Paranormal Research of Utah
Mike's Fictional Ghost Story
The Tale of The Strange Occurrences at 114 Virginia St.

A Midnight Society Original Story

Written by Michael D Christensen

“I still don’t feel very good grampa, and I’m not very tired yet. Just one more? Please?” “But I’ve read every one of your books to you, you’ve heard them all hundreds of times, don’t you ever get bored of the same old stories?” Grandpa replied in his usual, soft, kind voice. “Well, I guess so, maybe a little. Why don’t you just make up a new one?” Ritchie responded with a pleading expression on his 10 year old face. “Because I’m not that creative thats why.” Grandpa quickly retorted. “You should tell me the story about the Kettelson kids ” Ritchie excitedly squealed. “How do you know about that?” the old man inquired.  “I heard you talking with mom about it a few weeks ago  Tell me  Tell me  Tell me ” he started chanting. “I think that might be a little bit out of your age range Ritchie. You’d probably get scared and wet the bed or something.” “ Grandpa, I’m 10  I haven’t wet the bed in 3 years.  I don’t get scared, I don’t believe in that stuff anyways. I bet you can’t scare me” he dared.  “Oh you don’t think so huh? Well, all right but if you wet the bed tonight don’t come running to me to change your sheets. Ok, anyways, lets see if I can remember all the details, just give me a second.... Ok, here we go Ritch, it all happened 52 years ago, it was a warm, breezy August morning...
“These windowseals are disgusting ”  Nicole exclaimed as she used the flat side of a garden hoe to scoop out the years of accumulated yard waste from the shallow cement hole the window rested in.  Nicole was a very striking woman. She had long blonde hair which she had worn long nearly her entire 27 years of life as she felt that long hair had much more flash and sex appeal to it.  Nearly since she was old enough to read Nicole had maintained an obsession with fashion and the trends of the day.  She would only wear the top designer labels and jewelry that could make some of the movie stars she so admired salivate.  She had very fair skin as she never allowed a single ray of sunshine touch her bare skin without first having to battle through countless layers of SPF sun protection or layers of clothing.  She was tall for a girl and had a laugh loud enough to brighten up any room.  She had been cleaning out the windowsills for almost an hour now yet seemed to have made very little progress.  This was just another of the many jobs that she had accomplished that morning and it seemed like she still had an infinite number of chores left to do.  She was helping her parents and brother clean up the yard of the house at 114 Virginia St. That she was renting for the year with her brother and sister.  The yard appeared as if it had not been properly dealt with since its construction some 75 years earlier.  It was a modestly sized house, consistent with the other dwellings on the street near them; brown brick walls so thick they were virtually soundproof, floor boards that creaked with every step, leaky plumbing and a swamp cooler that was probably considered old and outdated since the day it was installed. It was a 3 story house with 3 bedrooms and a full bath upstairs, the kitchen, living room, dining room, and a small bathroom on the ground floor, and the basement, being left unfinished, was the site of their laundry room, an old coal room they used for storage and a musky scented living room, the centerpiece of which was an old brick fireplace.  The majority of the house was quite well lit during the daylight hours because the two above ground floors had an abundance of windows. But the downstairs floor was virtually barren of any natural light sources, there were two small window panes located in opposite corners of each other in the family room. Being that they were both located in 2 foot deep holes in the ground outside, on the side of the house facing away from the sun, and that they were underneath a large pine tree outside, they did virtually nothing in the way of offering any help lighting the vast room located to the left of the bottom of the stairwell.  It was in one of these that Nicole was currently laboring in.
“Hey Greg  Do we have any small shovels or anything that can help me get this out faster?” she asked as her brother Greg walked past the side of the house.  She waited for his answer but apparently he had not heard her as he continued on around the corner of the house opposite her, without even so much as acknowledging her existence.  “Oh great, thanks Greg, your always such a big help.” She muttered at his back as he disappeared behind the thick wall of brick.  Greg was the baby of the family. He was 5 years younger than Nicole’s youngest sister Ani but he towered over everybody in the family including their dad Scott. Greg was 6'4  with sandy blonde hair that he was currently wearing very short with blonde streaks in it.  He also was very lean, right up to the point of being considered a lurp or a lank which he always complained about. No matter what he did or ate he never gained an ounce. He had just moved out of their parents house and was somewhat nervous of being the man of the house for the first time.   He was moving to Salt Lake so that he could go to school at the University, where he was going to major in Economics so that he could one day take over the family business from his dad.  He was one of those people that knew practically no useful information but could go off all day on useless historical facts or trivia.  He was usually off in his own world and you could say anything right to his face and he wouldn’t even notice you were there.  He also had always harbored a deep interest in the unknown, that is, he was what he called a “ghosthunter.”  Actually all three of the Kettelson siblings had a fascination with the netherworld, Greg just seemed to expound on it a little bit more.  He maintained a website for what he called the “true-believers” where they could post pictures, stories, theories, sound clips or anything else they found of interest in the hunt to prove or disprove the existence of the paranormal.  The websites address was, and he had even made an online store that sold shirts, mugs, hats, books and the like to his nerd brethren, his site had become somewhat of a cult classic among Utah’s parageek population and Greg had become somewhat of their leader and president.  Greg was always attending lectures and meeting with the other parageeks where they would discuss different stories they had heard and try to decide if they had any truth to them at all.  The one thing that set Greg apart from his parageek buddies, which, actually, none of them knew about him was that Greg didn’t believe in ghosts.  In all his years of hunting for them he had never seen a single thing or experienced a single phenomenon that could even raise the possibility of their existence in his mind.  Of course, around his friends in the club and his articles he wrote for his website he never allowed this belief to shine through. The only people on the face of this planet which he had allowed in on his hidden secret were his sisters and his girlfriend, Alexandria.  He had made them swear to him that they would tell no one of his secret doubts as he knew nobody likes a skeptic. 
