We spent some time writing about ghosts, ghost stories and imagined both sides of supernatural experiences, both from the ghosts' perspectives and the haunted person's. Here are some excerpts!
You start to feel numb, everywhere. Your fingers lose all feeling, and your feet feel like air. You try to move them, but to no avail. It started with just a twitch in your hand, then full hand gestures. You’ve just lost control of your whole hand. It starts moving again, but it’s not from your control, not anymore, it’s something else. Your legs start shaking rapidly, then your torso. You can feel it start moving up your body, but before it got to your head, you desperately spoke one thing…
“... what… what is happening to me..?”
You have lost your mouth, your eyes, and your all of your senses. But you still kept your mind. You could see your body sit up, and start to move about, but it wasn’t normal,
But as if it was testing out a new car, getting a hold of things. started feeling objects in the room. started touching your body parts, and you had a front row seat to watch it all.
You see it get undressed and into a pipping hot shower. Your body got out and you watch it look into the mirror. Your lips start moving. Then you start talking, but it’s not your words or your voice…
“M… My body… it’s good to have it back… again… This thing... possessed me for weeks…”
You are shocked.
Hiiiiiiii, so I'm just a young ghost with minor drinking problems & thought I would prank this girl that had like 3 graveyards ‘round her house. So on like the 23rd in the morning i got an app on my ghost pod that's a sound board so I floated into the kitchen and pressed a button on my phone that is labeled “human screaming” and then one above it named “chop chop, let's get killin’! Then I turned the lights off, but humans can be so damn dramatic so she probably said to her friends that I almost killed her. Like us ghosties are just so literal and then there are humans. Ugh.
Last year father told us we had to move to a bigger house because mother was having a baby. and we didn’t have enough big enough space in our old house. and that’s why we were going to move. so on october 2and we moved into the house on jennifer street. and it was a cold night, so we turned on the furnace. and i felt a little safer in the big old house with the warm breeze coming from the furnace vent. and for two weeks everything was fine. and one night we had the heat on high to accommodate for the snowy weather. and just as i was falling asleep, the covers were tugged of me aggressively. puzzled, i reached down and pulled them back on. but i didn’t fall asleep this time. i waited and about 30 minutes later, it happened again. i didn’t sleep that night. a week or so later, i was walking to the bathroom to brush my teeth before bed. and i heard someone pushing furniture around above me. and the next night father said he heard it too. and then my sister Molly said the covers had been pulled off her mysteriously in the night as well. so i knew i wasn’t going mad. and my brothers, Fred and Tobias, said they heard the furniture moving too. and mother said she was walking in the hall past an old cabinet, which came with the house. and it was rattling so hard she thought it might fall over, and then she opened it, and a cold blast of air hit her. and the cabinet stopped rattling. Molly said she went to the basement after hearing crying and wailing from there. and when she got there all she saw was a couple of embers and a few pieces of grain next to an old wood burning stove. and i few days after that, all mothers plants started dying. And i remembered mother was quite upset by this, and i could hear her complaining to father about it through the thin walls. I couldn’t sleep that night. When i turned six mother gave me a small cactus plant, and i always kept it on my windowsill. Recently it had shriveled and died as well. Usually, when i couldn’t sleep at night, i would go to the window and look at my cactus plant. And i did this that night, even though my plant was dead. I sat there. Looking at its dead thorns, and wishing it back to life. I picked up the clay pot containing the cactus and turned it in my hands, and written in ever so tiny letters, in graved into the clay with what looked like nothing more than a fingernail, where the words “help me” i had never written that on my cactus pot. And none of my siblings had ever touched it, it had been my special gift from mother. a reminder that i had once been the youngest child. Her favorite child. And i knew it wouldn’t be that way very soon. Fred was the first to get sick. he lay in bed and groaned. he had a terrible fever and vomiting. he said he saw a young girl with red flaming hair tending to him once. but everyone in my family has mousy brown hair. we thought Fred would get better. but he only got worse. and then mother got sick too. and we took them both to the hospital. i distinctly remember as we walked out the door, father had to practically carry Fred to the car. He looked so weak. He was vomiting more and more and kept trying to go to sleep, but father would yelled him to stay awake. Molly and Tobias were helping mother. Molly had told me to lock the door behind them, and was i was fumbling with the lock, i dropped the empty pale i was carrying, i had had the pale in case mother or Fred started to vomit in the car. Anyway i reached down to grab