Family, Musings, Travel

A Summer Scare

I grew up in a small town with a long and fairly interesting history. I have always been a history buff and I think growing up here always hearing about the history and our famous visitors and events added to that. The constant ghost stories are probably why I absolutely love horror stories (and movies, though to a lesser extent).

So, when I realized I didn’t have quite the right album to share with you today, I figured I would share one of my favorite scary stories. Something that actually happened to my mother one summer when she was a kid.

My mom, her sister, parents, and extended family camped often when she was younger. One time, they went with my grandmother’s brother and his wife to the home where my grandma and her brother had grown up, a frequent campsite. They got there early, fished and played in the nearby creek, pitched their tent and stuffed the floor with soft hay to sleep on.

They sat around the fire and ate and joked and, of course, told ghost stories. The old farmhouse where my grandma grew up sat just a ways behind them and my mom says they would frequently hear popping in the house, sort of like footsteps. My grandmother would always say something along the lines of, “That’s just Ma West comin’ by to say hi,” or “That’s just John, checkin’ on us.”

Finally, they settled into the tent to sleep for the night. About an hour or two before dawn, though, my mom woke up to hear her uncle go, “Shhhh.”

“What was that?” her aunt asked, her uncle shushed her again.

In the silence, my mother says she could hear a soft grunt and then sticks breaking.

“Roger, what is that?” My grandmother asked.

They could tell whatever it was, was coming closer to their tent. The grunt got louder and suddenly it was at the edge of the tent. My mom says she was terrified, as a few people had seen a bear in the area. This was unusual, however, so they decided to go camping anyway. However, could this be the bear? Was it a person? Was it the ghost of some long dead relative that my grandmother said inhabited the house?

My mom’s uncle decided to find out. He grabbed his pistol and quietly left the tent. Seconds passed like minutes as they waited to hear a shot.

All they heard, though, was laughter.

My mother’s uncle stuck his head back into the tent and informed them that a herd of cattle had wandered into the field and were eating the hay they had put under the tent to sleep on.


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