By: Azalea Hinojosa
I always knew my grandmother’s house was old but I didn’t realize it was 1895 old. It’s been over a hundred years since the building first went up and, for the most part, the exterior remains untouched: reddish brown brick with beige stone accents. The first floor still has the original hardwood flooring from the 19th century. So when my mom joked about the house being haunted, I laughed off the comment with a kind of “Yeah, whatever. Ghosts aren’t real” nonchalance.
I was the oldest of the grandkids present that day. My younger sister and I had left the family gathering on the first floor and made our way up to the third floor, where our favorite cousin Karina, lived. She is 6 years younger than me, and yet we always managed to find things to do that we all enjoyed. On this particular afternoon, we were watching a movie in her room. Or were we listening to music? Who knows.
The three of us sat in Karina’s room, anticipating the arrival of a few more of our cousins. Partly because we wanted to hang out with them, but mostly because we were waiting on them to eat dinner.
“Let’s go check to see if they’re here!” my sister yelled.
She quickly jumped from the floor and ran from the bedroom to the living room where three big windows peered out onto the street below. Karina and I followed, lightly running to keep up with my sister. (Here’s a hand-drawn floor plan of the third floor to give you a better picture.)
My sister spent a mere 5 seconds looking down at the line of parked cars before running back to the room, almost colliding with me and Karina on her way back. Karina was the next one to arrive at the window, and she took her turn looking out even though my sister had already spoiled the news. Being a good 2 feet taller than Karina, I could easily peer over her head to see that there was no familiar vehicle in sight.
But out of the corner of my eye, I saw something else. In the room adjacent to the living room, I saw a small figure. A person. It was too blurry to make out any details but I got the sense that it was a male spirit. As I turned to look into the room, there was nothing. Am I going crazy or was there really a little boy there just a second ago? I stayed there for a moment, looking at the spot where the boy had stood, wearing all white and staring at me. For some odd reason, I wasn’t immediately scared. I actually wanted to see the boy again to confirm that I wasn’t imagining his existence.
I was the last one standing by the window, and so I made my way back to Karina’s room to rejoin them. I wondered whether I should tell them what I had just seen, but decided against it. Scaring them with this information would end up frightening me even more. Instead, I simply said “Let’s go back downstairs.” Thankfully, they agreed to this.
I didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t think they would believe me.
Two hours after my brief encounter with the little boy, my mom bought us food and suggested we eat it on the third floor since it was much warmer than the first floor. I felt safe up there in the company of my grandma and my mom.
As my sister, Karina and I began to dig into the food that my mother had served us, I noticed that my mom kept staring from the kitchen at the living room area.
“What?” I asked.
She quickly averted her eyes from the living room back to the food.
“Nothing, I just thought I saw someone across walking from that second room to the dining room. It looked like a short man,” she answered.
I stopped eating.