it, but it rolled away, into the entrance hall of the house. I ran after the pale, but the floors were very slanted, and it just kept rolling. I remember that loud clanking noise the metal pail made was it rolled. It rolled around a corner, and the the noise stopped. i turned the corner, and there was a girl there. She looked like she was 17 or 18. She was wearing one of those old dresses that women used to wear. It was black and had a lace trim that ended near her ankles. She was wearing a maid’s cap on her stringy red hair. She reminded me of a girl in a book i’d once read. Pippi longstocking. except the girl in the book always seemed completely fictional to me, like she couldn’t possibly exist outside her book. But this girl was somewhere in between. In between the real world and some made up one. She looked tired. But she smiled. But the smile didn’t really reach her eyes. She said nothing to me. She just handed me my bucket back. When she handed it to me, i could see where our fingers were supposed to touch, but instead of feeling the warm flesh of a human, it felt like i had touched the freezing smoke that came from dry ice. And she just walked away. Down the hallway, she didn’t look back, and as she turned the corner, she began to fade. Like she hadn’t really been there. Like she was only a fragment of my imagination. And then father called me back to the car. At the hospital the nurses got Fred and mother into nightgowns and put paper bracelets on their wrists and then they put them in separate rooms and the doctor said we couldn’t be allowed in to see them until he ran some tests. But that was taking a very long time, and i sat in the waiting room with Tobias and Molly and father. All i could think about was the strange girl in our house. But as hard as i tried, i could not find a way to explain her. Finally the doctor said that they needed more time, because their tests were inconclusive. They said that somebody should drive me and Molly and Tobias home to stay the night, and then come back the next day. Some old women who owned the general store drove us. She was a friend of mothers, and the whole way there she talked about how much she hoped mother and Fred would get better. When we arrived home, we thanked the women for the ride and went inside to go to bed. Tobias and Molly completely ignored me that night. So i went to bed in my room. And just lay there. Afraid for my family. I sat there. And picked up my cactus. Now only a pot of dirt. The plant had completely shriveled into earth. And looked at the words again and again. Until i had to put the pot down from pure exhaustion. The next day the doctors told us that mother and Fred tested positive for carbon monoxide poisoning. And they caught it right in the nick of time, just as Molly was beginning to show symptoms too. They said that we were very lucky, and that everything was going to be okay, and it was just the old furnace making our brains see things that weren’t really there. and everything was okay, except mothers baby died. but Fred got better after a while. and so did mother, but i don’t think mother ever really got better. not really.
My name is Maranda. and in the late summer of 1903, i got a job as a maid at the big house on jennifer street. i was 16 at that time. and i really enjoyed my job. i had to do the children’s laundry, and light the fires, and my employers wife would like me to help her choose the cakes her guests to enjoy. And the youngest boy, Alfred, would like me to give him piggyback rides in the halls when no one was there. And we would play hide and seek, too. I remember trying to hide in a cabinet that was much to small for me. And I gave myself away by rattling it. But Alfred didn't find me, the Chiefs helper boy did. I didn't know him at that time, but we soon became friends. Finding a maid in a child's toy cabinet can make bondage quite hard to avoid. He told me his name was Fernando. But he insisted i call him Nando. at the time I thought it sounded childish. But now I cherish every kind thing he did for me. He told me to call him Nando, because it reminded him of the adventurism life he wouldn't lead, or so he said. Nando helped me with my chores, and covered for my embarrassing mistakes I made almost daily, and most of all, he gave me someone to talk to. One night, Nando was helping me snuff out the fires in the old house. And he told me that he wasn't going to work here for much longer, he said that the cook had given him a scholarship to a cooking school in London. Because he was really better at cooking then he thought he was. and asked me to come with him to London. He explained that we were from the same class and the same town we could look after eachother. And I told him I'd think about it. I remember thinking that the offer was extremely generous, but I wanted to stay. And I think in my heart, I chose the house to Nando, because if I followed him, ran away with a boy I'd met 5 months ago, I would just end up like my mother, a wife that waited all day in boredom for her husband to come home. And I didn't want to be like my mother, I wanted to be like me. But I couldn't turn Nando down, not face to face. So I focused on my chores. A couple of days past, and i was able to avoid him for that long at least. He tried to talk to me in the hallway one day, but i pushed past him. I was young and very confused, i see that now. and if i do say so