SULPHUR SPRINGS, Tenn. (WJHL) – It could have been the ghosts inside the old, white house on the hill that captivated the Talcotts to buy it five years ago.
Linda, Brad and four of their five children were looking for somewhere to live after Brad retired from law enforcement. Their move from New York to Jonesborough hinged on a few decisions, one of them being the abandoned house perched on a hill in Sulphur Springs.
The house was one of many options for the Talcotts. Originally, Linda said she and her husband wrote it off due to the amount of work that needed to be done. No one had lived in the house for years.
At least, that’s what they thought.
What the Talcotts didn’t know is their future home was known to those in the community as “The Haunted House on the Hill,” and it wasn’t until after they fought to purchase the home that they came to find out why.
The Haunted Bedroom
Linda said her kids were drawn to the house when they first looked at it. That prompted the Talcotts to move it back to the top of the list.
After visiting the property, her children insisted on living there. Linda said she felt drawn to the home too, despite its dilapidated state, so they purchased the home, repaired it and began their new life surrounded by farmland.
A few months of strange sounds and smells later, the Talcotts discovered that the house came with a few inhabitants.
“So far I think there’s three guys and a woman,” Linda said. “My son thinks he hears a child’s laughter, which we can’t pinpoint a child, and I’ve never seen a child or anything like that, but more recently he’s been hearing a child giggle.”
The front bedroom, she said, harbors the most activity. What used to be their master bedroom staged the scene for several incidents over the years.
One night, Linda said she and her husband woke up to the bed shaking. They said they can sometimes hear crying from the woman they believe haunts the house.
Her youngest son, Noah, said he sometimes hears a woman saying his name when he’s in the master bedroom.
One of Linda’s most prolific encounters with the paranormal, she said, happened in the master bedroom, which now holds exercise equipment and antiques after the couple moved their bedroom upstairs.
She saw what she described as a gas-like figure form above her bed. She said she reached out to touch the object and it fell into a “fairy dust” over the bed.
She was telling her husband about the experience when the shape appeared again. She followed it to the door of her bedroom where it disappeared.
“I was freaked out by it because I didn’t know what it was,” she said. “I couldn’t tell if it was a male, female, but whatever it was, when I ran my hand through it, it just, that was it, it disappeared.”
“Who are you talking to?”
Three loud bangs alerted the Talcotts that their four-year-old granddaughter was awake one morning when she was visiting.
Their granddaughter was staying in the bedroom directly above their master bedroom. Linda started up the stairs to check on her and heard the girl talking.
“She’s sitting there on the bed and she’s looking off to the side . . . . and she’s talking to somebody,” Linda said.
She rushed in the room to find nothing out of place that could have caused the three loud bangs.
“I interrupted her,” she recalled. “And I was like, ‘Honey, who are you talking to?'”
Her granddaughter responded, “Grandma, you!”
That was the incident, Linda said, that drove her to contact a team of paranormal investigators, who told her that spirits can impersonate living people.
“That was a little scary because she was talking to somebody, and it wasn’t me,” Linda said.
The ghost in the basement
With the help of paranormal investigators, Linda said the family has been able to piece together that two of the spirits in the main house are a man from the 1920s and the woman who seems to haunt the bedroom.
The couple said investigators contacted another spirit that lives in the home’s basement, which encases a defunct well.
“He’s the one that does not want to be spoken to, he doesn’t want anybody down there, he made it perfectly clear with the (paranormal) team, ‘I don’t want to talk to you,'” Linda said.
Happy haint, happy home
Despite some of the more concerning incidents in their home, Linda said she and her husband don’t regret their decision to move into a haunted home.
Brad said after digging through the history of the home, he learned that it was built sometime in the 1800s by the Sherfey family. He said the furthest back they were able to go was 1872 before the trail goes cold.
The house has some of its own hints to its age. The Talcotts believe a portion of the second floor used to be slave quarters, as the rooms weren’t made with the same care as the rest of the house, and they were separated from the rest of the house by a door and a narrow staircase.
While restoring the house, Linda said she and her husband tried to keep as much of the original building as they could.
“We brought the house back to life the way it was, we kept as much original stuff as we could, we brought it back to the way it was and I think they’re happy with that,” she said.
“It’s not time for them to cross over and I don’t want to have them pushed out if they’re happy here then we are we just deal with it.”