Situated on a hillside in the Columbus Historic District is the renowned Lincoln House built in 1833. The two level, wood framed house was once home to Columbus mayor, C. L. Lincoln. The house has been in the family for more than 135 years. It’s one of the oldest pre-Civil War homes in the city and in recent years past, the home was a popular bed and breakfast.
Noteworthy features of the home include a front porch with original wavy glass jib windows, white columns, and a front door with the original blue and red Venetian side lights. The house also includes a basement where the original kitchen was located along with a carriage house and stables. As decades have passed, the house has undergone modern updates and the addition of brick floors in the original English basement. The Lincoln Home is the recipient of a Heritage Trust Award (1999) and an award winning landmark in the history of Columbus.
The present day home owes its gratitude to the owners, Sidney and Brenda Caradine who have lovingly preserved the house, but a number of eye witnesses have left the Caradine’s wondering if some of its ghostly residents are still there, reminding us of its beloved past.
In November of 2017, a friend and I purchased tickets to the Ghosts and Legends Tour that’s held annually in the Fall. After arriving in downtown Columbus at the Tennessee Williams home and Welcome Center, we boarded a bus for an hour long tour. The bus navigated through the downtown area, stopping at various points along the way. Each time the bus reached a tour stop, all guests exited and were joined by guides wearing costumes relative to the historic period and story that they narrated.
We made a few stops before we reached The Lincoln House, and even though I had already heard that the house was haunted, I didn’t know any details about the place. The bus driver turned at the corner of College and 7th Street, slowly making his way along the dimly lit street. Then just as we approached the house, I noticed a man standing near the right end of the porch and a lovely, brown-haired woman gazing out the front window. Both of them were dressed in period costumes with the woman’s hair pulled up and tucked into a loose bun at the crown of her head. Her ivory dress was a floor length, chiffon gown with a high-neck lace collar. The gentleman standing outside on the porch was dressed in captain’s attire with a poet sleeve, white shirt and a bayonet by his side.
The bus pulled forward a few feet from the steps leading up to the top of the porch where we all exited and gathered in a semi-circle at the bottom of the steps. We were greeted by the home’s hostess who was dressed as Mother Goose. As she stood on the front porch steps, we listened as she narrated The Lincoln House story in a rich southern dialect that echoed the southern belle’s voices of the past. Then we were introduced to Sidney Caradine who finished the narration with another ghostly tale.
At the completion of the stories, I was surprised that we were being led back to the bus. I looked beyond the steps and toward the window where the Victorian lady stood just moments before. Wasn’t she a part of the tour? I assumed that we would be entering the front parlor of the house to hear another haunted story. However, my assumption was not only wrong, but the woman in the window had now disappeared!
A bewildered expression covered my face as I turned to our guide, Dr. Bridget Pieschel, a local expert on the town’s history and also an English professor and Director of the Center of Women’s Research and Public Policy at MUW (Mississippi University for Women, 1884).
“Aren’t we going inside the house?” I asked.
“No, we don’t go inside.” Dr. Pieschel answered, shaking her head.
“Oh.” I replied with a downturned smile as I started for the steps, and then I stopped. I turned and looked back at the porch.
“There was a woman in the window.” I said pointing to the front of the house. For a moment, I worried if I should mention the work that I do. Paranormal research wasn’t for everybody, but I felt a strong nudge to mention it.
“Well, this is Mother Goose. You know, she just narrated a part of the story here on the front steps and Mr. Caradine was on the front porch, but they’re the only two hosts here.”
I shook my head and responded with a nervous laugh. Fearing I might sound crazy, I leaned forward and whispered.
“I saw a woman in that window. She was standing right there.” I pointed to the window to the right of the front door. Mr. Caradine’s wife joined us on the sidewalk at just that moment and introduced herself to me.
“I’m Brenda Caradine. You must have seen Miss Sue.”
“Miss Sue? Oh, is she inside the house?”
