The Ghosts and Spirits in My Grandmother’s House

By Yasse Trujillo
     When I was around six years old, I was living in my country, Guatemala, with my family. We lived in a house that had belonged to my grandmother and was very old. It was a mill house with a lot of rooms, a big patio, and a beautiful garden. But there was something weird about that house.
     Sometimes at night after everybody went to bed, we would hear weird noises coming from the kitchen where my grandfather died. Some other nights it sounded like somebody was walking on the terrace. One time, somebody knocked on the door of our room where my mom, my brother and I used to sleep. However, when my mom opened the window there was nobody outside.
     I was scared of going down to the last room near the laundry because that was the scariest area, even though I had never experienced anything like my brother had. After my grandfather died my brother Manuel was around 12 years old. He was very depressed after the death of my grandfather because he was really close to him. One night, my brother didn’t want to eat anything so he went outside and sat on the patio while everybody was in the dining room. Suddenly he came running into the dining room. He looked really scared. His face was pale with a sick look on it and he couldn’t talk. When my mom saw him, she jumped off her chair and asked him, “What happened? What did you see?”
     “I don’t know,” he said, “I saw this old man coming down the stairs wearing my grandfather’s boots.” Everybody was scared. We knew he wasn’t lying by the look on his face.
     But no more than a week later something strange happened to me. It was a cold afternoon. The sun was going down and the sky looked red from my terrace. That whole day I had been playing around by myself. I remember I was wearing my favorite dress, the one that had pockets on each side. It was dark green and white-dotted. I also had my doll with me - an old blond doll that had lost one arm.
     From the patio, you could smell my grandmother cooking fried plantains for dinner. It was that old, delicious smell that I had smelled for years. My brother was buying the bread for dinner at the old lady’s bakery. That bread really tasted good. That’s why my grandmother always sent my brother to buy the dinner bread from her.
     Finally my brother came back with a basket full of delicious bread. I was so hungry that I was waiting at the table. I thought that grandmother was ready to serve us the food, but she said that there were no clean dishes, so she told me to come with her to wash some of them. I followed my grandmother down to the laundry room where we washed the dishes.
     As I had mentioned, I was scared to death of going down there. But at that time, I was with my grandmother, so I wasn’t really afraid of going there.
My mom and my brother stayed in the kitchen taking care of the food, because, if nobody was in the kitchen, the cats that hung around the roof would always come down, go into the kitchen, and eat our food.
     When we got to the laundry room, my grandma placed the dishes on the table that was near the sink and started to mix some soap with water so she had enough for all the dishes. While she was doing that, I sat on the floor of the hallway that took you to the last room. Nobody wanted to move there, even though it was big, because that is where more noises were. Also there was an earthquake that touched Guatemala and one of walls in that room had a crack across it so it was really unsafe to live in that room.
     While I was waiting for my grandmother I was having fun playing with my doll in a pot of flowers that was next to me. I remember the only light there came from an old lamp that swung back and forth from the tall ceiling. Every time the wind blew the lamp moved making your shadow move too. I was having so much fun, that I didn’t really hear when my grandma told me to stop playing with the dirt. Suddenly, I looked toward the room down the hall and saw something like goat’s feet with big claws.
     At that moment I felt my feet getting heavy. My heart was beating so fast that I couldn’t get up and run. So my reaction was to keep looking up to see what was in front of me. I saw a giant goat. Some parts of his body looked like a man’s body. His skin was dark, but not hairy. His legs looked like a cat’s legs when it is standing up. His face was weird, like a goat’s face, with big dark eyes and big cheekbones. He had two arms going back from the sides of his head. They were brown and pointy. He looked really built and strong. The strangest thing of all was that there was a blue cage that wasn’t made out of any hard material surrounding him. It was like made out of light. He looked mean with a terrible look on his face.
    After a minute, I finally reacted and started running to the kitchen. I didn’t look back at any time. I didn’t see him or hear him do anything else other than just stand there.
    When I got the stairs, I ran to the kitchen and hugged my grandmother. I was screaming until she splashed some water on my face. I told her what I had seen and she said, “See what happens when you don’t listen to your elders!”

 

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