Halloween is breathing down our necks, so maybe it is time for a ghost story. This is a story that my mother told me many years ago. I have embellished it by adding details, names, and dialog. Don’t look for plot or literary devices. It’s just an oral story that I have “fixed.” Enjoy!
Once upon a time, way out in the hills a man, Homer, decided to stir up some Halloween excitement in his small neighborhood. So, every night starting about two weeks before the spooky holiday, he would wrap up in a sheet and lie on the edge of his barn roof. Word got around about the ghost on the roof and people started coming to see for themselves.
Some folks said, “That’s just Homer acting up. He’ll do anything for attention.”
“I don’t know,” Myrtle Dells said, ” I saw it, and it looked pretty horrifying to me.”
“You ain’t seen him around looking up at the ghost, have you?”
“Well, no. . .”
“There you go. That explains everything.”
But still folks kept right on coming. So many came that Homer and Mildred decided that they could make a little extra charging them to come into their barnyard and see the ghost. They figured that 25 cents a person would be fair to see such a phenomenon as a real live ghost. After all, it was still a week before Halloween, and they didn’t intend to keep it up after then.
A few days before Halloween, Homer put out the word that he had to go away for a few days.to see about his ailing sister up the river. He covered all his bases. He drove his 1932 Ford truck into the deep woods and hid it well in a grove of trees. He stayed out of sight except for when he dressed in the sheet and went to the barn roof. Nobody saw him then because he went up from the backside.
The night of Halloween, the barnyard was full of folks who came with torches to be able to see the ghost performance. Homer had added chains around his wrists. Each hanging down and dragging on the barn roof. Homer added groans and grunts to his show. The folks were impressed. They made “ah” sounds.
The preacher came to pray the ghost away, but the ghost did not leave right then.
It was Charlie Burden who first noticed a change in the routine. “Hey, look. There’s another one up there.”
What, Homer wondered. He looked behind him and sure enough, a thin white specter was lying behind him. Homer startled, he needed to get away from what he perceived as a real ghost. He started to scramble up, but the chains made him off balance. He fell off the roof.
When some men in the crowd picked him up, his head wobbled around. Sure enough, he had broken his neck in the fall. Charlie and Orville took the sheet off.
“I knowed it was Homer. He’s dead, right enough.” Carvel Spokes called out to the crowd.
The people as of one voice said, “Ahhh,” as though they had been watching fireworks explode at the Fourth of July celebration. The other ghost was gone. Nobody ever knew whether it was real or a prankster.
They buried Homer two days later in the old church yard. The preacher prayed that the Lord would forgive Homer of all his iniquities.
Nobody ever saw Homer’s ghost again.