“No, you must have seen her ghost. She’s the ghost that appeared to the women who stayed in the downstairs room.” She said with a genuine and bold confidence.
A tingling chill crept over my body. I rubbed the goosebumps now evident on my arms and nodded. Then without hesitation, I asked Mrs. Caradine if I could come back at a later time and interview her. If the image that I saw standing in the window was, in fact, a ghost then I knew that I had to know more about The Lincoln Home and its history.
“Mrs. Caradine, would it be okay to contact you in a few weeks and schedule a time to talk with you. I am a writer and paranormal researcher.”
Mrs. Caradine’s approval was immediate as her eyes lit up. “Oh, yes. Please do!”
“Okay, I will be in touch with you in a few weeks. And thank you so much.” I shook her hand and then followed Dr. Pieschel back to the bus.
Just as I sat down next to Lisa, she immediately noticed the expression on my face. She looked at me as if she was waiting for me to tell her what was on my mind. As the bus began to move, I turned to look back at the house.
“Lisa, when we first pulled up to the house, did you see a woman inside that window?” I pointed toward the front porch.
“Yes, she was standing by the front door.” Cold chills spread across my arms again.
“What did she look like?”
“She was wearing a white dress. Her hair was in a bun—
“Oh my God.” I mumbled as I covered my mouth.
“Lisa, I saw the same thing, but I saw the image of that woman standing on the inside of that window. The owner of the house just confirmed to me that no one was inside the house at the time they were telling the stories.”
Lisa smiled and nodded. “Wow. We just saw a ghost.”
“I believe we did. And if it’s the same ghost that they spoke of during the story, I have to know more. I’m coming back.” I promised as the bus pulled away from the curb.
Two months later, I phoned the Caradines and arranged to meet Sidney at The Lincoln House. After driving for an hour, I arrived in front of the house and parked along the street. I got out of the car and grabbed my backpack and camera case before climbing the same steps that had led me to the front of the house just weeks before when I first saw the ghost.
I paused for a moment on the sidewalk and studied the front porch area. The nervous flutter of “butterflies” in my stomach consumed me as I began to put one foot in front of the other. I walked steadfast toward the front of the house when all of a sudden the front door opened, and I was greeted by a tall gentleman dressed in a red, button down shirt and wearing a baseball cap. He closed the door behind him and introduced himself.
“Hey, I’m David. Can I help you? Maybe carry something for you?” He asked, extending his hand.
I smiled and replied. “Oh, thank you, but it’s not too much.”
“Did you have a nice drive over?” David led me to the door.
“Yes, it’s been a sunny February day.” I answered with a smile.
“Come on in and have a seat. Sidney is on his way over from his house next door. He also owns the Amzi Love House that’s been in his family for over a hundred years.” David motioned toward the front room on the right.
“Oh my! That’s intriguing.” I marveled.
As I entered the wide open entry from the foyer, my senses immediately alerted me that we were not alone. I sat my backpack and camera bag down on the corner of the sofa and then moved toward a pair of wingback chairs positioned right in front of the window where I had seen the woman’s apparition. David followed me taking a seat in the chair to the left of me.
No sooner had I sat down than the image of a man dressed in a dark suit appeared before me. He stood near the entry to the parlor and appeared to be uninterested in us until David handed me a photo. Then without warning, the now invisible man stood over me, leaning down as if he was looking at the picture in my hand. Amused and slightly unnerved by the drop in temperature near me, I leaned toward David.
“He’s standing over me!” I blurted out before I could stop myself.
David glanced at me, his eyes wide open and fixed on the space directly in front of me. Although I felt like an idiot, I couldn’t ignore how the entire left side of my body was now icy cold. I rubbed my arm in an attempt to warm myself. Then I twisted my body in the chair and faced David in an effort to ignore the ghostly presence. I placed a notepad on my lap and began to write down important details as David talked about the history of the house and some of the paranormal stories that had surfaced over the years.
