Ghosts

What do you guys think about ghosts?

Are they real? Is there such a thing as a haunted house?

Or is it something else? Like something in an alternate plane breaking through into our world?

Tell me your thoughts.

Ghost Stories #5 part 1

Spring

          Shawn and Linda bought the house on Harper Lane after touring several homes in the area. They thought it was the cutest little house in the neighborhood. They felt no reason to question its vacancy. They signed the papers, and moved in.

          There was a small patio surrounded by a low brick wall that had a flower garden just the right size for Linda’s blossoming green thumb. There were three cozy bedrooms, a spacious kitchen and plenty of storage. The backyard wasn’t anything to turn your nose up at either. It was perfect for their family. A room for their little girl, Angie, and a room for an office.

          It wasn’t until a month later that Linda noticed something odd.

          Linda was a compulsive cleaner. She like to have things neat and clean at all times. Everything had a place. And there wasn’t anything that drove her more nuts than cabinet doors being left open. Shawn knew this. And yet, every morning when Linda would get up to start making breakfast, there would be cabinet doors open.

          At first it was only one. And she ignored it. Then there were two or three, and she would close them and go about her day. And then it was all of them. And she couldn’t take it anymore.

          “Shawn!” Linda’s fists were tightly clenched and she resisted the urge to stomp her foot.

          “What is it?” Shawn appeared from the hallway, buttoning up his shirt. Linda gestured around the kitchen; her lips pursed. “Oh.”

          “Oh? That’s all you have to say?”

          “What? You don’t think I did this?”

          “Who else? Angie’s two! Unless she’s been dragging a chair all around the kitchen while we sleep, I don’t know how you could think – “

          “I’m sorry, dear, but I didn’t do this. You’re the last one to bed and the first one up.”

          “Are you sleepwalking?”

          “Are you?”

          Linda deflated. “I’m sorry. I just don’t understand. It’s been all week. I thought… I don’t know. Thought you were trying to be funny.”

          Shawn went around the kitchen and closed the cabinet doors, then he kissed his wife on the cheek. “I don’t have a cruel sense of humor. It’s probably just the foundation. I’ll have someone come out to check it. Okay?”

          “Yeah, sure.” Linda sighed. “I’m sorry I accused you. It’s just been driving me crazy.”

          Shawn kissed her again. “Don’t worry about it, love.”

          But she did worry about it. Because after Shawn left for work, she had to close the cabinets three more times. Even the dishwasher was hanging open when she went to the kitchen to make lunch. She wasn’t sure she believed it was the foundation. She felt like she was being mocked.

          But she eventually put it from her mind. A man came to check the house and scheduled a day to come and level the foundation. Linda was able to dismiss the cabinet doors now, knowing there was a perfectly sane cause for their opening. If only they’d been able to schedule the leveling sooner than a month away. But she tried to live with it the best she could.

          Shawn, on the other hand, discovered his own worries. He had a workbench in the garage where he liked to build model cars. Nothing special, just a hobby to keep his hands busy. His day job was a little monotonous and he needed a creative outlet. He spent two or three evenings a week in the garage to assemble and paint the little cars. It was on one of these occasions that he began to hear the footsteps. It sounded like someone was pacing right on the other side of the garage door.

          “Linda, is that you?” Shawn said. He didn’t know why she might be outside, unless she was just getting some fresh air while Angie played in her room. But pacing?

          When no one answered and the pacing continued, Shawn rapped on the garage door. The sound stopped for a brief moment, and then continued. There was still no answering voice.

          Shawn set down his miniature tools and went to investigate. Linda was in the kitchen washing dishes and Angie was toddling her dolls back and forth in the living room.

          “Where you going, hun?” Linda asked when she saw Shawn heading for the front door.

          “I think there’s someone outside,” he said. “I hear footsteps in the driveway. I’m just going to check it out.”

          “Be careful,” Linda said, but without any real concern.

