At only 12 years old, I thought being in a real haunted house was very exciting. So when my grandfather and father asked if I wanted to "help" them restore Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, I couldn't wait.

On the other hand, Nate, our family's long-time laborer and friend, made it known that he didn't particularly care for old houses and he had a bad feeling about this one. Built in 1859, the stone Victorian was "definitely spooky," and the Norman Gothic style reminded Nate of haunted houses he'd seen in the movies.

Armed with only a flashlight slicing through the darkness, Nate slowly climbed to the attic. The rickety stairs held his weight, but creaked and complained with each step. I listened from the first floor as Nate's cautious footsteps continued their climb. Suddenly, I heard a bloodcurdling shriek. Clumsy and frantic, Nate scrambled down the stairs all the way to the first floor and out the front door screaming all the way.

When we finally caught up to him, Nate was completely panic-stricken. After taking a few minutes to get a hold of himself, he told us there was a pile of dead bodies and limbs in the attic. My grandfather tried to convince him that he imagined it, but Nate insisted he saw what he saw. Dad was skeptical, but Nate’s fear and certainty made me wonder. There was, after all, something very unnerving about this house.

After finally convincing Nate to show us, we slowly made our way back up the attic stairs. When we reached the top, Nate stopped cold and refused to go on. He pointed to a corner of the attic and told us to go see the horrible spectacle for ourselves. We crept carefully with our flashlights towards the corner. As I drew closer I began to make out shapes – hands, heads, and torsos. Holding my breath, hardly wanting to look, we finally reached the corner. And there we saw the gruesome spectacle – mannequin body parts.

We all let out a sigh of relief followed by roars of laughter. As for Nate, the scariest part was still to come – having to explain to the rest of the men why he lost his wits in the attic.