She wasn’t the type of woman to spook easily. it was perfectly located in a quiet. It loomed like a sentinel positioned menacingly on a hillock as if to warn arrivals that this place was not to be entered whimsically or taken lightly. nor was she prone to escalations of imagination. She had explored every mechanical possibility to resolve the problem. In her mind.Really Scary Ghost Story This really scary ghost story is called . ancient looking and ragged. . rural setting. but you better find yourself a good priest—fast!” She was actually getting accustomed to her visitors sprinting down the front walk without even putting on their coats. levelheaded woman and since she had become the holder of title to this great Victorian estate. In fact. he didn’t even bother taking his coat with him and now she was the proud owner of a very nice leather jacket. Valerie lived alone. as it more closely resembled Norman Bates’ residence than it did the elegant country estate in Valerie’s mind. It had sinister looking wrought iron embellishments and storm shutters and the obligatory lightning rod that donned the stereotypical haunted house. almost inaudibly at first but gradually built into the cacophony of racket that now plagued her relentlessly. all with the same result: “Everything is fine. Or “Your plumbing ain’t the problem lady. Its wide front porch led down to a brick walkway flanked by low evergreen hedges and lush green grass. The house she had inherited was a large estate on the edge of town. Attempts to return it by contacting the man by phone were met with the dead-end of an answering machine or voice mail and none of the messages she left were ever returned. She had worked very hard to get here. like the ghastly white bones of an arthritic skeleton. the house had a formidable appeal. She was an independent. To the new. she refused to be put out by a few harmless noises or bumps in the night. one workman ran out so fast. not even a ghost or ghosts. plumbers and the like. She finally had something of value she could call her own and nothing was going to come between it and her. She had hired workmen. The dreaded pounding and scratching that would keep Valerie awake night after night came on quietly. yet close to the bustle and conveniences of town. . In the side yard was a peculiar oak tree. The House It started about two weeks ago.” they would say. more objective caller. . At 42 years of age.

Due to the state of flux her life was in. she browsed the five luxuriously outfitted bedrooms. Once done. it had just been vacant for so long that it was very dusty and forgotten. she intentionally overlooked the oddness of it at first. She sold her furniture. And that’s exactly what she did.While Valerie was aware of the macabre appearance of her newly acquired treasure. took a deep breath and stepped out onto the lawn of the place that would change her life forever. Actually. Not exactly five star. personal effects and a bag of groceries. She set the bag down on a large butcher-block table. A large bureau housed her intimates. Her first task was to roam the interior. She set about unpacking her food items. She found the bottom of the grocery bag soon enough and noticed its contents were dwarfed by the cavernous interior of the appliance. An immense armoire became home to her dresses. she felt it was best to just take the plunge and work things out once she moved in. And while the appliances and cooking utensils weren’t new. amazed at her good fortune as the place was absolutely filled with fine antiques. She pulled out a drawer. At the head of the massive and ornately carved mahogany staircase. it wasn’t in awful shape. She took the bag of groceries she had packed and made her way to the kitchen. To her this was just a house. but it would kill the growl in her belly. This activity took all of three hours and afterwards she opted for an overdue lunch. pushed the door closed with her foot and set the carton on the counter………… (be continued) . nutty paste. she reopened the refrigerator door and pulled out the quart of milk. She tugged on the handle and noticed that inside it was in very good shape. She frowned as she realized that in her excitement she had forgotten to immediately refrigerate her milk. sweaters and jeans. obviously utilized by the staff in bygone times to prepare elaborate meals and baked goods. some pruning or landscaping and she would put her mark upon it—forever rectifying the gloomy. On a Saturday afternoon in late October she put her car in park. Across from this was the refrigerator. but she made a mental note that a trip to the grocer would be needed in the near future. a very nice house and its strange appearance was not to be given any credence. blouses and skirts. she unpacked her Volvo and placed all of her clothing in their appropriate places. She had moved in immediately despite the home’s state of neglect. All that was required was a little cheery paint. She pulled out a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter. priceless art and delightfully interesting objects. She intended to make it her home permanently. had been left very clean and exhibited none of the rank odors she expected. but crossed her fingers as she placed it and the remaining items in their appropriate places. found a knife and slathered on a thick coating of the brown. tied up a few loose ends and packed her 1998 Volvo with only her essentials: clothing. With her free hand. a large practical room equipped with all the needed items to prepare a more than adequate meal. they were of fine quality and amply supplied so she could definitely make do without any immediate trips to the kitchen and bath store. It was enough food for the next few days. almost mournful tone of the place. Then she dropped the knife. choosing the largest for her own. folded the bread in half and took a relishing bite.