Nicole on the other hand was an ardent believer in ghostly phenomena, but right now that was the furthest thing from her mind as she was in their garage located behind the house looking for a spade.  Dad brings up this many tools and he doesn’t think to get a spade? She wondered to herself.  She looked all around the walls of the garage where they had heaped all of their tools and spare parts to various things but she could spy no spade or even a small shovel.  She was walking back out to the windowseal to get started working with the hoe again when something caught her eye behind the old window mounted air conditioner in the corner of the garage.  It had been left there by the previous tenants of the house and the landlord had failed to do anything to dispose of it thus far.  When she first walked past it she had just seen a faint reflection of light in the corner of her eye. But when she turned her head to look closer she saw that it was gone.  What the hell? She wondered as she stared at the location where she had just seen the reflection.  She began walking towards the air conditioner and....there it was again  The faintest metalic glimmer of light right behind the right corner of the cooler.  Some kind of jewel or something? She thought excitedly as she sped up her pace.  As she rushed over to the air conditioner her head was spinning with thoughts of what it could be.  Tiffany?  Harry Winston?  Cartier?  A Napoleonic jewel? Or maybe even Swarovski?  When she had crossed the length of the garage she couldn’t quite reach around the air conditioner, so she had to pull it away from the wall a few feet.  Inside she knew that she had just spotted some priceless artifact.  She pictured herself sitting in a huge beach house in the Hampton’s sipping a martini in her tennis whites telling the story to all of her famous friends of how she found her priceless piece. 
As she got the air conditioner moved out of the way she stepped behind it and bent over, at first she felt nothing but as she felt around with her hand she finally touched it.  Triumphantly, she scooped it up and stood up, and raised her hand to her eyes, tremblingly, she opened her hand, and she saw... “Oh God  Sick   ” She cried as she threw the used condom and its metallic sheened wrapper across the garage.  She grabbed an old dust rag off of the work bench and furiously wiped her hands off.  Just then Greg came running around the corner into the garage, “What is it? Is it a spider? Oh god, kill it  Kill it  Kill it ” he cried.  Another little known fact about Greg was his horrible phobia of arachnids.  “Uhhh, yeah, was a spider Greg, I already killed it.” She responded, not wanting to let Greg know that she had just joyously sprinted across the garage and shoved the air conditioner out of the way to pick up somebody’s used rubber.  “Uhhhhh.” Greg shivered as he thought about coming face to face with his sworn arch nemesis, “Glad it was you and not me.” He divulged.  “Thanks Greg, your so sweet.” Nicole replied dryly.  Greg went back around to the front of the house and Nicole used a pair of shears to pick up what was supposed to be her Napoleonic jewel and dump it into the trash bin.
That night after all the yard work had been done and their parents had gone home, Ani and Greg were sitting in the dining room eating tacos that Ani had made for dinner for the two of them.  Their dining room was an average sized room with the dining table in the center underneath a chandelier that they had replaced the regular bulbs with smaller bulbs that gave off a very faint flickering light. The three of them had decided on that because they had always wanted to live in a haunted house, so they were going to try and force this one, at the very least, to appear haunted.             
