Parents always seem to tell their children that there are no monsters, no witches, and no ghosts in their closets or under the beds. In fact, I have caught myself saying the same thing to my own children. But, I do catch myself and most of the time I hold their hand, reassure them, and go with them to face the scary dark hall or whatever else has caused them to run screaming to my arms.
Becoming an adult does not mean you are no longer scared of looking under your bed or in the closet. You just try not to scare your kids or act like anything is out of the ordinary. Sometimes kids have every reason to be scared of the dark, as I found out one night in New Orleans.
Most of my husband’s extended family lives in South Louisiana. One Christmas we traveled down to spend the holiday with his large family. Since many cousins and spouses and their children were also traveling in, everyone stayed in different homes. Well, as luck would have it we stayed at Aunt TT & Uncle Sam’s brand new home.
The house is a grand and beautiful new home right off of a main thoroughfare in Marerro, LA. Not exactly, the picture of a typical haunted house. We had a large bedroom on the first floor adjacent to the great room but looking out directly to the front garden and the very busy street that was just beyond the wrought iron fence. At the time, we only had one child, our son who was just over 2 years old.
After a feast of boiled crabs, catfish, fried shrimp and oysters, we waddled our satiated bodies into the bedroom. I went to pull the drapes, when I noticed a man standing by the gate in the front garden. I honestly didn't think twice, as there had been so many people over for dinner. I just guessed it was someone going to their car. If I hadn't been in a food coma, I'd realized that all the cars were parked on the opposite side of the house and no one would have been in the front.
In the middle of the night my son started crying. He kept pointing at the draped window and crying, "Scary man! Scary man!" The drapes were closed except for about a six inch opening in the middle My husband and I turned on the lights and tried to soothe him back to sleep before he woke up the entire house. Nevertheless, he would not be consoled. My husband went to the window and looked out into the yard, at first he couldn't see anyone but then said, he saw someone holding their head stumbling by the front gate. We both agreed that it was some drunk wandering along the road. But in my arms my son kept pointing toward the man saying, "Scary Man! Scary Man!" There was no way our son could have seen all the way to the front gate from his bed. We figured he had a bad dream and we turned out the light; put him in bed next to us and all fell back asleep.
The next day was Christmas Eve. It had been a full day and by 8:00 pm our little guy was tuckered out and fell asleep in my arms. I put him down in his bed and turned out the light. I turned to walk out the door, when I got the cold shivers and turned to see that I'd forgotten to draw the drapes. I walked over to the window, the whole time my mind screaming to run away. This almost overwhelming and irrational fear rushed over me. Nevertheless, I walked to the window. I was the grown up and by God I was not going to be scared of the dark. I glanced out the window as I grabbed the cords to pull the shades. That’s when I saw someone again out in the front garden by the gate. But, this time I swear it was like a movie clip, one moment he was in front of the gate the next second he was in the yard and then he was just gone.
He appeared to be young man with jeans on and a button down shirt. I could not really make out any features on his face, but it was nighttime. I felt a little shaky and my heart was pounding in my chest. I went back out to where everyone was visiting and told Uncle Sam that I thought someone was in his or her front garden. Aunt TT said that it was probably just one of the younger cousins out sneaking a smoke. So, I shrugged it off convincing myself that I was freaking out over nothing and must have blinked when he moved.
Shortly after that, my little boy was screaming in the bedroom crying. I walked into the bedroom and out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone standing in the corner of the room. I jumped out of my skin and let out a squeaky "yelp!" Seconds after jumping and being startled, I nearly had a heart attack as I backed up into my husband coming in the door behind me who claims he saw the same thing in the corner of the room. In the darkness, "it" seemed to have almost a soft hazy glow about him as if the light from the street were surrounding just him but nothing else in the room. A young man with curly black hair, his facial features were blurry but one side was darkened looking smashed with his hair glistening wet and mussed close to his head. He had on jeans and a button down shirt. He seemed solid and real. In fact my husband called out thinking it was his cousin playing a joke "Jeezus, Christopher! You scared the hell out of us!" only in time for both of us to witness this "person", blink out. We hit the light on the wall; there was no one in the corner of the room. No one had gone past either of us, both standing in the door frame.
Our son was still crying at the top of his lungs in his pack n play as my husband and I searched the room and then finding no one, tried to wrap our brains around the logical explanation that would elude us that night. I quickly scooped up our hysterical little boy and we all went out to the great room.
We were greeted with a mix of questions, serious looks and even some teasing. It was hard to disguise that we were all scared out of our wits. We very reluctantly told Aunt TT and the other family sitting in the room what had transpired. I was embarrassed but sure of what I had seen. We endured some good-natured ribbing and jokes at our expense that night. My husband, god love him, did not falter once even with all of the teasing from his family.
We both were sure we saw someone in that room.
After most of the family had left to go to midnight mass, Aunt TT and Uncle Sam told us that before they built the house, a few years ago a young man had died where their front garden is today. He was driving drunk too fast down that main thoroughfare, wrecked himself into the embankment was thrown from his car, seriously injured and wandered in the wrong direction away from the street. He died up by where our bedroom was now. However, they insisted that neither they nor any other guest had ever experienced anything in that room before. Then Aunt TT shrugged her shoulders and said, "Oh Baby, it’s Na’ Orlens ya’ all there’s a ghost on every corner."