September 21, 2021
Everyone avoided the house in my neighborhood because they thought it was haunted. But when I finally found the courage to enter the place, I was frozen stiff by what I saw.
Everyone feared the big old house in my neighborhood. My neighbors said they would sense something strange every time they passed the house, and because they feared the house was haunted, they kept their children and themselves away from it.
Some claimed the curtains on the windows would move on their own, while others claimed they’d seen a silhouette through the window. I was new to the neighborhood, but I refused to believe that the house could be haunted.
I learned from my inquiries with neighbors that the house had been empty for the last 15 years. The previous owner was a ballerina who had lost her husband and daughter in a car accident. She lived on her own for a while after that and then disappeared without a trace.
Since the mysterious disappearance of the older woman, nobody dared to step into the place. And in the last few months, the neighbors often complained of hearing someone wailing and weeping every time they walked past the house, suspecting it was haunted.
Once, while jogging in the morning, I noticed someone open and close the house’s front door. I was a long way from the house, but I clearly saw the door open and close. I ran towards the house and knocked on the door.
I waited for a long time, but no one came. Dejected, I turned to leave, then I heard movement from inside. I called out, “Is anyone there? My name is Olivia, and I live in this neighborhood!” Still no response, so I left.
One night, I was returning home from work when I saw a shadow moving inside the house.
“Jess, I need you to come right now,” I called my friend because it was dark and I was afraid to go inside the house alone.
“Don’t do that, Olivia!” Jess suggested. “You know it’s been abandoned because it’s haunted. Are you insane?”
“Jess, I am sure it’s not haunted. I saw someone open and close the door a few days ago while jogging. I noticed the person’s hand as well, I guess,” I said.
“See, Olivia, I would go with you, but I can’t leave Todd alone. Mrs. Carter had some work, so I'm looking after Todd. I know you won’t go inside alone, and that's better for both of us. At least think about your son, and just go home! That house is scary!”
“No, Jess. Today I’ll find out who’s staying there! Just stay with Todd until I come back!”
“But hold on, Olivia...hello?” I had disconnected the call.
“I know there's someone inside. You can't hide any longer, ” I said as I knocked on the door.
As usual, nobody replied. However, I saw the window curtain move. I stood there on the doorstep and called again. “I came here a few days ago as well, but you refused to let me in! Open the door now, enough of hiding!”
Again no replies came. Dejected, I was about to leave the house, but then somebody opened the door. It was an old woman in a wheelchair. “Hello,” the woman said. “Please come in.”
“Nice to meet you!” I said as I went inside. “It's hard to believe, though, that an old lady would be living in this house alone!”
“Well, that's a long story...” the woman began..
It turned out her name was Marilyn Drummond and she was a famous ballerina. She was very talented and beautiful, but she suffered a severe injury during one of her last shows, which put a full stop to her dancing career and ability to walk.
She was staying in another city all this while where she worked as a teacher and had only returned two months back. She had terrible joint pain, and she sobbed every day because of it, which explained the cries people heard. Her joint pain had only gotten worse since she returned, which is why she was unable to leave the house.
“But why didn’t you ask anyone for help?” I asked her, concerned. “How did you manage to take care of things on your own?”
“Well, I know people think this house is haunted, so even if I shouted, there was no point. I did have enough groceries to last me for a couple of months. But when it ran out and I attempted to go out and get more groceries, the pain was so excruciating that I couldn’t move. I was also about to answer the door that day you came, but you left before I could do so,” she said.
I looked around Mrs. Drummond’s house. It was in no better condition than her. The house’s walls were covered with spiderwebs, and all you could see in the living room was broken furniture coated in heaps of dust.
I felt so bad for the old lady that my heart sank. I prepared dinner for her at my home later that night, and the next day, Jessica and I cleaned her house. We also called people from the neighborhood, and most of them helped restore Mrs. Drummond’s home.
Mrs. Drummond’s eyes had welled up when she saw everyone helping her. “I don’t know how to thank you, Olivia. Who knows, if you hadn’t come to my place, I might have died inside, and no one would have noticed.”
“Oh, don’t say that, Mrs. Drummond,” I said as I wiped her tears. “I am glad I was able to help you out!”
“Well, then can I ask you for one more favor?” Mrs. Drummond asked.
“Yes, sure,” I replied.
“I want to thank everyone who helped me, so can you help me in planning a dinner for them?” Mrs. Drummond said quietly.
“Sure, I would love to!”
That night, I helped Mrs. Drummond with the dinner, and she baked an apple pie for us. We were all laughing as we told her about the ghost stories.
My son Todd also became very close to Mrs. Drummond since that day, and he calls her granny Drummond. Recently, she sold the old house and decided to move in with us because she said she felt like she was part of our family.
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