           Because of the flickering mock candle lights, the dining room at night was always a very dark, dismal place in the house, which was perfectly fine for the three because they had grown up “ghosthunting” in cemeteries and the like which had caused their tolerance for darkness, as well as their tolerance to resist fear, to increase dramatically.  The rest of the room was decorated in build it yourself furniture they had recently purchased and had Nicole’s boyfriend, Harris put together.  There was also a rickety, old radiator alongside one wall underneath the windows, which they kept pictures, vases, and other collectibles on.  As Ani and Greg ate their tacos underneath the flickering of the candelabra, Ani was recalling to Greg the strange occurrences that had happened to her on one of the previous days when, while she was placing sheets on her new bedframe, which she had gotten at a consignment store downtown, she had been smoothing the patchwork quilt over the top of the sheets when a distinct impression of a person had sat down on the opposite side of the bed. “You could actually make out a person’s butt on the sheets  One second they were perfectly smooth and the next the bed creaked, one side of the mattress became concave, and the sheets became rumpled just like somebody was sitting there ” she cried.  “So what do you think it was?” Greg asked half sarcastically.  “I think that bedframe is haunted ” Ani quickly answered.  “Are you serious?” Greg responded even more sarcastically now.  “You don’t believe me?” Ani cried, betraying a hint of anger in her tone.  “Ani, inanimate objects can’t be haunted. Everybody knows that ” Greg answered, a cocky smile coming to his face.  “Greg, lots of inanimate objects have been reportedly haunted ” Ani practically yelled across the table at him. “Like what?” he calmly asked.  “What about all the stories about the Necronomicon?  The ancient book of the dead that when you open it and say a few words it unleashes hell on earth?” She quickly inquired, her face flushing with anger now.  “Thats a book, an inanimate object, right?”  “Ani, first off, the Necronomicon isn’t necessarily real, its just a myth.  Second, its not the book itself thats haunted, the book just tells you how to open the gates of hell, its not that the book actually is the gate.  It would be like saying that when the second coming occurs, Christ will come riding his chariot of fire out of a Bible.  The Necronomicon is just hell’s version of the Bible,” Greg explained.  “Well I think my bedframe is haunted.” Ani smugly replied with a tone of finality coming to her voice, “and I don’t care what you think.” “Thats fine, we’ll just agree to disagree, just know that I’m r....”
The shattering of the glass cut him off.  Ani dropped her taco onto the floor when she jumped.  “What the hell ?” Greg yelled.  Tiny pieces of sharp glass rained down onto their table and all over their food.  They both looked up and saw that one of the flickering candle lights had just exploded into hundreds of pieces.  “What the hell would do that?” Ani asked.  “Maybe an electric charge came through the power line or something.” Greg answered.  Ani stood up to get something to clean up the glass, when another of the lights exploded, this one on the opposite side of the first.  “Dammit  What the hell is going on? ” Greg demanded of no one in particular.  He stood up and flicked off the power switch to the chandelier.  “There, that will stop the power surcha...” he was cut short by 2 more of the lights turning themselves into glass grenades.  “Why are they doing that? ” Ani yelled over Greg’s cursing.  “How the hell should I know?” Greg angrily replied as another one exploded.  “Dammit ” he yelled.  There was now a single solitary flickering light left on the once full chandelier.  They both stared at the lonely looking light for what seemed like an eternity but was probably only a minute or two.  “Well, I guess we get to keep one.” Greg moodily muttered. “Why would lightbulb’s do that?” Ani inquired.  “No idea, I’ve never seen or heard of anything like this before.” Greg responded.  “Come on, lets go get a broom or vacuum or something and clean up this mess.”  Greg walked out of the room to go to the basement to get some cleaning supplies, and Ani went into the kitchen to get some paper towels to clean up the taco fixings that had flown everywhere in the excitement. 
Ani made it back to the dining room before Greg did.  She walked in and knelt down to clean up her Mexican food mess.  Ani was a lean 25 year old who had just recently become single again after dating her now exboyfriend for almost 8 years.  She had just gotten a new job at a coffee shop downtown where she was expected to do nothing but sit around and drink her own creations, while chewing the fat with customers all day.  She was constantly hit on by the coffee drinking crowd because of her short blonde hair, brown eyes and because she could discuss poetry, or literature with the best.  She was just starting to pick up the pieces of the broken taco shell, when all of a sudden, the lights in the house went black.  Ani froze, not quite knowing what to do or how to react.  She thought of calling for Greg but knew it would probably attract unwanted attention to her if someone was in the house or trying to come into the house.  She could hear her heart beating through her thick Mongolian sweater one of her friends had brought her back from a vacation.  The house was as black as an cloudy, moonless night in the middle of a forest.  She could barely see her hand in front of her face in the icy darkness that until a few moments ago was her dining room.  She desperately listened for the sound of Greg’s feet on the stairs but could hear nothing apart from her own heart, and the steady trinkle of water from their fish tank in the living room.  She was well on her way to becoming extremely panicked when she heard a voice, “Ani   Ani ” It sounded distant and muffled so she slowly and quietly stood up, straining her ears to hear better.  “Ani  Ani ” She heard again.  By now, she was in a cold sweat, and her breathing was becoming more and more labored by the second.  She then heard footsteps coming down the hallway towards the dining room.  It is an intruder she thought to herself, you wouldn’t be able to hear a ghost’s footsteps would you? She pondered to herself.  Finally, her mind sprang into action, thinking about the most basic of human instincts, self-preservation.  Instinctively, she readied herself against the wall, looking at the doorway which the footsteps were approaching.  She timed the footsteps, and when she felt they were within the doorway, even though she couldn’t see anything there in the darkness, she launched herself with all her might. She flew through the doorway and into the hall and then, she connected with something.  There was a cry of pain as her and this person or thing tumbled together into a heap on the ground.  Ani was up in a second and at the drawer at the end of the hallway she got out a flashlight, quickly spun around and shined it at the spot on the ground from which she had just come.  There was somebody there.  She ran back down hall towards it, she knew she had to act now and keep it on the ground, while it was still fazed and she still held the element of surprise.  She sprinted to it and pulled back her foot, ready to strike the head.  It was just then, that she recognized something.  On top of the intruder’s head there was a mat of short, sandy blonde hair with highlights in it.  “What in the name of God are you doing?” Greg yelled at her. 
