I haven’t posted a blog in over a month. I’ve been busy working on the ending of my novel. Why are endings so difficult? I’ve also been researching and writing my critical essay on Pat Conroy. Both are due in November. I can’t believe I have one more semester to go before I graduate with a MFA in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University! Since Halloween is just around the corner I thought now would be a good time to share some ghost stories. Because I have several, I will post them separately.
After listening to ghost stores at Caswell Cemetery on Star Island this past June and not having the guts or the time to tell, I thought I’d share them now. I’m a better writer than a public speaker, if that’s saying much. I have a few stories that are true, though some skeptics might not believe. So be it; that’s their problem, not mine.
My first experience with a ghost occurred when I was in elementary school. I shared a room with my big sister Dee Dee. We were chatting late one evening in the darkness, each of us in our own twin beds. With her knees bent and feet planted on the mattress, out of nowhere, she screamed and scrambled out of bed, running to the light switch and flipping it on. I sat up, clutching my sheets to my chest, “What?” I asked, too startled to say any more.
“Something with four legs just jumped on my bed and crawled between my legs,” she said as she tried to catch her breath.
I don’t remember how the rest of that night went, but after that I had similar experiences. I would often awake to the feeling of something jumping up on my bed. Once, while my arm was dangling off the side, something scratched my hand. The fear lessened after talking with my mother about the strange happenings.
She had recently buried her old dog Prissy, some type of long-haired terrier, in the back yard. We had no other pets at the time. Mom admitted having similar encounters, and afterwards, my big brother did too. Everyone in the family felt Prissy’s presence jump on their beds, everyone, that is, but my dad. He was the skeptic, thinking we were all going crazy. We moved not long after that and we heard from neighbors that the family we sold the house to had not lived there long before they moved out. Prissy must have chased them away.
I also remember two occasions where I heard something that gave me the creeps. The first time I heard it I was living in the same house on Apperson where our dog haunted the place. It was a late summer night and my bedroom window was open. I woke to a crashing sound of lawn chairs being knocked over on the front porch. Following the crash, there was a noise that sounded like someone taking heavy steps and dragging a wounded leg (or maybe even a body). I heard the same thing again, months later, while spending the night, in a sleeping bag on the floor next to my cousin’s tall brass bed in El Paso. I could see under the bed which made me a bit nervous, but thankfully I didn’t see any dead bodies. It took me awhile to fall asleep, but when I finally did I was awakened by their old grandfather clock. I don’t remember if it struck midnight or what, but it was late and everyone in the household was fast asleep. The sound of the wounded leg (the only name I could think of to call it) started making its way down the long dark hallway, heading in my direction. I held my breath as I listened, staring at the darkened open door. It reached the doorway and stopped. There was nothing there as far as I could see. I told my family and cousins, but everyone said I had an active imagination. Thankfully, I haven’t heard it since.
(Stay tuned for more ghost stories.)