Enjoy this classic Lonie Adcock, as he continues this tale with the neighborhood kids gathered at Goot’s house to meet his ghost:
I will always remember Christine Wilkins, the one on my right. If she is still among us she will remember that night.
“Dig in,” Goot told us. “The ice cream is melting and the cake is growing old.”
Everyone at the table began to eat. Goot began to spin his web of intrigue about his ghost. I watched the faces at the table. Some had their eyes wide open when he would mention ghosts. Goot was a good storyteller and I took in every word. So did Christine.
Goot’s ghost story went this way:
“It seems at certain times you could hear voices and footsteps in the hallway. If you didn’t make any noise then it would move from the hallway and into the rooms. When all was over they would go up to the ceiling and make some more noise. Only there was no way to get up in the ceiling.”
Goot said he would lay in bed at night and listen to the noises. He had got us all inside because it was about time for them to make their appearance. He looked around the table at everyone and said, “Let’s see how many of you will finish your cake and ice cream.” With a smile on his face he began to eat.
I felt a cold chill go down my back and the hair on the back of my neck stood up. I don’t know how it happened, but Christine had moved her chair so close that she was almost in my lap. A boy by the name of Johnny had grabbed up his cake and headed for the door. Several more boys and girls were already heading for the door. I sat still frozen to my chair.
Christine leaned over and whispered, “Can you see them?”
I didn’t say anything — I sat still. Things were happening all around the hallway. I know that there were noises not made by the remaining few. Then with a yell that brought us all back, Eddy jumped to his feet. Jimmy was sitting beside him and when he jumped up, Eddy fell over Jimmy’s chair. He was on his feet and out the door in just a few seconds.
Goot just sat there with a smile on his face.
This is one of those things that I have thought about through the years. Did Goot stage this to scare the ones who were making fun of me?
I know that cold chills and the hair stood up on the back of my neck happened that night. When we left Christine was holding my hand as if she would never turn it loose. There were sounds that sounded like whispering in the hallway. When they all had left and ran outside, I stood up and Goot smiled at Christine.
“Walk her home, Adcock,” he said, “for she can’t make it by herself.” Christine lived on Third Avenue and all the way there she kept asking, “Did you see them, did you hear them?” I remember keeping my mouth shut not answering her. I always believe that when there is doubt keep your mouth shut.
I had almost forgotten about what happened with Goot’s ghost until talking to Mike.
In remembering, it brought back another incident that happened at that location.
I had been with the police department for a while. An officer by the name of Pete was my riding partner. At that time the family that lived in the house had a son named Billy Joe.
Billy Joe would get to drinking and go home and his mother would call the police to come and get him out of the house. Pete and I got the call that Billy Joe was tearing up his mother’s house and she wanted him out. We parked and went up on the porch and talked to his mother. We went inside where she said he had gone. We searched the house from end to end — no Billy Joe.
His mother came just inside the door and said,
“He is in here for he hasn’t come outside.” Pete walked over to her saying, “We have looked everywhere. Is there a way up in the attic.” She shook her head.
I was standing beside a couch that sat back in what I call an alcove. I had my back to it when a whispering voice said, “Couch.” I turned to see who it was. No one was in the hall with me. Pete and the lady were standing in the door leading from the porch.
I walked over to the couch but it looked OK. I started to walk away when again I heard a whispered “Couch.”
I motioned for Pete to come to me. He came and looked at the couch. “No way that anyone could be under there,” he said.
I smiled and said, “Watch this.” I faced the couch and with my 190 pounds jumped up on it.
A scream came from under the couch and I jumped back down to the floor. Billy Joe came from under the couch flipping it over. He stood up and in a drunk voice said, “How did you know I was under there?”
“A little voice told me,” I said, placing the cuffs on him.
After thinking back, was Goot’s ghost something he did or was it for real? If Christine was here, she would say it was real.
Now the voice telling me Billy Joe was under the couch — was that imagination or was it real? As I have often stated there are things that I don’t understand, so I just move on but keep them in my memories.
Lonie Adcock of Rome is a retired Rome Police Department lieutenant. His latest book, “Memories of an Old Geezer,” is now available.