THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY

THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY
April 12, 2016

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A (True) Ghost Story

Writerly friends, my family has two camps re: the ghost thing. Some of us believe. Some of us don't. The believers find it impossible to wake the skeptics when a vision skimpily clad in reality appears to us in the middle of the night.

You can take a ghost tour in my home town,
old Ellicott City.
This happened (really):

The Old Hotel
by Laura Shovan

There was a cackle in the hall,
a creak, a heavy footstep fall
that night we spent in Montreal.

My mother said, “An old hotel!
Haunted, but we might as well
enjoy the spooky clientele.”

And that is when she passed out cold,
leaving me, more shy than bold,
to watch the long, long night unfold.

I fell asleep, and it was dark
as black cat’s fur when some odd spark
or shimmer caused me to remark,

“Are you awake?” for standing near
my mother’s bed, a woman sheer
as smoke had not yet disappeared.

I am entering "The Old Hotel" in Susanna Leonard Hill's Halloweensie writing contest. The rules are simple: child appropriate, 100 words, must include "black cat," "cackle," and "spooky" in the text. Deadline is 10/31, natch.

Give it a go!

From FanPop. 
Sadly, black cats are at risk of abuse on Halloween.
I have one other poem about the other side. It was part of the Poetry Postcard Series, and includes a ghostly photograph from Williamsburg, VA. You'll see a close-up of the ghost (a little girl) at this post.

29 comments:

grannymar said...

I won't be able to sleep tonight if my old house creaks and groans!

I enjoyed reading this.

Catherine Constance said...

Very spooky...love the poem.. :)

Author Amok said...

Thanks for stopping by Grannymar and Catherine. I'm so glad you liked the poem. Believe me -- the real event was much spookier than the poem describes. (A woman in white, her hair up, fading into a wall.)

Kerry Aradhya said...

Whoah...I love this poem, Laura. Really really nice...and spooky, too. I've always been fascinated by ghosts and ghost stories, so would love to hear more about your encounters some day. Good luck in the Halloweensie contest!

Vivian Kirkfield said...

I'm putting on my hat - so that I can take it off to you, Laura! Oh my goodness - this story is fantastic...meter perfect...terrific subject---great tension...beautiful language. I'm thrilled to meet you via Susanna's Halloweensie Contest.:)

Donna L Sadd said...

I believe this poem is terrific!

Cheryl Secomb said...

Oh, wow, Laura. This IS spooky! Love the poem. Excellent job!

Jackie Wellington said...

I loved this. I am familiar with Jamestown since I once lived in the seven cities. Thanks for sharing.

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Wow! This is truly spooky! Even more so because it really happened! And so beautifully written!!! I'm so glad you found the contest and entered! Thanks for joining in!

Author Amok said...

Thanks for the kind words, everyone. It's great to have so many visitors stopping by from the Halloweensies gang. Kerry, we'll have to talk!

Author Amok said...

Thanks, Vivian, Donna and Cheryl!

Jackie -- I hope you followed the link to view that spooky photo I took in Williamsburg.

Author Amok said...

Susanna -- thanks again for a great prompt! I hadn't realized that I wanted to write about this.

Penny Klostermann said...

Wonderfully spooky! I really enjoyed reading it.

Lauri Meyers said...

What a wonderfully spooky story in such lovely poetry!

Beth Stilborn said...

Deliciously spooky and eerie -- and so well written! Shiveringly fascinating to know it's based on a real occurrence. So glad you joined us in the contest.

Stacy S. Jensen said...

Very eerie. Like I need to find a funny Halloweensie story so I can go to bed eerie!

Mike Allegra said...

A great poem that tells a great story!

JannaTWrites said...

What a creepy scene. I'm glad I'm reading this in the morning!

Author Amok said...

I'm so glad that this poem is spooking everyone, so we can enjoy the tingling fears together. FYI readers -- there's a MG book giveaway on my new post. Check it out!

Kirsti said...

This is a great Halloween story!

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

I so enjoyed this poem inspired by the other side! Well done to both you and your ghostly muse. (Those Williamsburg photos are pretty freaky.)

Carrie F said...

Very creepy and I love the triple rhymes - that's hard to pull off and you did it well, and told a great story too. Nice work, Laura!

LInda Baie said...

Just right, Laura. I stayed in one of our Colorado haunted hotels with my students. The hotel even had a notebook of what sightings in which rooms! Some students were not amused & claimed they didn't sleep a wink! Great poem, wouldn't it be something to see that shimmer?

c-c-hall.com said...

Very spooky--and a good rhyme, too!

Veronica Bartles said...

I love this poem! And I love that it was a real story :) You constantly amaze me with your talents!!

Joanna said...

I believe, I believe This is wonderfully spooky!

Doris said...

I enjoy your poem. It reminded me of an old house we bought. It had an unheated front porch. A few days after we moved in, ice crystals formed on one of the window panes. The ice looked just like an old man (the one who died in the house)was peering in.

Renee LaTulippe said...

Spooky and gorgeous, Laura. Love the mood and rhyme scheme and clever rhymes themselves. I can relate to this - I'm sure the house I grew up in was haunted, and I KNOW the summer theater I worked in was. Shudder.

colonialist said...

A really weird experience, and well used in this context!