I've always been crazy about ghost stories, especially true ones. When I was younger, I used to LOVE to exchange any sort of ghost story with anyone who had the time. So one year around Halloween, my mother and I were riding in the car, and I asked her if SHE had ever had any ghostly experiences. She said, "Well, I've told you about Dee and the tape recorder, haven't I?" I shook my head. Then my mother got this strange look on her face, and stared blankly out at the road ahead of us. "Never mind," she said. "It's very disturbing. Forget I mentioned it." Pfft, like I'd REALLY forget something like that!! My curiosity was piqued! But I somehow managed to wait until after Halloween to get her to tell me this story.
We sat down together one night, and this is the story she told me:
My parents moved into the house, where we still live today, in 1975. When they moved in, there was an elderly couple living next door named Mr. and Mrs. Kelly. Even though they had spent a lifetime together, they remained very much in love, and they would often sit out together on their porch, arm in arm, just watching the people go by.
My parents became pretty well acquainted with the Kellys. They were very eccentric (my mother LOVES eccentric people!) and very friendly, and they would often get together with my parents for coffee or just to chit-chat.
Mr. Kelly's heart attack came suddenly. He died in the hospital within hours of when he collapsed. Mrs. Kelly was never the same after he died. She became somewhat of a recluse. She never went to the store anymore, never went to the doctor, and NEVER sat out on the porch. Instead, she hired a visiting nurse to come take care of her and to do her shopping. Mrs. Kelly had completely cut herself off from the rest of the world. She never even spoke to my mother again.
One Palm Sunday, about a year after Mr. Kelly's death, my mother saw a hearse parked out front of Mrs. Kelly's house. She assumed that Mrs. Kelly, being an old, lonely woman, had finally just passed away. But the truth eventually spread throughout the neighborhood- Mrs. Kelly had hung herself in the doorway of the basement.
Months passed, and eventually the Kelly's empty house was sold. It was purchased by a couple named Jim and Dee. They moved in with their two young children, Jennifer and Anthony, in the early 1980's. Needless to say, this new family knew nothing about the Kellys.
It all happened when Dee bought a new tape recorder. She needed it for her job, and in order for it to be useful to her, it needed to be able to pick up sound from across a room. Dee decided to test it out by setting it up at one end of the room and making noise at the other end. Jennifer and Anthony wanted to "help" (or, in other words, delay their bedtime!), so Dee let them go to the other end of the room and make some noise. Then she sent them to bed and played back the tape. It was a good thing that she sent them to bed BEFORE she played back the tape, because what it had picked up was truly frightening.
All that was on the tape was the voice of an old woman. She sounded as if she were struggling to breathe, but her words were clear and audible- "Help me, help me..." over and over again.
Dee was terrified. She ran next door and played the tape for my mother, who managed to supress her emotions until after Dee had left. The voice on the tape recorder WASMrs. Kelly's. And it was not possible that this was a hoax- Dee did not know ANYTHING about Mrs. Kelly or how she died.
Soon afterwards, Dee and her family moved out. I am not sure whether this had anything to do with the tape recorder incident or not.
Two other families have lived in that house since without incident. I have also babysat for both of these families many times, and I cannot say that I have experienced anything out of the ordinary. I never knew Mrs. Kelly- I was not born until after she died. But I do hope that she found the help she was looking for, and is finally with her husband.