I never believed other people’s ghost stories, until I experienced my own in 1986. I am a 31-year-old man who usually thinks rationally, but I still get the chills when I think of what happened to me and my two friends, Alan and James, that cold winter night.
My friend James invited Alan and me over one night to spend the night with him and his mother. They lived in a large white duplex on the corner of Lee Avenue and Chestnut Street, across the street from Oddfellows Cemetery. Ironically, my great grandfather is buried in that cemetery. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, a duplex is a house split down the middle and rented out to separate renters. James and his mother lived in the right half of the duplex and his room was in the attic.
Anyway, since James’s mom was working the midnight shift, it was just the three of us in the house alone. We were up in James’s room playing Nintendo late that night when, all of the sudden, we heard children running and laughing on what sounded like the first flight of stairs, leading to the second floor of the house. Plain as day, we all heard it, and immediately thought the renter next door had company. The more we listened the more it dawned on us that it was three in the morning, and no small kids would be up at that time of night, especially kids that young.
So what did we do? We walked down the two flights of stairs and out into the front yard to see if the old man was home. James thought his neighbor had gone to visit family that week. To our surprise, there was not one single light on in that side of the house. So, we reluctantly walked back into the house and up to his room and commenced playing Nintendo, again. Not two minutes later, it starts up again, but closer this time. Like it was right outside the attic door on the second floor of the house. What we saw still brings tears to my eyes today.
The staircase from the second floor to James’s room was dark and the light from the hallway would shine under the door at the bottom of the staircase. We saw shadows moving underneath the door of the attic. Really scared of what we were seeing, we decided after about five minutes of debating to charge the attic door, thinking it was someone trying to scare us.
As we started down the old, rickety attic stairs you could hear the sound of what we believed to be children running from us towards the stairs to the first floor. The house had all hardwood floors, so the sound is very distinct. We got to the door, slung it open and followed the noise to the first floor. When we got to the first floor, it stopped. We then heard an awful scream, like a woman in pain.
Well, that is all it took. We were petrified. After that, it is all kind of blurry. I do remember getting dressed and leaving for home that night at three in the morning, and never going back. My friend James said he never heard anything else that night, but did say other things happened to him at other times. Needless to say, he and his mom moved a month later.
The thing that really solidifies my story is, about a year later, I was introduced to “Coffin Hollow” and “The Tell-Tale Lilac Bush” books in high school. I read a story, if memory serves me correctly, called “The Haunted House.” This story is about a white mansion on the hill across from a cemetery in Clarksburg, where a woman with two small kids lived. One night, she takes in a weary traveler. The next morning, the traveler finds the two kids murdered by their mother.
To this day when I drive by that house I get cold chills, and have never, ever noticed anyone living there since. So don’t always think if your reading a ghost story, that it is nonsense, it just might have some fact to it.