Houses “of an age,” like women “of a certain age, have lived a lot and hold many secrets. A house finished in 1889 certain holds some of its secrets to this day. It is unclear whether the first owners, the Joseph Wagners, finished their later-in-life house fully before Joseph died and Mary sold it in 1910. The story goes that they lost the house to taxes several times (mortgages had not been invented yet). There is clear physical evidence that the doors upstairs and down (they are older) don’t match and the doorknobs are replacements (not on the original plans and not matching shadows on the wood itself).
At the same time, we know that when people died in those early years, they generally died at home (if they died naturally and in their beds) and their wake and funeral were conducted in their home. Perhaps the front door is 42 inches wide (huge by today’s standards) so they can get the casket out. (That does NOT explain why the doors from the parlor and dining room to the foyer are only 33 inches wide–barely wide enough to get our modern sofa through!)
Our research shows that Stacy Isaac Rambo bought the house in 1910 and moved in with his wife and 8-year-old son. He did an extensive renovation over the next decade and a half or so until his death. That meant adding electricity, running water, indoor plumbing, and a mechanized coal-burning furnace. When we began to “change” some things (removing the last of his knob and tube wiring and tearing down bricks where he had enclosed a back porch to create an indoor bathroom (1920s style)…. well, we felt we would surely stir up his ghost.
Our research has not turned up any particular woman who might be a ghost here, although all three Rambo daughters are now deceased. A young woman was seen looking into a guest’s suitcase (as if to find out what was being packed inside) and a young woman was heard walking through the foyer in dress shoes, giggling, at about 5 a.m. in the fall of 2014.
Over the years guests have smelled peanut butter muffins cooking at 2:30 a.m. and smelled spilled bourbon and rose perfume. Those were observations by inexperienced people, people NOT looking for ghosts, believing in ghosts or WANTING to experience one.
Then there are the reports by the people who seem to have the ability to see them. These people most often had a near-death experience which triggered their perceptiveness. They have reported men in “old fashioned” or “old military” clothing. Most recently, a woman who says she could be like the Long Island medium–but chooses to not respond to the spirits–had a young woman sit on her bed then look over her shoulder as she packed her suitcase.
From time to time we have ghost-hunting groups want to come ghost hunt. (We book clubs mid-week and there is a fee.) Those who intend to find a ghost never do. Those who want to predict the next occurrence cannot. They seem shy and they are not on anyone’s timetable.
So, does the Wagner-Rambo house have ghosts? Your guess is as good as mine. You’ll just have to come see for yourself. Or, you’ll have to come and ignore the whole thing.