Wednesdays are my day to randomly babble. Sometimes about children books, others about writing, and usually about whatever strikes my mind. Random thoughts...random whittleings.
I thought I'd share a creepy story—something from this last weekend which I'm shoving into the strange category.
Our neighbors (which means three other households in the mile radius) got together for a hot dog roast. Lots of food, lots of chatting, a bonfire, lovely weather, cows peeking over from the other pasture wondering why they weren't invited...
In other words, fun!
I asked one of my neighbors how her trip to New Orleans went.
"Wonderful," she said, but then leaned in and continued, "Except for our stay in the French Quarter."
They stayed in one of those shotgun hotels, the ones where the opposite side of the street is close enough to shoot at with a shot gun. She had a connecting room to her daughter and granddaughter. The first evening, the door between the rooms would suddenly open, although it'd been closed tightly. She didn't think too much about it because drafts aren't rare in older buildings. But she constantly had the feeling someone was watching her.
Nothing amazing happened the first night, but the second was an entirely different story.
She'd agreed to stay in and watch her granddaughter (a pre-schooler) while the rest of the girls had a night on the town. When she went into the room to check on her, the little girl lay stiff in the bed and stared at the wall with wide eyes.
"Grandma, ask him what he's doing here."
My neighbor immediately freaked but swallowed it down. "There's no one there."
"The little boy! He's standing there, staring at me. He climbed through my window and won't go away. I don't want him in here."
My neighbor closed the window, snatched her granddaughter, raced to her room and locked the door tight. Later, when everyone had returned and my neighbor was finally getting ready to sleep, she went to the bathroom. She heard the door between the two rooms open again. Since her daughter was now there sleeping with her granddaughter, she assumed it must be her. But this, time the door to the bathroom opened too. She turned around, feeling that someone was watching her, but no one was there. When she turned back toward the mirror, she refused to look at the reflection, knowing that in ghost stories, the people often claim to see the ghost. Instead, she felt breathing along the back of her neck. She ran to the bed and pulled the blankets over her head. She would have left that night, but it was 1 am, she was tired and was afraid that driving into the night like that would be worse. Especially, since nothing had really happened. She didn't sleep a wink, and they left the next morning.
My neighbor made her daughter stop at a gas station just before they crossed the state border and bribed her grandchild into giving her a little stone the owner of the hotel and given her as a trinket. Then, my neighbor dug salt packages (from fast food places) out of her purse, set the stone on the pavement, and poured a circle of salt around it. She didn't want to risk anything from the ghost sticking to it and following them home.
My neighbor was upset when she told me this story. She truly believes they saw a ghost and swears she'll never go back.
Ready for another strange coincidence????
I received a book from Bearport Publishing about 4 weeks ago—Spooky New Orleans. It's one in a series of eight books which tell ghost stories found in several cities. I hadn't looked at it at the time my neighbor told her story yet but picked it up Sunday evening. Obviously, I was thinking of her when I started to read it. But then, I ran across something that made me go 'huh'.
The last 'story' in the book tells not only a very, very similar tale to the one she told me, it's the exact same one.
As said, I'm certain she wasn't making anything up. And I'm not sure what her reaction will be when I show it to her.
As they say, reality is often the best fiction.