Shortly thereafter, we were joined by Sidney and Brenda Caradine. I was immediately charmed by Mr. Caradine’s gentile manner as I observed him with his wife. Due to Mrs. Caradine’s failing health, Sidney had assumed a more protective and nurturing role, but both of them still exhibited a passionate love for the house as they shared stories of family history and legacies left behind for the last 185 years.
One of Sidney’s most intriguing stories involved the paranormal encounter with a large, handcrafted replica of a trolley car that still sits in the parlor today. Years ago, friends of the Caradine family came to stay at the Lincoln House. After enjoying a southern dinner and fellowship, the couple retired for the evening. Nothing unusual had happened in the home since their arrival and they had no reason to suspect anything out of the ordinary, but sometime after midnight, they were awakened by a loud and unexpected sound coming from the foyer.
The two of them lay quiet with bewildered looks and creepy goose bumps as they listened to the sound of Louie Armstrong singing It’s a Wonderful World. The music was crisp and clear as the sound bounced off the walls of the Lincoln House, and then as the couple slowly edged off the bed and out into the hall, they were shocked to find the music coming from the trolley. A handcrafted trolley that had been in the family’s heirlooms for decades without anyone ever knowing that it was a music box!
They all examined the trolley the following day and found the hidden mechanism that was responsible for activating the music, but after examining the switch and finding it difficult to slide forward, it seemed impossible for it to come on without someone manually moving it. And so the mystery remains to this day. Who turned the trolley on after decades of silence?
I listened and watched Sidney’s pale blue eyes as they widened and filled with awe while he told the trolley story, and Mrs. Caradine’s almost childlike wonder burst forth each time she took a breath while telling her own personal account with the ghosts of the Lincoln House. It was enough to convince me that I had to spend the night there, even if it was only once. And before the end of our interview, my reservation had been made.
Thrilled and now committed to contacting the ghosts of the Lincoln House, I had to find a team. A team of ghost hunters who wanted to make contact here as much as I did. In just two weeks, the ghost hunt would commence.
- While L. Sydney Fisher was writing the book, she often experienced paranormal phenomena in her home that included loud crashing noises, the sound of something being dragged across the floor, scraping sounds, and an unseen ghostly visitor who often breezed past her chair during night-time writing sessions.
- During the audio production of the book, the narrator, Robin Ericsson reported that he and his family had bizarre experiences. In a message to Sydney Fisher, Mr. Ericsson confessed to hearing several children’s voices and even reported seeing the apparition of a male figure wearing a red flannel shirt who often watched him while he was recording in the studio. Devon Bradford often wore flannel shirts when he was alive.
- The original court transcripts of Devon Bradford’s murder trial mysteriously disappeared while L. Sydney Fisher was doing research. After intentionally placing the court files in a separate box in the storage room of the circuit clerk’s office, all the transcripts and original documents vanished two weeks after the author’s last visit. When Sydney questioned the circuit clerk, she was told that an attorney probably took the file and did not return it. Why would an attorney want the court records of a trial that was more than three decades old? The accused was also now deceased.
- Unknown to L. Sydney Fisher who changed all of the real names in the book, she identified the real life lover of Liz Bradford by giving a character in the story his real life name. The author did not know of Liz Bradford’s lover or his identity until the Spring of 2018 when a former acquaintance of the Bradford’s contacted the author after reading the book. The author believes that the ghost of Liz Bradford communicated with her during the research for the book.
- The courtroom where Devon Bradford stood trial in Tupelo, Mississippi still has the original witness stand and furniture from the 1970’s trial, but the courtroom is now locked and used for storage.
- The real life judge who presided over Devon Bradford’s trial met L. Sydney Fisher at a book signing several years ago. After the author confessed that he was the real judge who presided over the 1975 trial, he became a friend and has attended many of the author’s book signings.
- The original manuscript was handwritten in a notebook that was tucked away inside a closet and untouched for more than a decade before it was published.
