I’ve told all of you about my ghost friend Abe. I know many of you probably don’t believe in ghosts, hauntings, things that go bump in the night. I do, because I’ve seen and heard things that are not explained otherwise. I’ve seen way too many ghosts for anyone to tell me they don’t exist. Just because a person hasn’t seen a ghost, doesn’t win the argument that they are not real. I believe there are many things we do not see, but they still exist.
This ghost that I’m going to tell you about was seen and felt in my childhood home along with Abe. It just wasn’t as nice as Abe. In fact, this ghost gave off a distinct aura of menace. It was quite scary, especially for a kid. As I stated in my story about Abe, there were 8 children that lived in that house. The oldest being about 16, the youngest just a baby of about a year old. I was somewhere towards the younger side. We lived in that house for many years.
All of us kids had seen or ‘felt’ the ghosts in the house. The adults did too, but I didn’t learn that until I was much older and we had moved out of the house. Even my dad had to admit there was something in the house besides us. Which was major as my dad didn’t believe in much.
I can only tell this story from my viewpoint. I do know that all of us kids felt or saw this mean ghost. We used to whisper about it on the front porch. It seemed safer to us to whisper then to speak out loud about it. Remembering how I always felt when this ghost was near, maybe that whispering was a good idea.
The first time I ‘felt’ this ghost was shortly after we moved in. I was quite young then, about 5 or 6 I believe. From day one I hated the basement. As you went through the back door there was a small set of stairs leading down to an old wood door that was closed with an eye and hook. The basement went the whole length and width of the house above. There were windows, but they were small and dingy and let in little light, they were set high on each of the four walls. One small window in each wall. The lights were bare bulbs hanging from cords spaced far apart with a dirty string hanging from each. As you opened the door you had to feel around for that dirty string to pull. That was the first scare. In my young mind I always imagined something grabbing my hand as I searched for that string.
In the middle of the basement were the two furnaces (one for our living space and the other for upstairs). The furnaces split the large basement in half. On the right side was ‘our’ half, the left side belonged to the upstairs. So to get to our side where the laundry was done and where we stored extra canned goods, we had to find that first string for the light, then we had to walk about 8 feet to the next string hanging down to light up the next section of basement. For a small child this was so scary! That short walk to that other light seemed to last forever.
When I would go down to the basement, as soon as I opened that door I would be met with those feelings of being watched. I would turn on the light and run to the next light to turn that one on. The back of the basement would still be dark, with darker spots within. There wasn’t much back there, we stored most of our extra stuff in the attic because it was drier. The basement always was damp and smelled like old dirt, even though the walls were brick and the floor was cement. The smell of rank damp dirt was a constant. It smelled like a grave.
One day my mom sent me downstairs rather late in the afternoon. It was turning dark outside and so the basement was even blacker than usual. I was so scared! Even before I opened that door my heart was racing and I wanted to cry. With a lump in my throat I reached inside and felt for that string to turn the light on. That one bulb hardly made a difference in the inky blackness. I couldn’t make myself run for the other light. Fright had me frozen for a bit. Taking slow steps with my eyes on the darkness, I was hoping to see Abe, for at least he was friendly. This darkness made me feel terrified. There was something there I could feel, a pressure in the air bearing down on me.
I might have been a young child, but I knew that what ever was in that darkness was not good. I reached for that dirty white string, just as I started to pull it, my eyes spotted something move in the back of the basement! I knew it wasn’t Abe because I saw nothing of his tell-tale top hat. Also, with that movement I felt an icy cold breeze that to this day brings goose bumps to my arms. Abe never gave off that icy coldness. This thing, whatever it was brought terror to a young girls soul.
I remember feeling a scream working itself out of my dry throat. It wouldn’t come though. I watched that cold black shadow move from the corner of the basement toward the left side. When I could no longer see it, I became unfrozen and ran to the shelf where I grabbed a can of peas off the shelf (that’s what I was sent to fetch). I quickly turned the light off and ran for the door! Just as I reached the safety of that small doorway I felt that icy breeze once more on the back of my neck. I pulled the last string light off, closed the door and locked it almost all at the same time!
I ran up the steps and flew to the kitchen door! I don’t ever remember being so scared. Not then, not ever since. Though there have been a few times in my life that was a close second, but that day in my childhood still stays with me like it was yesterday.
That is not my last encounter with that cold dark being. What happens next will have to wait for another post. But soon my pretty’s, soon I will tell you the tale of the dark being and how he terrorized my family. The story is not done yet………
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