The Old Mansion on My Street

Concord MA, graveyardI consider taking a walk, but then I remember I need my crutches.

Not that I need the crutches. My leg is fine now. The break was clean; the cast inconvenient but a nice attention getter; the crutches cumbersome and ugly.

I would have liked to have thrown the tall rigid walking implements into the trash. Or at least recycled them for some other poor soul to use.

But, sagely, I left my un-needed crutches standing in the foyer, by the front door.

For just this kind of day. . .Autumn, fall leaves

. . . an eerie, chilly late October day, gray-skied with an errant orangey leaf blowing in the wind.

The kind of day I usually relish going for a walk.

Autumn, Fall, Fall DecorationBut as I open the front door, I re-live how I broke my leg. I had been only five minutes from my house, in front of Mr. Barker’s abandoned 100-year–old mansion. The mansion next to the even older cemetery.

Where, seven weeks ago, I heard a scream so horrifying I immediately ran toward the mansion’s front door before thinking of dialing 911.

Now, I grab one of the crutches and leave my house, breathing in the crisp autumn air.

I must get that horrific image out of my mind . . .

            . . . the image of what had greeted me at the old mansion’s front door, which caused me to tumble down the granite front steps, breaking my leg.Sudbury MA, graveyard

Now, almost two months since my broken leg incident, I try to act casual as I stride past the cemetery toward the old house. No one else in the neighborhood is out and about. I’d been so lucky on that August afternoon when a neighbor heard my scream of pain and called 911. The paramedics arrived in record time, and yet, when they put me on a stretcher, moaning and claiming I’d seen something unimaginable in the old house, they took it as the ramblings of an injured woman.

Later, after I got x-rayed and casted, I called the police and insisted they check out Mr. Barker’s house.

“That place has been abandoned since old Mr. Barker died in ’08,” Officer Rodney Steer told me, as blunt as ever. Rodney Steer and I dated once. It didn’t go well, and he’s avoided me like the plague ever since. And I’ve avoided him like I would any unmannered beast.

“We thought it was abandoned,” I told Rodney with a hint of impatience. My leg throbbed, my head pounded, and I couldn’t remove the image of what I’d seen at the mansion. “Someone, or something, greeted me when I opened that front door.”

The pause on the other end of the line told me that Officer Rodney Steer thought I was off my rocker.

“And it wasn’t pretty,” I added, trying to sound as menacing as possible in my shaky, just-broke-my-leg voice. “Please, just go there and check it out.”

Officer Steer assured me a week later, when I called to follow-up, that he had visited the house, where the door was locked and boarded up, “as it has been since ’08,” and my imagination had just run away with me and down the stairs that broke my leg.http://www.thehindu.com/multimedia/dynamic/00391/2008021657420401_391897e.jpg

The memory of his patronizing tone leads me now to walk up those same granite steps. Call me stupid, but this time, I’m prepared. I hold a crutch in one hand to use as a weapon, and my wits to help me prepare for the sight I might see.

Additionally, I aim my cell phone in my other hand, ready to shoot a photo of the thing that might greet me at the door.

Not surprisingly, the mansion’s front door is not boarded up, and when I turn the knob, it’s not locked.

A scream commences from inside the house.

Of course, by now I’ve figured that the sound is not a scream, but a supplication – a plea – to enter and see what thrives within.

I know I shouldn’t. I beg myself to escape the pull that is urging me to take that first step into the threshold.

Just as I do, the gnarled hoary hand of dead Mr. Barker pulls me in the rest of the way.Ghost, Ghost Story I hit the camera button on my phone, and . . . 

. . .  this time, no one hears my screams.

