 🙂

    • I haven’t been there since Pap’s funeral in the summer of 2009. This is the first time since the 1920’s when it was built that our family hasn’t lived there. My granny loved that house so much. I loved it too, even though sometimes I’d get really scared. Especially at night alone in a room. I know sometimes I’d come to Granny sad or scared and she’d send me back to bed telling me my uncles were with me and they wouldn’t let anything bad happen to us…
      The place had a terrifying basement.. The kind of stairs you run down super fast so the arms reaching through the rails can’t get you!

  2. Yep, I got chills from reading this as well. It’s amazing that such abstract things can hold so much meaning. It blows me away sometimes, while scaring the crap out of me at the same time. I think you’ve got the makings of a ghost story on your hands….maybe one that can be written with Gilmore Girls playing in the background. 🙂

    • My mom left my dad in the late 80’s and she dreams about the house a lot too. We were actually talking about it last weekend, how the place just sticks with you and really does haunt you… It’s so strange!
      I think I’d do just about anything with the Gilmore Girls in the background. If I have any excuse to put them on I’m there!

  3. You are well on the way with the right words to portray the house in a ghost story, very atmospheric. You will definitely need to include how it’s scary but calls to you at the same time – shiver.

    • Thank you! It definitely does call to me. I can remember how it feels in there at random times…like what I mean is when I hear the Law and Order theme song I can almost feel like I’m in there because my Gran watched Law and Order.

  4. I think there are many memories of places that haunt people that way. Love and hate are intertwined more closely than we realize sometimes. I think you should keep this post handy. I think you should write down more feelings about it.

    My uncle said to me, when I first came to live with him and was talking about something old and I didn’t know why, “You must have needed to talk about it.”

    That seems like what you need to do, about your childhood.

    Lately, I write stories to deal with some of my feelings I can’t talk to anyone about because it involves them. I know it would break their heart. I don’t know if these feelings would break anyone’s heart, but writing it as a story might help.

    • Yep you are so right. There was something about that house, as a kid at least, that was like a safe haven to me. Even though there were places in the house I was terrified of (anywhere in the dark, the basement, pap’s bedroom, upstairs alone….. LOL) My Gran and Pap were so wonderful though . I had another dream about the house last night. I was living in it and someone told me that I needed to get out because it was being sold. I told them they had to wait for me to finish shaving my legs… haha!

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