Everyone loves hearing a good story, whether it be a bedtime story as a child, a tall tale told by your goofy uncle, a funny story of your best friend's wedding or a ghost story told around a campfire. Life is made up of stories, whether fictitious or real, written or spoken they are actively handed down through the generations ... So, in the spirit of The Narrative, we rounded up some Halloween stories for your reading pleasure.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM THE NARRATIVE LOFT TEAM!
Santa Barbara Stories from The SB Indpendent:
Ghost of Kitchens Past
It was many a dark and not stormy nights … When we moved from South Lake Tahoe to Santa Barbara in 1978, we moved into this home in which a retired couple had offered full-time care for very elderly people. There had been two twin beds set up in the family room next to the kitchen when we viewed the home. We didn’t ask, but we suspected an elder or more had died here. It was the hardest time of my life, moving into our home; overflowing boxes scattered everywhere waiting for me to sort and put away. I also had a very active 2-year-old, and a newborn baby to care for. My husband took no time off, but went straight to work in construction so we could afford our mortgage payments. During the night, when I was up, awake, and sitting in the first bedroom, nursing and rocking my newborn baby back to sleep, I heard noises coming from the kitchen — cupboards slamming, intensifying, lasting about 15-20 minutes, maybe more. This carried on for several months, as if a regular ritual, but only when I was up, awake, nursing my baby at various hours throughout the night. Exhausted, I had little energy left, and I remember sitting there listening to these active kitchen cupboards banging, while at the same time telling myself over and over again that there is no ghost who wants to harm a mom and her baby. Nightly, the noise repeated; kitchen cupboards slamming shut, one after another, then pause, then slamming one after another, again and again. It was dark in the hallway, and with tired eyes, I remember looking toward the bedroom doorway and imagining (or not) an apparition, female sized, cloudy white, watching me, watching us … there, and then gone. I did not allow myself to feel threatened, and I refused to become alarmed, working to stay calm, relaxed. This is my house now, we are staying — you’re not. Sure enough, after about three months of kitchen cupboards slamming through the night, it all came to an abrupt end. I am absolutely sure it was not my imagination. The mind, my mind, did not invent or invite slamming kitchen cupboards in the night. And that’s the truth. —Gail Elbek
I have always been a rational person, but this made me question that. I had moved into a house in the Samarkand area and was really happy to be living in such a great space. It wasn’t long, though, before I started getting eerie sensations on my evening dog walks within the uniform stillness prevalent to the area. I couldn’t put my finger on it; but at times it felt like something was trailing me through the undulating solitudes of the Samarkand. Occasionally I would perceive dark figural gloom in far-off corners under the dipping trees that seal the neighborhood. This culminated one night, as I was reading in bed, when I heard sounds that made no sense to my mind. THUMP! THUMP!THUMP! THUMP! was coming from my roof! It took me a second to realize that what I was hearing was someone running circles on my roof. My walls trembling, I propelled out of bed with heart in hand. This was no simple rodent or raccoon; of that I was certain. I flew out my front door and quickly looked up to see who was causing such a fright … nothing. There was nothing up there. I was deeply shaken. This happened three times with no physical finding. Soon after the first incident, I became friends with a neighbor named Chumana, a Santa Barbara native. I expressed my concerns; she grinned, and then informed me that what I experienced were ghostly spirits running from roof to roof trying to take flight, quite common for this area. I’m still not sure what I believe it was, but that dreadful description sure fit that horrible sound. I now can’t help but look up at the trees and wonder if ghastly spirits observe my evening strolls through the half shuteye of the Samarkand twilight. —Xavier Loza
Tales from Guys and Sports:
True Australian Halloween Ghost Story
This story happened a few years ago on 31st October in Brisbane, and even though it sounds like an Alfred Hitchcock tale, it's true. John Bradford, a Sydney University student, was on the side of the road hitch hiking on a very dark Halloween night and in the midst of a storm. The night was rolling on and no car went by. The storm was so strong he could hardly see a few feet ahead of him. Suddenly he saw a car slowly coming towards him and stopped. John, desperate for shelter and without thinking about it, got in the car and closed the door, just to realize there was nobody behind the wheel and the engine wasn't on! The car started moving slowly. John looked at the road and saw a curve approaching. Scared, he started to pray, begging for his life. Then, just before he hit the curve, a hand appeared through the window and turned the wheel. John, paralyzed with terror, watched how the hand appeared every time they came to a curve. John saw the lights of a pub down the road so, gathering strength, jumped out of the car and ran to it. Wet and out of breath, he rushed inside and asked for two shots of tequila. He then started telling everybody about the horrible experience he went through. A silence enveloped everybody when they realized he was crying and... wasn't drunk. About 15 minutes later, two guys walked into the same pub. They were also wet and out of breath. Looking around and seeing John Bradford sobbing at the bar, one said to the other, 'Look, Bruce. There's the idiot who got in the car while we were pushing it.
The Funny Tale of The Haunted House
A few years ago, two friends of mine, Bob and Mick and their dog, Susie, moved into a old Victorian house in Leiston, Suffolk, England where we all worked. The rent was cheap, and it was one of the few places in the town that was available. It was a classic two up, two down Victorian house. After being there a week, two things dawned upon Bob and Mick. One was, for some reason, they hadn't bothered to sleep upstairs in the bedroom yet. They were sleeping on the floor in the living room, and hadn't really questioned it or thought about it. The second thing was that Susie, the dog, would never go up the stairs, and would sometimes stare and sniff and pace at the bottom of the stairs, barking at the landing and window that were halfway up the stairs. So the evening they realized this, they decided to sleep upstairs, but just couldn't bring themselves to do it. They weren't scared or uncomfortable in the house; but they also just somehow wouldn't go upstairs, especially at night. After they had been there a few weeks, and were still sleeping downstairs, a neighbour introduced himself.
'So it's just the three of you in the house?', he asked.
'Three of us? There's just the two of us,' answered Bob brightly.
'Well, maybe one of your grandmothers has been visiting?' remarked the nosey neighbour.
'No. What makes you say that?' Mick inquired.
'Well, almost every night, when your staircase light is on, I see an old woman, rocking and looking out the side window. You guys are pulling my leg. There's an old women living in there, and you know it.'
Bob, Mick and Susie stayed at a friend's house that night, and moved out two days later.