So…Halloween and Día de los Muertos are right around the corner, and they are my fave times of the year.
So with that in mind, I’m gonna tell you a ghost story and then turn it over to all of you.
Tell me a creepy story that happened to you or someone you know or maybe it’s local lore where you’re from or where you are now. Like that. That story will be your entry in a drawing to win BOTH OF THESE BOOKS! OMG! HALLOWEEN TWO-FER!
We’ll draw a winner WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 31 at 9 PM EST US!
An ebook copy of Andi Marquette’s (that would be MOI) The Secret of Sleepy Hollow, a reboot (WITH LADY GAY-TYPES!) of the classic American ghost story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” (1820), by Washington Irving (novella available at Project Gutenburg).
An ebook copy of R.G. Emanuelle’s gothic thriller (WITH MORE LADY GAY-TYPES!) The Potion. A secret formula. A mysterious blue potion. A determined woman. And some unscrupulous men.
I’ll start us off.
Here’s one of MY ghost stories. This happened to me when I was in high school. At the time, my family was living within the town (about 3,000 people) where I grew up. I spent most of my years until then on a farm about 5 miles outside of town, so actually being in town was different for me.
At any rate, we had rented a house that had been built during the 1930s, in kind of an art deco style, which was different than a lot of the Queen Anne-style houses of this town, like, for example, the mansion right next door. Regardless, this house had that art deco kind of curviness to its interior and exterior, as it looked like something out of the Southwest but with those cool deco touches.
Over the years, owners had updated it with new wiring and plumbing (including an addition off the back with an indoor hot tub off the master bedroom), but it had left a lot of the cool historical touches inside, like the trim and the cool arched entryways on the original part of the house, which encompassed the front room (living room), and two bedrooms off it with a shared bathroom between them, a dining nook, and then a re-done kitchen.
Here’s the thing. I never liked that house. Bad ju-ju, icky feelings, and the sense that I was being watched (in a bad way), especially if I was home alone. As an aside, the family dog NEVER came into my bedroom. She’d lie right on the threshold if I had my door open, but she would not go in.
One night, my mom had a friend over (let’s call her Anne) and they were chatting in the front room/living room, seated on the couch. The bedroom I was in was right off the front room, close to the front door. I was still awake and I came out of my bedroom into the front room/living room (my bedroom door opened directly into that room).
At that point, Anne stopped talking to my mom and leaned forward and looked past her into the dining nook (which we didn’t eat in; we used it as a nook for our stereo equipment). I was on the opposite side of the front room, away from the nook. Anne was facing away from me. And then she said to my mom, “Do you always let your neighbors come in this late?”
And both my mom and I looked at each other and if I was a cartoon, my hair would’ve been standing straight up. We both looked toward the dining nook, but I didn’t see anything. And then Anne said, “That’s weird.” And she stood up and looked around. “Where’d she go?”
And then my mom said, “You saw her, too?”
Anne got this look like, oh, shit. My mom asked her to describe “the neighbor,” and Anne said she was an older heavyset woman wearing kind of an old-style dress, like a woman in the 40s might wear. “She was standing right there,” Anne said, pointing at the dining nook. “I thought she came in through the back door.”
Which was locked. We went and checked again just to make sure.
And at that point my mom told us she’d seen this woman, too, in the house in that same area, but she hadn’t said anything because she didn’t want to freak us all out. I hadn’t seen her, I said, but I sure had felt like she was watching me, all disapproving. You know that feeling. The kind of disapproval that older, not-so-nice people directed at you when you were a ‘tween or teen. They didn’t say anything, but the look in their eyes was pretty clear that they thought you were some asshole punk kid and you’d better stay off their lawns, dammit, or they’d make your day hell.
Regardless, my mom was pretty relieved that Anne saw the woman, too (validation!), and after that, my mom and I commiserated about how we both thought the house had bad ju-ju and my mom had been trying to convince my dad to move, but we both knew ghost stories wouldn’t do it.
Well, a few months later, the sewer backed up, messing up part of the back yard. And then a few weeks after that, a pipe blew in the hot tub room, spewing water everywhere. Soon after, there was a major leak in the roof in the bathroom just off the hot tub room and because the ceiling had latex paint on it, the water built up behind it and the paint somehow managed to stretch and not leak so that there was this huge weird alien-looking bubble hanging from the ceiling. My dad pierced it with a nail so we could empty it into buckets before it burst all over the bathroom.
After that, my dad was over it, and we did move.
I still wonder if the woman my mom and Anne had seen had anything to do with all that cray with the plumbing and bad ju-ju (I’m leaning yes). We did find out later that the people who moved in after us — an older straight couple with no kids/teens living with them — had absolutely no problems.
No accounting for a ghost’s tastes, I guess. I was just glad to be gone from that house and I never went back.
All right! Post your creepy encounters/stories/anecdotes in the comments to get in on the drawing for this two-fer Halloween/Día de los Muertos book goodness! Join in the Halloween vibe! Have some fun! 🙂
Happy Friday and if a ghost doesn’t like you, it’s probably a good idea to move.