- The Haunting of Natalie Bradford first originated as part of a writing assignment for a class the author was enrolled in.
- Rebecca and Audrey Bradford are the only living Bradford children who appeared in the story. Natalie Bradford died from an overdose in 1991.
- The site where Liz Bradford was murdered is still a popular restaurant and is known for having the best steak in town. The restaurant, now known as Woody’s, was also featured on Robert Irvine’s Restaurant Impossible in 2011. The author had a brief camera moment on the show. The establishment is also known as one of the most haunted locations in the city and reportedly has more than one ghostly resident. Paranormal activity is as frequent as the “regulars” who dine there.
- The kindle e-book and the audio book version for The Haunting of Natalie Bradford are both #1 Amazon Bestsellers in multiple categories.
- Natalie Bradford did not believe in ghosts until she lived at Lindenwood.
- L. Sydney Fisher carries two permanent reminders of her time at Lindenwood. On the author’s right index finger is a scar that she received from broken glass. She gained the second scar, now barely visible on her left foot, after being pushed by an unseen force on the stairs.
- Natalie Bradford tried to get her three-month marriage annulled from Devon Bradford, but she was forced to file for a divorce and pay her own attorney’s fees to escape Devon’s grasp.
- Lindenwood is the fictional name given to the haunted house where Liz Bradford lived and operated a small hair salon on the first floor. The home was decorated with Liz’s taste in colors and furnishings. Years after her death, the home was abandoned by the Bradford’s and fell into ruin. It was demolished by James Bradford who built another home on the property and lived there until he died in 2016.
I remember being mesmerized by The Bell Witch stories when I was a child. I read at least 3 or 4 different books on the subject and vowed that I would someday travel to the small town of Adams, Tennessee where the famous Bell Witch once lived. Now three decades later, I can now mark it off my bucket list and instead pencil it in on my “Must Return” list.
Last Saturday May 26th, 2018, a friend and I traveled to the farm located about 55 miles north of Nashville. Upon entering the small community of Adams, Tennessee, I immediately sensed the remnants of a time past as Katy (not to be confused with Kate Batts) drove us down a rural county highway, following the Bell Witch signs strategically placed along the roadside. The rolling hills extended for miles on what was once hundreds of acres of farmland owned by John Bell, Sr. The lush, green grass and wooded landscape was surrounded by white fences that gave the property a warm and inviting feel unlike the memories that the Bell Witch had left behind 200 years before. Although Katy and I reveled in the beauty of the area, we both couldn’t deny our apprehension as we approached the entrance to the site of the Bell Witch Cave.
Katy followed the signs until we saw the entrance to the tour. A bright red barn with bold white lettering on the front greeted us at the main entrance as we made our way to the gift shop. Rain clouds loomed overhead as we hurried to park and get our tickets.
After booking our tour, we were taken to a cabin (replica, not original Bell cabin) where we listened to an audio presentation of the Bell Witch haunting and toured a cabin that was set up with furniture and props staged to look much like what the original Bell house would have looked like at the time of the spirit’s visitations. Although the home was not the original site, our EMF (electromagnetic field) detector started acting crazy, the lights zipping back and forth while we were in the front of the house. When we moved to another room upstairs, the EMF detector stopped for a few minutes as if whatever had been present was suddenly gone. At that time, I began experiencing a strange pressure on my neck/chest area near my throat that caused me to cough. The feeling intensified a couple of times and startled me to the point that I felt the need to take deep breaths. I knew that I was sensing something paranormal.
After the audio presentation that lasted about 30 minutes, we were escorted to another part of the cabin that housed artifacts and pictures of the original site. Included in the mini-museum was a black cauldron that belonged to the Bell family when they lived in the house where the hauntings occurred. I intentionally let myself be the last guest to leave the room so that I could stay behind and touch the large stone that sat on the floor and was reportedly a part of the original Bell house fireplace. I placed my hand on the rock, but unfortunately, I did not pick up any residual energy. Then just as I turned and walked out of the cabin to follow the rest of the group to the Bell Witch Cave, I was overcome by a wave of nausea that did not subside until I reached the cave entrance.
