Supernatural Fiction posted October 6, 2016


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Ghosts real or not?

The House on Tophin Hill

by sandy montgomery


The house on Tophin Hill had always been eerie. Jan had never understood why her sister and brother -in-law had bought it. Pam and Wayne seemed to love the place, though even they had to admit to some strange happenings.

Like the formal dining room always being cold. It could be a hundred degrees outside and still the dining room would be a cool sixty.

The basement was creepy...to be expected, I guess, but no one could bring themselves to use it. Even when those tornado warning signals would ring people shied away from, rather than nearer to, that cold, damp room.

Upstairs were three bedrooms, a gable, and a hall way. The gable was right at the top of the staircase and, as you turned the corner, it always felt as if someone were there watching you. Two of the bedrooms were on one end. The master suite, and the guest bedroom. Those rooms seemed fine.

On the other end of the hall was the nursery. It had always felt odd. There were two antique rockers in the room and both were quite heavy. It was not a rare occurrence to come into the nursery and find the one closest to the window slowly rocking by itself. At other times, toys would go off on their own. Particularly two. One was a fire engine and the bell would ring by itself. The other was one of Shelly's (Pam and Wayne's six month old) dolls. It was a squeeze toy that said, "Mama". It would say "Mama" when no one was close enough to squeeze it.

Most eerie of all was the baby's crying. It would occur when Shelly and Tish, Jan and Gary's one -year- olds were napping. The adults would be downstairs or in the other bedroom and they would hear a baby crying as if in distress. They would race to the nursery only to find the girls sound asleep or perhaps sitting quietly in bed. Little did they know things were about to get a lot weirder.

It was October 31,1971. Pam and Wayne were throwing a party that evening for a few friends. Jan and Gary were going through a rough patch and had been living with Pam and Wayne since July. That day was warm for October but in the dining room you could see your breath. A cool sixty had fallen to a cold thirty degrees. Also, that baby had been crying all day - an insistent wail that had woke the household at a pre-dawn hour, and had continued off and on most of the day. The basement door had been found open four times that day. Everyone had been on edge. By about four thirty, the air had turned from unseasonably warm to blustery and cold. The house seemed to settle down and the party went off without a hitch. Afterwards, Wayne lit the first fire of the season in the fire place. The four adults tucked the babies in and sat down for a glass of wine and to reflect on the day. About midnight, they let the fire die down and headed off to bed.

"Waaaaaaah!! ....Waaaaah!!... Waaah!!!" Rang out through the quiet household. A baby wailed from the nursery waking Jan out of sound sleep. She listened... was that Tish? About that time, she realized she smelt smoke. "Fire!" Jan yelled shaking Gary awake. He sprang from the bed shouting for Wayne and Pam. Jan ran from the room with Gary on her heels. He forced her toward the stairs and shouted that he would get the girls. As he was speaking, Pam and Wayne emerged from the master suite. Wayne directed Pam to head downstairs as he and Gary ran for the nursery.

As the frightened fathers opened the door and rushed in, they noticed the antique rocker had been pulled into the center of the room and was rocking methodically. The baby was wailing but their daughters were still fast asleep. As they bundled the babies up, the toy fire truck rolled eerily across the room, its bell clanging, and Shelly's doll cried out , "Mama, Mama".

The men took the stairs two at a time as they hurried to safety. Pam had called the fire department on her way out. Their sirens rang out in the night. Oddly, no one had seen any flames, though the smell of smoke had permeated the house. The firemen asked if anyone was in the house before entering. By the time the chief came to speak to them, the sun was peeking over the horizon. He asked them a few questions then said, "This was a small fire in the flue."

He told them that they were lucky and that these types of fires often were worse because of not being discovered until they were out of control. He then held up a yellowed book damaged by age and smoke.

"We found this laying near the flue in the nursery. That's where the fire was."

Pam took the book. It was an old copy of Little Red Riding Hood in German. None of the adults had seen it before.

Curious after these events, Jan did some research on Tophin Hill. She found that on a Halloween night in 1871, a fire had consumed the house that stood there. An infant and her young mother had perished in it. The fire started in the dining room. They were German immigrants who spoke little English.

So are ghosts real or not?


Ghost Story writing prompt entry
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Write a Ghost Story. No limit on the word count.


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© Copyright 2017. sandy montgomery All rights reserved.
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