Ghost stories are speculations, little experiments in death

Our story so far: One evening, I sat in the basement of the 126-year-old Methodist church by myself trying to squeeze in a coat of paint on the bathroom vanity before I couldn’t see anymore in the gathering twilight.

# # #

implements of terror
Tyler stored his tools in the church basement just feet away from my makeshift paint station. If the boogeyman had arrived empty-handed, he wouldn’t go wanting for an implement of terror for long.

Creeeeeeeeeeeeeak.

The sound was exactly like one heard in a horror movie before the boogeyman appeared with an axe or a chainsaw.

Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard once said “When hearing a door creak, the optimist thinks it’s opening, and the pessimist thinks it’s closing.” I didn’t know which camp I was in.

“Who goes there?” I called out loud.

No answer.

Maybe my imagination was getting the better of me. It was rare, actually, that I spent time alone in the church. Usually I was there during the day when Tyler, at the very least, was working and often, several other men. I remembered how I’d scoffed early on about churches being haunted. Maybe my disbelief had ticked someone—or something— off.

Creeeeeeeeeeeeeak.

OK, this was real. It was not my imagination. I joined the camp of optimists and assumed this was a spirit with whom I could negotiate.

“I’m a good guy,” I said. “Let’s be friends. We can both live here peacefully. I want to fix things up, not tear things down.”

I began brushing paint faster.

Creeeeeeeeeeeeeak. Thud.

# # #

Today’s headline is a quote from American writer Audrey Niffenegger. 

Tomorrow: The source of the phantom creak is revealed. Read about the culprit here.

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