Which Ghost Story Really Happened?
By Laura Kaye
I love a good ghost story—don’t you? And what better time of the year to tell them! So, in the spirit of Halloween, turn off your lights and read this post in the dark. Here’s the Halloween trick part of my post: which story actually happened? See down below for the Halloween treats I’m offering. Now, read on, faithful reader…
Something woke Annie up. She rubbed her eyes and looked to the right. Her cousin Christine’s wide brown eyes peered back at her, just visible in the darkness. They were enjoying a rare sleepover together, and sharing Christine’s narrow twin bed.
“It’s really cold in here,” she whispered.
Christine’s eyes bulged as she looked over Annie’s shoulder toward the open doorway to the hallway. “What’s that?”
Annie turned her head, the hair rising on her arms, and was sure her expression mirrored Christine’s. A faint blue light lingered just outside the door.
Chris grabbed Annie’s hand under the blanket. “Something’s coming,” she rasped.
Annie felt the truth of her words deep in her tummy.
And then the light entered the room. Dull at first, and shaped like a small ball, the bluish glow crossed the room. Slowly. Steadily. The shape changed as it floated mid-air, elongated until it appeared the height of a short grown-up. On the far side of the room, at a door that went up to the old farmhouse’s attic, the hovering light paused. Christine’s grip became painful, but Annie squeezed just as tightly. Whatever was in the light, it was looking at them. Aware.
The lower half of the light widened, took the shape of an old-timey floor-length skirt. Annie felt inexplicably sad inside as she watched, in wide-eyed wonder, as the light disappeared through the door.
“I’m going to go to McDonald’s for lunch, Mom. Be right back,” Jenny called.
Without waiting for a response, Jenny went out the backdoor and down the porch steps into the narrow alley between her townhouse and the bigger townhouse on the corner. They lived on the main street of a two-stoplight town, and it was a short walk to the brand new McDonalds. The neighboring townhouse was a stately red brick Victorian. The women who lived there, Miss Betty and Miss Patty, had never married, that Jenny knew of, and had lived together their whole lives. Only, recently, Miss Betty had fallen ill and, for the past two weeks, she’d been in the ICU unit at the hospital. Jenny knew that because her mom had checked in on Miss Patty to make sure she was doing okay.
Jenny started down the back yard, and movement caught her eye. She looked up and couldn’t help her huge smile. Miss Betty was walking up the sidewalk in the neighboring yard, the picture of health.
“Hi, Miss Betty. Glad you’re feeling better,” Jenny said.
Miss Betty smiled and kept walking toward the house.
Jenny had a spring in her step as she walked the two blocks down to the McDonald’s. Bag of food in hand, she hurried back, eager to tell her mom. She pushed through the screen door into the kitchen and called, “Mom, I’m back,” as the door sprang shut behind her.
Her mom walked into the kitchen, laundry basket on her hip. She seemed distracted as she set the basket on the table.
“Hey, guess what?”
“Hmm?” she asked.
“I just saw Miss Betty! She’s home. She looked great.”
Her mom whirled. “What?”
“Yeah. On the way to McDonald’s.” Jenny stuffed three French fries in her mouth.
“Jenny, that can’t be.”
Jenny shrugged. “I’m telling you. Didn’t even look like she was sick.”
“But Jenny, I just got off the phone with Miss Patty. Miss Betty died at the hospital this morning.”
Maura became aware of the knocking slowly. She’d been deep into a book, and was nearly finished. As always, she tended to block out the rest of the world when a book got its hooks into her.
She looked up from her Kindle. Paused. Listened. It was 11:30 at night, and everyone else in the house was asleep. Now that she paid attention, she realized she’d been hearing those two knocks at perhaps ten minute intervals for a while. And they weren’t the usual noises she knew the house made. They seemed to be coming form the center of the kids’ playroom. She could see the darkened doorway from where she sat on the living room couch.
Thoughts of her mom flooded her mind. Just a jumble of disconnected images and memories. All of her mom. Who had died nearly six years before of a stroke.
Maura chuckled. Everyone in her family believed in the supernatural. It was just a part of their growing up. So, when her mom had died so unexpectedly, she hoped and prayed her mother would find a way to visit her, send her a sign she was okay wherever she was. There were two instances when she thought that might’ve actually happened, but both were in the days and months after she died. Years ago, now.
Her ears on the alert and her nerves piqued, Maura turned back to her book. Within fifteen minutes, she finished, but though the knock had never returned, she was now freaked out. Knowing she was acting ridiculous, she turned on lights every step of the way as she walked to her bedroom and got ready to sleep.
She chuckled as she mentally tried to calm herself down. She thought, You know, I should say, ‘Hey Mom, if that’s you, knock three times this time.’ Maura shook her head at her wishful thinking and eventually her mind drifted off to her long to-do list for the next day.
Finally, sleep began to lure her, and Maura closed her eyes.
Knock. Knock. Knock.
Maura’s eyes flew open, and stared at the wall behind her headboard, the one that connected with the unused guest room. Adrenaline sent her heart into a sprint, but just as quickly, she calmed, because she’d gotten what she asked for.
“Good night, Mama,” she said.
HALLOWEEN TREAT GIVEAWAY
Anyone else get chills?
Bwuhaha! Okay, so the Halloween trick is: guess which story(s) is/are true and leave the number in your comment!
Also, feel free to share a ghost story of your own—I love ‘em!
The Halloween treats are as follows: one commenter will win a $10 Amazon gift card and a complete signed set of my Romance Trading Cards from all four of my books!
Open to international contestants.
Comments with email addresses left through midnight EST 10/22 will be entered to win!
Check back at the end of the Entangled Halloween Party to learn the correct answer and see who won!
Thanks for reading! Have a boooktacular Halloween!
And, just in time for Halloween…the gods are coming…
NORTH OF NEED – Book 1 in the Hearts of the Anemoi Series (releases 11/1)
Her tears called a powerful snow god to life, but only her love can grant the humanity he craves...
Desperate to escape agonizing memories of Christmas past, twenty-nine-year-old widow Megan Snow builds a snow family outside the mountain cabin she once shared with her husband, realizing too late that she's recreated the very thing she'll never have.
Called to life by Megan's tears, snow god Owen Winters appears unconscious on her doorstep in the midst of a raging blizzard. As she nurses him to health, Owen finds unexpected solace in her company and unimagined pleasure in the warmth of her body, and vows to win her heart for a chance at humanity.
Megan is drawn to Owen's mismatched eyes, otherworldly masculinity, and enthusiasm for the littlest things. But this Christmas miracle comes with an expiration--before the snow melts and the temperature rises, Megan must let go of her widow's grief and learn to trust love again, or she'll lose Owen forever.