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Curry's Tale

Texas, USA
May 2003

This is copied from an article which appeared in the Corpus Christi Caller on Saturday, October 27, 1984. It was written by Jerome P. Curry, who was the City Editor. I've always thought this was one of the spookiest ghost stories I've ever read and wanted to share it with Castle of the Spirits readers.

The old two-story house with half its roof gone and wrap- around porches on the ground and second floors had a history. An attempt had been made to turn the old vacant house into a barn by ripping the back off the ground floor. But the cows wouldn't stay there, cows having as much or more common sense than people.

I didn't see the ghost--actually we're talking plural here; there were two and maybe three ghosts, if you count the cat- -on Halloween. I saw it in the spring of my 12th year when the honeysuckles add a little color as they climb and grow over the porch columns of old, gray, weathered houses.

The tale is simple enough.

A thousand years ago in the 1920s, a man and wife lived in the house. He came home one night and found his wife asleep, her cat cradled next to her. He used a double- bitted ax on his wife and the cat. No one knows why. Perhaps he was jealous of the cat. He may have been jealous of the preacher at the little non-denominational church they attended.

The deed was discovered when the man's brother came by the next morning and found the killer sitting in the parlor and blood dripping through the ceiling from the bedroom above.

Dead were one wife and one cat. The husband was later executed. The preacher, it is said, left town.

A relative, who inherited the house and the land, moved four acres away after the screams started and the blood began dripping through the ceiling every month in the time of the full moon.

In my 12th year, I was cynical about the ways of my elders and betters. I considered that it would be a fine thing to prove that there were no such creatures as ghosts.

There were four of us on the secret expedition.

Sonny later would gain much fame as the first of my peer group to date an older woman. He was only a freshman in high school. She was a senior.

Jughead was a good friend and would become a better-than- average high school running back.

Carroll delighted in telling parents all the terrible things their sons had done. Jughead, Sonny, and I had a momentary lapse of sanity when we allowed him on our expedition. Carroll works today for the Internal Revenue Service.

We arrived close to midnight at the house. Carroll stayed on the ground-floor porch because he couldn't climb.

Having gained the high porch, our intrepid trio slithered on our stomachs down the porch., listening and quivering. It was then we heard the screams. Sonny jumped and leaped through a window into the house, shattering the window in the process. Sonny had meant to bail out into the yard below. Jughead and I followed Sonny through the now broken window.

The screaming had stopped, unless you want to count Carroll, who was running hard toward home, yelling in time to his rushing feet.

Inside the room we had entered was only an old broken bed frame and a wardrobe like they used for clothes before Einstein invented closets.

We exited through the window. I was the last to leave. As I stepped back on the porch, the screams, now punctuated by sobbed "Whys," began again. Jughead and Sonny bailed off the second-story porch. I turned around and looked back in that room.

I saw a man with an axe chopping up a woman and a cat spitting at the man. I saw the man hit the cat with the axe and then return to his work with the woman.

It was at that point I left the porch backward, landing in a wild rose bush whereupon I rolled and caught my two fleeing companions.

Carroll already had reported to our parents. We three were whipped soundly.

I discussed the Code with Carroll the next day. I don't think he learned much, but our discussions made me feel better.

Texas, USA
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