George The Ghost
Shortly after Freda and I got married we went to spend a night with her grandparents who lived in the nearly-ghost town of Wizard Wells,Texas. I stopped in Jacksboro for directions and as we drove up, my wife took one look and said that she'd hate to have to spend the night in a place like that. It was three stories high, wide porch across the front and perched atop a small hill, looked like the set for the Munsters. I told her that was where we were going.
Actually, her grandmother had died and her grandfather had married the lady who owned the house. Her parents had owned the house and she moved back when they died.
After dinner, we were sitting in the living room and suddenly the dog jumped up, looked up the stairs and began to growl. He looked up the stairs, jumped up and got about half way before we heard some thumping upstairs. The dog whirled and raced back to crouch behind her grandfather's chair.
The lady casually said, "Don't pay George any mind, he's always making noises."
I hadn't seen anyone else since we arrived and no one had dinner with us so I asked, "George who?"
"Oh, George the ghost," she replied casually. "He lives in the attic and has been here since before I was born. I used to go up in the attic and play dolls with him when I was little."
The downstairs was a large living room or parlor as they called them when it was built, the kitchen, dining room and master bedroom. A large staircase led up to the four bedrooms on the seconds floor, the third floor and attic had never been finished and a steep ladder led to a trapdoor opening into a Widow's Walk on the roof. Our bedroom was on the second floor and we weren't sure if we really wanted to stay there. But it was twenty miles into Jacksboro and the lady assured us that we were perfectly safe.
It's the only time we ever slept in an actual feather bed, mattress, cover and all was stuffed with feathers. You didn't get on it, you got in it. Before we got in bed, I hooked a chair back under the door knob so it couldn't be opened. We didn't hear George any more and after giggling about it for a bit, we fell asleep. Next morning we got up, the door was still closed but the chair had been moved back to where it had been.
I explored the house the next morning before we left and found sliding doors in the backs of all the closets so one could travel from one of the bedrooms to another one without ever going out into the hall. There was also a tunnel that ran from the basement down the hill to under the barn where you could come up through a trapdoor. The lady said it was an escape route in case of fire or Indian attack.
Her grandfather died a few months later so we never got a chance to go back. I was down there fifteen or twenty years later with our son who was looking for grave markers of his ancestors. The house was no longer there but signs that the house had burned. Wonder what happened to George.
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