The Big Sigh

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic

When you uncork a Genie, you release a lethal paranormal power which cannot be controlled.

Submitted: December 03, 2017

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Submitted: December 03, 2017



The creepiest (paranormal) thing that has happened to me occurred one night many years ago when I was alone with a girl named Mona. The location was her family’s three-hundred acre ranch way outside of town in the middle of the cold dark woods. They called it the Big Sigh. No one was there that night but the two of us. We didn’t have permission to be there. Her family was mean. They did bad things to other families and they did bad things to each other. Had they found out about it, there’s no telling what they would have done to us for daring to go to the ranch unsupervised. They didn’t believe in letting young people have any advantages for which they hadn’t worked hard to earn on their own.

Mona’s family had some quarter horses at the Big Sigh and one aging thoroughbred - a tall bay that as a 3-year-old brown colt had placed in the Preakness at Pimlico the year Gallant Lady won the Triple Crown. This will give you an idea of just how old and established Mona’s family was in our hometown. Their wealth was derived from various business interests, primarily stemming from the fact that her great-grandfather, Ellis Beaufort Stockton, had founded what was the first, and for many decades the only, ready-mix concrete company in the town. Mona’s family was affluent to say the very least.

Mona and I were going to spend the night in the rec-hall since we didn’t have a key to get into the main lodge house or any of the guest cabins. She didn’t like this idea very much because the tack room was next to the rec-hall, which normally wouldn’t have caused worry, except that a disturbing tragedy had occurred in this particular tack room some years prior to our ill-advised camping adventure.

We had a key to the gate that Mona had slipped from a hook in the kitchen pantry back at her parent’s mansion in the city, but keys for the lodge or cabins they didn’t leave lying around just anywhere.

It was creepy at this rustic rec-hall, which was really nothing more than a huge screened porch with a rusty tin roof. Be that as it might, the building was well appointed for its purpose. There was the signature dart board, a thirteen thousand dollar Brunswick billiard table with suede pockets, a V-force air hockey table with dual abacus scorers, and a vintage Wurlitzer jukebox loaded with solid country gold.

There was an oversized mesquite grill big enough to hold a whole side of beef. There were two utility sinks deep enough to take a bath in, and numerous cabinets laden with spices, sauces, marinades, and dry goods. There was even a pretty good supply of home-canned tomatoes, peppers, hot chow-chow, and pickled okra artistically preserved in wide-mouth Mason jars sealed with Tattler reusable lids.

Another reason for the dreary aura that night was because the electricity was not on. In order to have electricity out there, we would have needed a key to enter the lodge because that’s where the switch was to turn on the juice for the rec-hall.

We had driven out to the Big Sigh late that night in my Bronco. We thought about sleeping in the 4x4, but Mona found a king-size air mattress in a pine cabinet. It was equipped with an air pump that had an adapter for plugging into the auxiliary power outlet of an automobile. We aired up the ample mattress so we could bunk in the rec-hall which would give us room to stretch out and sleep comfortably - something we couldn’t have done very well in the 4x4.

I had a bad feeling about the whole night. It wasn’t just that we were knowingly violating one of her family’s cardinal rules by being at the Big Sigh without permission. If her grandfather or one of her uncles, Billy Buck or Beaufort Stockton the Third, would have shown up, we’d have been in serious trouble because they all drank hard liquor and didn’t care who or what when they were well into their cups. Mona’s grandfather and her uncle Billy Buck had scandalous second and third wives. Those termagant witches probably would have strangled us to death or clawed our eyes out. You’ve never seen such bellicose stingy hateful people in all your born days.

Neither did the source of my fear arise from the fact that we were alone on a moonless night amid the lurking shadows of a three-hundred acre ranch surrounded by thousands of acres of spooky woods sunken in here and there with horrifying reeking muck-clogged swamps full of venomous water moccasins, bears, panthers, and sadistically grinning alligators.

