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Laughing to tears decades later

by Cheryl E Preston about a month ago in Childhood

A fond memory of childhood friends and cousins

Friends laughing

When I was 14 and my cousin Denise was 16 we had a close encounter that we continue to laugh about today. The two of us often had mishaps together such as the Friday the 13th we missed the school bus and had to walk over a mile home from the elementary school. When this particular incident first happened we were initially terrified but over time it has become a fond childhood or rather teenage memory.

"Neice" as we still refer to her today and I along with four other cousins and three girls from our neighborhood were all working for the summer cleaning the local elementary school. One day we were all eating lunch in the old library which was in the basement. It still had books on the shelves as well as desks and chairs even though a new library had been erected in a new wing that was connected to the old school building. I often finished eating first so I could go through the shelves and find books to read.

By Daniel on Unsplash

On this afternoon we were all still seated and just about finished eating lunch. Our cousin Melinda began talking about the rumors that the library was haunted. A few of the other girls said they had heard students say they had felt something touch them as they were looking for books. No one in our group of nine had ever had a personal encounter so Melinda made a suggestion.

She said we should try to contact the spirit of Mr. Redd who had been the father of an older girl in our neighborhood. He had also been a janitor at the school drove a school bus. Melinda suggested that we all join hands and simultaneously call for this man to come back from the dead. I have no idea what we would have done if he had materialized but I am thankful he did not.

We all joined hands and closed our eyes and I'm not certain who spoke first. I do recall that at one point we were all chanting "Mr. Redd Mr. Redd" over and over when suddenly there was a loud bang. It came from the back of the Library which happened to be empty. We all began running towards the door falling all over each other like the Keystone cops. Several chairs were turned over and a desk was knocked into a bookshelf. Neice and I were side by side trying to fit through the door at the same time. We were terrified yet laughing to tears.

Trying to summon the dead has consequences.

I stepped back to allow her to get through the opening then grabbed Neice by the back of her shirt. I held on for dear life as we got out of the library. Our feet got tangled and we almost fell. Several girls began shouting "Go away in the Name of Jesus" and we all chimed in. We ran up two flights of steps and did not stop until we came to the gym and we all fell on the floor in front of the stage.

We were out of breath and huffing and puffing as we rolled on the floor and laughed till tears fell. I laughed so hard I wet my pants but nobody noticed. We have no explanation for the noise so to this day we believe we summoned a spirit and sent it back. The teen boys who worked with us were not in that part of the building so the noise definitely was not someone walking in the room that was above the back half of the library.

It's wonderful to have fond memories to laugh at

Neice continues to be my closest cousin and friend today and we talk on the phone 4 or 5 times each week. Every now and then one of us will bring up that day in the mid-1970s when we attempted a seance. The memory comes back as if it were only yesterday and we still laugh to tears each time we talk about it. What we attempted to do could have gone horribly wrong and I'm glad it became something to laugh about instead.


Cheryl E Preston

Cheryl is a poet, freelance writer, published author and former Newspaper columnist. She has degrees in Psycology and Biblical studies. She enjoys sharing natural cures, and Nostalgia related info. Tips are greatly appreciated.

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