BY GLORIA FAYE BROWN BATES
Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
"Yes, a real haunted house!" My cousin, Raymond, told me about a real haunted house. I didn't believe a house could be haunted!
We were young teenagers wanting something to make us feel a thrill. Everyone knows what I'm talking about. We were fifteen, Raymond was sixteen. He could drive.
Raymond and his girlfriend, his best friend and his girlfriend, were going to the haunted house that night. Raymond asked me if I'd like to come along.
Of course, I wanted to see a real haunted house. At the moment it was in the middle of the day... they were on the way to look at this house in the daylight. I wanted to go with them. "Come on, let's go!" Raymond invited me. I jumped in the back seat of his car, he took off!
I felt excitement, even just a little fear in my stomach. A 'real' haunted house! I've never been to a real haunted house! In fact, I'd never gotten to do much of anything in my teenage years. I wasn't allowed to do anything excepting go to school, and just live in hell everyday of my life. It seemed to me someone would have been glad to let me go do things, maybe never come back to be a bother to them.... you know, just disappear.
I wasn't even allowed to get a part-time job! All the other kids in my DE class were getting part-time jobs... excepting me. I felt anger that I couldn't. Looking back now... how sad that I wasn't allowed to begin growing into my own... I was too sheltered.... too sheltered in hell. Anything seemed like heaven when I was away.
I could have gotten into alot of trouble 'if' I'd known 'what to get into!' Looking back, I'm glad I didn't do that! That's not saying I was perfect. I was in trouble for a short time in my life when I was a little older, wrong people... wrong place... wrong time. I know how well something like that can happen. I was someone who never wanted to be in 'real' trouble. Young people can be led so easily, they believe in their idols, their peers and think they can do no wrong.
"Don't drive so fast!" I told Raymond to slow down, he was driving fast down that dirt road. We were somewhere in Wake Forest, North Carolina... only he knew where we were going.
Raymond slowed down and turned right onto a dirt path leading up to an old, old house. The boards looked dark grey, some of the windows were broken. It was overgrown with briars, and vines and trees. No one had lived here for a while.
We got out of the car and began to walk up to the house. The steps were broken and one couldn't walk up on them, the steps had rotted out. One could gingerly step up on the sides of them to make it up on the porch where....
The boards were mostly missing on that porch and I could see down through the holes. How in the world can one get into that front door without falling through to the ground, and God knows what else!
Raymond and his best friend held onto the doorway and managed to jump across the hole there. They began helping us girls by holding their hands out to us, saying they would help us inside. We got inside and began to explore the first floor.
We all began going our own ways, each finding something that interested us. I had never been in a house that was as old as this. It had a fireplace that fascinated me... it was beautiful to me! I saw an old book lying on the dusty floor. I picked it up to look inside to maybe... see a name? No, no name in this dusty old book.
I could hear the voices of Raymond, his best friend and his girlfriend. They were laughing and chattering away. I went to find them.
They were upstairs... one had to be so careful navigating those steps! They were dangerous, holes in them, the wood was thin in places from age.
I made it up the steps... finally. I walked to the window at the head of them. I looked out over the roof, to the window to my right... to see inside of the room there. I only saw bare walls and a dusty floor. It was empty.
I looked to my left.... feeling shock as I did! I couldn't believe my eyes... there was a rope with a noose on the end of it...hanging from the center of the ceiling. My knees felt weak and I felt afraid. I wanted to go away from here. I wondered if Raymond and the others saw this!
I walked to my left, looking for the door to that room with the noose..... there wasn't a door at all there in that hall that opened into that room! I couldn't understand that. I walked down the hall to the only doorway on the left... that was at the front of the house, it was a dusty room with bare walls. Raymond and his friends were in here.
"Did you see the noose hanging from the ceiling?" Raymond asked me what noose? His eyes showed just a little fear when I asked him. He was brave, but... Raymond could scare easily! I felt more fear when I saw Raymond's eyes, he could be scared easily but, not as easily as I could be.
"Come on, I'll show you! I can't find the door to that room!" I walked into the hall. I took my hand and touched the wall as we walked back to the big window in front of the stairs leading back down. I bumped the wall, I told Raymond that I couldn't understand where the door would be to the room I knew was behind there!
We all walked to the window at the back of the house, in front of the staircase that led down.... I pointed to the room to the left. No one could believe what they saw.... a bare room with dust on the floor, and a rope noose hanging from the ceiling. Immediately, the guys turned to look down the hall, puzzled to where a door would be. There wasn't a door.
We grew tired of wondering and made our way back down those rotten, old steps. We let the guys go first out the front door, they reached to help us girls to get back onto the porch. Thankfully, no one fell in that hole there... it was about four feet down if one fell into it.
We piled up in Raymond's car and drove slowly away. All of us were looking up at that old house.. we were on the left side of it where the room was with that rope noose. We could see windows up there.... I was wondering 'where was the door to that room with the noose?'
Raymond said we'd all go that night back to that haunted house. Didn't that rope noose prove that it was haunted? It was strange to see a noose hanging from the ceiling like that. Yes, we all knew 'we had to go back' that night! People are braver when in numbers.
That evening as it was getting dark, we drove down the dirt road toward the haunted house. I was feeling afraid, I was having second thoughts. The guys were talking brave-talk... how they weren't afraid of nothing.
The moonlight was beautiful, I was so glad that the moon was out. I'm afraid of the dark... I know 'bad' things can happen in the dark. I know.
Raymond slowed down on the side of the road instead of driving into the driveway. I was so glad he wasn't driving up to that haunted house! I was feeling nervous, my hands felt shaky, my heart was pounding. I think I wanted to go now... I might see something I don't want to see!
He stopped, everyone opened their windows. We sat there, nothing happened, we began to relax. We were laughing and talking when........................
"Did you see that?!!!" I froze, because Raymond's voice sounded strange, I felt cold chills on my bare arms. Raymond was pointing at something, his eyes were wide and his mouth.. was hanging open!
I looked up at the window where the room had the rope noose hanging from the ceiling, the room with no door to it. I saw.... in that window a little blue light the color of blue one sees on a highway trooper's car! It was hovering in the dark window! I was cold with fear, I wanted to go!
"Let's go, let's go", I said. No, Raymond said let's wait just a minute to see what happens!
In the moonlight, I watched what appeared to be a black sillouette of a man in a top hat coming out of that front door. I knew he was going to fall! In the moonlight I could see this man walk smoothly across that front porch and as he began to step down .....
The sound of tires spinning, my body being thrown back against the seat, and hysterical laughing.... I heard Raymond say "I'm getting the hell outta here!"
We all began comparing what we saw with our eyes, we all saw the same thing. We all asked the question "how did that man walk across the porch like that?!!!"
We all saw the man stepping down to ......... steps that weren't there! It was real, it was a real haunted house.
I never went back there, I think Raymond did. I don't think they ever saw anything else that was strange.
I know I saw enough to keep me away.... I don't like haunted houses at all. Especially... dark, haunted houses. Why I don't even go to the fun Halloween haunted houses... do you know 'why'?
Because I know 'bad things happen in the dark'... I know. I'm afraid of the dark.