I have come across some odd and peculiar things in this old life. 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 on Saturday night and 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 Ga. 100 between Alabama Highway and Summerville. She said that her grandparents had moved out and abandoned the house.

If you grew up in the ’40s you know that there was not too much for young people to do.

Duke, Carlton and I went to look over the place on Saturday morning before we carried the girls to it. 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 were two young boys in it named Wayne and Bill. They asked if they could bring their girlfriends and go in the house with us. We agreed they could meet us about 8 p.m.

I walked up on the front porch and heard a funny sound like a hiss. When I 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 it said, “Go away.” I turned as Duke and Carlton came up behind me. They had heard nothing. We checked out the rest of the house to find that it was in good shape.

As we were leaving I again heard what sounded like a voice. I looked at Duke and Carlton. They were in front of me and hadn’t heard anything. I thought about it and, to me, the voice sounded like it said “stay away.”

We talked about it on the way back home. We got out of the car at Duke’s house with the understanding that we would meet him in the park around 7 p.m. I went home and got me a good book and sat down on the front porch in a lawn chair. I must have fallen asleep for my mother woke me up for supper. I ate and noticed that it was getting close to the time to meet Duke at the park. The park was a short walk from where I lived. It didn’t take me long to get to it. The girls had got the word and were waiting. I sat down and they gathered around to listen while I told them about the haunted house.

I told the girls the people who lived there had to move because a 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 the house. We pulled into 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 goosebumps 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. There were several in the crowd that had looks on their face that I had never seen before. 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 of the stairs and stepped up on the bottom step. 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. It was 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. I then said, “Any one else who wants to go outside, do so.”

I turned back. I had seen something at the top of the stairs that I wanted to get a good look at. I stepped up on the bottom step. Nothing. Second step. Nothing. Then I began to move up. 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 and I remember what she said. She 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 as I moved though this house. We walked though the upstairs and headed back down. Then a laugh that sent chills down my back rang though the house. I have never seen anyone 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, because I don’t know.

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. I looked at Francis and said, “I think it time we got away from here.”

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. As usual, when we got though ghost hunting we would go somewhere and get us a hamburger and fries. We kicked it around for a while and agreed on Roy’s. We sat under the big willow tree to eat and talked about the house. Most of them were quiet. Duke and Carlton never said anything about leaving me in the house.

I slept late the next morning. I wandered off up to the park about 11 a.m. Most of the crowd from the ghost hunters were there. It seemed they all had agreed to never go back to the house on Ga. 100 again. All the times that we had been at different places, this was the only place they said they would never go back to. I never said anything, but looked at Francis. I believe she was thinking the same thing as I was: If they had stayed with us 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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