“Oh my god  Greg, I...I thought you were a burglar or something, the lights went off and then I heard a voice and footsteps and I... I just thought...”  “The voice was mine dumbass, I pulled the circuit breaker for the power up here so I could take out that last light without having to worry about shocking myself, so I yelled up to you to ask you if the lights were off or not. You never answered so I came up to check myself.”  “Oh my god, Greg I’m so sorry, are you ok?” “Just a little confused about the state of your mental health is all.” Greg said coolly.  “Now will you stop trying to play football and go unscrew that damn light, then yell down when you get it out so I can turn the breakers back on.” he said as he lifted himself off the floor and headed back for the basement door.  “Ok.” Ani replied sheepishly, suddenly feeling very stupid.  She turned and walked back towards the dining room, but what she saw stopped her dead in her tracks.  Through the archway she could see the single solitary light on the chandelier was brightly flickering  Even though all other lights and power in the house was off there it was  Flickering away as if it was honored to be the only light that hadn’t burst. 
As Ani stared wide-eyed at the flickering light she did not notice the shadows on the wall behind her move.  The perfectly shaped shadow of several adults walked past as if they were a mere 2 feet behind the back of Ani.  Just as Ani opened her mouth to scream for Greg the final light burst, sending the entire house into complete darkness.                   
The shock from the sudden extinguishing of the final light hit her so hard, it stifled her scream.  Again she froze as still as she could make herself.  She refused to even breathe, lest something it interfere with her sense of sound.  Slowly, she came to her senses.  She began inching towards the stairwell.  She knew that Greg was down there, so that was where she wanted to be.  Just as she began to work up the courage to yell down for him, the power was restored.
“I submit for the approval of the midnight society...” Greg said in his creepiest, lowest voice that was reserved for the telling of ghost stories.  He was in the basement of their rental house, every week they had started a tradition of meeting in the basement with a roaring fire, to tell ghost stories.  They called it, obviously, the Midnight Society.  This week it was Greg’s turn, and he had written his own story for tonights proceedings.  The room’s lights were all dark, turned off for the remainder of the society’s weekly events.  The only light came from the flickering of the fireplace and 4 lighted candles located on the mantle.  The typical musky scent of the room was there, as always, as was the soft hum of the swamp cooler, still audible from upstairs.  In the flickering light, situated throughout the room, Greg could make out their guests for this week.  On the couch was Nicole and Ani, sitting in a chair next to Nicole was her boyfriend Harris, and on the other side of the couch sat Greg’s girlfriend Alexandria.  Greg’s audience sat captivated by his predictable tale, with the firelight playing shadows across their intent faces.  This was the third such meeting that they had held since moving into the house and it was already everybody’s favorite night of the week. 
Tonight, Greg’s story was about a man that traveled a lot, who was approached by a beautiful women who in the end turns out to be dead, it was a very typical Midnight Society story.  Alexandria, who was wrapped in a blanket that she had made for Greg a few Christmas’ ago, was feeling creeped out.  Greg’s basement had always made her a little bit nervous, something just wasn’t right down here, she felt.  Opposite her, Harris, sat indifferent to the tale.  He had never liked ghost stories and never would.  He thought that they were childish, and thought it was amusing that Nicole and her brother and sister drank them up so hungrily.  He sat staring down at his arms, crossed in his lap, he was flexing first one arm, then the other and alternating.  Harris had always been very big on health, and visited the gym usually multiple times daily.  He was very well built, and was very proud of this, he always wore tight, fitted shirts to show off his well built arms and chest.  As Greg’s story wore on, and on, and on, Harris began letting his mind run off to other things.  He was thinking about what body section he was going to work on the following morning at the gym, when he noticed that he could no longer hear the swamp cooler upstairs.  Since he was a big guy, he tended to run hot, and he knew that this old house would heat up really fast if the swamp cooler was no longer running.  He thought it was strange that it would not work all of a sudden, as it was set to keep running until somebody turned it off.  He excused himself with Nicole and headed upstairs to see what the problem was.  After all, this story was boring and lame anyways.  Nicole, being so enthralled at the story, didn’t even notice he had left the room. 
