I remember someone saying once, an author I think, that you always go back to a certain place in your writing. A moment in time or a building in my case. That building is my grandparent’s house.
A house I remember vividly over any other. Mainly because it was a haunted house.
You don’t believe me? It had all the requirements.:
- It was very old. It was one of those Minneapolis houses that the city had built itself around it. The house absorbed all that history. The good and the bad.
- Someone had shed their mortal coil in the confines of the house. This was a juicy tidbit that I and my sisters used in many late-night ghost story scaring sessions.
- It had a basement complete with dirt floors and only a single bulb. This was the room where the “fudgesicles” and orange soda were, of course. If you got a hankering you had to brave the crazed demon that we were sure lived deep down in the darkest parts of that space. He was the entity that would make your butt pucker and move fast at the same time as you were running up the stairs gripping Fudgesicles and orange soda. The damn thing was always one butt touch from making you completely insane.
Those three things didn’t make it haunted though. What made it haunted was a story that I barely remember witnessing. It was the day my dad saw a ghost.
I wrote a flash fiction story about this not too long ago. But I want to touch on this one more time because this is where a lot of my ideas come from. From this haunted, maybe a little bit evil, house. And who doesn’t like a good ghost story?
Everything I’m about to tell you actually happened.
Here’s the story…
So, my grand parents house had a lot of grass and other vegetation that needed to be maintained. They lived on a budget so instead of hiring a lawn service the task of mowing the lawn and other things was tasked to my dad. I don’t think he ever thought of it as a burden, I think he liked mowing the lawn.
He would deposit us in the living room with my grandparents and we would watch TV while he did the yard work. He always told us that we could never go into the attic because of the antiques that sat up there gathering dust. We never wanted to because much like the basement the attic was creepy as hell.
So, one day we were all sitting there watching whatever my grandma was watching on the old tube when my dad came in from the front door. He was sweaty and mad as hell.
“I thought I told you kids to stay out of the attic?” my dad said.
We all looked at him like he was crazy. My grandparents told my father that we had been sitting there the whole time. My dads eyes got big and he ran up the stairs to the attic. We heard him walking around up there for a few minutes until finally he came down.
His face was white as a sheet. “No one was up there?” We all shook our heads. “You’re sure?” We nodded our heads. My dad grabbed the sides of his face and the next thing he said haunts me to this day. “Then who waved to me from the attic window when I was mowing the lawn?” My grandma let out with a gasp.
My dad told us later on the ride home that our great uncle had died in that attic. He’d had cancer and he used to stare out the window and wave at people.
That house is always the house I go back to in my writing. It holds power over me that to this day still gives me the chills.
If you would like to read about this creepy house, pick up these two titles.