“They say that some people are just more receptive to this sort of thing than others. They also say that children and the elderly are highly perceptive of these kind of occurrences” she said. “You mean seeing and speaking with the dead” he said. “Yes”, she said. He didn’t believe it. He thought it was all a wagonload of fertilizer. Then she started telling him some sort of gibberish about All Hallow’s Eve and how it is supposed to be a day when the worlds merge, enabling the Spirit world to cross over to the realm of the living and also enabling the living to cross over into the spirit world. A sort of bridge, if you can imagine, from one world to the other. She said that weird things always happened at the old folks home on that day. It was his first night working in the old folks home, Ravenswood Acres, and she was one of the other nurses filling him in on the local legends and gossip about his new place of employment. It was the only old folks home in his small town, and where almost everyone ended up that was elderly and on their last leg toward the journey to end life on this earth as we know it. It was a well run establishment that had been around for over a hundred years and was quite big actually because the elderly from the outlying farming communities would often come there too. He was in ward seven and she was filling him in on Phyllis, one of the patients that would be one of his regulars. She said that people believed that Phyllis’ little boy came and talked with her often at night. She said that other nurses that had worked there in the past had been spooked or scared by what they believed to be his ghost. They said they had seen him there sitting in her room when they opened the door to give her some kind of care that she needed, be it medication, food, a bath, or something else. They said they would see a glimpse of him, and hear him talking to Phyllis, and then he would be gone. Again he was skeptical, but he told her he thought it was interesting and nice that she thought to let him in on these strange details of his new place of employment. He told her that he didn’t believe in ghost. He said that he thought it was just people with overactive imaginations that had indigestion, but it certainly was amazing what they could conjure up in their minds. Then she turned to him and told him something that shocked him a little, but not too much. She said, “Well, I do believe in ghost because I have seen him, and he is very protective of Phyllis. I don’t think he is a bad spirit, however I wouldn’t want to cross him, and I believe he watches over her.” Then one night after he had worked at Ravenswood for about a month, he had to stay in Phyllis’ room with her and monitor her for a while because of some new medications she had been started on. Phyllis started talking to him, which was not normal behavior for her at all because she had Alzheimer’s disease, and usually she just stared off into space in her own vegetative little world. It was All Hallow’s Eve this night, he knew this because the same nurse that had given him his introduction into the ghost stories and legends of Ravenswood had pointed this fact out to him earlier that evening. Phyllis just started talking up a storm to him. She told him how her little boy had died in the past because her husband, John, had been abusive and had beat him to death. She said he was a very violent man and that he had beat her, and that one night at the dinner table her little boy had come to her defense and her husband had lost his temper and had flew into a rage and beat the little boy to death. She said that her husband had been on the run for a long time, but finally the police had caught up with him. He had been imprisoned, tried for the murder and put to death in the electric chair. She told him that she was still afraid of her husband’s spirit, for he was a very evil man, and that he had come to her before at this time of year to try to do harm to her, but that her little boy had always come to her and protected her from his evil spirit. She said she was very fearful at this time of the year, because his spirit seemed to have more power and could actually do harm to her and others, she had seen it before. He had tried to hurt her before in the past. At that moment the door to the room slammed shut, and the room was frozen in darkness and cold. Ken wanted to get up but he found that he couldn’t, he was frozen to the chair not only out of fright, but some supernatural force was holding him down. He looked over at Phyllis and her eyes were wide, entranced, and terrified. He felt the husband’s presence walking toward him and entering his body. He felt a rage entering him that he didn’t understand, and he was reaching for Phyllis’ frail neck with both of his very strong hands to strangle her. He had no control, he knew he shouldn’t be doing this, but he could not stop himself, someone else was in control and they were very hateful and furious. Whoever or whatever it was in control wanted to kill, it wanted blood. He felt the evil presence of the man in his mind. Before his hands reached Phyllis’ neck she shouted for Norm, her little boy. She said “Normy, please protect me, he is here again. Please come Norm.” And then he felt another presence enter the room. He was shoved back from her bed against the wall. He felt a seething surging hatred eminating from him towards the other presence. It made him laugh and he said, “Still protecting your mother, aren’t you? I am going to keep coming until I get her, and I am going to drag her back to hell with me. I’ll be back next year, and next time I’ll get her before you get here.” Then he felt the evil and angry spirit expel from his body like a strong gust of wind, and in its place came another occupant. This time the feeling was of extreme love and protection, and a mental recognition of the vile cowardness of the evil spirit that had just fled the room. The new occupant of his body walked him over to Phyllis and had him bend over her bed and say to her “I love you Mommy,” while hugging her. Phyllis hugged him back. Then the presence was gone, and his body and mind were returned to him. The lights came back on and the warmth of the room came back. He just stared at Phyllis and she stared back at him, but with her usual elderly vacant stare of someone with Alzheimer’s. She had been very aware during the whole episode, however as soon as it was over she had returned to her vegetative unaware state. He didn’t know what to think except that he knew that it had not been his imagination and that he didn’t have indigestion. He had entered a scary knew realm of belief and awareness, where he did not want to be. He had preferred his ignorant non-believing bliss. He had crossed over to the land of the people who perceive. He wasn’t blind anymore and he did not like it.


