When my niece and I went for a ghost walk tour in Elizabeth City, NC, she did not know we have hauntings in our town. Elizabeth City is a small town and it’s the Harbor of Hospitality. The beach is an hour away, the outer banks, but in Elizabeth City, NC we have the famous Nell Cropsey house and it is still haunted to this day.
We had a guest to tell a story of the house she was Janet Klein, a good friend of mines, we worked together for Encore, a community theater volunteer in town. She was not acting when she told this story to the group. It really happened.
“There are really spirits there in that house,” says Janet Klein. Klein says she has had plenty of experience with the Cropsey house. Sitting for friends who once owned the Victorian-era home, a very beautiful house and it had a creepy feeling of the house.
“I was house-sitting for Betsy when Betsy Jones lived there,” recalls Klein.
House sitting in a haunted house? Who would do this?
“I was taking the trash out to the road. This was in the evening or so. When I was coming back from the road the light in the attic flipped on. I went upstairs, looked around and cut the light off.”
Of course, Klein was the only one in the house, so how the light came on was hard to explain. Except, perhaps, if you believe in hauntings.
“The light in the attic was really creepy,” says Klein.
“Another time, there is a vent in the front hallway,” remembers Klein. “I had the doors open, the windows open. All of the sudden a whoosh of air came out of the vent. And then another time, I was in the kitchen. I was on the phone and it rang in the other room. It’s hard for a phone to ring when you’re on the phone.”
For Klein, and her friend Betsy Jones, there were plenty of other unexplained moments in that house. They were moments that led them to believe that indeed Nell Cropsey haunts the house where she was likely murdered.
Another eyewitness guest told their story and they were Frank and Robin Caruso who lived in the house for the past 15 years and their children. He heard of the hauntings of Nell Cropsey and he once lived in a haunted house. He thought it would be great to live in a haunted house.
Who would live in a haunted house?
“If the house was haunted it didn’t bother me because when I was growing up my house was haunted,” says Caruso.
But the notion that the house was haunted did bug her children, especially one of her sons.
“The Scariest thing happened to my son,” recalls Caruso. “It was still and it felt weird (in the house). I heard a strange noise and it was my son, trying to let out a scream. He was 15 at the time. He yelled, ‘She was here, she was here!”
When Caruso ran to her son’s bedroom, he was on his bed, “pale as a ghost” and sweating. He clung to his mother in fear.
“Fifteen-year-olds don’t cling to their mothers,” says Caruso.
Her son told her that as he was sitting on his bed, a young beautiful girl Nell Cropsey was at the foot of the bed. Shook the bed and then she fled out of the window.
“I know he saw something because he was very scared,” said Caruso.
And there have been other incidents in that house. There have been noises, doors opening and closing when no one was there.
At night we can hear people walking up the stairs, footsteps, and light flashing in the hallway.
“If I say, ‘Nell, knock it off,’ it stops,” says Caruso.
Caruso is confident that the Cropsey house is haunted. She says Nell seems to be happy there, and that there is really nothing to be afraid of while in the house.
She says since they moved in, members of the Cropsey family — living members — have come to call the house, and one even gave the family a plate that belonged to Nell’s mother.
More hauntings, sometimes spirits of dead relatives can attach themselves to artifacts.
You will get goosebumps and possible cold air traveling in the house, even though their air conditioner and heating was off that evening. Her presence was in the house. My niece and I got the chills in the house and so were the rest of the groups. We felt something in the house. Creepy.