Back in 1983, there was an Episcopal priest named Father Hugh Edsall who, in the spring of that year, had been asked if he would do a favor for an old friend. Specifically, this friend wanted to know if the priest would do the honor of baptizing his newborn infant son, to which Edsall happily agreed.
To perform a baptism was not an unusual request. However, a few years later, he would receive one of the most unusual requests in all his years serving the clergy. The call came from a funeral home in Florida, where Edsall had recently moved, where a desperate-sounding manager contacted him about the possibility of arranging a blessing of their establishment.
According to the staff at the funeral home in question, a number of unusual things had been happening there in recent weeks. As it turns out, the funeral home in question had temporarily housed the remains of none other Ted Bundy, the infamous serial killer who was sentenced to death in 1989 for the deaths of two sorority sisters and a twelve-year-old girl, though he committed several other murders before being apprehended.
So what did the request for a family baptism have to do with Edsall’s unusual story? Truth is, the friend who requested the baptism for his newborn son had been this blogger’s father; and thus, remaining a friend of our family for decades afterward, I’ll never forget asking Father Edsall about the “unusual blessing” he performed while living in Florida. As he remembered the incident, “it was a very eerie experience,” with many of the staff at the location refusing to enter the building due to what they felt was something evil about the place.
Whether or not “evil presences”, hauntings, and the like are kind of thing you prescribe to believe, I was nonetheless reminded of Edsall’s story, after reading a recent news item claiming that similar unusual occurrences have been reported at one of the serial killer’s former residences.
In fact, it had been an attitude of general disbelief in such things that Casey Clopton, the contractor who initially bought the home, maintained prior to going there himself.
“I’m not one to believe a lot of this stuff, but this house made me a believer,” Clopton told the Star Telegram. The house, an appealing (if not delightful) little home in Tacoma, Washington, was bought last September by David Truong, who planned to remodel the place and resell it.
According to records, the Bundy family moved into the property in 1955, when the eventual killer was just nine years old. Within five years, one of the first suspected killings associated with Bundy occurred in the area, following the disappearance of an eight-year-old girl. Bundy, however, while in prison a number of years later, denied having any connection to that disappearance. The family remained at the home well after Ted Bundy left for college, entering a period of early adulthood where the eventual killer would volunteer for a number of politicians and political campaigns, as well becoming engaged before abruptly ending the relationship. Shortly thereafter, the murderous persona of Ted Bundy the killer would emerge.
According to Stacia Glenn, writing for the Star Telegram, the contractors who bought and restored the home referred to their acquisition as “really eerie but really neat,” noting that they were quiet about the revelation at first, “because we weren’t sure how people would react to knowing a serial killer lived there.”
Among the unusual things that occurred at the property, prompting Clopton to have blessings performed at the house, had been the words “help me” smudged on one of the basement windows. On another occasion, upon entry into the house (which had been locked previously), all of the cabinets and doors within the home were found standing open. On another occasion, the word “leave” was purportedly found in sheetrock dust in one of the rooms.
It is considered unlikely that Bundy could have engaged in any killings while he lived at the home, since he would have been a teenager at the time; and thus, for those who do prescribe to hauntings, the question of why this home, rather than one of the killer’s later residences, would be host to “ghostly” activity remains unanswered (then again, for any former home of a serial killer to not be at least a little “haunted” would just be disappointing, right?).
Nonetheless, it remains unclear whether the home’s current owners were aware of the building’s history at the time of purchase, although a number of earlier potential buyers apparently made inquiries about its infamous former resident.