The yellow haunted house in Charlotte sits back on the corner of two streets, you might not even notice it if you aren’t paying attention.
Clearly closed off, but not totally abandoned, you have to wonder, is that yellow house in Charlotte haunted? As the story goes, the house was built in 1900 and soon after the De LeChamps family from England moved in. Louis (father), Caroline (mother), and their two daughters Genvieve and Charlotte moved in. The house sat on 5 acres and Mr. De LeChamps grew corn and Mrs. De LeChamps built a beautiful garden in the back. The corn was not needed by the De LeChamps family as they were part of the ‘upper crust’ in Charlotte at that time. A banker by day, Mr. De LeChamps loved to attend parties and brag about what to do with all the corn he was growing. Both Mrs. De LeChamps and Genvieve got on quite well in their new surroundings. As a pretty blonde, Genvieve had all the boys after her and became one of the most sought after girls to attend a party with. Mrs. De LeChamps hosted tea parties for all her friends in her beautifully manicured garden.
Charlotte, however, did not adjust so well. She preferred to be by herself and felt inferior to her beautiful blonde sister. Sometimes, clumsy, she always walked ‘heavy footed’ like she was stomping. She was never invited to parties and nobody really wanted to be her friend. However, when she walked into the corn fields and looked up in the sky and saw all the crows waiting to come down to eat the corn, she felt at home. It is said the crows also became very aware of her and even landed on her once in a while!
Charlotte would spend all her time in the cornfields, do her studies, read a book, or just sit there with the crows. The neighbors started talking about the “Crow girl”. There were whispers amongst the neighbors and rumors started flying. They would say things like while Charlotte sat in the corn fields, crows would surround her in a circle and Charlotte could actually talk to them. Other rumors included that Charlotte had hidden wings under her dress and that really, the only reason Mr. De LeChamps grew the corn was because Charlotte only ate corn! Charlotte could care less about the rumors, but Mr. & Mrs. De LeChamps were humiliated in their new found city.
They forbade Charlotte from entering the corn fields and even bought a bird cage to show the neighbors they knew the crows were wild animals. Charlotte was heartbroken. She snuck out of her room every night, even though she knew if her father ever found out he would be very upset. She felt solace and a part of something in the field with her crows. She enjoyed their company and they really seemed to enjoy hers. When her parents were not home, she would release the captured crow from the bird cage. Legend has it, when she released a crow, it would fly away, then come down swoop gently by and touch Charlotte’s face with it’s wing. She had to do this numerous times as every time she released a crow, her father would capture another one and put it in the bird cage.
One day, when Charlotte went to release a crow from the bird cage she found it had a broken wing and could not fly. Much to her surprise, her mother and father came outside just at that time and demanded her to step away from the crow. Crying, she walked slowly away, begging her father to leave the bird alone. Her father and mother were furious with Charlotte for embarrassing them in this community and said they had had enough! Mr. De LeChamps walked over to the injured bird, grabbed it and snapped it’s neck. Charlotte screamed in horror as she could do nothing to save the bird. Her father, screaming at the top of his lungs said he was going to cut down all the corn the next day and hired many a men with guns to shoot all the remaining crows.
Charlotte screamed and yelled until she had no voice left. She cried and begged and pleaded for her father to change his mind. He told her. “What is done is done. Your crows will be gone by this time tomorrow.” Running up the stairs, Charlotte could not stop crying, but she was so tired she flung herself on her bed and cried herself to sleep. It is said that at about 1 am, she heard a “tick tick tick” on her window. As she remembered what was going to happen later that day she swung open her window to see 10 crows on her window sill. They did not fly off when she opened the window, instead, they would fly a little, come back, fly a little farther and come back, like they were telling her to go outside. She ran down the stairs, as quietly as possible, and outside towards the cornfield. When she finally felt safe, she sat down and pleaded with the birds to just leave. She was really hoping they understood her. She shooed them away, but they would not leave, as a matter of fact, the more she tried to get them to leave, the more crows showed up. She wanted them to leave…hours passed as she pleaded for the birds to just leave, avoid their dreaded fate. She apologized to them for bringing them harm. Just as dawn was approaching, she finally collapsed to the ground and fell asleep instantly due to exhaustion and was surrounded by crows. Some say, they were guarding her.
Little did Charlotte know the gun toting men had been ordered to show up at dawn and shoot as many birds as possible. Charlotte was awakened by the sounds of gunfire and the crows screeching and a burning pain in her head. She could not get up and there was a crow sitting on her chest staring at her. They say Charlotte could see the sadness in the crows eye. The crow then used its wing to wipe what was running down Charlotte’s head….blood. Charlotte looked at the bird and whispered with her last breath, “Thank you for being my friend” and Charlotte De LeChamps was dead.
When the men started shooting, they did not realize that among the hundreds of crows lay Charlotte. They did not see her and when they shot at the birds, they accidentally shot at Charlotte and hit her in the head with a bullet. Once the men figured out what they had done, they ran to get Mr. & Mrs. De LeChamps. When they finally reached Charlotte, what they saw they couldn’t believe. Their dead daughter surrounded by hundreds of crows who seemed to have their heads bowed. The crow that had wiped the blood from Charlotte’s head, lay atop Charlotte’s chest dead as well. They do not know why that crow had died. It had not been shot. It is said it died of a broken heart.
The De LeChamps family never recovered from their daughters death and eventually moved to another city. When the house was finally purchased in 1950, the new owners plowed the corn fields and let weeds grow instead. Strange things started happening after they plowed the corn fields. Their son, who happened to occupy Charlotte’s old room, complained of tapping on his window at night. Most nights he ran straight to his parents room. One night, when the son’s father tried to convince his son there was nothing at the window, he opened the window only to find 10 crows sitting on the window sill. He tried to shoo them away, but they wouldn’t leave. The next day at work, he told his friends about the weird experience and said it was as if the birds had been waiting for someone.
Then out of no where, there were days that the sky almost looked black. Hundreds of crows were circling and cawing. There was nothing this family could do to get the crows to leave. When the father shot at the crows, they would come in for attack, chasing the man inside. One night, the father went to check on his sleeping son. His son was not in the bedroom! He went outside screaming for his son, and then he heard a whisper, “I am here Dad.”. The father ran to his son, but stopped in his tracks and could not believe what he saw. The son was in the middle of weeds where the cornfield used to be. He was lying on his back and was surrounded by hundreds of crows with their heads bowed and one crow was lying on his chest. Terrified, the father ran to the son and grabbed him and ran inside the house.
When asked about this incident, the boy said there had been tapping on the window and he opened it. He said the crows told him to follow them, so he followed them to the weeds. He said the crows asked him to lie down and he did. He said they were his friends. He said the crow on his chest told him they would protect him. The crow said they would save him, because they could not save their best friend.
The dad, sick with fear his son had gone mad, immediately moved out of the house and left it abandoned.
It is said that to this day, it is possible to drive by that house and see crows sitting on the windowsill of Charlotte’s old room. Neighbors in the area have complained to animal care and control that several times a year their neighborhood is overrun with crows circling that house.
It has even been said that when the crows circle, the window to Charlotte’s old room happens to be open….like she is back visiting the birds. So if you are ever in that area when the birds are circling, take a look at the upstairs window…..you never know if you will see Charlotte in the window.
One more thing…..there is absolutely NO truth to this story. HA!