she reached for it. she dropped the phone into her jeans front pocket with the assumption that the caller would leave a message or leave her alone. She hunted around for the jacket she had left on a hall chair and shoved her arms into its sleeves. . Holding the sandwich gingerly in her mouth. Bingo! There were the glasses. located them and dropped them into her right front jacket pocket. she located some plates and since she had found the silverware just a few seconds earlier. taking another bite. Finally. pulled it out with both hands and placed it on the counter where she could get a good look at the contents without strain. She placed the key back in the box and returned to the cabinets. she hadn’t thought of things in such detail and for the first time realized there might not be any. After a few moments the peanut butter overwhelmed her mouth and she could not swallow. The phone incessantly squealed its ear-splitting announcement while Valerie hunted and searched for the source. Too busy to care and too interested in her new dwelling.” as she polished off the last bite of her sandwich. The caller ID reported to her that the call had come from an “unknown caller. With her hunger now at bay. She opted to explore the outbuildings first as the October air was prone to chill and darkness came earlier every day. She began opening and closing cupboard doors. the phone gasped its last plea and fell silent just as Valerie placed her hand on her bag. Where did she leave it? In her activities she had absent-mindedly dropped her handbag in some unknown place. In relief.A glass. She swung open the corner cabinet door and inside she found a very interesting little box. “What does this go to?” she asked herself as she puzzled. slowly chewing the bite while she examined the object closely. She gulped some milk quickly and started rifling through things following the direction of the ring. She patted her pockets and determined that all she really needed was her keys. she knew it was just a matter of persistence before she would come across a container that would hold her lukewarm milk. her mind went to her next task—the exploration of the rest of the house and its outbuildings. Where were the glasses? In all the flurry of the preceding days. Carefully. The need for liquid overruled her curiosity and her search for a glass resumed. she pulled the lid back and inside she found one lone item: an old iron skeleton key with a very elaborately fashioned handle. the latter being the preferred outcome. She fished the device out of its resting place and looked at the face. She held it up to the light and pulled the sandwich out of her mouth with her left hand. She barely had time to fill it with milk when a jangling sound pierced the quiet. It was her cell phone. opening the next.

leaving the structures bare like dead bony fingers reaching toward the sky. she noted the overgrowth of untended gardens that lay beneath the massive windows. which more than likely vented the ground floor bathroom. the scale of the place impressed her for the first time. Yet once her feet became motionless. she paused for a moment to survey the grounds. As she strolled the length of the front of the house. The two panels were held shut by a clasp locked tight with an old. From this vantage point. As this was her day of assessment. she stopped abruptly when she heard someone calling her name. . The door was made of two out-swinging panels. the crunching of the grass beneath them became silent. rusty lock.Pulling the front door to. Not a single car in sight or person for that matter. she chose to check out the shed and its contents before it became too dark. Fully into the side yard. Nevertheless. higher than the others. she left it unlocked and stepped onto the wide front porch. She turned back around and closed the gap between her present position and the entrance to the shed. intended to allow enough room for gardening implements to pass through. There was nobody there. At the very top of the wall was a small crescent-shaped window that Valerie guessed to be the attic. soft green as she eagerly set off to the right toward the specter-like oak tree in the side yard. Then she stepped down into a carpet of deep. she could sense the onset of winter as most of the trees’ leaves had fallen. She turned her gaze to the western horizon where the sun was making its slow descent and as she passed the far edge of the house. To the right she could view the side of the house as well as glimpse the back portion of the property from the gap between the house and what appeared to be a gardener’s shed. She was able to see all of the windows on that side of the three-story structure—those that lined the parlor walls and a small window. she glanced around. This survey of her environment assured her that indeed she had confused the sound of her body motion with a human voice. She reached in her pocket for the keys. she never noticed the rustling of the drape or the transparent pale face peering out of the corner window. and she began to doubt that she had actually heard anything at all. very small and barely audible. Above that level were the two bedrooms on the west side of the house. curiously seeking the source of the voice. She looked up at the side of the house. surveying the grounds as she walked and upon approaching the outbuilding. The heavy drapes that lined these windows were apparent as well as the supplemental gauzy fabric intended to filter light and add privacy. Her eyes scanned each vacant pane of each window after which she turned completely around and viewed the road in front of the house. Satisfied with this explanation she continued on her quest. Even from this distance. “Va-a-a-lerie!” It was a whisper. Ahead of her was a broad expanse of land—rolling hills of lush grass that led to a thicket of trees that bordered the property several hundred yards away. She jaunted across the grass.

