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The Relatives Story

April 2002

As I grew up I knew we had a few family secrets. I would sometimes over-hear my parents talking about these "secrets" wondering whether or not they should tell us since my older brother and I asked to know quite frequently. We initially found out that our family was hiding something during one particular Easter Sunday When I was about five and my older brother was about eight. Anyway when our family gathered on Easter the children were always made to wait in the guest room of our home while "the Easter Bunny" came with its goodies. As my Uncle Tom shut the door with a smile and told us to, "Stay Put!!!" My brother and I did what any normal kids would do...we had to find out if there really was an Easter Bunny! Well we left my cousins in that room, there were always the "Goody-two- shoes" and we went on a spy mission.

Needless to say, My brother and I discovered the truth about the Easter Bunny but we also discovered something else...We crept into the bathroom and into the garage where we entered our backyard through the side door. After we discovered that first truth about the "Easter Bunny". We walked back in disappointment to the garage. Along the way we passed by an open window where my family was talking. We heard the adults debating over whether or not to tell us about the disappearance of our Uncle Grant. As we sat there crouched beneath the window sill it was still hard to make out their voices, all I remember is that their voices all sounded distressed and my Mom was crying.

Naturally my brother and I were left with an insatiable curiosity as we grew up.

Throughout our early youth we overheard small bits and pieces about Uncle Grant and we frequently questioned my parents. As children we were always left with vague answers like "he went on vacation and didn't tell us". My brother and I were too smart to fall for this and we questioned them about these family secrets up until our big confrontation. I was thirteen and Cam, my brother was sixteen. We were sick of the vagueness and lies. We wanted answers! We carefully planned it out to tell our parents that we knew there was more to the story of Grant's disappearance than what they told us.The night we brought it up to my parents they acted like they knew this was coming. They told us that they would tell us the truth someday, but that didn't satisfy Cam and I. We needed a specific time,and they thought awhile. Later that night my Dad called Cam and I into the living room and told us that Uncle Grant's story should only be told to adults, and he would tell us when we were Eighteen. My brother was only two years away! That night I made him promise to tell me when he found out,and he agreed.

The Time came when the truth was exposed and the story is quite creepy. My uncle Grant was a lonely man and seldom visited. He lived in the country where the homes were about a quarter of a mile apart. My uncle Grant had two best friends, his two next door neighbors on each side, Beth (the woman to the north of him) and Gilbert (The man who was south of him). During the time my uncle wasn't secluded in his home acting like a hermit he spent his time with Gilbert and Beth. They were all in their mid- thirties.

The story goes like this... all three of them were into the paranormal. The home my Uncle purchased was said to be haunted and it was priced very low. Both of these reasons attracted him to buy the house. Until my Uncles disappearance no-one knew why the home was said to be haunted. Well Gilbert,Beth, and Grant became friends instantly and they all enjoyed exploring the paranormal and talking about ghosts. (It must run in the family!) The town they lived in had only about 500 hundred people and there was 1 school, 1 church, 1 graveyard, and 1 grocery store. The three friends had seances in the graveyard and in Grant's haunted home. During this time Grant became more distant...The night of Grant's disappearance is surrounded by strange circumstances...

At 8:00 pm Grant, Beth, and Gilbert held a seance at his house, but this seance was different. Apparently my Uncle Grant had bought some old 18th century books on witchcraft, black magic, and this one man's autobiography who is said to be the worst man in the world, that is literally how its titled. Anyway Grant had done his research and the presence that the three encountered that night was a forceful and violent type of ghost. As they used their antique Ouija board the spirit told them that my uncle needed to go to the Graveyard and visit the grave of a young man named Christoff Gates who had disappeared in 1930 at age 8 in Westin, one town over. The spirit also said that it was crucial to my uncle's fate.

Instead of being reluctant like most, they took no caution and ventured into the overgrown somewhat disheveled Graveyard of the local church. The night was cold, and dark and it was snowing heavily. They approached Christoff's grave and light candles. What happened next still gives me nightmares...

After they set up they began their detailed rituals (I would explain those too, but the story is long enough). They put their blanket down with their books in the middle. They began their chant to wake the dead. As they held hands in the small circle chanting for the awakening of Christoff's spirit strange noises started coming from the woods. The noises got louder, Beth described the noises to my father as the howl of a wolf mixed with a lower pitched unearthly growl accompanied by the extremely quick pitter patter of a child's feet. The three tried to stay calm...but when the chicken wire fence around the graveyard began to shake as well as the surrounding bushes their fear grew. The noise of the feet and the growling seemed to surround the whole graveyard. They could hear the thing loud and clear, but could not see it. The fence came crashing in and the three ran screaming toward their houses. They could hear the thing's growl directly behind them as they ran through the blinding snow.

As they kept running they ran into my Uncle's Yard and the noise immediately stopped, as if the home warded whatever it was away. They quickly ran into the house and locked the door. Out of breath and In tears they suddenly realized my Uncle Grant was Gone...

In their fear Beth and Gilbert went out in search of Grant but soon gave up since the snow was blinding and it would've been "impossible" to see anything until daylight. They came back to my Uncle's home and anxiously awaited his return...

Beth and Gilbert stayed up all night waiting and they had even tried to get through to the police several times but the storm had temporarily killed the power.

The next morning when the storm had blown over Beth and Gilbert called the police. When the police arrived they explained what happened and a search began. Beth and Gilbert returned to the graveyard, still squeamish, to see if there were any other clues as to where my uncle could be. All that they found was their candles and books thrown everywhere and the graveyard was a mess, fence down and all.

When they returned they asked they police if there were any clues and the officer told them that all he had found was one of my uncle's Sorel boots a few feet away from the house under some snow on the side of the road.

After thoroughly questioning Gilbert and Beth and ruling them our as suspects, a full excavation of my Uncle's property was done. We thought we had found him when some skeletal remains were found on his property. The problem was that he wouldn't have decomposed that quickly, especially in the snow and the skeleton was much too small.

Even though they could not confirm it, the police suspect that the body was that of Christoff Gates body since it appeared to be the skeleton of a boy around eight years old. The skeleton was so old that it was a bit difficult for the police to identify, and the complete lower Jaw was missing.

Beth and Gilbert believe that one of the previous Owner's was responsible for Christoff's death and that the spirit they had encountered in my uncle's house before he disappeared could have either been christoff or his suspected killer who had died of old age in the home...but I guess we'll never know.

My Uncle was never found. Beth stayed in her home but is forever affected by this event and Gilbert moved away. When my uncle's things were cleared out they found many more paranormal artifacts and a Journal as well where he wrote down some of the experiences in his home. In the last entry written two days before his disappearance my Uncle claimed the house was making him crazy...

I visited the town a few years ago with my father. The graveyard fence was just as the story described and My uncle's house is actually still there, although it looks creepy being that no-one has lived there since him. I also spoke to Beth, who relayed this more detailed version to me.

I hope you enjoyed Grant's story and sorry for the length I wanted to make sure that it was understandable.

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