Friday, October 21, 2011

Ghostly Tales

In honor of Halloween, one of our favorite times of the year, my daughter, Keshia, will be bringing you some ghostly tales...

I love this time of year. The leaves are changing colors, I can get pumpkin spiced anything, and Halloween is just around the corner. Which means that the travel channel is helping me add to my list of “places I must visit” and there is another “scary movie” coming out every time I turn around. It’s also the perfect time to sit around the campfire and share ghost stories. I’ll go first!

 About twenty years ago a friend of a friend of mine got a new job out-of-state. After just a few weeks of searching, he and his wife found the perfect house: three bedrooms, big kitchen, a nice backyard, and, most importantly, the price was right. It wasn’t long before they were all settled in. 

Jonathan loved his new job, and thought everything was great. Tammy, on the other hand, wasn’t so sure about their move. As soon as they’d moved in she began complaining that she didn’t like being alone in their new home. Jonathan assured her that the noises were just the house settling, and that she was just uneasy in a new place.

But Tammy knew it was more than that. At first, it there were only little things: a radio playing when she thought she’d turned it off, or the coffee cup she remembered leaving on the bar appearing in the living room. And there was the constant feeling of being watched. Since she knew how happy Jonathan was, she tried to keep her complaints to herself and be a supportive wife.

 That changed the night she woke to see a shadow standing over Jonathan’s side of the bed, arm raised as if holding a knife. She screamed and the shadow disappeared, but not before she caught the glint of a steel blade in the moonlight. Jonathan bolted out of bed at Tammy’s scream. Even though she saw the shadow disappear, she wouldn’t sleep until Jonathan circled the entire house, checking every lock, and making sure all of their kitchen knives were in place.

Maybe it was just because Tammy was now constantly on edge, but she sensed a definite change in the house after that night. The air was always heavy, as if it was about to storm. The feeling of being watched grew so strong that she kept a can of pepper spray in her pocket at all times, and she woke up at least twice a week, soaked in sweat, screaming from some terrible dream she couldn’t quite remember.

For weeks, she begged to move. But Jonathan wouldn’t consider it. He couldn’t understand what had gotten into his wife. She had never been an overly nervous person, but now she wanted to move because of a bad dream. Not knowing what else to do, he suggested that Tammy start volunteering in the community, or even get a part-time job to get her out of the house some.

 Tammy agreed that time away would be best, and started filling out applications. When she handed in her first application, at the local library, the librarian immediately commented on her address. “So you’re the one who bought that place. Isn’t it creepy living there, after everything that happened?”

Tammy was immediately interested. “I’m afraid I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Oh. You didn’t know about the murders?” She directed Tammy to the town’s newspaper archives.

 Tammy quickly learned that a couple had been murdered in the master bedroom-her room- by their teen-age son. Not only had the realtor failed to mention that, he also forgot to mention that the house had been rented out to two brothers before she and Jonathan bought it. Their bodies had been discovered in the living-room several days after they died, an apparent murder-suicide.

Tammy rushed home to tell Jonathan what she’d learned. Finally, she had proof. The house really was evil. They had to leave. Unfortunately, it was already too late for Jonathan.

To be continued…

Can someone pass the marshmallows?  
Keshia Swaim