The Last Spooky Story for Halloween

When I was in college, my parents and brothers moved to a big brick house in a little town just up the bluff from the Mississippi river. The house was, I think, the nicest house my family has ever lived in. The downstairs was open and spacious and each room was connected by these beautiful French doors. There was a big, formal staircase at the front of the house and an informal staircase at the back of the house leading into the kitchen.

Strangely enough, the house next door to it was set up almost exactly the same, except a little smaller and, where our house had square walls and straight hallways, the house next door had curvy walls and hallways.

When we first moved there, my mom and I were talking at Walmart about how cool the two houses were and the woman who was checking us out was like, “You live next to the Methodist Church?” We said, “Yes.” She said, “I lived in the house next to yours. It’s haunted.”

She then proceeded to tell us how she and her husband had rented the house, just for a few months, right after the previous owner had died. She said that the previous owner’s death had really stood out for the community because it was the last time anyone had been laid out at home. So, the body laid in the front room for three days and then they came and took the coffin right out the front door, and across the street, and into the Catholic Church for the funeral. During the funeral, she said, the bell at the top of the church rang out once for each year she’d lived. Again, an old-fashioned moment, a nice touch, except that no living person was ringing the bell.

The woman at Walmart said that when they were living there, there was still some stuff of the old woman’s in the house. Specifically, she said that the woman’s hope chest was still under the front window. She and her husband, though, had turned the parlor into a bedroom and decided to move the hope chest into the dining room and use it as a kind of bench seat at the window there.

She said that the night after they moved it, they woke up to the sound of it dragging itself across the floor. She said they found it in the doorway and decided if it wanted to be back under the front window so bad, they’d just put it back and leave it there. So, they did.

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One thought on “The Last Spooky Story for Halloween

  1. I’m not sure if I am fascinated with the ringing church bell because it is tragic or romantic or both. And, of course, I love the setting of you guys learning about this in rural America’s favorite corporate retail giant.

    This morning, a very shy pet was downstairs and I was upstairs and she usually hides 99% of the time but she was out in the open (well, under a table so out in the open if you are a reclusive house pet) making noise for all she was worth. (I’m protecting her identity in a lame way by not revealing the noise.) Anyway, I would almost rethink if this was a spooky Halloween aftershock if, when I went down to investigate, it hadn’t become clear it was an elaborate con for a second feeding. Hey, I’m a super genius, I can pick up on the cons of domestic aniamals. Now if only I hadn’t sent my bank account numbers to Nigeria. :)

    You should ask the drug czarina (I’m nicknaming one of our associates to your west, the one with the daughter so adorable it is spooky) about some of the houses in her awesome to visit hometown. If you ever go there or anywhere in that state, just make sure you drink a glass of water and take some pain medicine before you go to bed. It should be renamed the hardest partying state in the midwest. And now my day is complete because I used party as a verb.

    I’m kind of sorry I never got to see that house, but I’m also kind of relieved. Ohhh…the fun back and forth of creepy stuff.

    -The Delightfully Conflicted Super Genius

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