Friday, October 28, 2011

3 Days 'til Halloween: Number Three House

One of my family's ghost stories.

Many fun filled summers were spent in the rural Catskill mountain area of upstate NY. This included some good spooky tales. Often as kids we were driven past and told the story of #3 house. So named because it was the third house my mother's family had lived in over many decades spent in the country.

It was a small, simple, two story home along a dirt road. Every night as all went up to bed, being an old drafty place, they would close the living room door in the hallway by the staircase to keep the cold air out.

The door would always creek open at some point forcing someone to go downstairs and close it again. The old lock on it was broken and of no use, so when this happened over and over again for days, they tied the door shut to a chair. But it still would open later and the rope was found lying on the floor.

Guessing the rope and chair not strong enough, they added an eye hook latch. The door still managed to open on it's own. Now it was strange and bizarre, so they gave up trying and bought more blankets.

Later, they learned a bit of the home's history.

Years earlier one late night, a woman was stoking the old wood burning stove inside the living room for heat. Her dress caught fire. She tried to run out of the room seeking help from her husband sleeping upstairs, but the door was locked close and in her panic could not find the key quick enough. Her husband hearing her screams could not reach her through the locked door in time.

It seemed her spirit would never let that door stay closed again.

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