I am an author and paranormal enthusiast who has published numerous books and articles on the subject of true unexplained phenomena.
A Unique Purchase
This story was submitted to me via social media by a woman in Colorado named Vickie Royce.* The message she left was short and to the point. It read simply, "I owned a haunted hutch."
The events that would take Vickie down a path she never expected to travel unfolded while she was living in a modest home on the outskirts of Boulder. Enamored of French country homes, she had decorated each room with items that were either distressed or antique in an effort to reflect that style as much as possible.
A fan of anything that represented times gone by, Vickie was a regular at auctions and tag sales, always on the lookout for unique furnishings. It would be at one of these smorgasbords of used items that she came across something she knew she had to have: an old-fashioned kitchen hutch.
Although not rich by any means, Vickie spared no expense when it came to her house. She knew that the piece would complete her kitchen and wanted it no matter the cost. She ended up forking over several hundred dollars that day, but to her, it was worth every cent.
Unable to transport the cumbersome piece by herself, Vickie enlisted two men who had done some work for her in the past to deliver it to her home. By the time they arrived with the hutch in tow, she had picked out the perfect spot for her new acquisition.
As they were carrying the cabinet inside, Vickie recalls that one of the men was swearing and complaining loudly. After listening to him grouse until she could stand it no longer, she asked if there was a problem.
He told her that, as they were lifting the hutch out of the truck, one of the doors had suddenly flown open and bashed him in the forehead. As proof of the mishap, he showed her the angry red gash above his eyebrow. Vickie offered him a wet cloth for the wound, but he waved it away saying it wasn't as bad as it looked.
When the task was completed, Vickie paid the men and they went on their way. As she stood admiring the magnificent piece of nostalgia, she marveled at her luck. Upon closer examination, she saw that, although the exterior was yellow, bits of white showed through in several places where the paint was chipping. Wanting to keep it as authentic as possible, she had no plans to scrape it or change it in any way.
The hutch was so large that it took up nearly half of the wall. It had three drawers in the bottom that she assumed were meant to store tablecloths. The upper facing had an open area in the center to display plates, bowls, saucers and the like.
On the right-hand side was a cupboard that could be used to store mugs and glasses. The other side boasted a door that, when pulled forward, revealed a deep bin in which to store loose dry goods. A metal scoop that had presumably been left as a token by the previous owner was already in place.
Eager to get the show on the road, Vickie set about cleaning the hutch from top to bottom before stocking it with her kitchen wares. She saved the bin for last. Filling it with flour made her feel like she was living in another age and she reveled in the experience.
By the time she finished, the sun had gone down. Satisfied with all she had accomplished, she retired for the night. All things considered, it had been one of the best days she could remember. She didn't know it at the time, but it was simply the calm before the storm.
Later that same night, Vickie was awakened by a ruckus that seemed to be coming from the kitchen. Not one to scare easily, she picked up the heavy-duty flashlight that she kept beside her bed and went to investigate. She noted that she didn't need the implement to guide her way in the dark, but rather to fight off an intruder should the need arise.
When she flipped on the kitchen light, everything appeared to be in order. No one was there, but that didn't negate the fact that she had heard what sounded like furniture being dragged across the floor. Even so, since she saw nothing out of place, she switched off the light and went back to bed.
In the morning, Vickie decided to make use of her new hutch. She was in the mood for homemade pancakes so she took a mixing bowl from the cabinet and opened the flour bin. What greeted her was not at all what she had expected.
To her horror, she saw that the flour she had poured into the hutch on the previous evening was now crawling with tiny black insects. No longer in the notion of eating, she grabbed a trash can and began scooping out the infested grain.
After securing the bag and placing it outside, Vickie scrubbed the bin until no traces of the bugs or flour remained. She then left it standing open to dry out. Although the incident was off-putting, she didn't let her worry her. She figured that she had purchased a bad batch of flour and that the bugs had somehow hatched overnight. It was certainly nothing to be concerned about, or so she thought.
Other odd things began to occur that Vickie didn't realize were related at the time. She began noticing a pungent odor in the house that seemed to originate in the kitchen. In an attempt to combat the sulfuric stench, she poured bleach down the drains, thinking that the smell was coming up through the pipes. Unfortunately, rather than eliminating the problem, her tactic had only made things worse.
Unable to figure out where the stink was coming from, Vickie resorted to leaving the kitchen window cracked at all times to allow fresh air into the room. It didn't make much difference, but it was better than nothing.
The noises that she heard on the night the hutch arrived soon became a regular occurrence. Vickie would find herself awakened time and again by the sound of something heavy being moved across the kitchen floor. After diligently checking the area and coming up emptyhanded, she eventually stopped bothering to investigate. She had learned from experience that there was no point.
In the midst of the disturbances, she adopted a kitten from a neighbor whose cat had recently had a litter. After hearing that the man would be taking them to the pound if he couldn't place them, she had scooped up a little ball of orange fur and welcomed him into her home.
The kitten, who she named Sampson, adjusted nicely to his new surroundings. He slept in the bed with Vickie and followed her around the house, seldom letting her out of his sight. The only exception was when she went into the kitchen. For some reason, it was the one room that he refused to enter willingly.
Sampson would allow himself to be carried into the kitchen, but Vickie says that he dug his claws into her and hung on for dear life the entire time. When she put him down, he would bolt from the room like a shot. She could think of nothing that would explain his behavior. He had not been spooked or harmed in any way while in the room. Still, he avoided it at all cost.
Vickie had been in no hurry to refill the hutch after the incident with the bugs. She was using flour straight from the bag for her cooking needs while she waited for it to air out. After nearly a week had passed, she placed the remainder of the flour in the bin. Two days later, when she pulled open the door, she saw that the interior was once again alive with insects.
