only 12 years old, I thought being in a real haunted
house was very exciting. So when my grandfather and
father asked if I wanted to "help" them restore
Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, I couldn't wait.
On the other hand,
Nate, our family's long-time laborer and friend, made
it known that he didn't particularly care for old houses
and he had a bad feeling about this one. Built in 1859,
the stone Victorian was "definitely spooky,"
and the Norman Gothic style reminded Nate of haunted
houses he'd seen in the movies.
Armed with only
a flashlight slicing through the darkness, Nate slowly
climbed to the attic. The rickety stairs held his weight,
but creaked and complained with each step. I listened
from the first floor as Nate's cautious footsteps continued
their climb. Suddenly, I heard a bloodcurdling shriek.
Clumsy and frantic, Nate scrambled down the stairs all
the way to the first floor and out the front door screaming
all the way.
When we finally
caught up to him, Nate was completely panic-stricken.
After taking a few minutes to get a hold of himself,
he told us there was a pile of dead bodies and limbs
in the attic. My grandfather tried to convince him that
he imagined it, but Nate insisted he saw what he saw.
Dad was skeptical, but Nate’s fear and certainty
made me wonder. There was, after all, something very
unnerving about this house.
After finally convincing
Nate to show us, we slowly made our way back up the
attic stairs. When we reached the top, Nate stopped
cold and refused to go on. He pointed to a corner of
the attic and told us to go see the horrible spectacle
for ourselves. We crept carefully with our flashlights
towards the corner. As I drew closer I began to make
out shapes – hands, heads, and torsos. Holding
my breath, hardly wanting to look, we finally reached
the corner. And there we saw the gruesome spectacle
– mannequin body parts.
We all let out
a sigh of relief followed by roars of laughter. As for
Nate, the scariest part was still to come – having
to explain to the rest of the men why he lost his wits
in the attic.