Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Ghostly Encounter

Halloween Poem
A good friend Chris works with, Carol McKown, reminded me of how much I love a spooky story, especially if it is true. Her ghostly post (click the spooky story link above or the one here), and the one she wrote last year are both true stories in her life about ghostly visitors.  Here is my story!

When I started second grade, we moved from Lincoln, NE to an abandoned and rundown farm house near Sabetha, KS.  We worked long and hard to make the house livable, as it had sat empty and had been vandalized and neglected for a long time.  The weeds were about six to eight foot tall in the yard!  Dad had to build cabinets in the kitchen because there were none (giving my brother, Mark, and I lots of places to hide to scare each other!).  The house was very old, and apparently at one time a gas station had been on the corner near our house, which the owner lived in.  Granted, I have no documentation on any of the information here, all hear say picked up over the years.  The gas station was operating in the days of bootlegging, and cars with running boards.  The story goes that the owner was shot trying to stop a driver who was leaving without paying (happened even in the olden days!) and later died in our house.  I have NO idea if any of this is true or not, but it does make a good story!
In our house, my brother and my bedrooms were upstairs along with an extra bedroom, a storage room, and a play room for us.  The stairs (thirteen if you were wondering) separated our bedrooms with a bookshelf at the stair landing and our doors on either side.  From my room, you climbed a rise of two stairs, and there was a long wood floor hallway with the two rooms opening off each end, and the storage room in the middle.  Many nights I would lie in my bed, listening to what sounded like feet on the hallway floor.  They always seemed to go from the playroom to the extra bedroom, but not the other direction (I just realized that as I was writing this!).  For a while, we had my cousin living with us and she used the extra bedroom.  When I got into high school, I got to move to that big room.  I really loved it, Mom and I painted it and there were lots of windows, four in fact, one facing west, one east, and two south.  This was great on sunny and warm days, but in the winter the room got closed up and I moved downstairs to sleep, because was so cold you could see your breath, and frost covered the windows on the inside (no insulation).  In my room, there was a vent to allow heat to rise from the downstairs up (but wasn't actually attached to a duct work system).  The grate was beautiful too, probably a foot square and ornate metalwork.  My bedroom was directly above the living room, and my Mom's recliner sat right below the grate.  I could talk to her through the vent.

Mark and I are a year and a day apart in age.  We have never seen the world the same way, and when we were kids, argued and fought A LOT.  He took great pleasure in jumping out and scaring me, making me shriek (I still do too, conditioned response, I guess).  I liked to be left alone to read and listen to my stereo, so would close my door, and he would irritate me trying to scare me.  One day, I was in my room reading, lying in bed under the covers (winter but not yet so cold to move downstairs).  I kept hearing footsteps walking down the hallway to the bedroom door and then the door handle would rattle.  This happened several times, and so I started yelling at Mark to stop because he was scaring me.  My Mom heard me, and yelled up to see what my problem was.  I went over to the grate to tell her Mark was bugging me, and she said "no Mark is right here beside me watching t.v.".  Gulp!  About that time, the steps came to the door, and the door blew open, and I don't think I have EVER moved that fast.  I nearly flew downstairs.  Writing about it here, gives me pause, as I still feel that scary feeling in my stomach!

After this, Mark and I were both a bit jittery upstairs.  When we did close the upstairs off for winter, my old bedroom door got shut by the stairwell.  I had a cat (named Jake) whom I had rescued from hiding behind a trash dumpster at the restaurant I was a waitress at in high school.  Jake was a gold colored cat, and I loved him.  HE DID NOT RECIPROCATE THE FEELING.  Terribly ungrateful cat and had a tendency toward mean, at least toward me.  One day, I went upstairs to get stuff from my room and didn't realize I had a cat follow me upstairs.  I did what I needed to, and then went back down, closing the door behind me.  Mark was in his room, reading on his bed which faced the doors.  He soon heard the doorknob rattle on my old bedroom door.  It did this several times before he got the nerve up to go turn the nob.  As he did and the door opened, Jake flew out and down the stairs.  Mark could have KILLED him!  He was so scared and mad!

So there you have it.  My spooky encounter.  My nieces and nephews love for me to tell them this story.  Who doesn't love a spooky story?  I am an avid ghost story collector, I love reading them always on the lookout for a new book, listening to others tell theirs, or watching the "haunted" shows on T.V. especially this week!    Have a spooky story to share?  Please do! Happy Halloween!

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