          Shawn walked around the house to the driveway and looked around. There wasn’t anyone there. He went out the street and looked both ways, but he didn’t see anyone at all.

          “See anybody?” Linda asked when he reentered the kitchen.

          “No.” Shawn frowned. “But I swear I heard someone out there. They just wouldn’t answer when I said anything though.”

          “Hmm… Should we get some cameras, maybe?” Linda picked up on his tone and felt the beginnings of worry herself.

          “Maybe. I’ll see if I hear anything again. It might have been my imagination.” Even though he knew it wasn’t, he didn’t want to cause any alarm.

          Two days later, though, he heard it again. There was definitely someone walking back and forth in his driveway. Just on the other side of the door. Shawn would swear it to anyone. This time he wasted no time and ran through the house and outside to try and catch the culprit. But again, no one was there. No one in the street. No one hiding behind a fence. Nothing.

          “Shawn?” Linda stood in the doorway; her face pinched with fear.

          “I’m going to look into getting some security cameras.”
          “Are we not safe here?”

          “It’s going to be fine. Don’t worry about it.”

          Shawn found some reasonably priced security cameras a week later. He installed them around the outside of the house and watched the monitors obsessively for three days straight. And he saw nothing. He heard nothing. After the fourth day, he relaxed and went back to working on his model cars in his spare time.

          In late April, after the house had been leveled and the cabinet doors didn’t open on their own anymore, after there hadn’t been any sign of a stranger in their driveway, Linda discovered something different to be frightened of.

          She’d been cleaning all morning. The vacuum scared Angie, so she played in her room with the door shut. It was nearing lunchtime when Linda went to find her. But she wasn’t in her room.

          “Angie?” She called into the hallway.

          Linda heard a splash and a giggle from the bathroom. She sighed and shook her head, but there was a smile on her face.

          “What are you doing in here?” Linda put her head around the doorframe of the bathroom and saw Angie in the bathtub. Angie was fully clothed, but the tub was almost overflowing with water. “Oh, Angie.”

          Angie giggled and splashed the water over the edge.

          “How did you fill up the tub by yourself.”

          “I didn’t.” Angie held up her arms so Linda could lift her out of the tub.

          “You know you aren’t supposed to lie to me.”

          “Not lying. She did it.” Angie pointed back to the bathtub.

          “Angie there isn’t anyone there.”

          “Yeah, huh.”

          Linda peeled off Angie’s wet clothes and wrapped her in a towel. She then reached into the tub to unplug the drain. For a brief moment as she tugged on the chain, she felt a hand wrap around her wrist and squeeze. She screamed and jumped back from the tub, nearly tripping over Angie.

          “She wasn’t done with her bath, mommy.” Angie said.

Ghost Story #4

          “Which dorm are you in?” Kimmy asked.

          “Um…” I rechecked my move-in paperwork. “Foster Hall.”

          “Oh, damn.”

          “What?”

          “My older brother said that one’s haunted.”

          “Psh, yeah right.”

          “No, really. Apparently a student goes missing every year near the holidays.”

          “Goes missing or drops out during finals?”

          Kimmy rolled her eyes. “Okay, okay, you’re a non-believer.”

          Before I could respond, I heard shouting from behind us.

          “Kimmy! Shawna! Wait up!”

          “Oh great,” I muttered. “I didn’t know pipsqueak got accepted here.”

          “Yeah, she was waitlisted. But she’s here now.” Kimmy faked a smile. “Hey, Dezzy.”

          Dezzy pulled up just short of barreling into us and put her hands on her knees while she caught her breath. Kimmy and I exchanged an eye roll over her head.

          “Hey guys. I’m so glad I found you. This place is huge.”

          “Sure is,” I said. To Dezzy anything was huge, though. She was under five feet tall. But I kept that comment to myself. Even though she’d been kind of the outcast of our grade, I tried not to be openly mean to her. It was just so hard to be nice to her sometimes.

          “I’m so excited to be here. I’m taking so many cool classes. What are you guys majoring in? It’d be awesome if we had a class together.”

