Front page

Are you afraid of the dark?

(Click to invert colors, weenie.) (Requires JavaScript.)

All email will be assumed to be for publication unless otherwise requested.

What's in the banner?

Friday, October 31, 2003

Childhood Haunts

Well, here's a Halloween story for you. It's about the time I saw a ghost.

I was about seven years old. I want to say it was Halloween, after trick or treating was done, but it was probably a few days before, or after. We lived in a house at the end of a street in a small town. There were a bunch of other kids on the street, and one night we were all hanging out together, just goofing around.

Now, my sister is two years younger than I, and apparently we (or I) thought she was too young and annoying to hang out with us (or me), so we (or I) made her go home, which she did with much pouting and sulking.

So we were all telling scary stories. One kid told us about the Boogie Man, who was a man all covered with boogers, see, and he was green all over, except for his heart, which you could see there in his chest, and it (needless to say) was all red.

Another kid told us the story of the Black Coffin, which I will now tell to you.

There was a woman who married a man for his money, and then she killed him, and had him buried in a black coffin, thirteen miles away.

The night after the funeral, she gets a phone call, and all the voice says is, "Black coffin thirteen miles from home."

Well, of course this is spooky, but she doesn't think much of it. Maybe some kids playing a prank.

The next night at the same time, she again gets a phone call. "Black coffin twelve miles from home."

And of course, the night after: "Black coffin eleven miles from home."

And so on, until two weeks after the funeral. She doesn't get the phone call she's come to expect, and she figures the prankster has gotten tired of it. Then, in the middle of the night, she wakes up, and hears---not the phone, but a voice---

Black coffin on the street.

Black coffin in the driveway.

Black coffin in the yard.

Black coffin on the porch.

At this point, she begins to hear thumping noises downstairs.

Black coffin in the doorway.

Black coffin on the stairs.

Thump Thump Thump...

Black coffin in the hallway.

Black coffin in your room.

Black coffin at your bedside.

Black coffin


It went over big. I must have jumped a foot. As we sat there absorbing the impact of that story, we heard...a noise.


What the---? "Look at that!" One of the kids pointed behind me.


It was a ghost!

A ghost! Just like on Scooby Doo: an eerie white form, floating a few feet above the ground, with only two bottomless pits for eyes. And it was headed straight for us!


We scattered.

Screaming, we took off in random directions. I ran home, by a very roundabout route, since the dreaded Thing was between me and safety.

Finally, I arrived home and burst into the house. "Mom! Dad! We saw a ghost! It was white, and it went WoooOOOooooo!" They sat there for a second, and then they burst out laughing. "You mean like this?" Dad said, gesturing to my sister, sitting in the middle of the floor.

She threw a blanket over her head. "Wooo!"

"Uh, yeah." They all laughed. "You wouldn't let me play with you, so I scared you!" my sister said. She had been under that sheet. She had come back home, crying that I was being mean to her, and Mom and Dad had found an old blanket and cut eye holes in it, and sent her out to scare us.

I'd still be laughing about this today, except that they used my own security blankie to make the ghost. I had mostly outgrown it, but I was still really sad that they'd cut holes in it. "Oh, grow up," they said.