Quite some time ago, my friend (and contributor) Emily and I were having a discussion about weird happenings in moldy houses. Specifically, we were pontificating on our spider and ant problems. We dealt with something far beyond your normal seasonal insect issues. We both had nonstop massive invasions. And we both had toxic mold.
Shortly after, Andrea from It Takes Time shared a post about moldy homes being haunted. I read that post about a dozen times. I felt vindicated finally. Not just because we had unusual amounts of insects (more in a minute on our hypothesis about that) but also because of my daughter’s experiences with the supernatural while we lived in the moldy house. And also some experiences I personally had living in other moldy dwellings throughout my lifetime.
Now before you close this post without reading it, please hear me out. I’m not nuts. There is a real-life study happening now that looks at this connection. Plus, Andrea did her own informal survey which addresses the correlation between mold and haunted houses. It was a little bone chilling.
Before I scare you off, I do need to make it clear that toxic mold can cause neurological issues including things as severe as full on psychosis. I admit that my brain was negatively affected while living in the moldy house. I just didn’t know it. So it is plausible that the “hauntings” are in fact a symptom of toxic mold’s effect on the brain. But maybe they aren’t. We’ll see what the study shows.
In any event, this post is about MY experience and my daughter’s experience living in the moldy house. I share this for one reason and one reason only…to sooth the nerves of anyone else experiencing this. I want you to know that you are not nuts. That maybe there aren’t really ghosts. And if there are, that you are not alone.
First up – my daughter’s “pipes.” Shortly after Tiny turned one, she started having some real issues. There are too many to list and some were there since birth, but there was something that happened around her first birthday that set alarm bells off for me. First, she started having nasty nightmares. She had always been a very restless sleeper but at the tender age of one, she was having full blown nightmares. The poor baby couldn’t articulate it to me either. But I knew. I knew by watching her sleep. I knew by listening to her noises and cries. I knew by the look on her face. I knew by the way she clung to me. The nightmares escalated over the years and no matter what we did, we couldn’t seem to stop them. And then one day, she started talking about “pipes.”
Tiny was two and a half. I will never forget the day she first mentioned the pipes. She was gazing off into a corner of our bedroom and she started crying. She said the word “pipes” very clearly several times. Then she said “no pipes no.” She was scared. Shaking. She wanted to get out of that room. I didn’t know what to think. Pipes? What was she talking about? I inspected that corner of the room but saw nothing resembling a pipe. I don’t even think Tiny knew what a pipe was anyway. I ended up brushing it off but her “pipe” sightings were becoming more frequent. However, she was apparently getting used to the pipes and wasn’t freaking out as much. Nonetheless, after careful observation, I determined that these pipes of hers were some sort of spirit or ghost. She had come to peace with them apparently but I was alarmed at how often she was coming in contact with them IN OUR HOUSE.
Now I’m not one to have much of an opinion on ghosts and spirits. I mean, if they exist, then they exist. If they don’t, they don’t. I don’t read into it all that much. But when my daughter is asking the pipes to go away, it certainly does make me wonder.
Ok – so nightmares and pipes. I know. I sound a little goofy. I get that. Especially because it wasn’t me experiencing these things directly. But the timing of all this just happen to coincide with the start of my health crisis. The one that mold is 100% responsible for. And so, I put a little more weight on my daughter’s unusual experience.
What about me? Well, while I didn’t have any “hauntings” at the moldy house, I did have some rather unusual experiences in two other places I lived that did have mold issues. The first was an apartment I lived in during college. Unbeknownst to me, there was a major mold issue throughout the complex. I became aware of it after they boarded up my next door neighbor’s apartment. (I moved very shortly thereafter). While living there, I experienced a haunted bathroom. Odd items would appear out of nowhere in my toilet. Items that I did not own or have in my home at any point. The property manager kept trying to tell me that the upstairs neighbors were flushing weird stuff down the toilet but how was that even possible? How would it end up in my toilet bowl? I got used to finding weird stuff in my toilet. But the kicker? The day the shower exploded from the inside out.
I had been at work all day and when I came home, I saw glass all over the hallway. Teeny, tiny bits of glass. I cautiously stepped into the hall, peered into the bathroom, and saw that my glass shower doors had literally exploded from the inside out. They glass shards were so small too. Miniscule really. I called the property managers and the maintenance guy came out. He couldn’t wrap his brain around what had happened. It was impossible really. No one could give me an explanation.
Now – these occurrences were tangible. Not in my head. And as far as I know, my exposure to toxic mold in that apartment was minimal. But had I stayed, it could have been worse. So was this “ghost” trying to scare me away as a means of protecting me? Who knows. But my experience there is one I will never forget.
Let’s back up shall we? Before I lived in that crazy apartment, I shared a house with two other roommates. There was for sure a mold issues in that house. There was a huge water leak in the bathroom. It was so bad, the floor was actually spongy and we were afraid one of us would fall through at any moment. We also had visible mold here and there and the place was always damp and musty. Now, in that house, I used to feel weird drafts. I’d smell weird smells. I used to hear things. We also had this off-the-wall vortex like area in our living room. If you stood in this one particular spot, you couldn’t hear a dang thing going on around you. Just this sort of tunnel sound. I have no explanation other than all of us living there were experiencing some neurological effects of the mold. I never felt comfortable at that house. I felt like I had to look over my shoulder constantly. It was bad energy. Really bad energy.
Was the house haunted or was mold messing with my mind? Who knows but in that case, I for sure lean towards neurological issues from mold exposure.
Let’s circle back to the insects shall we?
Emily and I are having the spider and ant conversation. We aren’t the only ones with moldy homes who have unusual insect infestations. We aren’t lone rangers coming up with half assed theories. We were honestly trying to figure out IF there was a connection between toxic mold and spiders and ants and if so, what the deal was.
All my research indicates that if you enter a home contaminated with toxic mold, the house should be basically insect free. Or you should see a lot of dead insects. The mycotoxins kill them. So why did we experience the opposite? My spider issues were completely out of control. Those buggers were everywhere, even in our bed!!! They were bold and brave too. Natural methods did nothing. Chemicals did nothing. Those spiders had a will to live like I have never seen.
Honestly, I learned to live in spiderville. Rasta Daddy wasn’t a fan but he got used to them being everywhere. So did Tiny. She always encouraged me to release them outside. That was until one bit me and caused me a lot of issues. But I digress.
We also had horrible ant problems. Luckily, ours were outside but Emily had the ant problem inside.
So what gives? Was there a connection? The only thing Emily and I could come up with is that these insects were trying to scare us away. They were doing everything to make us want to leave our moldy homes. I know – sounds far-fetched and I admit that it is. But we cannot come up with a plausible explanation. Not a single neighbor had the insect issues we did. So why us? Why would they survive when they should be dying left and right?
I am going to keep tabs on this whole moldy haunted house study. I’m pretty fascinated by it. Honestly, I think MOST of it stems from the neurological effects of mycotoxins. I won’t go so far as to say that there is no such thing as a truly haunted house. And it could be that super old homes tend to have more mold issues and they also tend to have the most reported hauntings. So it could be a complete coincidence. Or a mix of both. In any event, all I know is that I definitely experienced and witnessed some strange happenings in moldy environments. I wish there was a definitive answer. For now, I just put it in my book of experiences and continue to focus on getting my health back!