Feb. 20, 2018

The House on Glenwood Street

When I was a young girl of about twelve or thirteen years old, we moved into a two-story house on Glenwood Avenue. The Old West End of Toledo was reputed to have many homes that were haunted so I thought we were safe since we only lived on the West End and not the Old West End. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Although, I never saw her, I felt her presence throughout the house many times, especially near the attic door. I have caught glimpses of something out of the corner of my eye, like a sudden movement. I would glance up or turn my head quick to see what it was and nothing would be there or it would already be gone.

As an adult, I often wonder if possibly she had died in the attic which was located at the very end of the hallway. My room was across from the only bathroom and closest to the attic door.

She liked the kitchen area, too. There were countless times, I would be at the sink washing dishes and feel her in there with me. Whenever I felt her, it was always accompanied with a sense of sadness. She was sad.

Apparently, I was not the only one who noticed our female ghost. Our German Shepard would often suddenly lift his head and follow someone or something with his eyes as they went from room to room. Sometimes his haunches would be up and he’s bark or growl. He usually stayed close to us children and on guard protecting us from anything human or paranormal.

One of my father’s friends mentioned it to my dad one night. “You know you have a ghost,” he said quite casually.

“How do you know that?” my dad asked.

“I saw her last night,” he answered. “She was going from the dining room into the kitchen. I went in there to look, but she was gone.”

I was clearing the table and overheard their conversation. I stopped for a minute and said, “It’s true, Dad. She likes the upstairs attic the best.”

“Have you seen her?” my dad asked me. I shook my head that I hadn’t seen her. “Then how do you know it’s a woman or that we even have a ghost?”

I thought a minute and then answered, “I can just feel her. I call her Mildred.”

Usually Mildred did not bother me. I didn’t like feeling her presence, but it wasn’t threatening so I could handle her well. The place I hated more than anything was the basement. For years, whenever I thought about that house, I always wondered why Mildred did not like for anyone to be in the basement.

It was obvious this was not a place to be. The feeling was so ominous that my stepmother refused to step foot in the basement and forced me to go down there and wash their clothes or to get them out of the dryer for her.

The dog refused to go into the basement. Several times I tried to take him downstairs with me. He’d make it to the landing where the backdoor was, but that was as far as he was going. Like my stepmother, he was afraid of the basement, too, and hated it.

A few times, I took my little brother down there with me and he always stayed close to me. For a curious boy who liked to explore, he did no exploring during those times. He would stand with me and stare into the back of the basement as if he were looking for something in the darkness and then run up the stairs when I was finished with the laundry.

Years later, I realized it wasn’t Mildred down there. There was something else, something dark and malicious. Mildred was sad and unnerving, but she was not ominous.

We moved when my father and his wife came home one night and met Mildred face-to-face. They were coming up the stairs to go to bed when Mildred made her presence known.

“She was just standing there, by the attic door,” my father recounted. “She was looking right at us and then she turned and floated into the attic door.”

“What did she look like?” I asked.

He thought about it before he answered, “She wore a long white dressing gown. She must have been going to bed when she died.”

“She floated?” I asked referring to his previous statement.

Dad nodded his head and with a shudder added, “We moved right after that. I wasn’t living there with a ghost.”

We moved from that house to a house on Highland Street. That house was also haunted, but I didn’t bother to tell him that. That’s a story for another time anyway.