Friday, May 30, 2014

Story Time - The Ghost

The last time I went to mothers was about a few weeks ago. On my way, I noticed a house for sale. I took down the number of the realtor and made a mental note to call.

I have a history with that house back from when I was about eight years old. I used to stay there over the weekends during one summer. Back then, the house belonged to my babysitter and her husband. They had two daughters around my age, I think 8 and 10.

Most of the living was done in the remodeled basement. It is huge. It runs the whole length and width of the house. The main open space is where they had their TV set up, and a couch and chairs. It was also carpeted. There were three additional rooms that ran off the main space. One room harbored the furnace and the washer and dryer. The second room was like a storage room where all the games that us kids played were kept. The third room was a guest bedroom. That was the room I had to sleep in.

I didn't mind at first. I was never too scared of anything in my life, least of all basements and attics. What seemed scary to most kids my age was nothing but a playground to me. Even that time we lived out on a farm across from a graveyard, I loved prowling around in it at night. Sometimes, especially if it was foggy, I would act like the walking dead just to try and scare some passer-by's.

I had already slept down there a few times before the first time of the event. I remember waking up and turning onto my back. Once my eyes came into focus, I saw a man standing in the doorway. My first thought was that it was my babysitters husband. But when my eyes worked themselves out, I saw that it wasn't. It was a much older, and elderly man. He was staring straight ahead before finally turning to me. I started freaking out. The elderly man smiled a most wicked looking smile. I screamed at the top of my young lungs and hid myself under the blankets.

I don't know why I screamed. He just looked wicked as hell. 

My babysitter came rushing down the stairs. She came into the room expecting bloody murder. "What in the dickens is the matter with you?"

Once I knew she was in the room, I felt safe. I came out from under the covers. "That man scared me." I said.

My babysitter scrunched her face in confusion. "What man?"

"That old man that was standing in the doorway." I explained. "He scared me. Who is he?"

"I have no idea what the devil you're talking about, boy. There is no man in this house. We're the only two here. Earl took the girls to go pick up the horse. We're gonna let you ride her today if you want."

Did she say horse? I love horses! And yes, I wanted to ride her. All of a sudden I had gotten way too excited and completely forgotten about the elderly man. 

I jumped out of bed, changed my clothes, ate breakfast and waited on the front porch for Earl and the girls. (And yes, I finally got to ride the horse. It was my first time ever to ride one.)

I never did think about that elderly man again. The following weekend Billy was over, He was a cousin of the girls. He was staying the whole weekend and he would be sleeping with me in the basement like he always done. He would stay about every other weekend. 

On that Saturday morning, I felt Billy shake me. I woke up and looked over at him. He was looking at the foot of the bed and pointing. His face whiter than a sheet. His mouth was moving but nothing was coming out. I turned to see what it was he was looking at. It was him again, the elderly man. He was standing at the foot of the bed and slightly leaning. That evil looking grin a flashing. I had no problem letting out my scream again. Billy somehow found his voice and joined me. Meanwhile, we both ducked under the blankets too. 

My babysitter came racing downstairs again, this time bringing the girls. Earl apparently had left earlier that morning. Once again, she came into the room expecting to see a murder scene or something. "What in the hell is wrong with you two boys?" She asked. 

Billy jumped to his feet and went to hug her around the waist. "I saw a scary man." He practically wept. My babysitter wasn't buying it. "Oh for heaven's sakes." She declared, then taking a look at me. "Now look at what you've done, Carroll, you got little Billy all worked up about your ghost." 

"He saw it first." I told her, but she didn't seem to give it no never mind. She just coddled Billy on their way back upstairs. "Breakfast is ready." She shouted back at me. Once I realized I was alone again, I got to my feet and scampered quickly out of there. 

Needless to say, little Billy never stayed the night there again. Well, not for the rest of my time there. A couple few weekends had passed before I saw this ghost again. And again, I gave a shout. And again, I got lectured. "You're just imagining things." My sitter would always say. I could tell it was working her patience. I started feeling like I was being scolded. I really was seeing a ghost. Billy saw it too. Why wouldn't she believe me? 

The last time I saw him, I had gotten up out of bed and turned to face the doorway and there he was. I quickly grabbed a porcelain sculpture that was sitting on the dresser, and I flung it at the elderly man. It went right through him, I guess, but whatever happened, the ghost was no longer standing there. 

The breaking of the sculpture brought my babysitter down. She was upset that I broke her porcelain doll thingy. I got into some big trouble. One thing was certain, I was glad when that summer was over. My mother found a new babysitter anyway. One who came to our house. 

But I never forgot about that house or that elderly man. 

Well, except for when I sometimes go to see mother. I have two ways I can basically travel. Every time I take the way I went that day, I see the house and I always reflect back to that summer. But this was the first time I noticed a "for sale" sign in the yard. Since I had always kind of wanted to revisit that room, I never thought it would be possible due to occupants in the house. I doubt I could just walk up to the door and say, "Hey, can I see your basement for moment?"

But now that it is for sale, maybe I could get a tour of the place posing as a potential buyer? So that's what I did. I had actually managed to arrange a tour that day. We scheduled it and I pulled into the driveway after leaving mother's house. I arrived first. My wait wasn't a long one. The realtor showed up about five minutes later. However, even in that wait and for the drive there, I was a bit nervous. 

The realtor led the way and she took me on a tour of the upper portion first. I could notice a lot of home improvements that were made over the years, I suppose that was to be expected. I could only wonder about the changes made in the basement. Soon, she led me down the stairs and I got to finally see first hand. 

The realtor took me to the other two rooms first, but I kept a silent eye on that room the whole time. When she finally led me to it, I stepped in and got a quick chill. I was taking it all in. Finally, after all of these many years, I got to go back to the place of my first haunting. 

We stepped out and began to head back upstairs when from out of the blue I blurted. "Do people still see the ghost?"

The realtor froze on the first step. I nearly bumped into her. She turned to look at me with a seriousness on her face. "You know about the ghost?"

Okay, I was only just kind of joking. I had no idea that anyone else had ever seen this ghost, but apparently, there were other people. 

I stared back at her. "The elderly man?" I mentioned. 

"You have seen him too?" She asked me. 

This is when I told her my story. Turns out that for the past ten plus years, people have been moving in and out of that house on a regular basis. I also learned that when my babysitter and her husband died, the daughter took over the house and sold it just as soon as they could. I guess maybe they knew about the ghost. 

The people who bought from them moved in and within a few years later, they were out. However, instead of them selling it, they tried to rent it out only they couldn't keep people in it for very long. Now they were selling it. 

I didn't buy the house, although I gave it some serious hard considerations. I'm not afraid of ghosts anymore. And truth be told, a part of me wants to try and figure out who that elderly man is. I asked the realtor if I could stay there for a few weeks before she sold it so I could investigate this ghost, but that wasn't going to happen. So anyhow, I am still here and left to wonder who that elderly man may be. Who is he looking for? What's his unfinished business? Oh the questions that go through my mind. I would really like to try and help him. I hope whoever ends up buying it will help the man. I don't think he is violent or anything. But I do get the feeling that he is trying to reach out and that he is trying to find something or someone. That's just my feeling. I kind of feel sorry for him now. 

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