WNC Scary Stories: Haunting on Griffing Boulevard

Tea time: Joan Calder, a former Asheville resident now living in Marion, recalls a strange tea party she overheard while babysitting at a home on Griffing Boulevard in North Asheville. Photo by Tatiana Rivest

Editor’s note: For Halloween, we asked our readers to share the scariest things they’ve experienced in our area. Readers came through with shivery accounts of mysterious occurrences, including this one.

by Joan Calder

My real-life spooky story took place in about 1968, when I was 16 years old. I had a steady babysitting job for a wonderful family who had three young sons. They lived in a large, two-story stone house on Griffing Boulevard, off Kimberly Avenue in North Asheville.

On this particular Friday night, the evening initially unfolded as it normally did: I fed the kids and got them tucked into bed upstairs. Rather than go back downstairs, I typically read a book or watched TV near the children’s bedrooms, and this night was no different.

But around 10 p.m., I heard faint voices coming from the downstairs living room. I assumed that the parents had returned home. However, something seemed off. For one thing, it was earlier than they usually got home; for another, I had not heard their car pull up or the front door open. Furthermore, they hadn’t called out to me to let me know they were home.

I became a little leery, so I quietly walked down the carpeted hallway and started down the long staircase. My heart stopped because I could tell that there were no lights on downstairs. I sat silently on the upper landing and listened to see if it sounded like the parents. I heard the quiet, gentle conversation of what seemed to be two or three people, but I could not discern what they were saying. I heard the tinkling of what sounded like dainty teaspoons stirring cups.

I eventually leaned down and peeked around the stairway wall. I could see no one at all because the entrance and living room were completely dark, but the quiet talk and tinkling of teacups continued.

I understood then and believe now that I heard spirits, and good ones at that. I have never forgotten that night. Funny enough, I just quietly crept back upstairs that evening and minded my own business. I never told the family about my experience because I didn’t want them to be afraid of living in, what I believed to be, a haunted house.

Editor’s note: Joan Calder is the mother of Thomas Calder, Xpress’ managing editor. 


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