House of the Silver Hooks

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
House of the Silver Hooks is a ghost story about a vacant house in my neighborhood. I heard it as a child and now I have embellished it.

Submitted: June 16, 2017

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Submitted: June 16, 2017

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House of the Silver Hooks- a ghost story

I grew up inthe 1970s in Kentucky, Ours was a  normal middle-income neighborhood. My friends and I rode our bikes around several blocks almost every day, but there was one house on Clays Mills Drive we didn't go near. It was an old, white house with the windows and doors all boarded up. It had been vacant as long as anyone could remember. And then there were the stories....

The teenagers next door babysat my brother and sister and me on a regular basis. One day we asked them about the house. They told us a bone-chilling story. Whether or not it was true didn't matter. It scared us to death. Over the years I embellished it, put my own twist on it, and retold it again and again to various kids. This is the story of the House of the Silver Hooks:

It was said that nobody had ever spent the night in the house and come out alive. In 1974, and elderly couple, Cyrus and Elaine, moved into the house across the street. Their new neighbors, Carla and Steve, told them nobody could stay alive in the house overnight, but Cyrus and Elaine weren't buying it.

"We don't believe in ghosts or ghost stories," Elaine stated matter-of-factly. "That's all nonsense."

"So you would be willing to stay overnight in the house?" Steve queried.

"Is it a bet?" Cyrus asked. "We might be willing to spend the night in the house for, say, a hundred dollars."

"Okay, a hundred dollars if you come out alive!" Steve declared. Cyrus and Steve shook hands to confirm the bet.

"This is just easy money for us, because nothing's going to happen," Elaine commented to Cyrus.

That night at about 8:00 p.m. Cyrus and Elaine headed over to the house. They brought nothing with them, but Cyrus wore his watch and set the alarm on it for midnight.

It was a lovely summer night in Kentucky. Sunset was due at about 9:30 p.m.

Cyrus and Elaine were surprised to find the front door to the house unlocked and easy to open, in spite of the two by fours nailed over the glass insets in it. They walked into the house.

"Hmm...probably built in the mid-1800s," Cyrus mused, noting the aged wood trim and old hardwood floor. "Notice the height of the doors... they're very short, because people were short then," Cyrus laughed a little.

The couple noticed that the house was completely empty- no furniture, no curtains, or anything, but then Elaine pointed to the back of the front door, where there were two shiny, new-looking silver hooks mounted.

"Why would someone purchase brand new coat hooks? Do you think someone's moving in?" Elaine asked.

"Beats me," Cyrus answered, heading up the old oak stairway.

Elaine followed Cyrus up the stairs, which were creaking and squeaking with each step. They stopped at the second floor to look around. It was dusty and fairly dark in every room because the windows were all boarded up.

"Cyrus," Elaine said suddenly, swinging one of the bedroom doors halfway closed so she could see the back side of the door, "There are more new coat hooks!" Nailed to the back of the bedroom door were two shiny silver hooks.

"Hmm, that's interesting," Cyrus said. He started swinging each door closed just enough to look at the back of it. Every door sported two shiny silver hooks.

The couple proceeded to the third floor, which was the top floor. One room that faced the front of the house seemed to be beckoning them. It was flooded with light and had nothing blocking the window.

"Let's sit down in here and watch the sunset," Elaine suggested. Cyrus nodded.

They both sat cross-legged on the floor, facing the window. The sunset was gorgeous, with creamy orange streaks across the sky. Cyrus and Elaine didn't say a word to each other for hours. Finally Cyrus' watch alarn went off. He stood up.

"Well, we've won the bet!" he announced. "It's past midnight!"

Elaine stood up too. "Wait, according to the bet, don't we have to stay until morning? I mean, we haven't technically spent the whole night here." She looked at Cyrus to see if he agreed, but he had a puzzled look on his face.

"Elaine," Cyrus said hesitantly, "Do you feel funny? I feel like I just lost fifty pounds....almost as if I'm floating!"

"You're right, I have the same sensation!" Elaine concurred.

"Oh, I know....it's probably because our legs are stiff since we were sitting in the same position for hours. And we haven't eaten much of anything, either. We should probably walk around."

They both started walking instinctively toward the stairs. As they descended the stairs Elaine noticed the stair steps were no longer squeaking. "We must have worn them in already!" She laughed, looking at Cyrus. But Cyrus wasn't laughing. They were approaching the bottom of the stairs, and they now had a clear view of the front door. There, on the silver hooks, hung two limp dead bodies- Cyrus' and Elaine's!

Over the years, I heard that the house kills you at midnight and hangs your bodies on the hooks, no matter how many of you are spending the night. So,for example, if four people enter the house they will see four silver hooks on the back of each door.

I never forgot the story and I never went near that house.

 


© Copyright 2017 Jane Atkinson. All rights reserved.

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