So it is close to Halloween, so it's time for those kind of stories....
This is a true story from when I was in college. This was a town that was known for being a 'haunted' town. I went to all the ghost tours and historical haunted houses and the like. But I never expected to run into my own.
I lived in a dorm; very nondescript place, inside and out. To avoid the Sorority wannabes, I spent as little time as possible there. In staying away from the dorm, I was befriended by one my History professor and her husband, a religious ethics professor. So much so, that I began to baby-sit when she and her husband needed to attend Collegiate events, which was often.
My college town was also filled with antique homes from the 1800's; one of which my Professor decided to bring back to its original splendor. It was a small dog run house with a second story and they were working on the second floor. It was also very convenient that it was right behind my dorm.
On a Halloween night, they asked me to baby-sit their precocious five year old daughter, Rose, while they attended a University tea. It started as a normal night with me bringing a satchel full of books school to study. After a mundane night of dinner, bath and story-time, I had put Rose to bed and walked across the hallway to the room that I would be staying in for the night.
I settled in bed to study and left a light on in the stairwell so Rose wouldn't get too scared. After about an hour I heard what sounded like the door and windows downstairs in the living opening. Assuming that my Professor and her husband had arrived home early, I crawled out of bed and made my way down the wooden staircase. The front door and windows were open but no parents to be seen.
Believing in the 'it's an old house' scenario, I closed the windows and door. Although I thought it was strange, I ignored it and return upstairs to bed.
It had been a while because I could feel the chill of the cold October wind once again. Now aggravated, I got up and walked across the hall to check on my charge, who was fast asleep. I walked down the stairs to, once again find the front door and windows open. I secured the locks and made my way up the stairs once again. Only this time I heard something, a crying of a woman. I stopped and looked around but no visual and then the crying stopped.
Once again, I snuggle down with my textbooks. After about an hour, the woman's crying begin again. Only this time, the crying was accompanied with slow, methodical, foot steps that sounded like a woman's high heel shoes. I called out, from the bed, 'Hello?' And both the crying and footsteps stopped.
Now I was getting freaked out and slowly made my way out of the bed and looked out the window, praying to see some kid running across the grass and back to the dorm. No such luck. Then I just thought of one thing.
"Rose!" I called out as ran across the hall while glancing down the stairwell to make sure no idiot with a hockey mask wasn't coming up to visit. I ran into her room but she was still sound asleep.
I bundled her up and gently lay her and her favorite toy lamb next to me in the bed. I sat staring at the doorway, wondering what I saw was real, fiction, or the delusion of an overly stressed college student.
I awoke at 3a.m with a jerk. Small child was still next to me and the light was still on. I was sort of relieved that maybe it was truly a dream. Then it started again. I could hear the sound of the heavy wooden door flying open, hitting the wall and the windows creaking as they began their own spiral upstairs. Almost immediately came the woman's cry, then the noisy steps.
This time there was something new. A shadow of a woman in a long dress and the crying became louder. Once again, I slowly made my way to the doorway and peered out into the hallway to see what I did...not...want...to see.
A few steps from my very room was a full bodied apparition of a woman. Long dress and hair much like what was worn like a Gipson Girl. Still crying and still coming up the stairs.
That was it. I grabbed up Rose, her lamb and headed right through the ghost lady and ran across the field to the safety of my dorm room. I called her parents but I insisted they pick her up at the dorm entrance.
I wouldn't go back for a long time and both my professor and her husband said that they understood when I finally told them the story. I didn't think that they believed my story but I didn't care.
It was almost December when I received a call from Professor. She wanted me to come by to see the finished project that was their house. When I hesitated, she told me that she wanted to show me something that would interest me..about the last night that I was there. When I arrived, she took me to a tree with two old graves sat side by side. She told me that the graves had been covered by bushes. What they found was the graves of a mother and infant child that had apparently died of the yellow fever epidemic. My professor said that the child died first while the mother suffered; always calling out for her little girl.
And I suppose crying for her as well.
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