Nightmare Before Christmas

My Dad died when I was 7 of pancreatic cancer. It has now been 6 years since the day he died and my memory of him is vague. But the Christmas before last, he gave us something to remember.

His birthday was the day after Christmas, December 26th but the night things happened was Christmas Eve.

The first thing that happened was in the evening. We were all gathered around the Christmas tree, shaking the gifts and begging my Mom to be able to open one of them, when the doorbell rang. It was odd for someone to be over on Christmas Eve but I got up to answer it, thinking it was my boyfriend or something. I threw open the huge red doors...to the cool winter air and nothing more. Our doorbell has never rung like that before and we answered it too quickly for someone to have rung and then ran away. Could it have been Dad? I think so...

That was just the beginning.

Midnight settled over us and I snuggled into my sheets, anxiously awaiting Christmas morning. I finally got to sleep after an hour of wondering what one of the especially big boxes were, only to be awoke at 3 in the morning. My eyes opened to my dimly lit room. I usually never woke up at night unless something triggered it. I listened closely for the reason I was awake. I heard nothing for a few moments but then it came. A faint knocking. It sounded just like someone lightly tapping on metal with a hammer. My dad's favorite song was I've Been Working on the Railroad and that was the last song he taught me before he died. It sounded like someone was working on the railroad, in hindsight. But at the time I thought someone was breaking in. I ran from my room into my mom's and awoke her. I told her what I heard and I was listening to it get louder as she came into consciousness.

She sat up, listening intently like a dog with it's ears pricked, for what seemed like forever. I watched her face for any sign of emotion. As the seconds ticked by the sound became louder. Finally she turned to me with a confused look on her face.
"I don't hear anything..."
I started to cry. It was really loud now, and I was the only one who could hear it. The dogs weren't barking, my sister was awake, I was behind this barrier with whatever was making that noise. I prayed out loud and finally it stopped. But it wasn't over...

Nothing happened for the rest of the night and I eagerly got up and rushed to the tree where my sister met me. My mom went to wake my Grandmother, who lives with us, up too see us opening gifts. Paper and ribbons were flying everywhere as we devoured the gifts. My mom came out of my grandmother's room, with her behind her and began to speak.

"Nanny saw something last night..." My mom said.
"What?" I sat up.
"I was asleep and all of a sudden my door burst open and I started asking if it was you but no one answered and then someone came into the light. I could see a green, striped shirt, and blue jeans and black shoes but no head. It was a man but he didn't speak." Nanny said.
"Oh my God..."
"That was what Dad used to wear all the time..." My mom said.
So he came to see us...but not in a friendly way. I don't believe that was actually my father, but a demon impersonating him. We hadn't heard a thing all night except for that railroad business. Some other things had happened with my grandmother after that, it seems every time we move, the ghosts have to christen the house by visiting her. I've had a few more visits that I won't get into now. He didn't visit us last Christmas and hopefully won't this one either...

Submitted by Kate, CA, USA