House In The Woods

Since this is the beginning of Summer, I thought it appropriate to tell a ghost story about a house in the woods.

I’m creeped out a bit when it comes to property with woods beyond the property line. This seems to be an ideal place for ghosts and sinister behavior by the living . . . But, we are much more interested in the real ghost stories.

It all began when Julie, her brothers and some neighborhood kids decided to play hide-and-seek in the woods behind Julie’s house.

They had played in the woods before, but now it was beginning to get dark and Julie had an uneasy feeling about hiding in the woods.

Of course, everyone teased Julie about being chicken and other names, but Julie stood her ground. The others did decide to play hide-and-seek and Julie went home.

It wasn’t long after Julie set the table for dinner that her brothers, Sam and Kyle came in looking as though they saw a ghost — which they did . . . 

According to Kyle, he and Sam were looking for a good hiding place while Tammy counted to 100. Amy stayed with Tammy while she counted. She wasn’t too keen on the idea of going into the woods and hiding.

Sam saw something or someone following them. Not directly behind them, but off to the side, but every time he moved his head to look straight on, nothing was there.

He felt uncomfortable and started to say something to Kyle, but dismissed it and continued walking deep in the woods.

They did come across an old abandoned house. At least they thought it was abandoned since the porch steps were rotted away and the porch roof sagged. They went to the side of the house to look inside through a window.

Then something touched Sam’s shoulder. He quickly turned around to see if it was Tammy or Amy, but it was a man dressed in black. He looked old and had red piercing eyes.

Sam felt paralyzed looking into those piercing red eyes. Kyle called to Sam, but he couldn’t speak or move. He wanted to warn his brother to stay away, but he couldn’t.

Then suddenly, the man disappeared, but the red eyes still glowed through the row of trees watching him.

Kyle pulled Sam away from the house and towards home. Sam could feel those red eyes on him. He tried to tell Kyle what happened, but couldn’t form the words.

But Kyle saw something looking back at him from inside the abandoned house. It seemed to be a woman dressed in white, carrying a lit candle . . . but there was something strange about the angle of her head. And it seemed as though her eyes were black holes and her hands were those of a skeleton.

The boys got back to the edge of the woods just as Amy and Tammy were starting to go into the woods to find them.

“Don’t go into the woods!” Kyle yelled. “It’s haunted.”

Of course the girls laughed, but they were also relieved that the game of hide-and-seek was over. They did go home . . . and Julie, Sam and Kyle’s father told them a story about that old house in the woods.

Originally, it was believed to be owned by a coven of witches. They were into some dark magic and over time each of the witches either moved on or died right in that very house.

Then a young couple with a daughter moved into that house. They were strange. They kept to themselves. They did go into town from time to time, but grew the food they needed and hunted deer and rabbits. They had chickens and their own dairy cows.

When their daughter was old enough to marry, a stranger came to the old house. He claimed to be an old family friend. He did work in town as a blacksmith and also as an undertaker. Strange jobs for an unusual man, but somehow it seemed to work out for the town.

The day of her wedding, the stranger didn’t show up. He just seemed to disappear. Some thought he ran off with another woman or he met up with the ghosts of the witches in the woods.

There was something strange about that man, as the stories were told, he sold his soul to the devil. He stopped working and spent most of his time in the tavern. He drank and played cards. He would get into fights and spend time in the woods when he should have been working.

Whenever he would show up in town, strange things would happen. People who looked at him would get sick, crops and animals would die along the path he walked. There was death and destruction all about him. The town just about became a ghost town had it not been for some of the men who chased him out of town and told him they would kill him if he stepped foot in town again.

With stories and such, it is difficult to know what happened to the man, but people thought he still lived in the woods and was courting the daughter in the old house. But when he didn’t show up for the wedding . . . one can draw their own conclusions.

In the woods, even to this day, there have been sightings of a young girl in a white dress looking for that stranger. And, yes, there have also been sightings of red glowing eyes in the woods.

It could be an urban legend to keep kids out of the woods after dark . . . or parts of the stories could be true. For Sam and Kyle, they believe they saw the young bride in the old house . . . and the devil himself.