Ten minutes later, Greg finished his story.  The room’s eerie silence suddenly vanished as the participants erupted in conversation about the ending.  They all agreed that the story was pretty good, especially for Greg’s first try.  It wasn’t for another minute or so before Alexandria noticed Harris’ absence.  “Where’s Harris?” She asked Nicole.  “What? Oh he probably went to the bathroom or something, or to get another beer.” Nicole half-heartedly replied.  She knew his dislike for the stories, so she was not surprised at his sudden disappearance.  “He missed half my story ” Greg lashed out.  “I wouldn’t take it personally Greg. He hates anything to do with ghosts.” Nicole dryly responded.  “I thought it was a really good story Greg.” Alexandria offered, trying to lift Greg’s spirits.  “Thanks” Greg muttered.  Alexandria, or Alex as everybody called her, was a year younger than Greg.  They had been dating for several years, and had always gotten along pretty good.  She was very beautiful, with long, flowing, red hair that she wore past her shoulders which everywhere she went was complimented on, and bright green eyes. 
They all sat around talking about the finer points of Greg’s story while eating the pumpkin crisp that Ani had prepared for the festivities.  After a while though, Harris’ prolonged absence became very noticed.  “Where the hell is he?” Nicole asked aloud.  “Lets go scare him.” Greg said.  “Teach him not to miss my damn story next time.”  He added.  Just as he they were standing up to go upstairs, all four candles suddenly blew out one by one as if by an invisible breath, leaving only the faint flickering threw off by the already dying fire left behind for them.  They all froze, “what....the....hell....was....that?” Ani spoke, barely above a whisper.        
Greg grabbed the headlamp that he had used to see the script of his story and flashed it on.  He strode across the room, threw open the door and turned the light switch back on.  But the expected blinding light never came, instead the room almost seemed to get darker to its occupants.  “Fantastic, the power’s dead.” Greg cooly said, in his best I’m terrified but pretending not to be voice.  “What? ” the three girls cried out almost in unison.  “The power is dead.” he repeated.  Next, he bravely strode across the basement into their laundry room and threw open the door to the breaker.  “What the...?” he cried.  The girls rushed into the room, “whats wrong?” Nicole asked, speaking for all three of them.  “Its just.... I don’t could.......” he muttered thinking to himself out loud.  “What?” Nicole cried, and stepped into view of Greg’s headlamp on the breaker.  What she saw made her blood run cold, every single fuse was gone, well not gone, but removed from its slot in the box, they all lay in a neat, tidy, single row on the workbench next to the box.  The only thing was, every one of them was broken.  “Holy shit ” she cried, stepping back.  “But....who would do that?”  “Harris.” Greg slowly responded, because he knew that while Harris might shut down the power as a practical joke, he would never break all of the fuses  
“Come on, let’s get the hell out of here. Just stick together.” Greg said as he tried to be the brave male that he knew he was supposed to be in this kind of situation.  “Let’s find Harris, and get the hell out of here.” He said, more to himself than anybody else. 
He led the way up, they all formed a solitary single file line going up the narrow stairwell, with only Greg’s headlamp to see by.  When they got to the top of the stairs he peeked around the doorway down the hall towards the front door.  It was closed and through the side windows on either side of the door he could barely make out Harris’ car parked in the street where he had left it earlier.  So he was still here.  Greg thought to himself.  Next, he took a quick peak into their kitchen, the fridge door was open, blocking his view, he reached in with one arm and closed it, other than the fridge, which he talked himself into believing they had just left open, nothing else in the room was out of the ordinary.  Next they made their way, slowly, down the hall towards the staircase.  He took quick peaks into the dining room, with its chandelier still hanging their bulbless, since they had not taken the time to go get new bulbs for it yet.  Then he looked into the living room, nothing strange there....  “We should get the hell out of here.” Alex whimpered.  “You guys can go, I’ve got to go upstairs to see if Harris is up there though.” Greg responded.  “I’m not going anywhere” Nicole replied.  “This is that part in the movies, where they do something really stupid like split up so they can search faster.”  She added quietly.  “Well I’m not just going to leave him up there by himself if he needs help.” Greg answered.  This was met with silence as everybody thought over their options.  “Lets all go then.” Ani finally said.  “Ok.” they all responded one by one. 
