The Stairs That Lead to Nowhere

21 Jun

Francie Kitty and I were tipped off that there were a bunch of great ‘hot spots’ in the town near where we had set up camp. So…. she and I decided it would be wise to go and check them out. A few of the locals who had visited the circus that day told us that there were some great cafes and shops. And the icing on the cake… an old historical haunted house!!! After an exhausting, yet fruitful day under the tents, Miss Kitty and I set out for our adventure. We decided to start with the shops. We shopped ’til we dropped! There were lots of local mom and pop’s and other gift shops for us to peruse. There were a few other little nooks and crannies that we discovered along the way as well. We were exhausted and our tummies began to rumble! There was a small cafe next to an old bank. It was quaint: only about five tables and a bar. The waitress had a cigarette dangling from her wrinkly lips as she took our orders and poured our drinks. There was one other patron seated at the bar reading a newspaper the entire time we munched on our delicious rueben sandwiches. I couldn’t help notice his flitting sideways glances around the side of his paper. Hmmmm… I wondered if he was a local yokel. Those types usually hang out in cafes. I told Francie that I was going to talk to him. She was a bit skeptical at first but then quickly realized the value of the possible information that I might obtain. As I hobbled over to the man, I realized he had a fat cigar smoldering in his ashtray. The smoke was thick and putrid. I have never been able to stand the smell. There’s a certain pungency to cigars that makes you hold your breath and not know when to start breathing again for fear that breathing the smoke might be just as bad as holding your breath forever! Anyway, as I edged up to his side he had already detected my presence. Without turning around he chortled, “what do you want?”
With little hesitation I asked him if he was local and if he knew any information about a haunted house.
No reply.
No reply.
“If you could kindly give me any information about that haunted house, I would be so grateful!”
“Forget about it! Go home!!”
I hobbled back to my table. Francie heard the entire conversation. We were so confused. Was he just a curmudgeon or was he hiding something? Maybe it was worse than that! Well, you know me. I am a curious ole gal. When I want to find something out, I do! Even though that old man wouldn’t tell us anything about the old house, Francie Kitty and I would set out to find it ourselves. We asked the waitress if she knew about an old historical house that might be haunted. Sure enough, this cigarette-smoldering, wrinkly old lady knew of a big old white farm house that was just up the road. And guess what? She also knew someone who could help us!!! There was a street in town named Normal St. Imagine that! A road named normal!!! The waitress told us that there was a lady on Normal St. who used to live in that house.

Her name was, Ms. Esme Drake.She was absolutely beautiful. Her house was a mid-century wood frame cottage decorated with every color you can imagine! Francie and I thought she had to be in her mid-thirties. But as she began to tell us about the haunted house, we began to realize that this lady had to be closer to my age! She and I had something in common! Although we are well over 100 years of age, we look much younger.