          As Dezzy rambled, Kimmy and I resumed walking. She kept pace with us and we added the appropriate “yeah”s and “cool”s. I already couldn’t wait to ditch her.

          “ – and I hear Foster Hall is haunted!” Dezzy gave a squeal and I finally took notice of what she was saying. “I’m on the fourth floor, right below the attic –“

          “Wait, you’re in Foster too?” I interrupted.

          “Too? You’re in Foster? Oh yay! Practically roommates. We should do a séance, try to weed out the spirits.”

          “I’ll pass.” My shoulders slumped as I realized how much harder it was going to be to shake her off now.

          And so, college began. Turns out Dezzy was in the room next to mine. I was thrilled. She’s kind of grown on me, though. In a stalker-y way. She knows my schedule without me telling her, but she brings me coffee before my first class every day. I try not to be annoyed with her; she’s just trying to be nice. If only she’d lay off the ghost thing.

          “Didn’t you hear that?” Dezzy’s eyes were as round as plates as she stared at the ceiling of the common room.

          “Hear what?” I had one headphone in and was trying to stay focused on my research paper.

          “That thud. From up there.”

          “It’s probably just someone getting’ it on,” Kimmy said.

          I looked up in time to see Dezzy turn red. “It’s fall break. We’re like the only people here.”

          Kimmy shrugged. “All the more reason it’s people banging. No one’s here to catch them.”

          “I want to go check it out. Do you guys know how to get into the attic?” Dezzy stood up from the table.

          “No way, girl. Sit your ass down. We’re not dumb kids in a scary movie,” Kimmy said, suddenly serious.

          “I thought you said it was just people doin’ it?” I said with a laugh.

          “Oh, shut up. Doesn’t mean we should take any risks.”

          “What risks? There’s no such thing as ghosts.”

          But then I heard something too. A thud and something like metal clanging together. We all froze and eyed the ceiling.

          “Want to go look now?” Dezzy asked.

          “Hell no. Ghost or no ghost, I’m not going into the attic. Now just get back to work.”

          After that day, I started having nightmares. I don’t want to believe that the two things are connected. It was probably just nerves about finals coming up.

          But it was always the same.

          I would be searching a dark room. I don’t know what I’m looking for until I see Dezzy in a corner. I call out to her but she doesn’t seem to hear me. She’s staring, petrified at whatever’s in front of her. I get closer and reach out to grab her, but then she… this is the worst part… her skin just melts away.

          I scream and wake up.

          But it’s just nerves. It doesn’t mean anything.

“Where’s Dezzy?” Kimmy asked after she bounded up the steps to the patio outside Foster.

          I sat at one of the tables, checking over my notes for my last final. “I dunno. I’ve been waiting for fifteen minutes.”

          “You’ve been waiting out here? It’s freezing!” Kimmy shivered and stomped her feet to keep her toes warm.

          I shrugged. “Layers. Lots of layers.”

          “Why not wait inside, though?”

          I shrugged again. I didn’t want to talk about the weird feeling I’d been getting for the last week. Not to Kimmy, especially. But it had felt like a shadow was over me anytime I walked down the hallway or took the elevator. I’d switched to the stairs on Wednesday, but it had only gotten a little better.

          “Well, come on. Let’s go check her room. She’s supposed to quiz me for my geography final since she took hers yesterday.”

          I hesitated, but gave in at the idea of having to confess my worries to Kimmy.

          The lobby was empty, as were the common areas on each floor as we ascended the stairs. Most students were in the library studying if they weren’t currently taking an exam.

We arrived at the fourth floor and felt the temperature drop.

          “Brr….” Kimmy wrapped her arms around herself and her breath came out in a cloud. “Someone playing with the thermostat up here, or what?”

          I didn’t respond. This was another reason I was prepared with layers of clothing. It’d been like this for three days and no one had figured out why.

          Kimmy jogged down the hall and pounded on Dezzy’s door.

