31 Days of Ghosts presents another story of the mysterious and terrifying. Is it a real event, urban legend or a complete fabrication? You decide.
James turned 40, and instead of bemoaning the fact he was growing older, he celebrated with the purchase of his first home. A small, two storey bungalow with a detached garage, two bedrooms, one and a half baths. It was an older house, but it was a good house. He was determined that the second bedroom would become his office, so he would finally have a place to put all of his books.
It took months to renovate the room, build the shelves, make sure the windows were replaced with energy efficient panes, and that there was a decent amount of light all around. During that time, he didn’t notice anything odd about the house. There was a couple of times he misplaced his keys, thinking he’d hung them up on the hook in his kitchen only to find them on the coffee table in the living room. He merely chalked it up to slight forgetfulness.
The oddities began when he finally placed all of his books on the floor to ceiling shelves in his office.
The office James built was very well modeled, with book shelves, floor to ceiling on both the east and west walls, two large windows behind his desk where his computer sat. The desk itself faced the door on the north wall, and he had two easy chairs sitting beside a small end table just beside the door. He began the habit of going into the office in the early evening to write and to read. He didn’t write long, maybe two or three hours, and then he’d move to the kitchen for a small snack and spend the last part of the evening watching television.
During the third week of his habitual visits to the office, James noticed one of his books sitting on the easy chair. He was always careful to place the books back on the shelves after he’d finished with them, and if he was still reading one, he’d usually put it on his desk. He had one there when he found the first book on the chair. Wind in the Willows. Again, he merely shrugged and put it back on the shelf. Maybe the company he had earlier in the day had taken down a book and didn’t place it back. No bother, it’s not as though any damage was done.
But this continued for several more months. Each time it was a different book, all of them young adult or children’s books. In The Land of the Mic Macs. Alice In Wonderland. Wind in the Willows. Matilda. And all of them left on the same easy chair.
James tried to determine what had happened, how each of those books had ended up on his chair, but couldn’t find any reason for it. After a while, the appearance of books on his chair became as frequent and habitual as his evening of writing.
And that is where he really began to notice something.
The appearance of books had become so common place, James began to not even question it. He’d enter his office, retrieve the book and put it back on the shelf, then sit at his computer and begin writing. This habit went on for a year, until one day when he opened the document he was working on, scrolled to the bottom and saw something he hadn’t written.
“I like this story. Please finish it.”
James could only stare at his computer screen as he began to realize what was going on. His missing keys, the moving books, and now a message at the bottom of a document he’d been working on. His house was haunted.
The idea was slightly foreign to him. Hauntings, after all, happen to other people who end up on television on some sort of ghost hunting reality TV show. They didn’t happen to him. Of course, part of him thought this was all some sort of joke, that he’d been dreaming all of this up. But there, flashing on his screen were those words. So he decided he had to do two things. Finish the story, and research his house.
The story went as it did, each night he’d write, and each night there’d be another message. Either some wish for a character, or some small bit of advice. One night, the message said that they didn’t like one character, so James decided to leave a message back.
“This character will become important as an obstacle for the main character to overcome.”
That seemed to satisfy… whoever it was leaving the messages. James was getting closer to that answer, however.
He discovered his house was built in 1910, by one of the first families to settle in the area. A family of six, all daughters. By 1915, however, one of the daughters, the youngest, became ill with TB. Her name was Alison and she was 13 when she finally succumbed to the disease. Armed with this new knowledge, he was determined to try and speak with his roommate.
One night in his office, he sat at his computer and looked about the room. It was very quiet, even the sounds that usually could be heard outside were distant. After several moments he finally called out. “Alison,” he said quietly. “I very much wish I could see you.” Several seconds passed, but he did get a response. One of his books fell from the book shelf. The action was unnerving. and took him several minutes to finally get up and investigate the book. It was a copy of Winnie The Pooh that he had been given as a child. He picked it up and looked toward the two easy chairs. “Alright,” he said. “But only a chapter, because it’s late and we need to get to sleep.” Part of him felt very odd to be speaking to nothing. But he also was beginning to fully realize that there was someone there. A 13 year old girl, who only wanted to read or be read to. “Which chair do you want me to sit in?” he asked as he approached the the two easy chairs. The one by the west wall moved slightly, he watched it for a moment, and then carefully took a seat.
This has continued for many nights. James also managed to finish writing his book, and when it was published, he took it into his office, sat down in the chair by the west wall and began to read.