The story about the house goes like this:
When she was a young girl, her family had a farmhouse that belonged to her family. Her father grew mostly corn, but they had a few other small crops, livestock and chickens. Esme was the youngest of five. She had two sisters and two brothers. In order of age: Ursula, Bailey, Riley and Camilla. Her mother came from a wealthy family in a big city and her father from poor farming family in this town. Her parents’ names were Delia Earhart and Wade Cribbs.
Most of her growin’ up, they were a very happy family. The house was simply beautiful in every way! A big white colonial-style home with columns and a big front porch. They had a porch swing too! Her mother would hang their clothes to dry in the back on a big clothesline. They had a big well for water. Esme said the water tasted so fresh!
Out of all the features in the house, Esme said the winding ornate wooden staircase was the most beautiful! Everyone who came to visit would “ooh and aah” over those stairs. Not even the crystal chandelier could compare to the grandeur of the staircase. Her mother hung family portraits along the walls leading up to the second floor. And on special occasions, she would light candles along the sides to create a glowing ambience.
All of this was amazing. It was a great time to be in the Cribbs family!  However, when Esme turned 5 years old, her mother fell ill. The doctor said it was Pneumonia. Unfortunately, she did not pull through. The entire family was so upset. It was as if their whole lives were turned upside down. Her father was unable to take care of his children and the farm. All the crops began to wither and die. Esme and all her brothers and sisters were so sad. They lost their mother, their father was depressed and their home was in shambles.
There was one thing that comforted Esme though. At night her mother would come and visit her. She was merely a child, sleeping cozily in her bed, and her mother’s spirit would float above her and brush the hair out of her eyes and sing her to sleep. Esme didn’t tell anyone for a long time, because she felt like it was her special secret. But one day, she decided to tell her sister Camilla. She thought Camilla would keep her secret. But Camilla was afraid that Esme had lost her mind for sure. Camilla felt that it was her duty as her older sister to tell someone. Esme’s father sent her to a clinic for the mentally deranged where she stayed for about a month. It was a traumatic event which caused her to feel crazy, even if she wasn’t crazy in the first place.  It was after she left the house that the visions of her mother stopped.
But, what you have to know is this: after Esme left the house when she was five, everyone in her family began to see things. Her father saw objects moving by themselves. And Bailey, Camilla,Ursula and Riley saw ghosts.  All of the supernatural activity happened on the second floor where their mother died. Esme’s father decided that the only solution was to board up the beautiful staircase for all eternity so that NOONE would ever be able to go upstairs again. So, he and Esme’s two brothers got wood and nails and spent an entire day sealing off the stairs. It was like an Egyptian tomb sealed off from the world forever!
Francie kitty and I were flabbergasted! We had no idea how involved this story would be! How exciting! We thanked Esme for all of her time and asked her for directions to the house. She told us how to get there but pleaded that we not get curious and try to go upstairs. We asked her if she’d like to go with us and she adamantly declined. As we stood in front of the grand old white house. Our hearts began to palpitate in fear and excitement. We looked at each other once and then began our adventure toward the house. The front door was enormous and the white paint was chipped with age. Francie bravely grabbed the door handle. Esme had told us it would be open. No one cared about the house any more. No one would dare go there for that matter. As we took a hesitant step inside, our first sight was the grand staircase. Covered in dust and cobwebs, we could only imagine what it looked like in its original state. I could still see the tops of old paintings peeking out from the layers of old wood haphazardly nailed to cover the entrance of the stairs. Francie and I explored all the rooms of the house. All the original furniture was still there. It made it even creepier to know that the Cribbs family left hastily and that everyone was too scared to even come back to collect the furniture.
I couldn’t take the curiosity any more. I told Francie that I just had to see what was upstairs. I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!!! Besides, after all these years, she’s probably gone. (I assumed the mother was the ghost.) Francie urged me not to. But, with much pleading, she finally agreed.
There were so many layers of wood that we had to go out to the shed and find some axes to break through. It took us over an hour. Hesitantly, I began to hobble, one by one, up the steps. Francie was close behind. I would guess that there were over thirty steps total.
Expecting a landing of some sort and some rooms, I glanced up from the last step.

It was so strange and you’re not going to believe Francie and me but there was nothing there. Not a room, a piece of wood, brick or part of the house… just a void: a big black void. “Put your hand in there”, Francie said. But I was so afraid. I thought that if I put my hand in there, I might not ever get it back. I already lost my leg, no since in risking losing another limb. It was kinda like looking into a dark closet except there was absolutely no sign of anything. We were so scared, we just turned around and scurried down those stairs. “Should we board it back up?”, Francie asked responsibly. We quickly jammed a huge pile of wood in front of the stair entrance and got out of there as fast as we could. You know what I think? That place is still haunted. 🙂 -Mavis Rose Sinclair AKA…. ghost hunter


2 Responses to “The Stairs That Lead to Nowhere”

  1. Rita Childress June 26, 2010 at 7:13 pm #

    WOW! what a great ghost story! you and Frannie are so very brave!

    • mavisrose June 27, 2010 at 9:25 am #

      Thanks Rita… We tried are darndest to keep our wits about us!!

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