Shrieks, bangs and a looming shadow figure torment a single father and his children in this true story of the Union Screaming House located in Missouri.
Steven LaChance was looking to expand his family’s living quarters beyond that of a small apartment and when he finds the perfect home he doesn’t expect to go from skeptic to true believer almost overnight.
LaChance’s story has been well documented. He has given his own account several times and even wrote a book about his experience called “The Uninvited.”
The website Legends of America contains a brief but frightening first-hand account written by LaChance himself.
It all started in May 2001.
Having been cramped in a small apartment with his children for a while, LaChance was eager to stretch out. His lease was up anyway and fearing homelessness he looked at every classified ad for a possible lead.
So when an opportunity arose to look at a real house for rent in Union Missouri he jumped at the chance. Not only was it big, but it also had a yard and quiet neighborhood. Or so he thought.
The landlady scheduled LaChance to view the house on a Sunday. Taking his daughter with him they arrived and entered the home.
“To our surprise, we were standing in a living room with cherubs surrounding the top of the walls all the way around the room. All of the original woodwork was intact and a large wooden pole ran to the ceiling creating a divider which separated the living room from the family room. The house had two floors with three bedrooms, and a large family kitchen with a mudroom that lead to the back door. The upstairs bedrooms had a breezeway that could be accessed from all rooms.”
It was perfect. This would solve many problems including an improvement to the family’s quality of life. The landlady had a few people interested in renting the home. The eager father waited with bated breath for her to make a decision.
‘“You understand the responsibility that comes with living in an old house such as this?’ she asked. “Oh, yes I understand. It’s beautiful.”, I quickly replied, not really understanding to what I was agreeing to. ‘Well then I will get back to you,’ she said.'”
They Got It!
It took a week, but the she called him back with good news. It was theirs.
Moving day came on a Friday and nothing of note happened inside the house, however, a local pulled up to the curb and said something odd: “Hope you get along okay here.”
The family unpacked their belongings and explored the house in a little more detail. The only thing LaChance found odd was that there were old-fashioned latches on the doors.
“The latches were on the outside of the rooms doors, as if to keep something in,” he recalls. He kept this to himself.
Then something else happened. He was hanging a picture in the living room which would crash to the floor every time he got it hung. Again he dismissed the incident and carried on.
But then there was another neighbor incident which struck him as bizarre. People would not walk in front of his house, they would cross the street instead.
Having to do some yard work because the trees in the front yard were losing their leaves, LaChance asked his son to retrieve the garden hose from the basement. It didn’t go well.
Suddenly from the front yard, LaChance could hear his son screaming at the top of his lungs. The concerned father ran inside.
“‘Something chased me up the basement steps.’ ‘What chased you?’ I asked, already thinking the overactive imagination of a little boy was at play here. ‘I don’t know daddy, but it was big.'”
Despite the few occurrences, their first weekend in the new home came and went. However, LaChance began to notice that whenever he would come home all the lights in the empty house would be on.
Hot & Cold
Soon the temperatures in the house would fluctuate from room to room. One room would be overly warm, but if you stepped into another it would be freezing.
Then one Sunday night LaChance saw it, him.
“The kids had their backs to the living room, for which I am still thankful because the memory of what happened next still haunts my dreams to this day. I noticed it first out of the corner of my eye.
A quick glance. Something moving, standing at the kitchen doorway that led into the family room. Not something – someone. I looked toward it again. It was a dark figure of a man, even though there was full light. He was solid in form except there was a moving, churning, dark gray, black smoke or mist that made up his form.”
A frightened LaChance looked away in disbelief sure that what he was seeing was a figment of his imagination, but when he looked back up it was still there. “He was solid in form except there was a moving, churning, dark gray, black smoke or mist that made up his form.”
Don’t Panic, But Get Out
The entity melted into thin air. LaChance decided for the sake of his children not to panic. Instead, he calmly told them to get in the car; they were going out to get a snack.
“We moved orderly out the front door and I turned to lock the door, when a loud painful scream of a man came from inside the house. It sounded as if he was screaming in pain, so loud that it could be heard throughout the neighborhood and the dogs began to bark. To hell with orderly, ‘Get in the car!’ I screamed at my children.”
Driving down the street, his son turned around, “Daddy the basement monster is standing in the upstairs window.” LaChance looked too. His son was right.
The clan stayed at LaChance’s parent’s house while he traveled out of town. The trip gave him an opportunity to rationalize what he saw and also come to the realization they had nowhere else to go. They returned to the house.
The house was quiet for a few days, then all hell broke loose. It started with the doors rattling softly becoming more violent after each interval. Then a stench wafted throughout the house:
In His Own Words
“And then, the screaming started – softly at first, but building in momentum.
I yelled through the phone to my mother to come help – we were getting out. Then the whole house began to shake and come alive.
From the above, I could hear something large coming down the stairs. Boom. Boom! BOOM! The screaming of the man over and over. The screaming of my daughter, ‘Daddy what is happening!’
Along with this came the thought that one of my two bedroom doors connected to the stairs. BOOM! BOOM!
It was coming down those stairs! I had to get to my children! The whole house was alive with noise.
The floor beneath me was shaking as I made my way to the bedroom door. I felt something behind me and I knew I didn’t want to turnaround to see it! BOOM! SCREAMING!
A new scream mixed into the man’s scream – this one from a child. BOOM! SCREAMS! BOOM! I made it to my bedroom door but it wouldn’t open.
By this time I, too, am screaming. Throwing myself against the door it still wouldn’t budge. I continued to throw myself against the door again and again until it finally slammed open.”
Scambling to freedom, they made their way to the car hearing the screams still emanating from inside the house.
“‘We could see “it” searching through the house. Searching! Searching for us! It’s blackness moving from room to room methodically.'”
The LaChance’s never returned to the house as a family. Steven made his way back to pack up, but he always brought someone with him.
The Ghost Identified
He later discovered that the man he saw was Captain John T. Crowe.
In the beginning, LaChance wasn’t a believer, but spending the little time he did in the “Screaming House,” made him one.
“‘The breathing you’d hear when you were alone with it in a room. The breathing you would hear when you knew it was there. Heavy. Labored. Breathing. Yes, I do believe in ghosts. I do believe in ghosts. And maybe you should too?'”
You can read LaChance’s full account HERE, or read his book “The Uninvited: The True Story of the Union Screaming House”
Also this Facebook post explains how hard it was for him to write the book.
The Roman Catholic Church released a report on the Haunting. You can read that here.
Want more true haunted house scares, click HERE.