Tall Drink of Nerd: A Haunting in Haxtun [An IRL Ghost Story]
There is a restless spirit in my Mother’s house. It dwells in the dark under my old bedroom. As a kid, I felt the haunting, but tried to convince myself if was only my vivid imagination. Recently, my niece Katie told a story about her run-in with the ghost that kept me awake, hair standing on end, when I stayed at my parent’s house.
The basement in that house has always made me uneasy. It’s cold and musty, because it’s not insulated or finished beyond the dark wood paneling hung on concrete walls. The only light comes from a bare bulb clutching a cobwebbed cord. Creaking raw wood stairs lead straight down into the earth, bordered tight on each side by unfinished drywall. Long after I moved out, I learned that my bedroom was directly above the spot where the previous home-owner had died of a heart attack .
Being alone in that bedroom always made me uncomfortable. At night I would hear whispering, off in the distance, impossible to make out what was being said, but clearly someone was talking. I used to think that’s just what happened when you fall asleep. Now I know that it doesn’t happen anywhere but that room.
In 2009, due to my Dad’s cancer, I spent more time than usual visiting my parents, staying in my old room every 2-3 months or so. During a random conversation with my, now grown, niece, I told her that I still get creeped out sleeping there. Then she told me about her encounter with the spirit:
Shortly after I had gone off to college, a 9 yr old Katie, her sister Jennifer and 2 other girl cousins had a 2-day sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. They all piled into the double bed in my old room, and after giggling and squealing until being shushed by the Grandparents, they all fell asleep. For some reason, Katie woke up around 3:30 a.m. She said she was freezing cold and scared the minute she knew she was awake. Katie saw a figure, a dark shadow in a hood, standing next to the dresser. He was looking very intently at a picture of me and my sister Janet. Katie pinched herself to make sure she wasn’t asleep.
As if he sensed she was awake, the spirit turned to look at her. Then it began to move across the room toward her. At that point, Katie pulled the covers over her head and began singing “Jesus Loves Me”, in a scared little whisper, while pushing Jenny to get her sister to wake up. Jenny woke up a little with a sleepy “whaaat…?” Katie was terrified, sure that the thing was leaning over the bed watching her and would snatch the covers away from her any second.
After 3-4 minutes of eternity, Katie slowly lowered the covers off her head and looked around the room She saw only her sister and her cousins. No one else was there and the room was losing it’s chill. She says she sat straight up in bed until the dawn, praying and singing off and on. When everyone was up, she faked a stomach ache and didn’t spend another night in that room.
Wisely, when she started to tell me she that she had seen the ghost, I told her to wait to give me all the details until I didn’t have to sleep there for awhile. I called her a day later from the Denver airport and sat on the phone with her, feeling my flesh turn cold and goosey as she spoke.
Katie still doesn’t like to spend any more time in there than she has to. Next time I visit Mom, I believe that I’ll sleep on the couch.
featured image credit: canadapost