My Haunted Estate Sale

April Killian

I've been conducting estate sales in the Shoals area of north Alabama for close to 10 years. In that time, I've met some of the most wonderful people that walk this earth - from the families who hire me to my amazing customers. I've made life long friendships in my line of work and cherish every single one. I've also had a lot of very strange things happen while prepping for my sales - things I can't explain. This story is about one of the more notable experiences I've had. You can believe it or not - but this is what happened. 

Most of the time the houses I clear out for an estate sale are in a state of disarray - especially when an elderly person has lived there alone for a long time. Usually the person has passed away and the family has already started going though their possessions, too. This is the time when doing so can become overwhelming to the family and they decide to hire someone like me to finish the job. That's the case of a house I was working on where the mother, a widow, had been living alone for many years and had passed away a few months prior. The adult children had begun cleaning out the house and going through her things - but they needed help and hired me. 

A few nights after taking on the project, I decided to start at the rear of the house where there were two bedrooms at the end of a long hallway. At the other end of the hallway was a doorway that connected a formal living room and a den area. My daughter, at the time, was taking night classes nearby the house, so I decided to give her a ride to class and then work at the house until it was time to pick her up. So this night, I decided to work on one of the back bedrooms. I usually have a helper - but this night I was alone. In that bedroom, there was a beautiful antique dresser that I particularly had planned on cleaning off and cleaning out. That dresser had been on my mind all day while thinking about my plans to work on the house. There was a reason, too. The family had made me aware that they had not been able to find their mother's wedding ring after her death, so I was really hoping I would find that treasure for them. I often find family treasures and mementos such as that while cleaning out a house, and nothing makes me happier than being able to give these items to the family where they belong. I had a gut feeling that I was going to find something of particular value to the family in that dresser - so my plans were centered there for the night.

After I arrived at the house and started on the bedroom, I soon got distracted and began cleaning out a big set of plastic bins that were also in the bedroom. As it was approaching time for me to leave, I was a little aggravated at myself for cleaning the bins instead of the dresser. I still felt like it was important to clean the dresser in particular - but I was tired and it was getting late. "Oh, well," I thought, "I'll get to the dresser tomorrow." So I gathered up my bag and my work tools and cleaning supplies and got ready to leave. This is when things got weird...

As I exited the back bedroom and stepped into the long hallway, I was startled by a noise and stopped. Then, suddenly, I saw the image of a man at the other end of the hallway. I watched as he walked from the formal living room into the hallway, facing the den. My heart was pounding at this point. I didn't feel like he was an intruder. It's hard to explain,  but I didn't feel that I was looking at an actual living person - but just the image of a person. Maybe that's because I've seen spirits before or maybe it was just my intuition. The sight of the man frightened me, nonetheless. So, I stood there frozen as he stepped into the hallway - and then he stopped briefly. When he stopped, he turned and looked at me with a very intense stare and then he turned, continued walking, and disappeared into the doorway of the den across the hall. I stood silent for several seconds not really knowing what to do. As I said, the man didn't seem like a real "flesh and bones" person, so I didn't think he was an intruder in the house - but I did not want to follow him into the den where I had to exit the house via the back door. I had seen "spirits" before - but never had one stop to look at me with such an intense or disapproving look. I have to say that I was more scared by the look he gave me than his actual presence. Besides that, I had no idea who the man was! It was an older female who had lived in the house and passed away, after all, so who was this man? He looked to be in his 40s, a large man, a little heavy set, had a very short military style haircut, and a piercing and extremely intense stare. He wasn't happy with me that night - that's for sure the feeling I got. I'm not sure why, but I had a feeling that he wouldn't be happy until I cleaned out that dresser. 

I looked at the time and realized I actually had about an hour before I had to pick up my daughter - so rather than leave and possibly encounter this spirit with the angry stare in the den on my way out, I decided to do what I had intended to do in the first place, stay in the back bedroom, and work on the antique dresser. One reason I wanted to hurry and possibly find the missing wedding ring for the family - if it was in the house - was because the family had hired some people prior to me to do some cleaning who still had keys to the house. These people had turned out to be...I'll just say not the most honest people in the world. I wanted to find the ring before they did. I wanted the family to have it back. It was theirs. So with a new determination, I started cleaning off the dresser. The top of it was piled high with clothes, old mail, and other things. As I went through layer by layer, and finally got to the actual dresser top, there underneath a sweater, I found a ring. As I picked it up, the whole feel of the house became lighter. I knew I had found something of significance for the family.

