Monday, April 23, 2007

Uninvited Guests at a Wedding

It was a dark night as nights usually are; otherwise we would call them “days.” The moon was almost perfectly hidden by the pitch-blackness save for a single sliver of light. There were a few stars, but not that many to speak of. It was, for all intent and purpose, a beautiful New Orleans night.

The wedding we were attending was held at a plantation that was built around 1840. It sprawled across untold acres and the house sat in the dead center of the estate. It was a three story colonial house complete with pillars addressing the porches of both the front and the back doors. The room connecting the two doors held only a staircase and two doors to the adjoining rooms; one on each side of the hall.

The wedding was held in the backyard of the house, but the house was open for us to enter and explore save for the third floor that was roped off and completely dark. An antique Grandfather clock was the only thing that was visible in the shadows. A single employee in period dress was the only person on the second floor, but little Jayden insisted that something was up there and ran up the first staircase with purpose.

Jayden is now my niece I suppose since my brother married her mother’s sister although most people think she is my daughter based on how she acts around me. She lights up when she sees me and insists I carry her most anywhere we go. I get complimented on my child quite a bit when she and I are together and I actually feel a fatherly need to protect her. When I have a child, I hope to have one just like her so, when I saw she was going upstairs alone I felt the need to go with her and make sure she would be OK.

As I reached the top step I saw little Jayden clinging to the dress of the plantation employee in period clothing and staring at the third floor. I heard her ask “are they nice” as I approached the two of them.

“Are who nice?” asked the young lady.

“Those people” Jayden answered. “The people upstairs.”

The young lady and I both immediately thought some wedding guests had wandered past the rope barricading the staircase, but neither of us saw anything at all.
“What people Jayden?” I asked.

“Those people,” and she pointed towards the Grandfather clock with a look of frustration on her face. She could not believe we could not see about whom she was talking. She started to think we were teasing her. “The people upstairs” she said to clarify to us.

I looked again and there was nothing there, but the young lady had become ghostly herself.

“I have heard people say this place was haunted.”

“When I was in New Orleans last year, “I began to tell the lady, “Jayden saw someone on a street corner and no one else did. She was intrigued by a guy with a beard in a grey suit.”

“OK, you are freaking me out. Tell me you are joking!”

“NO, I am serious. We kept looking and she kept pointing, but there was no one there. I am a bit freaked out right now as well to be honest.”

By this time, Jayden’s mother had wandered upstairs wondering where her daughter had gone and saw the scene. When I told her what Jayden had said she replied with “again?”

The employee was now almost transparent and was stuck to the mother and me as we walked down the stairs. When we left two hours, later the poor girl was still freaked out and so was the mother as I told her more of the details. She stopped me mid-sentence with the words “I don’t want to talk about this anymore” and waved my words off.

I don’t believe in ghosts and never have, but I saw the look on this child’s face and she was not joking either time. She really did see something and at the plantation was so convinced that she was almost demanding to be taken upstairs because she wanted to “meet those people.” It seriously is causing me to now question what I always thought was reality. Just because I do not believe and cannot see does not mean something is not there.

There is something in New Orleans, some “vibe” that I cannot put my finger on. Maybe it was the cold showers I kept taking (again my hotel had no hot water when I bathed) or maybe it is the power of suggestion, but there is something working under the radar in that town and I maybe a believer now. I don’t really know what I believe anymore.


Variant E said...

Wow, creepy story. I had a pitch black house a second ago and I just turned a light on after reading your story. Welcome back.

joani78 said...

YOU know I do believe...must be her red hair....

Scary Monster said...

Me, like you am not a believer in ghosts, but me has met people who have told me about seeing ghosts and they were so matter of fact about it that it literally made me hairs stand on end. These were folks who would never lie to me or pull me leg so me believed every word they said.
Why is that some folks see and others don't?

Serena Joy said...

What a great ghost story, Kan. Well done! I think that there are other planes of existence that some of us can see and some cannot. Some are adept at picking up on these other realms just like some of us are good at math or science and others aren't. I think it's just that some of us have more heightened senses than others.

Anyway... If there are other realms, New Orleans would be the place to experience them. There is definitely an "aura" there.

Oh, and Jayden sounds like an absolute doll.

Steve G said...

Sounds like a place to stay out of at night. I enjoyed the post.

littlebirdblue said...

Have you read Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things? I recommend it.