For decades I’ve lived in an old three-story house in an older section of Denver. The first night I spent alone in it I was reading in bed, eyes growing heavy as the sounds of traffic and passersby ebbed. I was nearly asleep when I heard footsteps.
My husband had called me earlier that night from his father’s farm not far from Sterling, a nearly four-hour drive from the city. He was the only other person with a key to the house.
My pulse was beating loudly in my ears, muffling all other sounds. I slipped out of bed and tiptoed to the door, standing next to it, listening. I couldn’t hear footsteps, couldn’t hear anything really except my damned heartbeat.
Sweat broke out on my forehead as I stood there, almost feeling my ears grow larger to catch any sound. I argued with myself as to what I should do. Go out on the landing, look down to the living room, dark since I’d turned out all the lights? Call the police over just a sound? Before I could decide, I heard the footsteps again.
I knew I couldn’t just stand at the door all night. I’d swept the bedroom floor earlier, leaving the broom propped against the closet molding. Grabbing it in one hand, turning the door knob with the other, I flung open the door and clumped out into the hall. “Hello?”
I listened to the silence with every pore. Nothing.
Just as I was turning back to the bedroom, I heard voices and saw motion through the window over the landing. In the weak illumination of the apartment building behind our house I saw a man and woman climbing the stairs to the third floor. I heard their footsteps as clearly as if they walked up the stairs to where I stood.
That trick of sound has evoked fear again over the years, catching me off guard, freezing me for an instant as I make sure those steps are occurring outside the house. I just hope, if the footsteps are ever in this house, I can tell the difference.
Now it’s your turn to share, dear readers. Do you have favorite haunted house books or movies? Have you had a haunting–real or imagined–in your own houses? Share your comments and you’ll be entered in the Wisdom Court Sweepstakes, the prize a set of the Wisdom Court novels, including the new third book, All In Bad Time, all signed by me.