They all went up these stairs the same as the last, one by one in a single file line with Greg and his headlamp at the lead.  As they got to the top, they saw that every door was open except for the room occupied by Ani.  Greg did a quick check in his room, while the others watched in the doorway, nervously glancing behind them back down the stairs to make sure they weren’t being followed on their search.  Nothing had been disturbed since Greg had last left the room so, being satisfied they moved on down the hall, stopping only at the small closed to check it before moving on to Ani’s door.  Greg quickly shown his light into the bathroom and Nicole’s room before turning his attention to the door at his back.  He slowly reached down and grabbed the doorknob, and suddenly yanked his hand away, “Damn ” he yelled, “its like ice ”  He then shared a look with Ani and Nicole, since they were the three who knew what that could mean.  He then turned back to the door, stuck his hand inside his shirt, grabbed the doorknob, twisted, and flung it open, shining his headlamp in at the same time. 
What they saw both scared and confused them.  Harris was in there, lying on Ani’s bed, open eyed, staring at the ceiling unblinking.  He was taking very short, shallow, quick breaths and did not seem fazed at all by their sudden grandiose entrance.  “Harris ” Nicole yelled pushing past Greg into the room, she reached his side and reached for his hand.  Then she heard the door slam behind her. 
In the hall Greg, Ani and Alex stared in shock at the door that had just missed slamming Greg’s face by the tiniest fraction of an inch.  Greg grabbed at the doorknob and turned it, nothing happened.  He threw his weight into the door.  But being such an old house, they had used very sturdy wood in the construction and he bounced off it like he was a playing card.  “Nicole ” he yelled at the top of his lungs, to which he got no reply.  “Get me something to pry it open with ” he yelled at the two remaining companions left to him.  Ani started banging at the door and screaming Nicole and Harris’ name.  Alex ran into Nicole’s room to look for something heavy or sharp and Greg ran into his own room. 
Simultaneously, the doors to Greg’s and Nicole’s rooms slammed shut.  Leaving Ani to herself in the blackness.  She turned and ran to the room now occupied by Alex, it too was locked and impossible for her slight frame to even budge.  She pressed her ear to the door and heard absolutely nothing.  She ran across the floor to Greg’s room and found the same results.  She stopped, feeling in a very familiar situation.  Total icy darkness, no sounds save the beating of her heart as the swamp cooler was still silent.  She ran to the drawers at the center of the hall and threw them open one by one, searching for something she could use to help save her family and friends.  As she was frantically searching she heard a sound, a very loud screeching sound, that seemed to be coming from right next to her.  Yet it seemed muffled at the same time, she realized that it was in one of the lower drawers that she was searching in.  She ripped open all the lower drawers until it suddenly got louder, and she knew she had the right drawer.  She could see a light green light in the bottom of the drawer.  She pulled it out and realized what it was.  Greg’s EMF meter, his “ghost-detector.”  It’s small black gauge showed that the needle was buried on the highest rating possible.  This cheap piece of crap actually works   She thought to herself.  Then she realized if that was in the drawer, what else must be in there.  Greg’s ghosthunting kit   She quickly found it, a small green messenger bag that he kept all of his guides, manuals, and equipment in.  She leafed through some of the guides and assorted papers he had in his kit when several loose papers fell out that caught her eye.  One was her receipt from the consignment shop she had gotten her bed in, the others were a mix of printed off the internet and handwritten in Greg’s writing, she quickly scanned them over and realized what they were.  Greg had been doing research on my bed after I told him I thought it was haunted   She saw what looked like a set of notes from an interview that caught her attention, it was with the manager of the consignment shop asking him where he had gotten this bed from.  The manager said that he had gotten it from an estate sale from an old client of his who had recently passed away and listed her name.  The next sheet she saw was an old newspaper article Greg had printed out off of The Salt Lake Tribune’s website archives about a mysterious death the year before.  It seemed rather random until she saw the name of the victim.  It was the same name that the manager had given Greg  She had been murdered while asleep in that very bed.  She gasped and lowered the papers from her eye until she noticed something that seemed impossible.  The picture on the article in the top left corner was of....their house.  Not only did Ani have the bed she was murdered in, but it was back in the exact same house she was murdered in   Suddenly everything came into focus for Ani, the horrible repair of the yard, looking as if it hadn’t been lived in for years, the strange musky smell of the whole house, the article said she lay dead in her bed for 8 days before the landlord found her.  She also remembered the strange looking red stain from the mattress she had taken out of the basement for her bed   The same mattress she was killed in  She thought, terrified. 