The ring I found that night wasn't the mother's wedding ring as I had hoped to find - but it was something wonderful, nonetheless. Turns out, it was an antique engagement ring that had belonged to the great - great grandmother of the adult children who had hired me to do the estate sale. They had not mentioned the ring to me because they thought the ring had been lost decades ago. It was a beautiful platinum and diamond engagement ring - obviously very old but in great condition. I gave it to the family and they were thrilled to have it once again. I was thrilled and satisfied that I had found it and been able to place it with the family where it belonged. After that night, I never saw the image of the man again - but I did feel his presence many times and even felt like he was looking out for me. I believe he was happy with what I was doing to help his family and pleased that I had returned the ring to his heirs. I later figured out who he was and the significance of the ring that I found.

As the time was approaching for the public estate sale, I worked until the wee hours of the morning at the house going through boxes and boxes of items that the lady who had lived in the home had packed away years ago. In one of the last boxes I went through, I found an old passport that had belonged to her husband who had passed away in the early 2000's. When I opened the passport and looked at the photo inside, there stared back at me the face of the exact same man I had seen walking through the house. Same haircut, same intense look his eyes. He had passed away as an older man - but the image I saw of him in the house was of him in his younger years - in the prime of his life just like in the passport photo. The dresser I had cleaned where I found the ring had been in his family over 100 years and the ring was his grandmother's engagement ring. I think that he wanted me to find it and made sure I stayed that night until I did. So, what makes me think he was looking out for me at times? Here's the story on that.

The family owned another property way out in the county and asked me to take a look at it for them to see if anything was salvageable. The property had been a summer camp for the family years ago. So, one sunny afternoon, I loaded up my trusty dog, Buzz, and set out to take a look. When I arrived at the old homeplace, it was obvious that vandals had broken in the house. The place was trashed - so much that I wasn't sure if I was even at the right place. My GPS was not getting a signal at the location and I certainly didn't want to trespass on someone else's property. The front door was open so I stepped into the house...still with an uneasy feeling. "Come on, buddy, I don't think we are at the right house," I said to my dog, Buzz. No sooner had I said that, that an old name tag fell at my feet from somewhere - I really have no idea where it came from. I looked down at the tag and there was the name of the man that I had seen that night at the other house. I felt like he was looking out for me - letting me know I was at the right place and his presence was there, too. 

I'm not a big believer in ghosts - that they are spirits trapped on this earth. I have a hard time with that theory of ghosts that most people believe. But I do believe that people who pass often have an attachment to things and places left behind - and for whatever reason some of us are able to see their image or energy or spirit under the right circumstances. I can't explain why exactly I've seen the images of people who have passed at several of the houses where I've conducted estate sales - maybe it's because I'm so in tune with their possessions left behind. I really don't know...but I'm glad I've had the experiences I've had and it's given me more respect for the lives of the people who owned the things that I've sold. Have you had a similar experience that you can't explain? Leave a note in the comments - I'd love to hear your story! 

Click "follow" to see my future articles about the Tennessee Valley, my home state of Alabama, and my hometown in the Shoals, Alabama. I write about nature, current laws and events, and delve into the weird and paranormal from time to time. To see my past articles, click on my photo and scroll down. If you have a topic you'd like to see me write about, email me at: 
As always, thanks for reading! 

Comments / 3

Published by

April Killian is a native of Florence, Alabama and writes about her home state of Alabama and the Shoals area. She is the mom of many pets and 3 adult children. Along with writing, she sells vintage items online and conducts estate sales in her area. She is a lifelong supporter of charity work, loves life, and tries to be a positive force in this world in everything she does! Her writing passions include: family and social issues, nature, humor, the paranormal and anything interesting or weird! Click on "follow" to see more of her articles in the future!

Florence, AL

More from April Killian

Comments / 0