We were greeted by Kris, our tour guide who narrated the fascinating history of the cave and the land. She informed us of the area’s known American Indian burial grounds linking parts of the area’s history to the Bell Witch legend. But within minutes of entering the cave’s second room, I felt that our 10-person tour group was no longer alone with just our tour guide. The distinct sound of children’s laughter filled the front room that we had just exited.
I spoke up and said, “I hear children laughing. Are there other people coming?”
But no one else seemed to hear the children and our tour guide continued to narrate. I looked down the long, narrow hall of the cave’s stone walls toward the cave’s entrance and saw no one, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that we were not alone. Our guide then showed us pictures taken by guests who had captured spirits and strange orbs while on the cave tour. Suddenly, my suspicions were validated.
We finished up the tour about fifty feet inside the cave. I marveled at its beauty and the markings that were visibly noticeable on the walls and ceilings left behind by ancient Indians. When we exited the cave entrance, Katy and I walked several feet and were suddenly startled by the appearance of a bare-chested young man with dark hair and a long black beard. The color of his eyes was pitch black and he wore only black gym shorts while sitting high on the heavily wooded hillside outside the cave entrance. Directly below us was the Red River often mentioned in the Bell Witch stories as being near the original site of John Bell’s home located just two miles away. The man studied me as I walked closer to him, his piercing dark eyes glaring at me as if I was intruding on his space. I glanced down the hill at the river and looked around to see if he had a canoe or kayak nearby, but I saw nothing that indicated that he had been on the river that day. He was just standing alone on the steep slope studying me as I now paused on the rocky path. I turned and called for Katy who was several feet behind me. She finally appeared and joined me only to feel the same creepiness as the stranger watched us pass, my eyes locked with his. Who was he? How did he get up that steep slope without shoes on his feet? Was he a shapeshifter placed there for us to see? We still don’t know, but we won’t forget the unease that his sudden appearance caused.
If you dare to visit the site of the famous Bell Witch, take no souvenirs such as rocks from the cave and make sure you say a prayer as you leave. Although I never heard The Bell Witch’s cackle that day and thank goodness, I never saw any weird animals, I still felt the remnants of her spirit and those of many others who still haunt the landscape where she once roamed.
For more of L. Sydney Fisher’s adventures, On the Haunted Trail, check out her book projects @LSydneyFisher.com or join her at the group page of @Ghosts, Unexplained Mysteries, and The Supernatural on Facebook and remember…
SLEEP WITH THE LIGHTS ON!
DID YOU MISS THE SHOW? YOU CAN STILL HEAR IT @http://beyondrealityradio.com
I’ve been a long time fan of the show, Ghost Hunters and Taps and rarely missed an episode! It’s going to be a SPOOKY good time on the air tomorrow with Jason and Jim. I hope you can join me.
Sleep with the lights on,
L. Sydney Fisher
Tune in! L. Sydney Fisher talks all things GHOSTS with the stars of Ghost Hunters, Jason Hawes & JV Johnson. Learn about the research behind her books and why she can’t seem to get enough of these supernatural adventures.
Get yours~The Devil’s Board
A note from Sydney…
While doing research for The Devil’s Board, I was contacted by two different individuals who did not know each other and who did not attend Riverside at the same time. Both of these individuals told me about personal experiences they had while a student at Riverside. To my amazement, one of the individuals revealed that they once lived in the very same dorm room where Amber Simmons used the Ouija board in 1987. This person disclosed that they had experienced inexplicable mood swings and depression while living in the room, but they had no knowledge of what had transpired there four years before. And both of the people who contacted me told me that they once paid a visit to Sister Elizabeth Williams, pleading for help.
