A couple of weeks ago, at the launch party for Cynthia’s latest release, THE SPIRIT IN QUESTION, the moderator asked the following question on my behalf:
Marla loves a good ghost story, and she wants to know if you’ve ever seen a ghost! If not, what’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened to you?
I got some really great answers — but realized what I should have had her ask was, “What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened to you and GIVE ME ALL THE DETAILS!”
I love a good ghost story. I’ve always wanted a great gather-round-the-campfire story of my own. One time my stepsister told me a terrifying story that was my go-to because it really seriously happened to someone I knew. Years later, after dragging it out at every slumber party ever, I mentioned it to her. She crinkled her nose and laughed and said, “I told you that? That’s hilarious.”
Like I said, I really want a ghost story of my own. And this year, I’m holding out hope for a Halloween miracle. In a couple of weeks, I’m going with my writing group to stay several nights at a 150-year-old farmhouse in New York’s Hudson Valley. And when I hear “old farmhouse” I immediately think: HAUNTED!
Here’s why: My BFF’s sister owned an old farmhouse in Virginia, and it was super haunted. So by the transitive property, combined with a little bit of wishful thinking, I have decided that I will almost certainly be shacking up with a ghost in a couple of weeks.
Until then, I don’t have my own ghost stories to share, so I thought I’d share some from the haunted farmhouse in Virginia, as told by my friend. This is my favorite:
“[My sister and her husband] were sitting in the living room reading on a Saturday afternoon, and they heard something in the kitchen. They went to inspect the cabinets, nothing amiss. Forgot about it. Later, when they were cleaning up dinner dishes, they opened the dishwasher and it was full of BROKEN CHINA THEY HAD NEVER SEEN BEFORE!!!”
Another time, her sister came home from work and heard something in the dining room. No big deal, just the credenza jumping up and down (!!!). So of course, she locked herself in her bedroom. When her husband got home he said, “Maybe an animal got in it?” After all, they had a bag of cat foot stored in there. They went to check, and they found the cat food removed from the bag and neatly stacked in a pyramid shape on an antique plate. You know, just typical raccoon behavior.
One other detail my BFF added: “Sometimes she would wake up, walk into the kitchen, and find her cappuccino maker taken apart and the pieces scattered around her kitchen.”
So, yeah, she had a full and proper poltergeist.
Most of the stories are fun, but this one is more ghost-y than poltergeist-y:
“One night, she was lying in bed reading. She leaned over to set her book down and turn out the light, and she felt the comforter lift, the weight of someone sit down — springs creaked and everything. Her husband was out of town. She turned and looked, expecting the worst, and there WAS NO ONE THERE!!!!!”
Which, if you think about it, is preferable to someone being there? I think?
I’m not sure.
Anyway, I’m holding out hope that my guest room in Hyde Park will come with a ghost so I have some ghost stories of my own to tell soon. But in the meantime, let’s hear some of your stories. Tell me something scary — and don’t leave out the details!