From Hunting Ghosts: Thrilling Tales of the Paranormal edited by Buck Weiss. Story by Michael Kleen
“You explained on the phone that you were having some kind of experiences here,” Mike prompted. “Why don’t you start at the beginning? Would it help if we all sat down?” Mike and his two companions sat on the stiff sofa, but the park ranger remained standing.
The ranger paced in front of the television like he was guiding a tour for the first time, then took a few deep breaths and began to explain. “Up until a few years ago, this old house was abandoned,” he said, “but let me start at the beginning. It was used as a Union and Confederate hospital during and after the battle of Cold Harbor. The Civil War saw plenty of blood baths, but Cold Harbor was one of the worst. General Grant led his men into a slaughter. During the battle, the family that owned this house hid in the basement while the Union army brought their wounded inside and laid them out on the floor and on tables. The blood from the wounded seeped through the floorboards and dripped down onto the family. There’s no way of knowing how many men died in here.
“At any rate, sometime after the war the park service bought up the land around here—including this property—and tried to preserve the house as best they could, but kids would sneak in here all the time after dark because it was abandoned. They said that you could see lights inside and hear strange noises. Finally, the park service got fed up and rented it out to their employees. They figured that was the best way to stop the trespassing and vandalism. I’ve only been here for a couple of months, but I’m at my wits end.”
“What kind of things have you seen?” Greg asked.
The ranger sighed deeply and finally took a seat on a nearby bench. “It started the night I moved in,” he began. “I just got into bed and closed my eyes when I heard footsteps on the porch. I figured it was just some kids who were screwing around outside, so I grabbed my flashlight and went downstairs. The footsteps continued to get louder the closer I got to the front door, so I was sure I was going to catch whoever it was in the act. But, heck, when I opened the door, there wasn’t a soul out there. I thought it was strange because I had heard the footsteps so clearly, yet I never heard anyone running away. It was like they just stopped and disappeared.
“That was the first night. Something has happened at least once a week since then. Two nights ago I swear I woke up and I heard someone cryin’ down in the cellar. They were making a pitiful sound, so I just covered my ears and tried to go back to sleep. Other times I’ve heard loud bangs, like metal dropping on the floor, or I’ve seen something out of the corner of my eye. Mostly it’s just sounds, though. Sounds that seem to come from nowhere.
“Now I know it ain’t nothin’. No one else lives in this house but me, and no one has tried to trespass since I moved in. I can’t take it anymore, but I’m afraid to tell my supervisor. He thinks all these stories are nonsense, and he’s likely to recommend I go see a shrink, if he doesn’t just fire me.”
What happens next? Read Hunting Ghosts: Thrilling Tales of the Paranormal to find out!
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