For years I had heard stories about the Hawthorne Library,
that it was haunted,
especially the basement
where the 19th Century books were kept.
For this reason, people tended to stay away
from the ground floor.
I had also heard that they were going to close the Hawthorne soon,
so I decided that my next ghost hunt would take place there.
Two days later, about 30 minutes before closing,
I entered the Hawthorne with my bulky camcorder
tucked neatly in my backpack along with a sandwich and coke.
It was a crisp December night and about an inch of snow had fallen,
leaving the library nearly empty.
I worked my way towards the stairs leading to the basement,
and when certain I wasn't seen,
made my way down the stairs.
I was alone.
It was colder down here as the heat made it's way up
to the higher floors.
At 9 pm, the lights went off as they closed,
and the heat was turned down.
What latch was that she just turned? I must be hearing things.
I heard the front door close and
I was alone,
here in the basement of the Hawthorne building.
The only light I had was the street light that barely made
its way through the ground level's 100 year old window's
thick glass and steel bars.
I settled into a corner and waited for my eyes
to adjust to the darker conditions.
I placed a 90 minute tape in my recorder
as the wind whipped outside
and the snow blowing about
made eerie shadows on the walls.
One story tied to the Hawthorne
was the tale of 8 year old Melissa who had wandered from her mother
to the stairs leading to the basement.
Before she turned back,
the door swung,
hitting her and sending her tumbling down the stairs
to her death.
who disappeared one day
only to be found the next,
huddled in one corner of the basement,
the victim of an apparent heart attack
at 28 years of age.
There were more stories,
but I blew them off as urban legends,
a little truth surrounded by years of
It was getting really cold...
did they turn the heat off completely?
I gulped the remainder of my ham sandwich
and decided to get started.
Before I could turn the recorder on,
I thought I heard a voice,
a whisper really... a small girl.
I finally located the 'on' button,
fighting to keep it steady.
Again I heard the whisper;
'why are you here?' followed by a giggle.
What is your name little girl?
Another giggle from the same direction,
then it circled me.
Never, in all my experiences of conversing with the dead,
had I heard a voice so clear as this.
'Last night' it repeated...
3 or 4 times as she giggled...
'last night, last night, last night'
'what do you mean...last night?'
'Last night for the Library, silly...
didn't you know?'
suddenly, I heard laughter coming from all corners
of the basement
it became louder and louder...
'Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!'
a deafening male voice half choking on his laughter...
'But you won't be alone...
'Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha...' a pounding, gurgling laugh...
'No, you won't be alone...Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha........'
They said I died from exposure
when they opened the basement
six months later to begin renovations.
Seems the Hawthorne was going to become
an apartment building.
But I was dead long before my body froze.
They'll discover this fact when they find my camera
on the shelf
right next to
'The Tell Tale Heart'
...her favorite book!
oldie - more a short story