” she said to herself optimistically and began retracing her steps across the thick grass. too. “Hi. She reached for her cell phone and began to back slowly toward the front Valerie stood on the front porch of the house. She then groped the wall to side of the door jam looking for a light switch. She mounted the front steps and passed through the front door. She found the switch and flicked on the light. shaken and rattled. circled it’s trunk just to make sure and started back across the front yard. silent and massive. very long time. but please leave a message . she groped for that switch and as the golden glow of light filled the room. Her heart began to pound so loudly she could hear it. . she held her cell phone in her right hand. This is John. Her hands began to shake as a very frightening reality engulfed her. In the dim light of nightfall. She listened as the call rang three times then connected. she zigzagged her line of sight intending to miss not a single inch of traversed ground. She tried the other side. She flipped it open and reluctantly punched in a number. “What the --?” she stammered. It was dim but adequate to get her across the hall and back into the kitchen where she started. I’m not able to take your call. Relieved.” “Shoot!” see cried and flipped the phone shut. She passed by the oak tree. She heard the critical click of receipt and began stammering hysterically when.All she found was an empty pocket. her eyes went to the counter. . As she walked. . but it was empty. she found her keys safely on the counter! Neatly displayed in plain view. It was already murky inside and it was only 5:30 in the afternoon. She began patting herself to determine if she had decided on a different pocket last minute and had just forgotten. hunting frantically for her memory as well as her keys. Again. The keys were nowhere on her person. “I must have dropped them on my way out. The sun was making long shadows on the ground and she looked like a 30 foot-tall woman. her mind raced immediately back to the moment when she surely had dropped the keys in her pocket. She was not alone. frustrated that she had come all this way without them. The kitchen appeared as though it hadn’t been touched in a very. Confused. But her relief was fleeting as the realization that the box with the key was no longer where she left it.

twinkling lights of town. she pulled the vodka out of the freezer and located a tumbler. They sparkled optimistically promising civilization. she searched for something to break the silence. Once she had located all possible light sources. The nearest contact was so distant all she could make out were the tiny. As she processed her options. almost comical. and studied the outline of utensils and appliances. turned the doorknob. With the radio on she felt much more comfortable and perceived a wash of friendly ambiance pass over as sounds of The Beatles and The Beach Boys filled the air. She appraised the cupboards and their hardware. She rambled the ground floor and turned on every lamp she could find. She tapped her nails on the counter and looked around at the kitchen. The burn on her tongue and throat made her grimace. She found a radio and turned it on.She looked around for utilizable resources and realized for the first time the disadvantage of her rural locale. . But first. exactly where they were when she was overcome by panic just moments earlier. and stepped back inside her mammoth home. “Where would I go?” she thought out loud. She turned back and faced the front door. and it resembled a chariot poised for escape at her beck and call. She peered out from under the canopy of the porch and considered her car sitting in the open driveway. She poured two fingers worth and took a long sip from the glass. Next on her list was to conquer the second floor. She dialed the tuning knob until she locked onto a viable channel and likewise rotated the volume knob. moving from wall to wall finding switches and flipping them to the “on” position. Her calm grew into resolve as she remembered how long she had waited for this. Her first task was to relocate her keys. After a very long second she inhaled deeply. The light in the hall struggled desperately to illuminate her surroundings as she stepped inside. They were still there on the counter. Its chrome glinted in the moonlight. Returning to the kitchen. a good stiff drink was in order. she began to calm. but no cars or houses were immediately accessible on foot. She exhaled the vapors as she placed the glass back on the counter. She contemplated her state of mind and it seemed absurd. She felt the heat of the liquor making its way to her extremities and welcomed the subsequent heaviness as it numbed her nerves and evoked her courage. Her decisions of the previous weeks flooded her mind in unwelcome rebuke for her current circumstances. She set the level high in an effort to shatter the vacuum of silence that blanketed the space. Nothing was going to deny her that dream.

