Well, it’s All Hallows Eve eve, so while I contemplate supper, and just in case I forget tomorrow, here’s one of my stories, a rather fun one.
When I was a kid of about 8 or 9, I was alone in an old sandstone home one sunny summer afternoon, upstairs in my bedroom coloring gemstones I had drawn. It seems my artistic bent began at an early age.
Downstairs, I heard a click, like a light switch. I listened intently in case someone had snuck in and was messing around, but I heard nothing further, so I went back to coloring. Then I heard it again. I knew that there was no such things as ghosts, as I was fond of flaunting my science oriented mind even back then, but this was weird. The house was fairly old and the floors creaked. Was something flipping lights off… some overload? And then they began turning on and off in a fairly regular rhythm. Going from room to room, something was flipping all the light switches on the first floor, but without squeaking a single board. In typically brave 9 year old fashion, I crawled under my bed to hide. There were vents which ran through the upstairs floor, so you could get a draft of warm air and a look downstairs, which I was fond of doing. But not this time. I began to creep over to mine, but I was afraid I might see something, but just as afraid of seeing nothing.
This went on for about fifteen minutes, and then abruptly stopped, and there was silence for quite a while, other than faint sounds from outside. I began to crawl out from under my bed fort, when I heard something else. It sounded like papers being ruffled, or leaves blowing in a breeze, but more like papers. I looked outside, but the air was calm. What was causing this! If it was a spook, why now, why me? Maybe because I was alone, and made fun of spooks? Needless to say I didn’t want to go peek downstairs just to see things blowing around that didn’t belong there, or see nothing being shuffled about, so back under my fort I crawled. Again, this disturbance circled all through the first floor for about fifteen minutes or so, and I listened to it, quivering nervously. And then again it stopped, and there was silence for a time.
I hoped that Mr or Mrs Spook was done with the scared little me, and began to creep towards the stairs down, when I heard the faint sound of a footstep, and another… something was walking slowly around, stepping just lightly enough to make itself heard. And not a floor squeak to be heard, just quiet but distinctly audible footsteps. Crawling back under my fort and clutching a crayon for self defense - because what kid keeps an actual weapon upstairs like a baseball bat or something - I listened. And again, this thing wandered slowly around the rooms of the first floor, and again I resisted the urge to peek when it went below me. But then it made its way to the stairs to the second floor where I was, and began climbing them. I prayed to God to save me from Mr Spook, as it was a typical staircase and not very long, and even slowly, it was getting very close, almost to the last step…
When the phone downstairs rang. I jumped, clutching my waxy weapon to my cheek, afraid of what might happen. But a breeze immediately blew through the house, and something told me it was gone. So, figuring that my reasoning was sound, I tore downstairs to the empty first floor and answer the phone. It was one of my aunts, and I was breathless, and she asked in typical aunty cheer if I had run to the phone.
“Well… yeah…” I’m afraid I always sounded like my characters in real life.
“Is your mother there?”
“No, everyone’s gone.” I was still panting from my experience.
“Well, tell her I called, sweetie.”
“I will, I will!”
“Okay, bye bye!”
I hung up on her and thought of going outside where the world in general might be a little bit safer, just in case. Instead, I crept back up to my bed fort and sat on it, wondering what to do, and how I was going to explain this to mom when she came home. I’m beginning to have some sympathy for how dumb frazzled horror movie victims are.
It wasn’t long before I heard gravel popping in the driveway, and mom and my brothers had come back home. Breathless again, I decided to try and be scientific about this, so the first thing I told her when she was getting groceries out of the car was, “Mom! There was a ghost in the house!” So much for Mr Science, but frankly I didn’t know what else to tell her.
Naturally she wanted to know what happened, and in some detail, because I was always something of a detail freak, I told them all the things I had experienced, with the strange pauses between events. My younger brother chided me, “I thought you said there was no such things as ghosts.” I politely told him to shut up.
Mom was a bit perplexed, trying to figure out what had actually happened. “Well, honey, nothing looks disturbed. Are you sure a neighbor kid didn’t sneak in and try to scare you?”
“But the floors didn’t squeak! No one was on the stairs! And if they ran, they would make a racket!” I was determined that my account was one hundred percent accurate and there was no way shenanigans from anyone human was involved. And then she noticed that the basement light was on… and she was sure all the lights were off on such a sunny day when they left…
“Well… we’ll tell daddy when he comes home. Why don’t we go out for some ice cream?” And even though she’d just got groceries, I was in the mood for a jaunt away from home for a while, and evidently so was she.