This time, her frustration boiled over. She couldn't understand why she was being sold flour that was blooming with creepy crawlers. Thoroughly fed up, she decided to confront the manager of the market where she had purchased the subpar product. Cleaning out the bin, she saved a jar full of the flour, bugs and all, to show to the merchant.
Vickie marched into the store later that day and demanded to see whoever was in charge. Fuming, she pulled out the jar and handed it to the general manager. She then explained to him that this was the second time she had purchased contaminated goods from his establishment.
The man apologized and informed Vickie that she was the first to bring the issue to his attention. He assured her that his staff was diligent in maintaining a high standard of cleanliness. He then suggested that the problem might have something to do with her method of storage rather than the product itself. All the same, he refunded her money for both bags of flour and did not charge her for a third. With that, she headed home, confident that the issue had been resolved.
The manager's implication that she might have somehow been at fault had given Vickie an idea. To test his theory, she put a portion of the new flour in a canister before emptying the remainder into the bin. This way she would know if it was a storage issue or something else entirely. It wasn't long before she would have her answer.
Within days, the flour in the hutch was teeming with insects while the portion she had placed in the canister showed no signs of infestation. Realizing that the bin would not be usable, she cleaned it out one last time and left it empty.
Now that flour was no longer being stored in the hutch, Vickie assumed that the issue had been put to rest. She would soon learn that something unknown to her had other plans.
Living a Nightmare
In the days that followed, Vickie began finding red and black beetles she had never seen before crawling in the bowls and plates that she stored in the hutch. No matter how many times she cleaned and disinfected the space, the bugs always came back. To add to the strange nature of the infestation, the pests were confined to that one area. Throughout her ordeal, she never found a single specimen anyplace else.
To add to her worries, Vickie started having recurring nightmares in which she was being stalked by what she believed at first to be a woman wearing a housedress and holding a handkerchief over her mouth.
In the dreams, the figure would pace through Vickie's house, sobbing and moaning. Sometimes, she would stop and become perfectly silent. In those moments, she would remove the cover from her face, revealing that she wasn't at all what she seemed.
As Vickie watched from afar, the figure would assume the form of a creature with hooves and horns. Its features, however, remained those of a human. Once it had shown its true self, the entity would transform into a shadowy presence that would glide across the room, usually disappearing into the kitchen.
The sight was so disturbing that she would wake up in a cold sweat. Lying in the darkness, she would toss and turn for hours, unable to get the vision out of her head. On the rare occasions when she would fall back to sleep, the dream would almost always repeat itself. And so it went, night after night.
Vickie is a smart woman. It hadn't taken her long to figure out that the strange noises, nightmares, insects and foul odors had all coincided with the hutch's arrival in her home. Still, she didn't believe that a man-made jumble of wood and hardware could be the source of so much mischief. The notion was ridiculous and she refused to allow herself to fall victim to such foolishness, even when nothing else made sense.
The final straw for Vickie came one day when she was in the kitchen washing dishes. The silence in the room was shattered when a series of loud banging sounds erupted from across the room. When she turned towards the disturbance, she saw that the doors on the hutch were opening and closing by themselves, one after another.
As she was taking in the incredible scene, the piece pitched forward just far enough to send the majority of the dishes spilling onto the floor. Once it had emptied out most of its contents, the hutch righted itself and was once again stationary.
No amount of logic could justify what Vickie had seen with her own eyes. She knew then and there that the hutch had to go. In the nerve-wracking minutes that followed, she reached for the phone to call someone to take it to the dump. As she was about to dial the handyman's number, she had second thoughts.
Somehow she had known instinctively that, as long as the hutch was intact, it posed a danger to anyone who brought it into their home. After what she had experienced, she knew that she had to see to it that she would be the last owner.
Vickie ended up calling the men and asking them to come take care of the hutch, but not in the way that she had at first intended. When they arrived, she asked them to take it out back and dismantle it, piece-by-piece. She didn't tell them why or mention any of the strange goings-on that she had come to associate with the hutch.
For their part, the men did as instructed without an ounce of protest. Vickie suspects that they had known that something wasn't right about the furnishing from the very beginning.
After the hutch was broken apart, Vickie doused it with kerosene and lit it on fire in a controlled burn. She and her helpers then stood and watched as it was reduced to ashes. As if to confirm what she was already thinking, one of the men told her that he didn't know why she had wanted it in the first place. Looking back, she wondered the same thing.
Vickie says that in the days that followed, the pall that had hung over her home lifted. Sampson began to tentatively explore the kitchen completely of his own accord. Eventually, he would become a fixture in the room he had previously gone out of his way to avoid. From that point on, it wasn't unusual for her to find him sleeping in the window over the sink without a care in the world.
The smell of rotten eggs that had permeated the air for months slowly dissipated before finally disappearing altogether. To Vickie's relief, the nightmares that had plagued her, along with the sound of moving furniture also ceased. In short, things went back to the way they had been before the hutch entered the home.
Vickie now believes that, in addition to its fine craftsmanship and pull-out flour bin, the hutch had possessed darker features that could not be seen with the naked eye. She doesn't know who or what had attached itself to the piece, but whatever it was had brought an aura of evil into her home that was lifted only when the hutch was no longer intact.
Since the history of the hutch is a mystery, there's no way to know if the source of the haunting was a previous owner or an opportunistic entity that shifted from one object at the auction house to another. In the end, much like any item that has changed hands multiple times, it's impossible to know what it witnessed or what it may have absorbed over the years.
*Name has been altered to protect the privacy of the individual involved.