. . which she also flipped. found the switch and flicked it. Locked in concentration. She repeated this several more times until every room on the top floor was lit. “California Dreamin. . It was just a beautifully furnished room. With an appreciative eye she explored the art on the walls. Retrieving the candle from the counter. there wasn’t a shadow to be found. Her courage was mounting so she began to take time examining the object d’art that adorned the side table and filled the curio cabinets in the halls and bedrooms. she tried to find a flashlight. Light filled that room. sliding the matches into the pocket that contained her cell phone. she didn’t notice that the music had stopped. but she did find some candles and a box of kitchen matches. She forced herself to move her feet in the direction of the massive mahogany staircase. “ it recited harmonically. Her right hand gripped the balustrade as she began her ascent. and then emphatically placed the glass on the counter. . . still clutching the candle. Another switch was located and she flipped it. “ . she poked her head inside. using her free hand to grope the wall inside the door. Similarly. When the pounding began. Across the landing was another switch. The entire hall on the top floor was now brightly lit. Reluctantly. one step at a time she eventually reached the landing on the second floor. A bedroom was on the left. . . But the rhythm quickly escalated to such an earsplitting frenzy that the pounding overshadowed the subsequent scream— .The radio was now blaring a familiar tune and she began to tap her foot. She pulled herself out and into the hall. She could still hear The Monkees cheerfully singing their hit song and turned to the right. it was so rhythmic that it initially sounded like another tune on the radio. on such a winter’s day. She looked around and everything appeared to be normal. she poked her head inside. She snatched them. “Take the last train to Clarksville. Opening and closing drawers did not produce her objective. Moving slowly. She downed the last finger of alcohol. she placed the candle down on the counter in front of her. So plentiful were oil paintings and sculptures that she guessed she could spend days discovering and appraising them all. Light flooded the room. The liquor was warming her belly and elevating her mood to the point that she began to doubt she had encountered anything frightening at all. .” sang her electronic ally as she placed her right foot on the bottom step. “ chanted the radio and she downed the entire portion in one gulp. She moved slowly in the same direction and approached the next bedroom on the left. Returning to her glass. less shocking than the first. Reinitiating her search of the kitchen. she turned in the direction of the hallway and clutched it firmly in her left hand just in case. The house was so brightly illuminated. At the left of the stairs she found a light switch and flipped it up. She picked up the vodka and poured another two fingers into the glass.

In the darkness. she made out a wispy shadow at the end of the hall. she stood awash in the warm soothing embrace of the entity’s presence. She sensed something or someone a few inches away and apprehensively extended her right hand to touch it. every previously illuminated lamp lit up simultaneously and Valerie was blinded by the 1000-watt glare. afraid to turn her head. Her right hand flew reflexively to her eyes as she struggled to regain her sight. clenching the balustrade in her left hand. Suddenly a rush came at her with an unearthly force. Valerie had no idea who the entity might be. she turned around ever so slowly. It was evident to Valerie that an undeniable bond was being formed. In the blackness. snuffing out all sources of security. Upon detection. and the presence before her was benevolent. Valerie was wrapped in blackness. her hand flew to her mouth stifling a scream. The candle clinked as it hit the floor below and shattered. Suddenly the air got very cold and Valerie felt something brush up against her. her heart sank. As her eyes adjusted. both light and sound. For a very long time. . An overwhelming sense of peace swept over her and she felt content to forever remain in its tranquil glow. the sound of deep. . Warily. The gust wafted through her hair trailed by the sweet scent of honeysuckles. and at this moment didn’t care. There was nothing there but empty air. But her fear subsided as the uncanny awareness hit her that she truly wasn’t alone. Once again. straining to ascertain its source. Consequently she dropped the candle to the floor. then fell silent. labored breathing caused Valerie’s skin to prickle. She rubbed her arms to warm herself in the frigid air. Reflexively. She tilted her head slightly in the direction of the sound.“Vaaaaalerie!” Like a brick. . She stood motionless. pierced by fear. a dizzying sensation washed over her and she distinctly felt . she was being inspected. it shot down the stairs into the room below and evaporated around the corner into the main hall. the house exhaled resoundingly as the power failed. The radio abruptly squawked a car insurance commercial. Another gust blew through the corridor followed by another groaning exhale. It made a rumbling sound as it rolled towards the banister falling silent as it slipped through the gap and over the edge of the second floor landing. She had never experienced so much understanding and acceptance as she was feeling at this moment. With a low moan.

