This is the rest of the story about the dark and vacant house.

That morning as we were leaving the police station to go home, we talked about what had happened. The officer laughed, saying, “I am glad that I am off tonight for I have no desire to go back in to that house.” I remember saying, “Neither do I.”

The next night when we came in, I placed an officer on the beat where we had gone the night before. It was one of those slow nights — until the call to the house came in about 12:30 a.m. I told dispatch I would back up the car on the beat. When I arrived, the officer was talking to the man who lived next door.

It seemed that again the neighbor had seen the light in the house. We were out front to where we could see the front windows on the second floor. I had already seen the light but was waiting for the officer to see it. All of a sudden he pointed. “There, Lieutenant! See it?”

I moved to the door, telling him to open it and stand aside. He reached out and pulled, but it would not come open. I hid a smile, for he looked at me with a funny expression on his face. I walked over and turned the knob and the door came open. I stepped by him, saying, “Weakling.”

A search of the first floor did not turn up anything. I did notice that the saw horses and wood had been cleaned up. The old gentleman next door said that it was finished and the people were to move in next week. I started up the stairs, motioning for the other officer to follow me.

At the top of the stairs, I left him where I had left the other officer the night before. Same thing — the doors were locked and I couldn’t open them. I motioned for the officer to come over to me. He was shivering as if he was cold. I didn’t say anything except, “Open the door.” He walked over and tried. “It’s locked, Lieutenant,” he said. “Try the other two, “ I said. He tried them but they also were locked.

I walked over and, turning the doorknob, pulled on it. The door came open. I went over to the other two. Same thing. They came open without any problem. Again I said, “Weakling.”

A search of the rooms turned up nothing. We walked back out into the foyer. I walked over to the window where we had seen the light. The other officer walked over to me. “Lieutenant, if it’s all right with you I am going to go back outside. I am about to freeze to death in here.” I motioned for him to go.

I have never mentioned this to anyone before. I was standing there, looking out the window, when it felt as if someone was standing beside me. I shined my light around, thinking the officer was playing with me. I looked down though the window and saw the old gentleman and the officer standing there, talking.

I walked over to the top of the stairs and stopped. Out of the corner of my eye I had caught a light over at the window. I began to move down the stairs. I had gotten to the bottom when the other officer came running though the door. “Lieutenant”, he said, “Are you OK?” “I am OK,” I said, moving over to the door. We went out and I locked the door behind us.

We started to walk toward the front of the house. I stopped. “Come back. Let’s try something,” I said. We went back to the door and I told the officer to see if it was open. It was locked. I reached out, turned the knob, and the door came open. I locked it back. The old gentleman came around to see if we were OK. I told him to try the door. It was locked. I tried, and the door came open.

We must have locked the door 20 times, trying to see what was wrong with it. Finally, we gave up and went back out in front of the house. There in the window was the light. I got in my car and sat down. The old gentleman went back to his house. We sat there for a while, watching the light move around from window to window.

The shift over, we were going to our cars when the officer stopped me. “Lieutenant, I know you didn’t know it — but when you stood in that window there was a light beside you. If ever a house was haunted, that one is.” He went over and got into his car. I walked over to mine and stood there. “Ghost, my eye,” I said as I got in.

I went by the house after the people moved in. Never got any call from them. I guess everything was OK. I drove by late at night, when all the lights were turned off. That is, all except the one in the window on the second floor.

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

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