As Ani’s mind raced with all of these thoughts.  She suddenly sensed movement out of the corner of her eye.  A barely visible, white, floating cloud was coming up the stairs, Ani, too shocked to react just sat on the floor and watched.  The cloud, now taking the shape of a person reached the top of the stairs, turned the corner of the banister and stopped, seemingly staring at her.  She suddenly felt extremely cold, and her breath was visible, inside she felt like all she wanted to do was die, like there was no reason left to live.  Suddenly, the spectre made what sounded to Ani like a sniffing sound.  Like it was smelling the air for something it was looking for.  For what seemed like an eternity Ani and this “being” stared at each other.  With is sniffing the air at the same time.  Finally, the being made the first move.  Ani quickly dove out of the way of its path as it floated to Ani’s room door.  It stopped outside momentarily, and then with one last sniff, floated through the door as if it was not there.  “No ” Ani cried, “come back after me   It was my bed  It’s me you want ” She cried as tears came poring down her face. 
But she did not sit feeling sorry for herself long, she came up with an idea.  She sprinted down the stairs taking four at a time then ran out the back door and shoved the garage door open with all of her might.  There it was, one of the tools, their dad had left up here for them, the axe. 
In a split second she had grabbed the razor sharp tool and was back inside.  When she got to the stairs she tried to take three at a time, but her foot caught.  With a cry she flew face down onto the stairs missing “axing” herself by mere inches.  She felt the warm liquid in her mouth as she was back on her feet in a second, axe in hand and back upstairs, with a cry she began chopping at Greg’s door as fast and hard as she could.  With all her adrenaline it only took her five swings to open a hole big enough to squeeze through.  Without a second thought she was in Greg’s room.  The room was freezing, quite literally, she got goosebumps and her breath was visible yet again.  There Greg was, he was just standing in front of his closet door.  With the same look that Ani had seen on Harris’ face minutes earlier.  He did not notice her loud entrance.  She grabbed him and started shaking him.  It seemed to have no effect on him.  She screamed at the top of her lungs right in his ear, and still he showed no emotion.  Exasperated at the failure of her plan, she began to cry.  She did not know what to do.  She felt helpless and alone in the world.  She turned around and sat down at his desk.  As the realization of the facts set in, as she realized that she was the one who brought this bed into their house.  She was somehow responsible for this she felt. 
As she sat and had these feelings flood all over her, she began to get mad.  She looked up and saw a face staring back at her.  Her breath caught in her throat and came out in a soft whimper, this was it she thought.  It’s my turn.  When the face did not move the slightest inch and her eyes focused she realized what it was.  She was about to meet her end at the hands of General George Washington.  A bronze bust Greg had bought during their last trip to Washington D.C.  When she realized her folly she couldn’t help but let out a short laugh.  She decided Greg didn’t need it anymore since it looked so eerie in what little light the moon let in through the windows.  She stood up, took her axe in hand, and decided Washington needed to go, he looked too creepy there in the moonlight, she took a swing, but the adrenaline had left her body since her heroic entrance into Greg’s room and she missed, hitting the top shelf of Greg’s desk.  She took another swing, and when she was bringing the axe down onto “The General’s” head, a hand grabbed the stock above hers.  “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” Greg said. 
Ani’s heart skipped a beat, “Greg  Your back  What happened?” She asked, so happy to not be alone anymore.  “I honestly don’t remember anything, about how I got into this room, I just remember your door slamming, I ran in here and.....thats it.  I don’t remember anything else.” he said disturbed. 
“I don’t know whats going on Greg ” Ani cried.  “You were locked in here, Alex is in Nicole’s room and Harris and Nicole are in mine ”  “So let me get this straight.” Greg inquired.  “Were all trapped in these rooms, with who knows what about to happen with us, and your in here doing battle with George Washington?” He said.  “Shut up Greg, it’s a long story, we’ve got to help everybody else though.”  They took the axe and headed back down the hall.  They decided since they knew the ghost wasn’t in Nicole’s room that they would free Alex first.  With a few well placed blows of the axe Greg had the door down.  Alex was in a similar state.  Standing next to Nicole’s t.v. with the same blank look on her face.  Greg grabbed her and shook her, again causing no effect, so he slapped her.  This brought a wince on her face, and Greg slowly cajoled her out of her trance like state back into reality.  Now that they were three strong they decided it was time to take on the big task.  Freeing Harris and Nicole from that thing’s grasp in Ani’s room.  Right before he took the first swing at the heavy oak door guarding the entrance he stopped with a thoughtful look coming to his face.  He handed the axe to Alex and stepped over to his drawer that contained the ghost kit.  He reached in and pulled out three heavy black vests from the bottom.  “Put these on.” He ordered.  “Whats that smell?” Alex asked incredulously. “That would be the garlic.” Greg replied.  “The what?” Alex and Ani replied together.  “Its’s garlic that was soaked in holy water overnight.  The vest lining is filled with it. It also has salt, which the ancients thought had powers to ward off evil ghostts and spirits.  Inside the pouches are a mixture of silver, which has a long history of magical powers in the occult, chalcedony which the Egyptians used to scare away ghosts and nighttime visions, and each vest has a zemi, which is a carved amulet for protection from the spirit world.  I read about it in a book once.”  “What do these do?”  “Supposedly they will protect us.  You know what causes that cold right?”  “No, what?” Alex responded.  “Its whats called a fallen angel otherwise known as a demon.  Worst kind of thing you could have.  Its one of the supposed 1/3 of the hosts of heaven that were booted with Lucifer and are trapped on Earth forever.”  “How the hell are we going to beat that?”  Ani asked, to scared to question Greg.  “Simple enough, were going to perform an exorcism.”  Greg responded as casually as he could.  “A what?” Alex cried.  “An exorcism.” he repeated.  “But were not priests ” Alex cried.  “The Catholic church added that part in the seventeenth century, before that anybody could do it.  Trust me, I learned this from a lecture.  I know its not the best idea, but its all we’ve got right now.” he said.  “Even the LDS church has a little known document written by Lorenzo Snow that give anybody with the Melchezidek Priesthood the power to cast out evil spirits.”  He pulled out a paper from a folder in the drawer.  At the top was titled Rituale Romanum.  “It’s latin for the Roman Catholic Church’s exorcisms.  Just listen, all we have to do, is throw this vial of water on the spirit, pray silently in our heads for it to go away and leave us in peace.  And the rest should fall into place if that asshole at the convention knew what he was talking about.”  The two girls nodded in silence, each knowing that while far fetched, it was the best shot they had. 
Greg’s first swing at the door was a powerful one, it nearly took the door off its hinges.  The coldest blast of air they had ever felt rushed out at them.  Nearly throwing them over the balcony behind them.  Nicole and Harris were both on the bed in the same position as Harris was in before.  Greg stepped through the doorway, followed closely by Alex and Ani.  Without saying a word he cracked open the vial of clear liquid.  He turned around and threw open the closet door.  Instantly, all three of them fell to the ground.  “Whats happening ” Alex yelled as she felt like her heart were being tore out from her.  “It’s him ” Greg yelled back as best he could.  He pulled Ani and Alex towards him so that they all linked arms to keep them together.  “Don’t let those feelings get the best of you ”  Greg told them.  “Just start praying ”  He yelled.  He took one look at the beast in the closet as it started to float out towards them, he gave it his best I’m not afraid of you, you son of a bitch look that he could muster, then he took a deep breath, threw the entire contents of the vial at the monster, and closed his eyes, he could feel the warmth of Alex and Ani’s skin where they were linking arms, it was the only warmth in the entire room.  Then he began to pray harder than he ever had before, Our Dear Heavenly Father...
Nicole opened her eyes, it was morning, bright rays of sunshine were coming through the blinds of Ani’s room.  Harris was laying next to her asleep, it wasn’t for several more minutes that she realized it was strange that she was laying with Harris in Ani’s room?  She sat up and looked around.  Greg, Alex and Ani were laying in a heap on the floor, wearing matching black puffy vests with the large letters UPIS stenciled across the back in yellow.  Their was a strong scent of garlic in the air.  The three of them were lying with their arms linked together.  “Guys ” she yelled, the events of the previous day coming back to her.  She ran across the room and shook the entire heap of them.  Ani was the first to come to her senses.  “What happened?” she asked.  Next was Greg, “did it work?” he inquired to Nicole, wiping the sweat off of his face.  “I don’t remember anything.” Alex said, coming to.  “What the hell are you guys doing?” Came a voice from behind them, Nicole spun around, it was Harris.  “I think it worked ” Greg laughed out loud.  “We did a son of a bitchin’ exorcism ” he shouted.  “I can’t believe it,” Ani said as she pulled herself off of he floor.  “I seriously can’t believe it.” 
Later that morning they were cleaning up after they ate the celebratory waffles Ani had made for the occasion.  “This could be huge ” Greg was saying. “We could start a business  A ghosthunting business  If there was this one there has to be more ”  He exclaimed.  “I don’t know about that, I’m not exactly dying to do that again.” Ani muttered.  “It would be so awesome  We’ll be the biggest thing in the paranormal circle ever   I can’t believe it  It could seriously be huge ”  “What the hell are you guys talking about?” Harris said, still in disbelief over the previous nights events.  “Harris, it happened it really did, were not just making this up.” Nicole said.  “I don’t believe it. Its impossible what your saying.” Harris retorted.  “Then what do you think it was.”  Greg challenged him.  “I think it was a figment of your overactive imaginat....”  He stopped, staring at the wall behind Greg.  Nicole followed his gaze and dropped the syrup bottle she was holding.  Greg slowly turned around and saw the shadows of several adult men walking across the wall, coming towards them.
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