Your First Haunted House


Justified & Ancient
Dec 19, 2009
I was listening to the latest episode of “The Tape Library” podcast tonight which covered the Amityville Horror. At the beginning the host explains that for him Amityville represents THE haunted house story, being the first instance of a haunted house story he recalls reading as a child.

For me it would be Borley Rectory, that was THE haunted house story of my youth, and as my mother wrangled me access as a child into the adult section of our local library I read everything by Harry Price and a few more on top if memory serves me correct.

I don’t know the age of the host on the The Tape Library but I would guess at mid-late twenties, I’m 60 in March so I am curious as to what was THE haunted house story of the ages between? Would it be one of the famous poltergeist cases, Enfield or Pontefract. Would it be a different haunting on the opposite shores of the Atlantic for similar age groups?

For youngsters nowadays would they have a first haunted house story or is it all Cryptids and UFO’s with hauntings being “So Yesterday”?

I must admit this particular podcast has piqued my curiosity.


Justified & Ancient
Jan 15, 2017
The house opposite me when I was a child.

No idea if it had a ghost.
But I was always disturbed by this story.

In one of the upper floor bedrooms, there was a wooden platform between the bed and side window.

It had a square shaped piece of wood, about 1M by 1M, which was hinged and could be opened.

I am not sure what was below it to any great extent, as it was just a small cavity used for storage, about two feet deep.

But the child who lived there, who was my friend, I guess we were aged about 10 or 11 at the time, told me that it was actually a filled-in staircase that led downstairs.

The man who lived there before had a wife, who one day "vanished."

Her husband assumed she had run off with someone else.

But one day had gone into that staircase and found her dead body.

He had the staircase blocked off, and promptly sold the house.

Or so my friend claimed....
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Old lady trouser-smell with yesterday's knickers
Feb 1, 2010
I'm also British and a similar age to you, @Tempest63. I'd guess that our first exposure to haunted houses depends on our access to books at that formative age, because I read a lot of 'children's ghost stories' from the library and got hold of all the Harry Price books from library sales and second hand bookshops. So, like you, Borley Rectory, Gef, and the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall were probably my formative tales.

Depends on age, background and country of origin though.


Justified & Ancient
Nov 23, 2005
Under the highest tree top in Kent
Assorted stately homes whose stories were told in IIRC "Look and Learn" or "Finding Out" magazines. Borley, Raynham, 50 Berkley Sq and the deserted house on the way to school which was rumoured to be haunted by various classmates with no foundation in fact.

I can't remember the story but the one that freaked me out was a ghost which followed someone home (May have been a Hans Holzer) up to then I'm sure we all thought that once you'd escsped the haunted house you were OK.

Venkmans on the case

Fresh Blood
Oct 21, 2022
Borley Rectory was the first haunted house I read about when I was a child. As I got older I was fortunate to be able to buy a number of books about Borley including the Harry Price titles at a local book fair. I got to know one of the stall holders well and he searched for old Ghost books for me and found some great old titles.