Have you ever noticed how many ghost stories are centred around children finding something odd in the woods? It is because kids are always open to exploring and seeking something new and exciting. But there are also times when they stumble on an adventure they’d rather now find.
Josh Baker moved into a neighborhood of kids his age. It was winter break and he and the other neighborhood kids was enjoying themselves outdoors in the snow. There was plenty to do on this cold winter’s day. The girls and some boys were building a snowman. Others were on snow boards and sled going down the hill.
Josh was approached by three of the neighbor kids to explore the wood. He didn’t want to go, but being new to the neighborhood and wanting to fit in, he agreed to go into the woods with them. Of course, the conversation turned to telling a tall tale or was it actually a true story.
“My grandfather told me when he was a kid,” Angela began, “he and several of his friends went out into the woods on Christmas day. They were looking for a particular fur tree where every generation carved their names in the bark.”
“I know about it,” Trace said. “It’s deep in the woods. I don’t really have an idea if I want to go that far. It’s cold.”
“Scared?” Butch mocked.
“No.” Trace responded while he was walking up ahead of the group.
Butch’s Idea to scare children
Butch picked up the story for this trek into the woods. Perhaps for the benefit of Josh, but it seemed he had an agenda to scare Trace. “You see, these woods have been the scene for all kinds of disasters over the years. Some people getting lost and there are rumors or kidnapping and murder.”
“See how spooky it looks. These woods must be having an urban legend attached to it,” Josh said.
“You think so, hot shot,” Butch challenged. “What do you know about these woods?”
“A girl was murdered here.”
Butch knocked Josh to the ground and ran out of the woods.
“A couple of years ago,” Angela explained, “Butch’s older sister was taken to these very woods by her so-called best friends. His sister, Amy, was popular and beautiful. She was a really nice girl, too. Her friends were jealous of her and drowned her in the creek. Those friends are all in prison now for murder, but there have been sightings of Amy’s ghost in the woods.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know. The realtor mentioned it when we were viewing the house. I guess it was a warning to me to not go out in the woods alone.”
“Butch hasn’t gotten over it. He may never get over it.”
They continued walking deeper into the woods. In addition, they came to the creek and stopped. They found the fur tree with the names carved into the bark. No one wanted to add their name. Amy’s was crossed out as were other names.
Before Josh could ask why names were crossed out, he saw an image of a young girl behind the tree. They all started running out of the woods.
“Did you see that?” Josh asked.
Encounter with the real Ghost
“That wasn’t Amy,” Trace said. “That was the ghost of Mrs. Clarkson. She used to live in that old house up Cleveland. She was meeting her boyfriend in the woods, but her husband followed her and killed them both.”
Mr. Clarkson was sent to a facility for the criminally insane. He was released a few years ago and the prime suspect in the murder of Butch’s sister. He usually doesn’t stray off into the woods. People don’t like seeing him shopping around town. He gets most of his groceries delivered.
Josh didn’t know what possessed him, but he wanted to go visit Mr. Clarkson. The other kids told him he was crazy, but Angela agreed to go with him on this social call.
“What do you kids want?”
“I’m Josh Baker. I just moved into Silverwood and was out in the woods and I think I saw the ghost of Mrs. Clarkson.”
“So what, you want a metal or something?”
“I don’t know why I’m here,” Josh admitted. “I just wanted to meet you. Most ghost stories are about people who are dead and no one is around to verify the details.”
Something about Josh’s sincerity caught Mr. Clarkson’s attention. He invited Josh inside. Angela joined him.
“You’re not going to get a freak show. I’m a regular guy who had an unfaithful wife. I paid for the crime I committed and every day people remind me I’m not welcome here. I guess the community did me a favor by shunning me. Come into my office.”
He showed them how he spends his time on the internet with his own businesses. Meanwhile, he develops software for companies to use. He was completely self taught. He inspired in Josh and Angela that they, too, could do whatever they desired. They didn’t have to wait. They could study now and do exactly what he does, but it’s best that they find what is best for them.
He didn’t invite them back, nor did he volunteer to help them. He didn’t encourage them to help him clear his reputation. Also, He didn’t care what others thought as he created a new life for himself. He wished things could have been different, but he accepted his punishment and moved beyond it.
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