I wasn’t even really very much afraid of the deep darkness. When you’re out in the boondocks like that away from neon signs and street lamps, let me tell you, when night falls, it gets dark….I mean blind dark.

I was a little bit concerned about the coyotes howling in the distance. Out west they call the lean stealthy predators prairie wolves, and with good reason. I’ve seen a pack of coyotes take on a five-hundred pound bear as if he were merely a flop-eared bunny rabbit. The outcome of that fierce battle - which I happened to witness one afternoon while sitting stone still in funereal silence high above the ground in my tree-stand hunting for deer - is too gruesome to tell. Coyotes get real mean when they want to. Usually they’ll avoid trouble, but there’s a deadly malicious spirit in prairie wolves that for some unknown reason manifests itself at unpredictable moments. It’s a sort of malevolent pride.

Coyotes get that way alone or in packs. They make weird otherworldly sounds when that wicked passion rises to set in lethal motion their fang-toothed jaws. All I’ll say about what happened that dreadful afternoon when I was up in my deer-stand is, if you ever hear a noise that sounds like a baby crying outside your window in the darkness, don’t dare step out into the night to investigate the source of the eerie ululation. Coyotes make ungodly sounds when their mood sinks into that dark place which mysteriously transforms them into savage beasts of wanton aggression.

I’ll tell you the reason I was so frightened the night Mona and I trespassed illicitly onto the coveted acreage of the Big Sigh. It’s because I had a bottle of whiskey with me - one hundred and one proof Kentucky straight bourbon….hard liquor. The brand was Wild Turkey 101. There’s an 80 proof Wild Turkey, but at the liquor store I deliberately selected the 101.

Those bottles came with cork stoppers, just like in the old Wild West saloons. That trophy gobbler on the label with the prize beard - there was something ominous about that brooding turkey.

When I broke the seal, I noticed Mona was watching me. I know we both thought we heard an uncanny disembodied voice whisper balefully when I pulled the cork with a pop out of the top of that vitriolic fifth of bourbon. We were sitting at one of the long wooden banquet tables in the rec-hall with a Coleman lantern glowing brightly nearby. Fear stalked Mona’s anguished features. She looked at me pleadingly with the haunted eyes of a hunted animal.

She spoke softly, the angst of acute trepidation coiling insidiously around her vocal cords, “Are you sure you should drink any of that?”

I laughed and turned the Turkey up. After gulping a tumbler full straight from the bottle, I set the fifth down with a sharp clap on the hard tabletop.

“Nothing to worry about,” I told her. I would have asked if she wanted me to mix her a drink with some of the soda or fruit juice we’d brought along, but I knew she would refuse. Her dark brown eyes seemed to glow with a primeval luminescence that made them flicker with a deep secret terror, the breadth and scope of which I dared not attempt to plumb.

We sat there mute, gawking nervously at each other for a moment. That’s when it happened.

I remember being lifted up from the table by a sudden jolt of hot energy, immediately after which I was pushed forcefully backward by what felt like a massive unseen hand. It hit me in the chest and sent me flying, slamming my back against one of the 2x4 studs that held the roof up. If I would have hit the screen with such an impact I’d have shot straight through it. My mouth was forced wide open by the swelling surge of a godawful guttural roar. After that, my memory is a blank for an undetermined span of missing time.

The next thing I remember is seeing Mona curled up in a shadowy corner of the old rec-hall. She was crying. She didn’t look good. Something abnormal, I intuitively sensed, was wrong with her. The exact nature of her affliction was not readily perceptible to me. I didn’t know if it was mental or physical. Cautiously, I slowly approached her. When I carefully reached out, she slapped my hand away. I heard a soft sound at the door. I turned to look. There was barely enough luminosity from the lantern for me to see a huge coyote staring at me from just outside screen.

