Gordon Peck never believed in ghosts or the supernatural. He didn’t believe in luck, god or anything that he couldn’t hold in his hand. He was one of the most successful business men of his day and got there by hard work and a rational mind. There were enough real problems in life, and he had always felt that only the desperate and weak considered such things to be real. He had never been either, until the day his daughter died.
In the spring of 1934 his eight year old daughter fell ill with Tuberculosis. By the end of the fall she was dead and all he had worked so hard for began to fall apart. Soon after she died, his wife began to lose her grip on reality. She began spending all of her time in their daughters room, holding conversations with what she claimed was the ghost of their daughter. At first Gordon thought it was just her way of grieving and he let it play out. Day after day her behavior became more manic and soon she began questioning why Gordon never spent any time with her and their daughter. He tried his best to be supportive, but he never truly entertained the idea. Dead was dead, and as much as he didn’t want it to be, his daughter was gone. His wife disagreed and accused him of not really loving her being the reason he couldn’t see her ghost. The accusations turned into heated arguments and pushed Gordon to finding refuge at the bottom of the bottle.
Soon his wife began to show signs of Tuberculosis, but after extensive testing, the results came back negative. Gordon drank more as he helplessly watched his wife deteriorate mentally and physically from an imaginary illness. After much thought, Gordon decided to have his wife committed to a mental institution, where she could receive the help that he could not provide. She would never go willingly, so he had to arrange her to be picked up from his home. On the morning she was to be committed, Gordon awoke to find his wife hanging from the second floor banister. She had hung herself with a sheet sometime during the night.
In only a matter of months, his seemingly perfect life was ruined. Gordon drifted around the house in a daze. He didn’t eat or sleep, he just cried and drank more whiskey. He wanted to die, and after days of considering it, he got his gun and put the barrel to his head. He pulled the trigger and click, the gun didn’t fire. Gordon opened his eyes and stared at the gun in disbelief. He pulled the trigger once again and the booming noise startled him. A smoking hole in the wall proved that the weapon functioned. Frustrated and exhausted, he threw the gun to the far corner of the room and collapsed onto his bed.
Gordon awoke in his bed, fully clothed, an empty bottle of Donnelly Rye Whiskey rested besides him. He didn’t remember how he had gotten to his bedroom or how long he had been there. Something was wrong, but his mind was cloudy and he struggled to recall exactly what it was. He stumbled out of the bedroom, head spinning so badly that he had to drag himself along the wall just to walk. He had never felt so strange before, he couldn’t focus on any single thing. Each thought painfully jumped around in short bursts and none stayed long enough to get a good read on.
He closed his eyes and thoughts of his daughter happily running through a field of petite white flowers made him smile. She was wearing her favorite dress and swung from the swing Gordon had made for her on the large tree in the backyard. She swung back and forth, laughing as her hair blew in the light breeze. Storm clouds began to roll in over the perfect blue sky and his daughter was now hanging from the tree, her body swaying lifelessly. Gordon quickly opened his terror filled eyes. His memory came back in one big wave and he immediately wished that it hadn’t. He slowly made his way to the railing and found a short piece of sheet tied to it. The sheet hung limply and had been cut about two feet from the knot. His best guess was that the authorities had come, cut his wife’s body down and he had passed out, and been taken to his bed. It was the only thing that made sense to him, but he planned to find out for sure once his current state improved. Gordon stumbled back to his bed, crying uncontrollably the whole way. He flopped onto his bed and almost instantly fell into a deep slumber.
Gordon opened his eyes, but remained still. The room was dark, but his eyes adjusted quickly. He listened intently as voices echoed off of the walls. Someone was inside of his house. He rose slowly and slid the drawer on his nightstand out. His hand pawed at the inside of the drawer, but it was empty. This is where he kept his gun, but it was missing. He tried to recall where he might have move it to, but his mind was still swimming. As Gordon stood, the floor beneath him squealed in response to his weight. He froze in place, hoping that the intruders hadn’t heard him. He carefully made his way to the door and peered out down the hallway. The voice persisted and he could now clearly hear that there were at least two people talking. The main voice belonged to a woman, but he didn’t recognize who it belonged to. As he stared down the hallway, he discovered where the voices were coming from, his daughter’s room. His breathing increased and heart pounded so loudly that he worried about it being heard from down the hall. Gordon carefully made his way towards the voices, and as he drew closer he could see a faint light coming from inside of the room. His heart skipped a beat and he felt light headed. For a moment, the thought of his wife and her insistence on the ghost of their daughter residing in the house. The thoughts flooded his mind and he was overwhelmed. What if his wife was right? What if she hadn’t gone crazy? Was her death all his fault? Had he failed her as a husband in her most desperate time? The weight of the situation nearly crushed him. He leaned against the wall as tears streamed from his eyes. His throat ached as he fought back the urge to scream out in agony.
