Real Life Ghost Stories: Things The Cat Can't Do
by J. L. Thurston
Acknowledgement: The following is a re-telling of a family’s haunted experiences. Thank you, Tabitha, for this Real Life Ghost Story.
There is hardly a person who can’t claim to have experienced something that seemed supernatural. Even the hardest sceptic can have difficulty explaining away certain occurrences. There’s only so many times an inanimate object moves, only so many odd noises a person can hear in the night before admitting that maybe there are forces at work in this world that operate beyond our five senses.
The Graves family lived with the possibility of life after death when they moved into the old farmhouse. The sweeping green lawns led to the picturesque bi-level with a wrap-around porch. The railing and supportive beams invited flowerboxes and hanging potted rhododendrons. There was a porch swing with chains that gave the faintest squeak at the touch of a breeze.
Entering the home, there was a sense of closeness. The walls were thick, and the echoes of laughter and running feet had filled them with memories. It was the kind of home with more rooms than was practical. A formal sitting room, a T.V. room, an informal sitting room, a dining room. Rooms that were built before open-concept, before central air. Rooms with blind corners that invited the eye to catch glimpses of movement in the peripheral vision.
Upstairs was a long, narrow hallway with creaking wooden floors. The bedrooms were spacious with tall windows, often left open in summer nights to invite the wind. The rooms were always bedrooms to children, each growing and replacing the beds with children of their own.
When the Graves family heard the sounds of running feet in an empty hallway, the spirits of long-ago children were blamed. As time went on, the sounds of playing could be heard more and more often. At all hours, the heavy, thunderous rumble of a ball being rolled slowly down the corridor could be heard. Bedroom doors would slam shut, as though a rowdy game of tag was underway.
The ghost children of the Graves’ house were mischievous. They would play games with the living. Games that couldn’t be explained. Things the cat couldn’t be blamed for. Mrs. Graves found that if she left her Aldi’s quarters out on the counter they would certainly go missing overnight, only to be found later in one of her shoes.
Cabinets were left open, a topic of much debate as the living children were usually blamed for it. Beds would be ruffled and unmade, also to the living children’s distain. It was a one-sided game, and the dead children were winning. How could the living prank them back? The answer was simple, you can’t.
For the most part, they lived in peace with their youthful ghosts, never feeling alarmed or threatened. Sometimes the living would even speak aloud to them, in greeting or in playful scolding. “Oh, the quarters, again!” or “Please stop running in the house! It’s very noisy.”
As the living children grew older, the ghostly kids grew restless. They found the youngest sleeping her bed one night. She was awakened to her covers being ripped off of her and feeling the jab of tiny, cold fingers pressing all around her. After that, it was more than once she would wake up and see the indentations on the bed, knowing a nightly visitor was sitting or lying with her.
Fear began to grow.
Eventually, the Graves family sold the house. For them, it was time to move on. But they had been there for years, and it would seem the ghostly children were not ready to say goodbye. While the living packed, the lights flickered constantly. The kitchen cabinets were possessed, opening and slamming closed. The ghosts’ anger was apparent. A dresser was toppled over.
It was time to leave.
Afterwards, the Graves family lived without further supernatural occurrences, telling the tales of their spiritual roomies with a note of fondness. The ghost children had been something of extended family for them, in a way. They did not try to mask the strange happenings by half-heartedly wondering about an electrical problem, or guessing that the old house was just settling.
There are some things that can’t be explained. There are some things the cat can’t do.