Copyright ©2008 JANE Á PARIS

Written for Spirit Walks Challenge.

I have a deep love for expressionism – ‘Expressionistic artist sought to develop pictorial forms which would express their innermost feelings rather than represent the external world. Expressionist painting is intense, passionate and highly personal, based on the concept of the painter’s canvas as a vehicle for demonstrating emotions. Violent, unreal color and dramatic brushwork make the typical expressionistic painting quiver with vitality.’ This is what I try to achieve when I paint.

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  • Thomas Josiah Chappelle
    Thomas Josiah ...almost 7 years ago

    “Stephanie King” writes again!

  • Thanks tommyjo! Smiles from Jane:-)

    – JaneAParis

  • red addiction
    red addictionalmost 7 years ago

    wow, wow, wow, what a journey! I saw the whole thing. Creepy!!!!! I love the way you write. This is amazing and i hope you win the challenge because to me its that good. Awesome! You should write more stories.

  • Thanks Marlo! You made me feel really good. Have a wonderful day. Smiles from Jane:-)

    – JaneAParis

  • Dwayne Boyd
    Dwayne Boydalmost 7 years ago

    Jane, you manage to convey feelings of suspence while allowing the reader to care for your characters. Nice job!

  • Thanks for the compliment Dwayne. You made me super happy! Have a wonderful day. Smiles from Jane:-)

    – JaneAParis

  • Hilary Robertshaw
    Hilary Robertshawalmost 7 years ago

    Hi Jane

    I feel like I’m going to rain on your parade here. I thought that this had the potential to be a very good piece of work but the way that you have presented it makes it difficult to read especially on screen. Without paragraph breaks if you pause in reading you lose your place and have to search to catch up again, which stops the flow and the train of thought.

    I think i know what you were aiming for, density of the text adding to the intensity of the story but in that case I feel you need to trim the flowery prose and really make every word count.

    For example your first “paragraph” down to “It was his first night…” is so rambling that I nearly gave up and i don’t believe anyone thinks “It was all a wagonload of fertilizer” either.

    These are just my humble opinions of course but I feel that somewhere in here there’s a really interesting story crying to get out.


  • Thanks for your reading, your time, and your comments Hilary. As for the no paragraph format, that is kind of my style and I don’t know if I will ever change it or not. Probably not. And it probably depends on what I am writing. I just prefer to write this way, it is the way I feel comfortable. I am not out to become a famous author or impress anyone, I am just having fun and expressing myself. I might experiment with different formats though, depending on what I am writing. Your opinion is very important to me, and thanks so much for taking the time to read what I wrote. Have a wonderful day. Smiles from Jane:-)

    – JaneAParis

  • LouiseKuskovski
    LouiseKuskovskialmost 7 years ago


    Your storyline and plot points are interesting and well-paced. The one paragraph makes it a little difficult for me as a reader. It’d be a little easier to keep track of the movement and I think it would add to the momentum you are building, if you broke things up into smaller chunks. Perhaps adding a little more dialogue in exchange for commentary.

    Personally, I especially like that you highlighted sightings when it comes to small children and the elderly. Having the ages break down that way with your characters and their clarity—the woman’s despite her condition, and the boy’s strength does a lot for creating rhythm here.


  • Thank you for enjoying the characters that I created and their attributes. And as always thank you for your reading, your time, and your constructive comments. It is really wonderful to get feedback. I appreciate it. Have a wonderful day! Smiles from Jane:-)

    – JaneAParis

  • Miri
    Mirialmost 7 years ago

    Hi Jane – was going to mention paras & spacing but you’ve covered the whys & wherehows above!
    i loved the story, fantastic imagination, good characters, very spooky & the mention of indigestion made me chuckle…..especially the second time!!!

  • Thanks Miri! Smiles from Jane:-)

    – JaneAParis

  • Peter Davidson
    Peter Davidsonalmost 7 years ago

    Spooky story! It’s a pity you choose to write in this ‘block’ format though as it probably restricts your readership substantially – and that’s a shame. I respectfully suggest that as you are ‘publishing’ this here that you re-consider – at least for those works you submit for more general readership.

  • Micky McGuinness
    Micky McGuinnessalmost 7 years ago

    Hi Jane
    I really like your work, but even I have to admit that I looked at that huge big block of text and thought twice about it.
    You really run the risk of putting people off reading what is a(n), otherwise, well written and enjoyable story.

    If you are worried about loosing the pace by breaking it up into paragraphs: you don’t need to do that; but some white-space in there would really help the readability.

    Sorry to seem so critical, but it’s a shame to hide such a good story!

    Take care


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