Halloween originated as a Celtic festival in Ireland, distinguishing the change of seasons…and the belief that dead spirits roam the earth during the cold, dark winter. When the Irish emigrated to other nations, namely America, they carried this tradition not in their bags, but as part of their heritage. By the 1900s, Halloween became a celebration of fright and the grotesque, and in the mid 20th century, deathly decorations began adorning houses…much like you’ll see here. The true and terrifying story that accompanies the images takes place in a southern mansion that is not pictured.[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next Page” ]
The following is a true story that is unrelated to the amazing images: When Andrew found out he would be the only guest in the century-old mansion – and therefore the sole occupant that night – he said to the caretaker it wasn’t a problem. “As long as it’s not haunted.” She looked at him seriously. “Oh no, it’s not haunted – at least I’ve never seen anything,” she said. “But there are stories.”[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next Page” ]
What the caretaker did not say was that her son wouldn’t step foot in the house ever since a creepy incident happened when he was a teenager. She also didn’t mention that her little niece talks to an invisible friend upstairs. Or that a ghost hunting crew took pictures of floating orbs and plastered them on the Internet. “What stories?” Andrew asked.[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next Page” ]
The caretaker said that a previous owner reported that the ghost of a little girl continued, in death, to kick and scream against a closet door under the stairs like she did when she was alive. These owners would close the door every night and find it wide open in the morning. They began leaving toys in the closet to appease the little spirit.[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next Page” ]
The story gave Andrew the creeps, and it must have been obvious because the caretaker offered to spend the night in the house, doubling the number of living occupants that night. Summoning his bravado, he waved her off. “No need.” Then she took him out to dinner with her husband and later returned him to the house. “You will hear things tonight,” she laughed nervously.
She added, possibly for comfort, a thought to the effect that ghosts are almost as common as citizens in the state of Louisiana. In fact, last year there was a Halloween party in the house and guests dressed as ghosts that haunt their own houses. The caretaker came as the six year-old girl who supposedly kicks and screams in the closet under the stairs.[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next Page” ]
The caretaker was not kidding about ghosts being common in Louisiana. Lots of historic homes supposedly sport spirits that have distinct personalities and habits. One story that has been corroborated involves an elderly man sitting at the far end of a driveway of a plantation and waving to passerby. He did this before and after his death.[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next Page” ]
Back to Andrew…now alone in the huge Southern mansion at nighttime. He decided to leave some of the lights on as he made his way to the first floor bedroom where he would spend the most terrifying night of his life. He changed clothes and brushed his teeth. Standing in front of the mirror, he got the dreadful feeling somebody was watching him. His neck got cold and his spine tingled.[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next Page” ]
There was only his face in the mirror. He stood still but nothing happened. He left the bathroom, closed the glass-paneled door and sat down at the table with his laptop. Fifteen minutes later, the noises started. Somebody was in the bathroom he recently occupied. A pair of feet shuffled across the bathroom floor behind the closed glass door.
There was no other way into that room and it was empty 15 minutes ago. Andrew sat frozen in front of his flip screen, mentally manipulating the sound to make it originate from some source other than feet. But they were definitely feet, and they were sliding across the floor. Andrew did the only thing he could think to do…[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next Page” ]
He climbed into bed with his cell phone and laptop for protection. The room was quiet for almost an hour, and then the hope of an uneventful evening was crushed by a loud thump upstairs. It was followed by more thumps and duds and bangs. And then somebody was walking around up there. Or was it many people? All Andrew could do was tweet his terror.
“Maybe it’s the house settling?” was one kindhearted piece of advice he received from somebody who was probably sitting in a restaurant crowded with living human beings. Could it be the air conditioner kicking on? There was no A/C. There was no house settling either. Somebody, or something, was one floor up. Then it was running…down the stairs.[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next Page” ]
Bundled up in his large bed among blankets and stationed behind a laptop, Andrew stared at the closed door with unblinking eyes. Whatever was upstairs just ran downstairs and was on the floor with him. He was not alone. Not alone! He jumped to his Facebook page and shared with friends around the world that he was alone in a haunted house with a little girl ghost.
The feet eventually went back up the stairs and he read through his friends’ replies. If Andrew were anywhere else in the world, he would have been amused at their debate as to the existence of ghosts. As it were, ironically, he read their argument as he listened to doors slamming and what sounded like bowling balls rolling over his head.
According to a 2005 Gallup survey, more than a third of Americans surveyed said they believed in ghosts or spirits returning from the dead. Another 37% reported they believed in haunted houses. There was no survey asking people if they would remain in a house that came alive with noises in the middle of the night. (Readers’ Poll: What would you do?)[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next Page” ]
People from around the world, each of them most likely sitting comfortably among family and friends who were breathing, had real-time advice for Andrew: Confront the thing. Call the police and report intruders. Turn on the TV. Pray. Burn incense. (That was from his Hindu friends in India.) A nun said to get out immediately. That last piece was unsettling advice.[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next Page” ]
At some point, during several hours of quiet, Andrew fell asleep. He woke to the sound of tinkling glass that continued to get louder. It sounded like crystal against crystal. Somebody was stacking china. It was 4:00 a.m. How many more hours til morning???????[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next Page” ]
Then a thought occurred to Andrew. The former family who lived here would leave toys for the young ghost. The problem was Andrew had no toys. But he did have a recently purchased harmonica. He could slide that out into the hallway. He quickly changed his mind when he realized that if he suddenly heard a harmonica playing in the hallway, he might have a heart attack.[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next Page” ]
Wrapped like a mummy is how he spent the final hours, minutes and seconds until morning. There was no sleep. Or movement. He just lay still. Then he heard a sound that felt like a hug from his father. The caretaker arrived and began preparing breakfast in the kitchen. Breathing again, he crawled out of bed and took a shower.[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next Page” ]
After bringing his bags to his car, and reentering through the kitchen, he sat down to breakfast with the caretaker. It did not take long for Andrew to describe what he heard throughout the night. That’s when she let him know about her son who won’t cross the threshold and her niece who has an unseen friend upstairs.[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next Page” ]
Andrew made it through the night, and now he has a pretty good tale to tell. If you’d like to read the original story, you can access it here.[Featured Image Credit: www.myhomeassets.com] [/nextpage]