There are some things in this old life that are hard to believe. I have come across some odd and peculiar things. One of the strangest was back in my young days when some friends and I would go ghost hunting. We would load up a friend’s car with girls and on Saturday night head for a place that was supposed to be haunted.

One of the girls told us about a house that her grandparents had lived in, on Highway 100 between the Alabama Highway and Summerville. She said that her grandparents had moved out and abandoned the house. It was in bad shape and if we went to it, we would have to be very careful.

If you grew up in the ’40s you know that there was not too much for young people to do on a Saturday night. Duke, Carlton and I would get together and go look over a place on Saturday morning before we carried the girls to it.

We went down below The Narrows and got on Highway 100 to the house. Duke pulled in to what once was a yard. In places the grass was as high as your head. I remember noticing that a trail going up to the front door was well-traveled. I found out later that it was a popular place for young people to go.

The old house looked scary in daylight. I could imagine what it would look like on a dark night. We were walking up to the front of the house when a car pulled in behind us. There was two young boys in it. They got out and one of them spoke. “We saw your car and wondered if you were going to go inside?” The boys, whose names were Wayne and Bill, wanted to know if they could bring their girl friends and go in the house with us. We agreed that they could. They left, saying they would see us about 8 o’clock that night.

I walked up on the front porch to find that someone had took the front door off. I had heard a funny hissing sound. Duke and Carlton had not heard anything. I stepped in though the door. Nothing. It seemed quiet and peaceful. I was surprised to see a room that was in good condition. A set of stairways was in the center of the house. They were of the old type that people put in houses back in the 1800s. I walked over and put my hand on the rail.

I would have sworn that someone said something to me. I turned and looked at Duke and Carlton; they were on the other side of the room. I again put my hand on the rail; again I heard a voice. It sounded like, “Go away.” I turned as Duke and Carlton came up behind me. They had heard nothing. We checked the rest of the house out to find that it was in good shape. All the floors seemed to be solid. We came to the conclusion that it would be safe to come back after dark and do a little ghost hunting.

As we were leaving I again heard what sounded like a voice. It sounded like “Stay away.”

We got out of the car at Duke’s house with the understanding that we would meet him in the park around 7 o’clock. The girls had got the word and were waiting when I got there. I sat down and they gathered around to listen while I told them about the house and that the people who lived there had to move because the ghost haunted them.

Even back then I could tell a pretty good story. I would tell all about the gruesome things that the spirits would do to make life miserable for the people who were living there. I watched the girls’ faces and knew this was going to be one of those nights that I was going to enjoy. I really didn’t have any idea what was in store for us. If I had known I would have never taken the girls to that house.

With the car loaded, we headed for Highway 100. We had a new girl who had never been ghost hunting with us before. Her name was Sarah. I found out she didn’t think too much about ghost hunting but she was a good sport and joined in with the rest of us.

We pulled in to the yard to find Bill and Wayne and two girls waiting for us. It was just starting to get dark. It seemed that the crowd elected me to lead the way. I walked up on the porch with the hair standing up on the back of my neck and goose bumps running up and down my arms. A cold chill like I had never had before was running over me. I stopped at the door but the rest of them were so close it pushed me inside the room.

I stopped in the middle of the room and looked back at the others. Francis moved over and put her hand on my arm. “Lonie, “ she said, “I think we had better leave here as soon as possible.” I remember shaking my head yes.

I began to move toward the stairs. Then, as plain as day, I heard, “Go away before it’s too late.” I put my hand on the rail and stepped up. A scream went up from some girl in the crowd. I turned and Francis was standing beside me. Then I saw someone on the floor, one of the girls who had come with Wayne and Bill. I bent over and picked her up; she was trembling all over.

I finally got her still and calmed down. I told Wayne to take her back outside. He put his arm around her and led her out. I then said, “Any one else who wants to go outside, do so.” I turned back to the stairs. I had seen something at the top that I wanted to get a good look at.

I reached the top of the stairs with, as we used to say, Francis in my back pocket. The girl who had come with Wayne was still with us. She moved over beside me, pointed to Francis and said, “You and her saw it, didn’t you?”

I didn’t say anything but began to move down the hallway. I have only been in two other houses that gave me the feeling that I got. We walked though the upstairs and headed back down the stairs. Then a laugh that sent chills down my back rang though the house. I have never seen any one run for a door so fast in my life as those who were with me on the stairs.

They went through the door in a second flat. I thought I had been left by myself until I felt her standing beside me. She reached out and took my hand. Good old Francis, the only one to not desert me. We walked down the stairs with a feeling that we were being watched. I turned at the bottom of the stairs and looked up. I can’t say what I saw at the top of the stairs. I can’t say because I don’t know. The best I can say it was a mixture of dark smoke with a light in the middle of it. We saw a light that looked like it had a halo around it.

I reached out and took Francis by the hand and began to back toward the door. Whatever it was began to come down the stairs. We got to the front door. I pushed Francis behind me. I turned and looked at the thing on the steps. Whatever it was had stopped at the bottom of the stairs. Francis and I stood in the door way looking at it. Then a hissing sound, and it disappeared.

We walked back to where the others were. The girl who had passed out seem to be all right; there were some of those who came with us who didn’t look so good. We talked for a few minutes then loaded up and started back to town.

I slept late the next morning and wandered off up to the park about 11 o’clock. Most of the crowd from the Ghost Hunters were there. It seemed they all had agreed to never go back to the house on Highway 100 again. I looked at Francis. I believe she was thinking the same thing as I was: If they had stayed and seen what we saw, what would they say?

Lonie Adcock of Rome is a retired Rome Police Department lieutenant. His latest book is “Fact or Fiction.”

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