This Weeks Story
June 7 , 2001
A haunted farmhouse encounter from
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Hailing From: Lake Charles LA
Where it Happened: A friend's home
A friend of mine (I'll call him Buddy) from my elementary school days has always sworn that his family home is haunted. The house is a large, wooden, frame house on a farm and was bought by his grandfather back some time during the depression, when the friend's father was only an infant. According to Buddy's grandmother and grandfather, the people who sold the house were "right miserly" and fairly "mean-tempered."
It surprised his grandmother that the women had recently planted some azealas and crepe myrtles out back, as the yard had obviously gotten little attention other than mowing, and in fact the house seemed more or less set into a field, rather than having an established yard and lawn.
Ever since they've had the farm and the house, Buddy's family has had strange events: doors brushing open, small feet running up and down the hallways, fans and window unit air conditioners turned on and off -- that kind of thing. When Buddy's father was quite small, he had an "imaginary" friend, although he claims his friend was NOT imaginary, it was a little girl who played with him, but he got older and she stayed the same age and finally she stopped coming to play with him.
Buddy's family was living in Texas until Buddy was in the fifth or sixth grade, when they moved back home. Buddy's Aunt and his grandparents were living in the home, which had been relatively free from unusual incidents for some time. When Buddy and his family moved into the home however, odd events began again.
First it was footsteps in the hallway, then the light in the hall (which is turned on by a pull cord) would go on. Buddy had a tiny little bedroom at one end of this little hallway. His bed was longways to the hallway, so that when Buddy lay in bed, with the door open, he could see into the hallway. There are times he would just be falling asleep and the light would come on. He'd get up, grumbling to himself, then go back to bed. Eventually, just as he'd be falling asleep, the light would come back on. This pattern would repeat until he shut the door.
Buddy's little sister lost a rubber ball under the house at one point and no one would retrieve it (it was quite snakey under that house). From then on, at night, they would hear the ball bouncing in the hallway -- until someone got up to check, whereupon the bouncing would stop.
His aunt was in what had been the sleeping porch one afternoon, watching a talkshow, doing some ironing, when she heard a noise on the couch behind her. When she turned around she saw a little girl, with blonde hair, about four or five, seated on the couch. The little girl was dressed in a white sailor suit with blue trim and was watching the television. When she saw my aunt watching her she smiled guiltily, ducked her head, whispered "excuse me" and faded into nothingness.
With Buddy, his parents and his little sister, the house was quite crowded, so Buddy's father bought a mobile home right past the now huge azaleas and crepe myrtles. Buddy again took a bedroom at the end of the hallway. In the old house incidents stopped. In the new mobile home, though, all kinds of things started happening.
Buddy was still kept up at night, except now instead of a light coming on, the fire alarm would suddenly go off as he was falling asleep. It would keep happening until Buddy explained that he had school tomorrow and he needed his sleep. This didn't happen every night, but enough to be frustrating.
The pastor at the church they went to was pretty influential in their rural community. He was also a mainline fundamentalist and when he heard about the ghost, he got the idea that it was some kind of demon inhabiting the home, because he did not believe in ghosts. He started preaching against it and pestering the family. Eventually Buddy's grandmother called him over for a meal and explained to him how the cow ate its cabbage, to use an old local coinage. She knew exactly who the ghost was and what it was doing around their property.
The couple, she and her husband (and of course, we're talking by this time, deceased) bought the house from and had a daughter, a little girl. The grandmother had been a schoolteacher before marrying and knew through women friends that the little girl was being beaten and worse. She had not gone with her husband to buy the house, but knew of it and had approved of the purchase. When she and her husband came with their first truckload of belongings (and probably their only truckload, at that), she had seen the woman and man leaving. But there was no little girl with them.
When she questioned her husband he said he hadn't seen any little girl. She took a look at the newly planted azealas and crepe myrtles and made her own assumptions.
At first she would hear crying late at night, and sense someone in her kitchen, someone she could feel was horribly sad. She just set herself to being comforting and talking and singing children's songs and eventually the sadness wasn't so much.
When the children came the sadness went away.
She never discouraged Buddy's father or aunt from their friendship with their "imaginary friend." The grandmother said that she figured the child had some kind of crush on Buddy, judging from the way she was pestering him. She finished up by telling that pastor that there would be "no tormenting of that little thing while I'm alive."
Because, as she put it, "she suffered plenty when she was among the living."
I think this is one of the best well-written encounters I have received in a long time. I love stories like this, and want to thank the writer for sending it in.
Joni Mitchel once said, "They took paradise and put in a parking lot."
I guess in this case, they did just a bit more than that, and put in a crepe myrtle.
I want to take this moment and wish one of my closest compadres ("SR") a Very Happy Birthday,
and I wonder if they ever saw this lunchbox in elementary school . . .
. . . because I think, after all these years, the Lone Ranger must, after all, be me . . .
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