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Ghost Story

In: English and Literature

Submitted By sjc1123
Words 1084
Pages 5
Samantha Costello
ENG 127

The Vacation House

Bergen County is located in Northern New Jersey, just a short train ride away from New York City. This area, prior to World War II, was a huge resort area. Many wealthy families would come during the summer months to vacation and spend quality time with family and friends. Because of the close proximity to New York City, trains were filled with people constantly coming and going. Greenwood Lake was an interstate lake, lying in both New Jersey and New York State. During the resort era, several steamboats operated on the lake and they would meet the trains and take passengers to various resorts around the water in both states. After World War II and till this day, the area went under major renovations to change from a resort area to year round residences. A fellow friend of mine and resident of Bergen County was kind enough to share her experiences with the supernatural, all which occurred right under her own roof. It is not surprising that an area with so much history and life would generate ghostly phenomena. What makes this ghost story so interesting is that it is so unexpected. Sitting on a cold bench, right before practice, I figured I would ask around to see if anyone had any good ghost stories to tell. Little did I know that I would find one that would send chills down my spine. As the oldest sibling growing up in their two story house in Bergen county, Dana remembers a lot of her childhood as well as her brothers, who is only a couple of years younger. She made known that her house was in fact a vacation home that had the luxury of having the lake right in the backyard. It is a two-story house and after moving in they decided to put on addition. Prior to the addition and back when it was just a vacation home, a family who had two little boys occupied the house. The events that took place during that time were gruesome. One day one of the little boys accidentally lit part of the house on fire and killed his brother. The father, not knowing it was an accident, blamed him for his son’s death and shunned the boy. The only surviving son buried himself in guilt and went into a deep depression, eventually committing suicide by drowning himself in the lake. As time passed, that father realized that it was in fact an accident and that he caused his son’s suicide. The father went into deep depression and ended up killing his wife and hanging himself on the tree outside. The following is recorded as told by the storyteller. I never really knew the history of my house. As a child, we all think that we are the first to live in it and that it was made specifically for our family. It was the perfect house to grow up in, a two story house with a lake in the backyard. It was always the house that everyone wanted to hang out at, especially after we put the addition on. Mostly because on hot summer days we could cool off by the water and on cold winter nights we could make a fire pit. It wasn’t until I got older that I found out the gruesome details of my home’s past and started to piece together previous experiences with the history. Every child has nightmares, some more reoccurring than others. My one reoccurring dream, however, was far more unusual for a little girl to be having. Like the father who hanged himself with guilt outside the house, I would have horrible dreams of my parents being hanged on a tree. I don’t know about you, but a young child having such a horrible reoccurring dream is not exactly normal. When I discovered the similarities in stories I had to sleep with my lights on for a couple weeks and I was constantly checking up on my parents. I started to realize that as soon as we put on the addition that it was almost as if we disturbed the spirits. Aside from my bad dreams, my brother, mother and myself started to see the apparition of a little boy in the hallway. It was always at random and usually at nighttime. He never did anything besides stand by the stairway and stare. My brother would sleep talk all the time, which wasn’t uncommon but it started to get extremely creepy when he said he was talking to a little boy. He claimed that the little boy was his friend and that he was lonely. There were two little boys in the previous family and both would make themselves known either by lingering in the hallways or somehow communicating with my brother. On the night of my slumber party, any skepticism that I might’ve been having towards the “ghosts” that roamed my house was put to rest. We laid our sleeping bags out and gossiped until we fell asleep. Early in the morning when the sun had yet to peak, I awakened suddenly. It wasn’t one of my friends or a sudden sound, but simply the fact that I was startled by a presence. When I opened my eyes I was shocked to see standing between the doorways a tall man wearing a top hat. I couldn’t make out what he looked like, but it was clear as ever that he was wearing a hat. In the morning when we all woke up, the first thing my friend asked was, “did anyone wake up and see the man wearing the top hat standing over there?” She pointed towards the doorway and I got butterflies. Immediately and without sharing my encounter first, someone else experienced what has been haunting me all my life. In college now and a couple of hours away from home, I still tell this story to my friends at school. On occasion I will receive phone calls from my parents saying they saw the boy last night or the father with the top hat. My brother still lives at home and continues to sleep talk from time to time, but as he has gotten older he has rarely been heard talking to a little boy. In my opinion its almost as if he has outgrown them. As we get older and change, the house and whoever lived in before stays the same.

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