To this day, students still play the mysterious board game in the campus dorms at Riverside College, and the legendary horror story of Ryan Banks lives on.
Sleep with the lights on,
OUIJA~A board game used to contact the spirit world. Developed for commercial distribution in 1891. Named by Charles Kennard, founder of Kennard Novelty Company. While Mr. Kennard was playing the game, a spirit spelled out the word “Ouija”. It is an ancient Egyptian word that means “good luck”.
Rachel Thomas swept her long, tousled brown bangs out of her eyes. She steadied her hands on the steering column as she raced away from the haunted house where she had grown up. Plagued by the spirits of an unknown entity that had dwelled in her home for more than ten years, she had managed to accept her paranormal existence in a world where most people had never heard of such things. Or maybe they just didn’t tell anybody about their experiences. Maybe there were many more people just like her who were afraid to talk about real life hauntings. But this was a time of new beginnings, the beginning of the rest of her life when the hopes and dreams of the past could become the realities of the future. If she could put the hauntings to rest, she could concentrate on what was before her. In just two weeks, she would be starting classes as a freshman at Riverside Community College.
Riverside was a small town college nestled near a centuries old river where Indigenous people once lived and played. Riverboats filled its waters, and the Spanish explorer, Hernando De Soto once crossed its shores. The river had a history that seemed to stretch as far as its 200 mile long waters, but it was a history of prosperity, tragedy, and death that still lived on in legendary ghost tales.
Rachel drove her silver 1983 Buick Regal into the front parking lot that faced her future home. Kendall Hall was one of eight dormitories for housing students. Although Rachel had been unable to secure her first choice of living arrangements in the college’s most updated facilities, she was excited and anticipating the arrival of her new suite mate whom she had never met.
She turned the ignition off, pushed the door open with her foot, and got out of the car. She stretched her hands above her head and stood still for a moment as she surveyed the empty parking lot and vacant grounds surrounding her. She thought about the first day of classes and how congested the campus would become. Year after year, the college’s Fall enrollment had grown. With more than 3,500 students attending college at Riverside, the odds of finding an empty space close to classrooms would be next to impossible.
Rachel sighed and quickly turned her thoughts back to the car crammed full of clothes and personal décor taken from her room back home. Moving in would take a couple of hours. She slammed the car door shut and turned to look at the building’s second floor windows. She contemplated the number of trips it would take to haul several loads of her personal belongings up the stairs. And although the housing department had already guaranteed that the room would be ready to move in, she hesitated to unload anything before checking it out.
Rachel walked toward the glass front entrance and opened the door. The stone gray building smelled like pine sol as she entered an empty foyer with two closet-like doors to the left and an apartment to the right that served as a residence for the Dorm Parent who oversaw the needs and security of the dormitory’s students.
Rachel slowly walked straight ahead to the stairwell entrance that led to the second floor. The air near the stairwell was stuffy and hot causing her to cough, and the smell of fresh paint stung her nose. The building was eerily silent, and it reminded her of the late nights at the nursing home when she had gone to her mother’s workplace after the old people had gone to bed.
She stepped forward onto the bottom steps and began to climb the stairs. First the bottom steps and then a turn to climb the last stairwell to the top. She stopped at the last step and pulled another door open that led to the second floor hallway. The steel door was heavy and creaked loudly as she opened it. The bottom of the doorplate slid across the floor, creating a long and creepy noise that echoed down an empty hall.
For a minute, Rachel felt an unease that she had often known before, but for reasons she couldn’t explain. She glanced into the hallway before her and stepped forward letting her fingers slowly release the door as it closed shut, its spring mechanisms creating the sound of metal on metal.
Rachel stood still, her body rigid but fully aware of her surroundings. Her bare arms were covered in goosebumps as she tried to rub them away, but just then a loud bang echoed from the right end of the hall. She jerked around and faced the source of the noise only to observe an empty space. Her eyes were wide as she stared down the dimly lit hall now filled with an eeriness that she couldn’t dismiss. It never failed. If there was an otherworldly spirit present wherever she went, it always seemed to find her.
