*A work of Fiction
I found the old home at the outskirts of town. It was harder to find than I thought. All I had was an old business card with an address and a phone number. There wasn’t even anything on the Internet.
The old Victorian home looked right out of a horror movie, which was appropriate given why I was there.
I knocked and the door swung open, with an eerie creak. There was a gentlemen standing in the doorway.
“Are you the one who called earlier?”
“Yes,” I answered, extending my hand.
“Forgive me,” he said retreating, “I’m a bit of a germaphobe.”
“I didn’t catch your name earlier.”
“I didn’t give it.”
“No problem. We pride ourselves on discretion.”
“So you mentioned a problem with your ex-wife?”
“She wants the house.”
“Ahhh that’s our specialty.”
“Yes. That and problem tenants.”
“You don’t say.”
“Yes. Much easier than an eviction.”
“So how does it work exactly?”
‘It’s pretty simple. You provided the funds and then we scare them.”
“I meant how does it all work?”
“Ahhh you want a demonstration.”
“That would be nice.”
“I’m guessing the fee we discussed earlier won’t be a problem?”
I pulled a wad of cash from my coat pocket. It was thick enough that he had no reservations.
“Okay then. We use a sophisticated system of projectors and hidden speakers to make the person think they’re hearing voices, seeing things move. We’ll sneak in and move some things. And to top it all off we always can use an apparition. It rarely goes that far but one and they run screaming.”
“I’d like to see the works please.”
“Ahh you want the phantom.”
“Yes. I’ve heard rumors. I’d like to see it in action first.”
“We can do that. I must warn you though. I’ve had several people faint.”
“I think I’ll be okay.”
I watched the man pretend to press something in his pocket.
“Okay, here we go.”
I must say it was rather impressive. The lights flickered. The stairs creaked. THe telltale sign was seeing my breath. That’s always the give away.
Finally, a ghostly image of another man flickered in the middle of the room. However, when he finally materialized, it was the ghost who was scared.
“Oh no,” the ghost said.
“Hi Kyle,” I replied.
“You know each other?” the other man asked.
“Johnny that’s Jasper Ford.”
“Please Mr. Ford,” Kyle begged, “We’ll quit.”
“I’m sorry we didn’t know you were in town,” the other man said.
I figured the other man was a ghost too. That’s why he wouldn’t shake hands. Most ghosts can learn to interact with the environment but if they touch a living person it’s a dead giveaway.
“Guys you can’t keep doing this. It’s attracting far too much attention. You’re lucky it was me who caught the rumors.”
“We’re sorry, it’s just we have a friend in the hospital. He needs the money.”
“So you thought of scaring people as a business?”
“What else are we supposed to do? Drive Uber? I don’t think we’ll make the cut,” Kyle said.
“Just don’t get rid of us,” the other ghost pleaded.
I stood there for a minute. I had options. There was a gemstone in my pocket that would trap them both.
“Please, please,…” he kept saying.
Suddenly the ghost moved towards me.
“Johnny don’t!” Kyle yelled.
It felt like a cold wind washing over me. And then it went away.
“Ow!” he said.
“Did you really not think he’d be warded?” Kyle asked.
I pulled out an iron coin that hung around my neck, “Try that again and I will lock you both away for good.”
“He’s sorry. He’s just nervous.”
“I could tell he doesn’t try that often. So he gets one last chance. I’m going to need you both to stop this. Scaring people silly is making them run to the news and the Internet.”
“What about our friend?”
“I’ve got an idea.”
About a month later I came back through town.
The house was still there, but now there was a line around the block.
Outside the old house was a sign that read, “Michigan’s Most Haunted House.”
I saw Kyle as I walked by, he waved. Since I left a couple other ghosts in the area had moved in. They split the money evenly and gave it to their living family members.
I set them up with a lawyer I knew could keep her mouth shut. She handled the business for them.
I smiled and kept going.