Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday ... Midnight

(Found on Flickr/Claudio Branch)


  1. "And she's up there still, clawing at the walls. Running around and around and around, wearing a channel into the wallpaper. And that's why no one lives in the Yellow House."

    Looking over the shivering Brownies, I knew the counselors weren't going to have any trouble this year.

    Thank goodness for American Lit.

  2. So Ethel says, she says, “Look at that house, Fred, it's so old and creepy.”

    So Fred, he says, “You think the house is old and creepy, you should see the lady who lives there.”

    So Ethel says, she says to Fred, “I thought your mother in Birmingham?”

  3. So Nevets says, he says, "B, I thought the Yellow House was where Gauguin showed Van Gogh that little thing the island chief taught him."

  4. Dadgone it. I hate when I get a typo / word left-out right in my stinking punchline. lol

    This why proofreading during spring allergies is a bad idea.

  5. Late this past spring, some people took over at the old Whitby place.

    Dad said that the people were descendents of the original Whitby family who used to live there a long time ago. Mom said that the house was a Queen Anne, which is a kind of Victorian house. Mom is into old Victorian houses. During the whole summer, contractors and construction guys were all over the property. Mom said they were trying to restore the old place to its grandness like in history from its glory days. Dad said that the family, name of de Kellen, paid all the old taxes and settled the estate and such - and were planning on moving in there in the fall.

    All I knew was what everyone else said: the place was haunted.


    On Monday, we got a new girl in our class. The teacher said her name was Abby. Her seat was a row away from mine. I tried to talk to her at recess, but she seemed kind of shy. I figured I’d try the next day to see if she wanted to be friends and if she had any good stories about her house.

    On Tuesday, Abby seemed friendlier, so me and Cory and Prentiss tried to find out more about her, like if she liked the new house, if the move was hard on her and about her baby brother. I had seen a woman I figured must’ve been her mom pushing a stroller in the grocery store. The stroller had a blue blanket on it, so I knew it was a boy. We also wondered if she thought it was tough being eleven and having a baby brother after being an ‘only’ for so many years.

    Abby smiled at all our questions. She said she liked the house just fine, didn’t know if there were any ghosts haunting there because she hadn’t seen any yet – and that she was wasn’t really shy but rather, tired, because, as she put it, “The baby is such a sweet little boy – except at night. Then, he cries a lot and I can’t get any rest.”

    On Wednesday, at recess, I asked Abby if she knew what actually happened at the house, and why everyone said it was haunted. She told me that a little girl had been murdered there, back in the early 1900s, and that if the place was haunted, that might be why.

    I had heard that story already (everyone in our town did too, of course) but I was wondering if she knew more about it, like if they ever caught the guy who killed the little girl and did he get the death penalty if they caught him – and other important details like that.

    Abby said that she had researched the story, for obvious reasons. She said she read that the cops arrested a handyman who worked there at the time, but although they convicted him and sent him to prison for life, they couldn’t hang him because the case was all circumstantial. They couldn’t really prove it exactly. Abby also said that until the day the handyman died, which was a bunch of years ago, in jail, he said he was innocent, and that he was framed because it was really the little girl’s older brother who killed her – and that the nanny helped cover it up since the brother was the nanny’s favorite.

    So, I asked Abby if she knew how the little girl died, because I was curious, after all, and this was a great story. Abby said from what she read from what the police could tell, the little girl was probably hit on the head with a heavy rock or something and then put into the well. She was found in the well about a week or so later after she had disappeared.

    I figured that this must be the ghost that everyone said haunted the old Whitby place.

    On Thursday, Abby invited me and Cory and Prentiss to come to her house on Friday night. She thought we might like to look around and see what they had done with the place and all that. We all said yes because no one had been in that house all those years before since it had been all boarded up. And maybe, if we were lucky, the little dead girl would come out and talk to us, which would be really cool. I was a little nervous, but also excited. So were Cory and Prentiss.

    On Friday night, Cory and Prentiss and I walked over to the old Whitby place. Just past the black iron gate, we could see green trees and pretty flowers all over– not like the weeds and broken pieces of wood and old twisted trees like before. The lights were on in the house, and although the house kind of looked like haunted houses you might see in the movies, it also seemed not real scary either. We went up to the door and rang the bell.

    The door opened and a lady holding a baby boy stood there. “Yes?” she said. She patted the baby, whose face was reddish – like he had been crying for a while. I thought, oh, poor little thing.

    ‘”We’re here to see Abby,” said Prentiss.

    “She invited us over,” added Cory.

    “Abby?” asked the woman.

    The lady looked like we asked her if Martians of Godzilla lived in her house or something. So I said, “Yeah, your daughter Abby. You know. She goes to school with us.”

    The woman blinked at us a couple of times and then said, “Just a minute. Wait here, please.” She shut the door and was gone for maybe five minutes or so. Then the door reopened and a man was standing there,

    “Is this some kind of a joke?” he asked.

    Now it was our turn to feel weird. For lack of a better idea, I repeated what I said to the man’s wife.

    The man shook his head. “We don’t have a daughter. Only our baby son, Michael.”

    Cory and Prentiss both stared at me, hoping (I guess) that I might have had something intelligent to say at that point. Instead, I just blurbed, “There’s no one here by the name of Abby? But - ”

    The man’s eyes were wide. He said real quiet-like, “The only one who ever lived here with a name like that was Abigail Whitby. But she died when she was eleven years old – nearly 100 years ago. My wife’s great grandfather was the little girl’s older brother. From what I know of the story, he never got over her death. Well, actually, none of the family did. It’s why the house was vacant all those years. None of them could stay here after what happened. I believe little Abigail was murdered by a gardener or some workman or other who was on the property at the time.”

    The man’s wife came back at that moment to join us at the door. She was still holding the baby boy.

    Cory and Prentiss had started backing up to go down the porch steps. I looked back and forth between my friends and the couple with their baby. Suddenly I felt a chill on the back of my neck. Swallowing hard, I said, “Sorry to have bothered you, Mr. and Mrs. de Kellen. Oh – and please – take real good care of your sweet little baby boy.”

  6. So B, he says to Nevets, "Nevets, you dunder head, that weren't no yeller house, Van Gogh saw ever'thin' yeller. That were the White House 'n the president 'n all."

    Nice one, lighty!

  7. Loved it, RJ! Excellent ghost story!

  8. Great story RJ!! I'm sorry I missed posting on this one.
    Watch out Heather...the two stooges(and I say that with the utmost affection) are competing for your crown won for complete story in the shortest post