Thanks for stopping by!!



What’s Brewing?

Halloween Is Such A Fun Time Of Year!

The imagination can truly run wild when you find a nice picture of a witch and a boiling cauldron.witches1

The book could be a normal recipe book . . . not some book of spells to bewitch the neighborhood . . . They could be making a nice stew with fresh herbs and spices for a cold fall evening meal.

Maybe it is more fun to imagine something magical or mysterious. A love potion . . . a prosperity spell . . . or some recipe for disaster . . . Honestly, would someone truly want disaster? I would hope not . . . life is full of good times and difficult times . . . and we get through them all . . . wanting much more good in our lives.

I think witches have been given a bad reputation . . . there are good witches . . . and those who don’t seem to do good things . . . just as there are people who make wrong choices . . .

I choose to think more positively and my imagination goes toward these women brewing something good . . . yet, given the look of the liquid in the cauldron . . . something interesting is brewing . . .

It does look like an old book . . . and what is in the pitcher? The expression on the witch’s face has me a bit concerned . . .

I do wonder what has been placed inside the cauldron . . . and what is the woman with the pitcher saying? Is it some magic spell?

Quite some time ago, I was at a local antique mall where people sell their family treasures . . . or estate sale finds.

I’ve bought quite a few antiques over the years . . . but nothing like what the woman I met there told me . . . I’ll call her Myrtle . . . she looked like a friend of my mother’s with that name. She found this old cookbook. She was looking for old family recipes. Well, she had one collection of them . . . but there was another book of them she was desperate to find.

It seems her daughter was in the attic and decided to clean things out and sell them to pay her rent. She had recently lost her job and was working at the local diner. She needed a better paying job, but by selling some of her grandmother’s old stuff, she was making ends meet.

Myrtle was furious . . . “If that book gets in the wrong hands . . .”

This did put a new slant on it . . . Myrtle was looking for special recipes . . . with special ingredients . . . that made things happen . . .

I wanted to hear Myrtle’s story . . . but I wasn’t sure she would tell me what I needed to know . . . I was willing to help her find the book . . . as a matter of fact I think I had the book she was seeking.

I loved the old binding of the book and thought it would look good on my book shelf along with my Halloween paper crafts. The pages were cross referenced without any real recipes inside. The old calligraphy was beautiful and I thought it was interesting.

Evidently, alone each book didn’t have “the power” or information necessary to make anything happen.

The more Myrtle spoke, the more determined I was to keep the two books separate. There are just some things that should be hidden away in an attic . . . or separated . . . never to be joined together again.

I knew my intentions for the old book, but I didn’t know Myrtle’s.

This is one of those moral dilemmas we don’t like facing . . . but I faced mine and decided that there was a reason Myrtle’s mother kept the books separate for all these years . . . and a reason Myrtle never thought to put them together . . . until now . . . And she wasn’t going to tell me about it.

I think things happen for a reason. I believe those two books were separated on purpose and should remain separated . . . and there’s always the possibility that Myrtle’s book and mine are not the pair she’s seeking.

I don’t know . . . What do you think?

This time of year I do think about Myrtle and her daughter . . . and the book . . . I do wonder if Myrtle ever found it . . . or if I have it . . .BookSafe1

It looks very similar to Ray O’Bannon’s book safe. This is a fun free printable you can make, display on your bookshelf or coffee table or give as gifts filled with fun fall treats. Or keep your family secret recipes . . . They are easy to make and fun for all ages.

Click the link above to go to my earlier post with the links to RavensBlight’s book safes. They come in two styles for your crafting pleasure.

I have one filled with odds and ends of ephemera I’ll use sometime in one of my mini-albums. It’s a nice place for old photographs, too. Or even, antique mall finds you want to keep safe.

I do hope you enjoyed my story . . . and will make some book safes for your friends and family . . . You can add a title to your book . . . maybe even change the cover to give it a more personal look and feel for your fall favor box.

I would hope people would save these boxes and keep them for their own keepsakes or treasures after the goodies I put inside are gone.

Have fun and Thanks for stopping by!