myself, an amazing procrastinator. It was so cold those days. that’s what really stood out to me, the temperature. The cold rain mixing with the crackle of the fire. And the occasional clink from the kitchens. We were all in a sleepy trance. Like our body’s were hibernating. I remember the other maid, Martha, who told me to go get the 7 chickens from their coop and bring them to the basement to warm them. It was much too cold for them to lay eggs. I grabbed the chickens, the icy wind burning the exposed skin on my face. I remember looking through the foggy wind and seeing a figure, standing by the iced over pond. I didn’t know who it was, and i still don’t. I took the chickens into the cellar of the old house, and set them on piles of straw near a small woodburning stove. I lit the stove very quickly, i'd had a lot of practice with lighting fires, and sat down on a wooden stove. I just sat there, i thought about Nando. And what i wanted. And i started to think maybe i should take a risk, maybe a should try something i had no idea how to do, love someone. So i decided to try an experiment, i would write two letters, in one i would write how i would tell Nando that i wanted to go with him, how i wanted to live with him. And i the other i would write my apology, and my decline of his generous offer. I never finished writing the second letter. I still don’t really understand how i died, but trust me, it was the biggest mistake of my life. The straw around me caught fire, and then my dress, and before i noticed the heat, my leg was engulfed by flames, i screamed and screamed but nobody heard me. I remember thinking that it wasn’t possible to lose control of a fire so fast. I can’t really remember the pain, physical pain seems completely irrelevant now. compared to the painful regret i've felt constantly for 47 years now, going on 48. Only people who have unfinished business become ghosts. Only people who have choices and ignore them become ghosts. You see, being a ghost is not an extended life, it worse then death. Much worse. You can’t feel anything real. Your body isn’t really there, just your mind. You become an imaginary creature, your only seen by the people whose minds are open enough to let you in there heads. You become toxic to everyone who encounters you. the only reason death keeps you there is so you can regret your actions. There is nothing to do. all day, but think about the things you left behind. All i think about is Nando, constantly. I spend every second regretting my choices. It’s all i can do. But i really didn’t mean to frighten those people. I guess i stood to close to the furnace. again.
The house on jenifer street was still livable. After they replaced the ventilation system. But mother said she wanted nothing to do with that house. And besides, now that there was no new baby, there wasn’t much need for the bigger house anyway. The people who fixed the furnace worked for an insurance company. Right when the truck packed full of tools that i didn’t understand packed up and got ready to leave the house, one of the men had fixed it came up to me and gave me a little envelope with no stamps on it. He told me he had found it in the basement while he was fixing the furnace. I opened the little envelope, which was bright green, and inside there was a piece of paper so old i thought it would crumple in my hands. The edges of paper where singed like fire had licked them, and it was folded into a tiny morsal. The furnace fixer man told me he had found it in between the floorboards in the basement, and that it had had quite some rat poop around it, he said he thought i would find it interesting, and then drove away. I unfolded the paper and saw that it was covered in cursive writing and sketching in pencil. The sketch is of a town house. An apartment complex squished between two other buildings. It reminded me of the one i used to live in. the writing was hard to make out, and it only covered half the page, but it looked like some kind of love letter. Something scribbled by a lovesick girl. The letter talked about what looked like that person’s dream life. They talked about how every day they would like to eat dinner on a terrace and watch birds on telephone wires. And shop at fish markets and maybe one day become a midwife. They talked about the joy they would feel when their husband came home and ate supper and they would sit on a sofa and read poetry. The letter seemed to be addressed to somebody named Fernando. The letter contained things like that. Dreams. The letter was vague. But i there was two things that i was completely certain of. one, The handwriting in the letter was the same as the handwriting on my cactus pot. And two, Fernando was my grandfather's name. I never told anyone about all the strange things i’d encountered in the house on jennifer street. And i don’t think i ever will, even though i’ve got nothing to fear from it anymore. I still have the letter, and the pot, but i doubt anyone else will ever believe me. Even Fred, who i aksed years and years latter if he remembered seeing the girl with red hair. But he says he doesn’t remember. And the rest of my family believes that the shotty furnace made them see it all. But i’m not so sure anymore. Sometimes there isnt a logical explanation for everything, and even if there is one, just because it’s logical, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s true.