          “Pipsqueak! Come on! We’ve been waiting on you!”

          There was no answer. Kimmy jiggled the doorknob, but it was locked.

          “Ugh, where else could she be?”

          There was a thud and a bang from above us, followed by a muffled scream.

          “Shit,” I said and jumped.

          “You don’t think….” Kimmy trailed off, looking up.

          “What?’

          “Could she have gone up there? She kept trying to get us to investigate the weird noises.”

          “Oh man… she might be…” My dream started to play in my head.

          “We should go get her. She must have tripped and hurt herself.”

          “Maybe we should call for some help first.”

          “Don’t be silly. I thought you didn’t believe in ghosts.” Kimmy tugged on my arm and I let her drag me down the hall.

          A utility closet stood ajar next to the bathrooms. A ladder was visible in the back and a dim light fell on it from an opening in the ceiling.

          “I wonder how she found it.” Kimmy grabbed my arm again. “Come on.”

          Every fiber of my being was telling me to turn back. To get away. To run as fast as I could. But I couldn’t let Kimmy go up there alone. She was already halfway up the ladder, her head poked up into the square of light.

          “Dezzy? Are you up here?”

          I heard a voice say, “help me,” in response. But it was wrong. That wasn’t Dezzy. I tried to reach out to grab Kimmy’s leg, but I couldn’t reach. She was through the hatch, her feet disappearing from view.

          “I’m coming, hang on.”

          I was frozen to the floor. I couldn’t go up there, even if I’d tried. My jaw was clenched shut. I couldn’t make a noise. Something was wrong.

          I heard a growl from above me. Louder than any dog. Deeper. More menacing.

          “Dezzy?” I heard Kimmy say, her voice faltering. She’d realized her mistake now.

          There was a rough giggle in reply. The sound was like broken glass. It grated on my nerves and I felt sickened to my core. “She’s already gone,” the voice said, turning my stomach. “Would you like to join her?”

          I’ll never forget Kimmy shrieking my name. Begging for my help. It’s all I hear at night when I’m alone.

          I couldn’t go to her. I couldn’t move.

          Only once her scream had died away was I unfrozen. Once I could go, I didn’t know where to. Not up the ladder, it was too late for that. But not for help either. I already knew there’d be nothing to find up there. If that were the case, this would have stopped long ago. After the first student was taken.

          All I can do now is try to warn others. Tell them that someone has to feed the beast in the attic…  

Ghost Stories #1

The Elementary School

                They said the school was built on a cemetery. Not something we were eager to believe, but we couldn’t deny the strange things that happened.

                For starters, there was the cat. No one knew where it came from, or how it had gotten inside, but everyone had seen it. It would be rounding a corner as you passed a hallway. Or pacing in front of the stairs as you went into your classroom. If you tried to get close, it would be gone in seconds. Off to its hiding place.

                Then there was the creature. At the back of the field there was a sewer grate. We used to drop berries through the holes, until we heard the growling. The older kids would warn us about losing our fingers if we stuck them down there. No one could tell us what it was exactly, but we all knew there was something.

                Not to mention the time the fire alarm went off in the middle of winter. Us kids stood shivering in the snow for over an hour as the grown-ups tried to find out what had happened. It wasn’t a drill. No one had pulled it. Even the fire fighters couldn’t figure it out.

                But worst of all was the girl’s bathroom on the first floor. We were ignorant little kids. We tempted fate. We turned out the lights and played Bloody Mary. Now, everyone knows what’s supposed to happen; or at least a few different versions of it. But we didn’t see a face in the mirror or anything like that. Instead, the lights would start to flicker. The stall doors would slam open and closed. And then there’d be a girl’s voice, calling to us to come and play. Most of us would run for it by that point; screaming and laughing in the hallway. We thought we were so clever. So cute.

                But one day, Anna didn’t run out with the rest of us. She wanted to be brave. She wanted to prove herself. But all she proved was that it was possible to drown in a toilet.