Gordon regained his composure and began to listen once again. Only a few feet away from the door, he could clearly hear the voices. It now sounded like four people talking, but they were speaking a language he had never heard before. It sounded raspy and choppy and he couldn’t make out a single word. He leaned his head into the open door frame and saw almost a dozen ghoulish creatures standing in a semi circle. They were light brown in color, with patches of what appeared to be grey mold all over their bodies. They were sickly skinny and the bones in their backs protruded against taught skin. Half nude, they stood slightly hunched like the weight of their heads were too much for their necks to handle.
One of the ghouls stood at the center of the semi circle and was doing the majority of the talking. Occasionally, one of the others would respond. Gordon was scared to death, but couldn’t take his eyes off of them. The leader continued on in her strange language as the others quietly listened. Not sure what they were doing or what they were, he wanted to go find his gun. Whatever they were, they were not human and scared the living shit out of him. He had never believed in ghouls and goblins, not even as a child, but he had always trusted what he saw with his own eyes, and this was very real. Gordon began to lean away from the door and the floor creaked loudly beneath his foot. In unison, all of the ghouls turned towards him, their grotesque facial features made them even more frightening. One of them let out a loud shriek as it pointed at him. The sound sent the others into a frenzy and they raced towards him. Gordon ran as fast as he could towards his bedroom. He didn’t bother looking back, he just ran. He exploded into his room and slammed the door behind him. He leaned against the door as he tried to catch his breath. His heart boomed as his eyes scanned the room for anything that could be used as a weapon.
He waited and listened. Suddenly the door began to be forced open and Gordon braced himself with each impact. The ghouls pushed but he somehow managed to hold it shut. The assault only lasted a few moments, then silence. Gordon was sure this was an attempt to trick him into letting his guard down, but he wouldn’t be had. So he waited.
The house was silent for a log while and Gordon opened the door and peered out into the hallway once again. He heard or saw nothing. He hoped that the ghouls had went back to hell or wherever they had came from. Again he made his way down the hall until he reached the top of the stairs. He waited again, looking into the downstairs foyer for any movement. As he descended the stairs, a half dozen ghouls arrived at the upstairs banister. They stared down at him and one of them spoke. “Gordon, we are not going to hurt you” then another one added “Trust us”. He couldn’t speak, his mouth hung slack as he tried to understand what was going on. Unable to find an answer or to force out any words, he ran for the front door. The door was shut and wanted to stay that way. After trying to open the door and failing, he ran into the kitchen. The ghouls were close behind him.
As Gordon entered the kitchen, he removed a knife from a drawer. The ghouls paused at the sight of the knife. They stood side by side, hunched in a defensive posture. Gordon waved the knife back and forth, still unable to speak. The Ghouls spoke to each other in their garbled language and then one of them spoke in English again. “Gordon can you hear me,” it said. Gordon was unable to respond, his throat was parched. The ghoul began speaking its strange language again, then another quick bit of English escaped it, “Gordon, why are you still here?” He was confused by this question and thought the thing had made a error in its translation from Ghoul language to English. This was his house and they were the ones intruding, not him. A small group of them broke away and headed around to the other kitchen entrance. They were trying to flank him. Gordon knew that this was his last chance for an escape. In one big outburst, he began throwing everything that he could pick up. In that instant, his voice returned “Get out of my house!!!”. The ghouls scattered and ran out of the front door, leaving it open. Gordon rushed to it, slamming it and locking it. He ran up to his room to get a better view of the front of the house.
Gordon stood in the large master bedroom window and stared out. A small group of people stood in front of the house all wearing black T-shirts and jeans. There was something written on the back of the shirts in large white lettering, but he couldn’t read it from that distance without his glasses. He wanted to scream out to them and tell them to watch out for the ghouls, but couldn’t speak again. He waved his arms and banged on the window, but the people didn’t see or hear him. He could hear them talking and they all sounded quite excited about something. One of them stood in front of a video camera, but Gordon had never seen one quite like it. It was sleek and strange looking, but a camera for sure. He grabbed his glasses from the night stand and gasped in shock as he read the back of the shirts. He dropped the glasses and one of the lenses shattered as it hit the ground. On the back of the shirt it said in all capital letters “GHOST CHASERS”. Parked in front of the house was a large black van with the same lettering on the side of it. Gordon grabbed his head in pain as his memories slowly began to come back.
From outside the girl in front of the camera continued to talk. “71 years ago Gordon Peck, distraught over his daughter’s death, murdered his wife and committed suicide. Tonight we have just made contact with his spirit.”
Gordon sank to the floor as she continued to talk. He remembered everything now. He cradled his face and sobbed.
“It seems like Gordon hasn’t found peace, even in death. We were able to capture his voice on tape, saw a full body apparition and even had some poltergeist activity. This has been said to be one of the most active hot spots for paranormal activity and it did not disappoint.” The group erupted with cheers and congratulated each other with hugs and high fives.
As the group pulled away in their van, Gordon sat in the dark and drank whiskey. The realization that he was a ghost was more than he could handle. He drank until the bottle was empty, laid in his bed, and slept.
Gordon’s slumber was interrupted by the sound of breaking glass. He opened his eyes and looked around the room. It was dark but his eyes adjusted quickly. His head throbbed and he didn’t remember how he had gotten to his bed, his thoughts raced and he couldn’t remember anything.