Do You Believe in Ghosts
Tell the truth, do you believe in ghosts? By ghosts, I mean those dead spirits that hang around here on earth in their ethereal form to harass and scare people. I keep telling a friend that after I die, I want to stick around as a ghost so I can see what’s happening in the future. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, I bet you like a good ghost story. I’m going to tell you about a real ghost story. You can choose to believe it or not. It’s your choice.
When I was a teenager, my Aunt Naomi bought an old two-story clapboard house in Louisville, Kentucky. During that summer, right after she and my grandparents moved in, we went to visit as usual.
Strange things started happening in that house, which convinced everyone it was haunted. Now, when it comes to ghosts, I would say I’m an open skeptic. Here are some things that happened.
- There was a door on the right side of the house next to the driveway. When you went through that door, you stood on a landing. Some stairs lead up to the second story, and other stairs lead down to the first story. More than once, the family heard the door open and close and footsteps going upstairs. This happened while they were watching TV or engaged in other activities.
- When my Aunt Ruby and Uncle Paul visited, they slept in the basement. One night the bed started shaking violently. Aunt Ruby snapped at Uncle Paul: Dammit, Paul, will you stop that? She plopped over on her other side to discover Paul wasn’t in bed. That sent her running upstairs only to discover that Paul was sitting in the kitchen, smoking a cigarette and shooting the breeze with my grandfather.
- I hadn’t witnessed anything strange, but the day did come. My brother Kenneth was nine-years-old. On this day, he was playing upstairs in one of the bedrooms. Everyone downstairs heard the vacuum cleaner going. Mom yelled up to him to stop playing with the vacuum. He was the only person upstairs, so she assumed that it was him. Finally, convinced that Kenneth was playing with the vacuum, Mom went upstairs and spanked him.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Many years later, I was chatting with Kenneth and asked him if he believed in ghosts. My brother has always said that he believes in science, and he’s an atheist. So when I asked him that question, I was expecting a no. To my surprise, he said, yes! You’re kidding, I said. What he said next floored me: Hell, yes, I got my ass beat over that ghost vacuuming the floor.
It gets even better. My Aunt Naomi sold the house after my grandparents died to a lady she knew. The day after the lady moved in, she called Aunt Naomi and asked her, why didn’t you tell me you were selling me a haunted house?
When family members would talk about the strange happenings in that house, grandpa would tease them. There ain’t no such thing as haints, he’d say. Grandpa never admitted to any ghosts.
I asked my elderly Aunt Naomi, many years later, why she sold that house. She said that grandpa told her to sell it after he passed. He didn’t want her living there alone. But, he didn’t believe in ghosts, I said. He did come to believe something strange was going on in that house, she replied.
So, there you have it. Do you believe in ghosts now? I can’t say that I do, and I can’t say that I don’t, but I can say that it’s a good story.