 

 

 

 

Fall, Autumn, New England Fall

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, from my front door, to yours.  🙂

 

114 thoughts on “The Old Mansion on My Street

    • True, I usually get annoyed at the character in a movie/book who ‘goes back.’ I think there’s some kind of supernatural pull in this house that brings my character back despite her inner wisdom telling her to NOT GO. Gotta watch out for that supernatural stuff swirling around old mansions. 🙂

      • … especially around the end of October 😉

        We had a couple of old houses on our street when I was young that I was convinced were haunted. Yet, at the same time, I had an inexplicable urge to go in and look around.
        Never did though … something about locks on the doors 😉

    • Thank you, thank you, Jill! I didn’t know there’s an original Halloween movie..with this title? I usually don’t watch scary movies because I get too ….scared! I even had to hide under the sheets a few times while I wrote this one. 🙂

      • LOL! I was referring to the music from the movie Halloween…with Jamie Lee Curtis. Gosh, I think it’s from the early 80’s. Aside from Silence of the Lambs, those are the only scary movies I’ve seen. Like you, I’m a chicken!

  1. Good Halloween story, Pam.
    When I first started reading, I thought you had really broken your leg–of course, then I soon realized it was a story, but what if. . .? 🙂
    I could just hear those patronizing voices of the men. I hope somehow she gets out.

    • I think that crutch will still come in handy for her, don’t you? I did enjoy writing this story – it just kind of wrote itself – perhaps the ‘supernatural’ helped me. That Officer Steer – URGH.

  2. Brilliantly told story, Pam – as evidenced by my desire to steer clear of your neighborhood on Halloween night 😉 Do we have the makings of something for NaNoWriMo, I wonder? Happy Halloween, my friend 🙂

    • The fall HAS been glorious, despite the fact that the meteorologists guessed that this year fall would be brown and unexciting because of the summer drought we experienced. Instead, it was the opposite. Mother Nature again surprises… Happy Halloween!

    • What is it about large homes/mansions that draw us inside, even though we know it’s a bad idea? Well, you and I know they make for great stories, Amy. 🙂 Happy Halloween in your beachy hometown. xo

  3. Wow, Pam, when I started reading I had NO idea this was fiction! I was thinking I probably didn’t know you’d broken your leg and since it’s late October, I thought you were sharing an anecdote! I began thinking you were one of those who believes in ghosts, etc. Of course, by the time I got to the end I realized it was fiction. After all, if you were pulled into the house you wouldn’t be here to write a story! lol Great stuff!

    P.S. Thanks for that beautiful card 🙂 Hugs…

    • I don’t mean to be tricky. No, I don’t. Really, I don’t. Well, Halloween is for TRICKS or Treats. And I had fun getting into the tricks. Glad I ‘got’ you.
      And glad you liked the card. ❤

  4. Lord have mercy this is a good one. I can’t stand the suspense and I almost did not continue reading. You are good- really good with the words and know how to keep a reader interested.

    The photos are marvelous too. Not the hand though. 🙂

  5. My thoughts as I read this: “The mansion is indeed haunted, the fall was not an accident, Pam!! Stay away from there. . .”
    This was a complete frightening story which pulled me in.
    Happy Halloween!! 😀

  6. Very scary and realistic—the best kind of horror story! I’ve been buried deep in all the things life throws at a person, but I needed to carve out some time to visit my Peeps! Miss you!❤

  7. Pam, reading this out of Halloween season I first thought this was something that had really happened but then a certain fear took hold and it wouldn’t let go! Great fun story, very well done and had me hooked until the end. Pity you only write these once a year!

    • I’m so glad I ‘hooked’ you, Annika! Actually I only write ghost stories once a year, but I write lots of suspense stories. Two are published, and working on the 3rd. Hope I can hook you in these, also. 🙂

      • Pam, I have got one of your books on my kindle waiting to be read – I feel so behind on everything I want to and guilty emotions are sweeping over me! I seriously look forward to reading this soon and am sure I’ll be just as hooked!

        • Nooo, don’t feel guilty!! I’m the same way. I have a dozen books on my Kindle that I want to read by Indie author/bloggers that I follow. I just finally read Amy Reade’s The House of the Hanging Jade. It was worth the wait – excellent! xo

  8. Pingback: Lazy Sunday #25 | Paula Acton

  9. Oooh, nice and spoooooky! Wish I’d read this before Halloween! I was busy pulling together a party for a bunch of 11-13 year olds. This would have made a good tale to tell around the campfire! 🙂

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