Her breath seemed to hang in her throat, and she had to remind herself to breathe. She took a long, deep breath and closed her eyes for a moment. She then turned back around, brushed off her fears as best as she could and walked straight toward the left end of the hall where her dorm room was located.
She stopped in front of the door and reached for the silver doorknob. She twisted it to the left and pushed the door open, eager to get inside and settle in. The room was painted a blinding white with white mini-blinds, two dull, steel gray bunk beds, and a white tile floor. Inside the double closet was a small chest of drawers also painted white. And against the inside wall and facing the hallway was a built-in desk with shelves. Painted white.
Rachel let out a sigh. The place felt like a hospital room or worse a morgue minus the cold air. She walked over to the window beside the two bunkbeds and noticed that it was locked tight. She fidgeted with the locks, snapping them back and forth. She then inspected the bathroom that she would be sharing with her suitemates and found that it included a half tub/shower combination and one toilet. Four girls with one bathroom. That should be interesting.
Rachel’s eyes roamed the room again as she considered what it would take to liven up the place. Color, décor, girl stuff. As she became swept away with the thought of college life and living in a dorm with her closest friends, she forgot about her unease just minutes before. And although her dorm room offered anything but a cozy feeling, she relished in the idea of college living.
She surveyed the room, deciding which bunkbed would be hers. Which side of the room would be hers for decorating? Closet space and desk space? She was silently considering it all when the abrupt sound of a door slamming shut brought her back to the present.
“Hello.” The raspy and friendly voice of Josie Norton echoed in the empty room, bouncing off the white cinder block walls. She stood just inside the door that Rachel had left standing open.
Rachel whirled around and faced her new roommate who stared back at her with a bright, toothy smile and crystal blue eyes. Her messy, dark brown hair was hanging partially out of the ponytail she had fastened earlier that morning, and her extra-large AC/DC t-shirt hung loosely over a pair of faded blue gym shorts.
Rachel smiled with a slightly startled look and responded. “Hi, you must be Josie!” She offered a handshake.
Josie accepted Rachel’s hand with a firm and gregarious grip after sitting her guitar case down on the floor.
“Are you getting settled in early too? I’ve got a car full of stuff from home.” Rachel asked with a light-hearted tone.
Josie let out a boisterous, nasal laugh and nodded. “Yeah, I’ve got a couple of trips to make to get it all here. Oh, this is the closet space, huh?” She pointed to the two closets, each containing a small chest and barely enough room to hang a week’s worth of clothes and a couple of coats.
“Yes, that’s it. I can take the one on the right if that’s okay.” Rachel did not hesitate to designate ownership of personal space since she had to get started unloading her car.
“Oh, yeah, that works for me. Are you a heavy sleeper? How do you like the room temperature? I sleep like a bear and love a cool room.” Josie asked wanting to get to know her roommate’s compatibility.
Rachel smiled. “We’ll get along beautifully. I’m a light sleeper, but the cooler, the better for me.” Rachel shoved her hands in her Calvin Klein size 5 pants pockets.
Josie gave Rachel a thumbs up. “Cool. I’m gonna go grab a few things.”
Rachel nodded. “Okay, I guess I should get started too.” She started for the door and stopped as Josie paused in the doorway.
“Hey– You ever played Ouija?” Josie asked.
Her eyes had a mischievous twinkle, but Rachel didn’t respond with a lighthearted demur. Instead, her face turned pale. She felt as if the blood had just drained out of her body as her legs became weak. A strange silence lingered as she stared into the eyes of Josie Norton. Pale blue eyes that now seemed to flicker with a curiosity destined for danger. Then without warning, the same dreadful unease that slapped Rachel Thomas in the face as she entered the upstairs hall returned. And a premonition materialized before her, seizing her in a vision of horror.