you look like you’ve seen a ghost. attempting to clear her mind from the vodka she had drunk a short time before. she broke into a sprint as she raced down the stairs in the direction of her estranged sweetheart. John. I thought the place was going to explode or something. “I arrived earlier today. she asked.” she said. She retrieved spoons and some sugar and placed them on the counter in readiness for the hot water. That’s what gave me such a start. But when I got to the shed. “Tea?” she asked John. She thought for a moment.” remarked John who stood in the center of the kitchen stroking her face lovingly. “The first odd thing I noticed was someone calling my name out in the yard. She opened the tea and took out two bags. In response to his nod. Then Valerie took John’s hand and pulled him in the direction of the kitchen. Her reverie broken. tags hanging over the edges. Searching for rational explanations. then continued. She found a good place to start. The sound of crashing came up from below.” . “I distinctly remember putting those keys in my pocket. she turned her head in the direction of the familiar voice. commanding knowledge of her whereabouts. they were blinking wildly. “Were the lights on in the house when you pulled up?” “Actually. Flying around the corner was John. and remaining entwined for several long minutes. “What are you talking about?” He extended his arms and held her out in front of him. After a moment. they were gone. Valerie scanned her mind for a way to explain her experience without sounding like a complete fool. Fully aware of her surroundings now. what’s going on?” Before she remarked. Valerie located a teakettle and put some water on to boil. placing each in its own cup.” Valerie grinned widely. then began slowly and deliberately.She was stunned.” stated Valerie in a dream-like tone. I unpacked my things and went for a walk to explore my new digs. All the tension of the previous months dissolved as she outstretched her arms in anticipation of a welcome embrace. “Valerie. Valerie. Then the keys in my pocket disappeared”. “Yes. “Valerie! Valerie!” cried a familiar voice. in an attempt to find her words. wearing a flushed and anxious countenance. they melted together as one. “John. she found the tea bags and two cups. I think I have. Valerie reflected on that point. Colliding softly. She scanned the incident in her mind tracing it to the beginning. John gazed at her for a moment then replied.

She stirred languidly for a moment with faraway eyes. I got the distinct feeling that it was telling me I should not be afraid.” she replied. I think it examined me as if it were getting to know me. the part about the shadow on the stairs. Then he found a towel and lifted it. . first to acquaint myself on my new property. judging me. She raised the cup to her lips. she kept that part to herself. I turned on just about every light in the house so I wouldn’t be scared. no matter what happens. making Valerie jump. He returned the pot to the stove. John reached out to touch her arm in a comforting gesture. I believe. Someone watching me . kind and full of concern. I was a bit shaken. dropped the towel and handed Valerie her beverage. And when I discovered it. I also perceived a presence. removed the bag and set it on top. I’m starving actually. so tossed down a couple of Vodkas and turned on the radio. She cupped the tea in both hands and started again to explain the events of the day. blew across the hot liquid to cool it. erasing all evidence that I had been here. the teakettle blared its enthusiastic signal. I swear I felt someone in the room with me. “I brushed it off as imagination and decided to explore the house further. “Have you eaten?” he asked. He took it upon himself to extinguish the flame under the kettle. I know I did.Valerie patted his hand reassuringly and continued her story. and that I had imagined things. She didn’t tell him the rest of what she knew. His eyes were warm. It was something intelligent. Afraid to push him too far. She recalled the previous friction between them and her heart leapt. “Just half a sandwich several hours ago.” She stopped and looked into John’s eyes. “I went upstairs and was checking things out. It got very cold and I could smell flowers—honeysuckles. but also to assure myself that things were okay.” Valerie’s distress was visible. pouring two cups of steaming liquid into the cups. searching to determine if her story was being met with incredulity or belief. loving and kind. and took a cautious sip. “I was standing there when something touched me. . “I returned to the house and everything had changed back to the way it was before I had arrived . . She gave him a grateful look and spooned a small bit of sugar into her cup and stirred it into the steeping tea. But at the same time. . and finally set the spoon down. It was creepy. It was on the second floor landing that it happened. John. it let me know I wasn’t alone. . She was so glad that he had followed her. full of adoration for this man. John.As soon as the words left her lips. John sprang forward and stopped her from moving. as if someone had worked behind me.

they left a few strategic lights burning. I insist we get you something to eat. wall switches and the inside of each of the rooms. Let’s drive into town and grab us a bite. He opened the door for Valerie and once comfortably settled in her seat. the tuning knob turned to its previous position.“Well then. then shut itself off. But you have to come with me. all evidence of human attendance had vanished. “I’ll just get the lights and my coat. The radio blared against the silence. the house appeared as though no one had been there for a very. looking for evidence of intruders. objects inside the house began to move about by an invisible force. I’m a little frightened. He entered the driver’s side. very long time. then locked the front door and made way for John’s car. Finding nothing obvious and everything in its place.” “That sounds perfect. John carefully closed the passenger door firmly behind her. John briefly inspected the lamps. before we do anything further.” she said. inserted the keys and cranked the ignition. Within seconds. anything to offer a logical explanation to the events in her story. Then we can go. . As the taillights of John’s car disappeared into the distance.” They set their tea on the counter and ventured off to close up the house before they departed. Once again.