Now that the Fall is getting closer it`s time to tell some ghost stories. The first one happened some years ago; a friend asked Maria to take care of her pet dog, an Irish terrier, for some months. Like his entire breed he was a plucky animal, and apparently afraid of nothing.
One evening, she found him standing on the landing looking down the stairs, growling and with all his bristles erect. He followed me down, and, while I went to get a light, stood at the bottom looking up the stairs, apparently being in a great state of fright. She called him as I went up again; he came up a few steps, the stopped, and refused to move, but stood looking up at the wall at the corner of the stairs, growling all the time.
She scolded him, and he came on slowly, still keeping his eyes fixed on whatever it was he saw. When he came to the turn of the stairs he crouched against the banisters, growling and showing his teeth, then made a sudden bolt up to the top, where he stood shaking with terror. She tried to make him come down again, but, although usually most obedient, he refused utterly. Thereupon she picked him up, and carried him down the stairs past the place he was afraid of. Then she went up and stood at the spot herself, and called him to come to her. He crawled up slowly, and on reaching her again looked up at the wall, and bolted past. An hour or so afterwards she took him to the head of the stairs. He went up and down and looked all around, seemed quite satisfied that nothing was there, and trotted up and down quite unconcernedly.
She herself neither sawn nor felt anything that evening; but, some years before, she distinctly felt some one pass on those stairs, and remember instinctively standing to one side, although there was nothing to be seen. Scary.
The experiences of two agents of the Guardia Civil while on despatch duty one winter`s night in the early eighties has been told to me by one of the men concerned, and provided interesting reading. It was a fine moonlight night, with a touch of rain in the air, when these two men set out to march the five miles to the next barrack. Brisk walking soon brought them near their destination. The barrack, which they were approaching, was on the left side of the road, and facing it on the other side was a white-thorn hedge.
The road at this point was wide, and, as the two agents got within 10 meters of the barrack, they saw a policeman step out from this hedge and move across the road, looking towards the two men and he did so. He was plainly visible to them both. He was bare-headed- runs the account- with his tunic opened down the front a stout built man, black haired, pale, full face, and short moustache. They thought he was a newly joined policeman who was doing guard and had come out to get some fresh air while waiting for a patrol to return. As the two men approached, he disappeared into the shadow of the barrack, and apparently went in by the door; to their amazement, when they came up they found the door closed and bolted, an t was only after loud knocking that they got a sleepy “all right” from someone inside, and after the usual challenging were admitted. There was no sign of the strange policeman when they got in, and on inquiry they learnt that no new constable had joined the station. The two men realized then that had seen a ghost, but refrained from saying anything about it to the men at the station. A very sensible precaution, considering the loneliness of the average policeman`s life in this country.
Anyway, skeptics on ghostly phenomena are generally pretty full of explanations when they are told of a ghost having been seen in a particular spot, and the teller may be put down as hyper-imaginative, or as having been deluded by moonlight playing through the trees; while cases are not wanting where a reputation has been lost by a man telling his experience of a ghost he happens to have met along some country lane or haunted house. Someday, no doubt, scientists will be able to give us a complete and satisfactory explanation of these abnormal apparitions, but at present we are very much in the dark, and any explanation that may be put forward is necessarily of a tentative nature. Until then, let`s enjoy a good ghost story.
Sergio Calle Llorens