Yep, I remember what it was like before the railroad came through these parts. I used to earn my living by carting supplies from town to town on horse-drawn wagons. Not easy work, no sir. Especially in winter. One cold December day, I was traveling with my buddy Tabb, when it began to snow. Gee wilikers, it was cold! We needed to find shelter quick, and I was delighted when I spotted an abandoned house.
We thought we were real lucky, finding such a good shelter. As we unhitched the horses, a fellow stopped by to talk to us. Claimed he was the owner of the property. Told us we were welcome to stay but the house was haunted.
The owner said that no one who had ever stayed in that house had made it out alive. That was good enough for me. I hitched Ol’ Betsy back up to the wagon and moved up the road to a stand of trees that offered some shelter from the snow. Tabb said he wasn’t afraid of no ghosts, and he didn’t plan on perishing in the snow. I wasn’t about to risk my neck in a haunted house. I built a fire as best I could and waited through the long night, wondering a couple of times if Tabb wasn’t the smart one.
Well, just about dawn, I gave up trying to sleep and went back down the road to see how Tabb had fared for the night. I peeked through the windows on the first floor. I saw Tabb snoozing peacefully in a big bed. He looked warm and happy. Then I saw a movement on the ceiling. I looked up, and there was a large man dressed all in white, floating flat against the ceiling. The man was right over Tabb, looking down on him.
“Tabb,” I hissed, tapping at the window. ‘Tabb, get out of there you fool!’
Tabb woke, but instead of looking toward the window, he looked straight up and saw the man on the ceiling. Tabb gave an awful yell, but before he could move out of bed that man fell and landed right on top of him. Now Tabb was a big, strong fellow, but that ghost was powerful. They wrestled back and forth on the bed. I gave a shout and smashed the glass in the window, shouting ‘Hold him, Tabb, hold him!’
Just then, the ghost flung himself and Tabb right at me, knocking me back out of the window and into the snow. The ghost levitated himself and Tabb onto the roof of the front porch. I kept shouting, ‘Hold him, Tabb. Hold him!’ The ghost and Tabb were wrestling frantically on the porch roof. The ghost gave a mighty leap and threw Tabb onto the roof of the house.
“ Hold him Tabb,” I shouted. “Hold him!” Then the ghost lifted Tabb right into the air.
“ I got him,” Tabb cried. “But he got me too!”
They were floating a few feet off the roof, still grappling with each other. And then the ghost carried Tabb straight up into the air and they vanished. I never saw Tabb again.
Copyrighted content: This is a retold folklore story by S.E. Schlosser, who owns the copyright. This version of the story may not be reproduced, reprinted or used in any other way without the permission of the author. Teachers may link to or photocopy this story as part of their classwork.
Read more ghost stories in Spooky South by S.E. Schlosser