I am definitely intrigued by the ghosts of children.

    For one thing it breaks my heart that children have died young. Maybe since I’ve been a teacher, they’re attracted to me, or me to them. Whatever the case, I do get my fair share of children ghosts.

    I met two young lady ghosts — Emma and Sarah while visiting the local cemetery..

    Sarah invited me to visit her Aunt Francis in this old Victorian Mansion just outside of town.

    Normally, I don’t want to go ghost hunting . . . or meet ghosts in a creepy, rundown old house . . .  but I did.

    Yes, I was arguing with myself the whole time. I was definitely telling myself how this was stupid. I knew of this old house and Aunt Francis before inviting my ghost hunting friends on this venture.

    My friend Barbara was the only one from my ghost hunting group of friends who could join me on this great adventure. Barbara was all for it, especially since we received an invitation to visit the old matriarch of this old mansion.

    I’m torn in telling this “adventure” as Barbara puts it.

    You know, I  always come out as being anything but brave. Yes, this is no different. You see, Aunt Francis . . . well . . . Aunt Francis is a cranky old woman who nagged her husband to the point where he took an axe to her and . . . goodness, she’s come back as a floating head.

    The young nieces dote on their beloved Auntie Francis and she’s insistent on meeting the “human” they’ve grown fond of.

    I know the old woman loves peanut butter cookies, so I made some for her. I would have preferred to buy something, but Sarah insisted they had to be homemade.

    We needed to time it so that the cookies were “fresh from the oven.”

    I don’t know why or how a two hundred plus year old woman would know the difference or care, but it may be her controlling way — as in life, so in death.

    So, there I was with Barbara and two ghost girls paying a call on dear old Aunt Francis in a creepy old, rundown mansion in the middle of a thunder storm. Not much rain, but plenty of thunder.

    The girls float on up the stairway. Barbara and I walk slowly, testing the boards as we step lightly. Some of the steps are missing so we did our best to continue moving up. Barbara knocked the banister down in her attempt to climb up three broken steps. My hand went through the wall in a couple of places.

    This wasn’t unnoticed by Aunt Francis who screamed, “Sarah, tell your clumsy friend to be careful. This is our home.”

    Then, a little calmer I heard, “Those cookies better be good.”

    Aw geez, now my culinary skills were on the line.

    My only thought besides trying not to break my neck was, “Betty Crocker, don’t let me down.”

    Barbara and I made it to the landing. I didn’t see the girls, but I heard dear old Aunt Francis.

    “Quit dallying, woman. I want my cookies!”

    Of course, she had to be another flight of stairs up. Only those stairs were in worse shape than the ones Barbara and I just climbed.

    Whatever happened to ladies meeting guests in the parlor? I was getting tired of this charade.

    “I sorry, madam, but it’s impossible for me to go any farther. I’ve met you halfway, the only polite thing for you to do is come down here,” I said as forcefully, yet politely as I could.

    “Who are you to tell me . . .” she sputtered.

    I didn’t wait around to hear more. I motioned for Barbara to go on down the stairs we just climbed.

    “What about the cookies,” Barbara whispered. “Shouldn’t you leave them?”

    I’m not really up on ghost etiquette, but this woman wasn’t the most hospital ghost I’ve encountered.

    “If she wants them, she can come and get them.” I took them out of the carry-all I put them in so she could get a good whiff of the fresh from the oven peanut butter cookies.

    “What is that I smell?” the woman bellowed.

    “Your cookies. You can find them in the parlor.”

    Fortunately, it was easier for Barbara and me to get back down the stairs. Finding the parlor was another matter.

    Sarah came down to meet us without Emma.

    “Auntie wants her cookies, why can’t you bring them to her?”

    “The stairs,” I stammered, “there are no stairs.”

    Sarah didn’t seem to understand. Her perspective of the house was locked in time. Too bad I didn’t share her same perspective.

    A head bobbed beside Sarah. I almost jumped out of my skin.

    “Aw, Francis, I presume.” I said awkwardly to cover up my fright. Her countenance matched the gruff voice I heard.

    Barbara wasn’t aware of what I was looking at, but she shared my fright. I must have scared her.

    “The cookies!” Francis boomed, shaking the house.

    I opened the container again and Sarah picked up a cookie and fed it to her aunt.

    It was the most disgusting sight I’d ever seen. Crumbs dropped to the floor. The woman made obscene grunting sounds. I thought I was going to be sick.

    I expected a lady of the manor with Victorian manners, but what confronted me was a head that had no resemblance of refinement . . . a head that was badly decomposed.

    “What’s that putrid smell,” Barbara whispered.

    “Aunt Francis.”

    “I need some air,” Barbara said as she bolted for the door.

    I wanted to follow, but I had to wait for Aunt Francis’s feeding time to conclude. Four more cookies to go.

    Francis nodded for Sarah to take the remaining cookies upstairs.

    Why hadn’t I thought of giving the cookies to the girls and save myself all this aggravation?

    They just floated away.

    “More tomorrow,” Francis said.

    “No, ma’am,” I said. “There will be no more cookies.”

    “What?” she boomed, knocking me down with the shaking of the foundation.

    “Your nieces are polite young ladies. You, madam have no manners at all. I refuse to bake cookies for you again.”

    Normally, I don’t stand up to spirits, but there was something about the situation that got my dander up. Maybe it was the lack of appreciation and the demanding tone. I had enough and I wasn’t going to take any more abuse from this disgusting ghost.

    I got out of the house as pieces of it were thrown at me under the wrath of a peanut butter cookie craving ghost.

    “That went well,” Barbara said.

    Was any of this captured in pictures or video . . . of course not — Barbara and I are not professional ghost hunters . . . and besides, Barbara’s camera batteries were drained — I guess Aunt Francis doesn’t like her picture taken . . .

    I hope you enjoyed this Real Ghost Story . . . and if you happen to meet Aunt Francis, please don’t mention my name . . . but be sure to bake some fresh peanut cookies.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Sharon