I shared in the post Stonewall Street that I have lived in several homes on that road. The second home we lived in was actually due to being in between homes while we had our new house built in a newly opened empty lot. I would walk down to the construction site after school and watch as the workers worked… or didn’t work, according to their current activity of the day. I found it fascinating how it all coordinated and pieced together into a place we were soon to call home.
While we waited on that house to be built we stayed, rented, a home at the end of street near Poplar Avenue. It was an older home, but had one of those gigantic stone porches, with columns that I have only seen in Memphis. One particular night stands out for me actually in that home that reminded me of why it felt so strange.
It was a Friday and my parents were out on the town. My friend Troy was over for the night and we were hanging out with my big brother, acting babysitter, while my sister read a book upstairs in her room. We were watching something on the television, probably Big Trouble in Little China because I loved that movie and still do, when we heard a chilling scream from above us. I remember time stopping for what seemed like hours, which in a child’s mind is really like 45 seconds and I was 15 at the time, before anyone said anything.
“What the hell was that,” I said looking at my brother first. As older brother and acting babysitter it was his duty to take the lead.
“I don’t know, but Beth is up there,” he said back as Troy got up and looked around with a worried face.
“Yea… I dunno what that was,” I said waiting for him to do something and beginning to feel irritated that he wasn’t.
“You should go up there,” my brother said to me finally.
“Dude! What the hell! You go up there, you are older!” I shouted.
“We’ll all go,” he said finally as he walked to the fireplace and grabbed the fire poker. “Come on, arm yourselves!”
Well it was suddenly kind of exciting and I remember grabbing a knife or two before we slowly headed up the stairs. You remember those scary movies where the floor boards always creak? I remember these stairs creaked so loudly that it felt like they were calling out a warning. We slowly made our way up the stairs and to the room on the left. We peaked in to find her… reading.
“What are you all doing…” she said with an eye roll having heard us not so quietly creak up the stairs.
Above we heard the scrape of a chair and the sound of a baby. It dawned on me and them at the same time that we lived with an apartment above us in this Spooky House and those were our neighbors. Hiding our weapons we creeped back downstairs, disarmed ourselves, and went back to our movie.
Jason C. Cushman