Mona saw it, too, and that was the psychoemotional stress that forced her, in spite of her fear of and disgust with my inexplicable ghoulish outburst, to huddle close to me on the air mattress. We didn’t sleep very well for the remainder of that ill-omened night. We kept listening and looking into the evilly-shadowed darkness that pressed down on us like a suffocating blanket of doom.

It was nearly a week before Mona could muster the nerve to tell me of the convulsions that seized me and of the foreboding words I had bellowed that heinously diabolical night. Amid tears of hurt and grief she related a fearsome account of me leaping up nine feet into the exposed rafters of the rec-hall. Mona said I had crawled around the joists on my all-fours like a rabid wild animal growling and howling abominably. After which, she said I leered down at her with the sallow bloodless face of a psychotic maniac and, in a voice she absolutely did not recognize at all, recounted verbatim the story of a cousin of hers, named Mandy, who, in fourth grade, suffered a tragic loss out behind the P.E. building.

Poor little Mandy claimed that a prominent member of the school board who had been criticizing her for constantly carrying her favorite doll with her everywhere she went, had snatched the doll away from her. It was made of hard plastic so that when he stomped it into the ground with the heel of his steel-toed boot, the arms, legs, and head broke off from the torso. The doll’s miniature pink dress was stained with dirt and horribly ripped. He menaced her with a hateful look of contempt and sarcastically shouted that it was time she grew up.

This brutal board member was a powerful local political boss who had the sheriff, prosecuting attorney, and criminal courts judge firmly in his pocket. Nobody believed the little girl, not even her parents whose security of income depended on the favor of the political boss to ensure their continued employment with the county government. Not one single person came forward in Mandy’s defense. No one asked any questions about how her doll that she loved so very much had gotten smashed to pieces.

Mandy had a very special relationship with her doll. It had been given on the night Mandy was born by her maternal grandmother who had recently passed away. The girl wasn’t right in the head after that. Though her body aged normally, reaching puberty and growing taller into her teens, her mind seemed always to be that sad little girl who had been so wrongfully used in fourth grade. It was as if her injured spirit had retreated to some cold dark sepulcher inside itself never to emerge again.

Six years later, during an Easter egg hunt at the Big Sigh, the heartsick Mandy committed suicide by hanging herself with a length of coarse hemp rope from one of the rafters in the tack room beside the rec-hall. That very same night, the powerful political boss was attacked in the dimly lit parking lot of a local tavern. It was a bloody scene of raw carnage. His flesh was rent from his bones, torn to mutilated chunks of gore by a pack of viciously aggressive prairie wolves.

I sat dumbfounded in utter disbelief as Mona, amid frequent sobs, hauntingly narrated the monstrous chain of events which I had uttered in an alien voice as of a prophetic dirge from beyond the grave.

The morning after I spent the fateful night with Mona at the Big Sigh was foggy. The sound of drops of condensed humidity dripping all around made us feel as though we were being watched by charnel spying eyes.

When we woke up, the first thing we did before venturing outside was to make sure the big prairie wolf that had gazed so threateningly at us was gone. The coyote was nowhere to be seen, but at the portentous spot where the mysterious beast had been standing, we saw the tattered remains of an old plastic doll. Water from the rusty tin roof of the rec-hall was dripping on the naked belly of the broken doll, making an ominous sound like a distant walking drum tolling death….thump, thump, thump.

What it all means, I have no idea, but one thing is certain - I didn’t drink another shot of the Turkey after that grim night. I poured the nearly full bottle down the drain. Something came out of that fifth of bourbon. Something unspeakable crawled out of that hideous bottle and attacked with sinister influence.

Would I want this macabre experience told in a story? Yes, I would want it told as a warning to others that when a bottle of spirits is opened, those spirits come out of that bottle. When you uncork a Genie, you release a lethal paranormal power which cannot be controlled.


The legendary searches documented by ghost hunter Sean Terrence Best are at your convenience via Books-A-Million,, Barnes&Noble, and many other booksellers.

© Copyright 2018 Sean Terrence Best. All rights reserved.

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