A Violent Haunting



It ended in the mess hall on board the U.S.S Cheska. It was Saturday evening, October 31, 1961. The cook held himself still in the face of a violent haunting and he hoped his subordinates would take his prudent lead. He and his assistant along with the prep cooks and dish washers stood surrounded by haunting entities, a swarm of pasty gray faces with hollowed eyes, clothed in enemy uniforms, had become emblematic of heartless, vulgar violence.

One of the ghosts was covered in chains; he even clattered when he hit the floor. The cook bent forward, wanting to roll back the past few hours, so to anticipate the violent haunting. Fear gripped his spine. He knew that the ship’s crew had gone mad and had taken their own lives. Images of that mass suicide haunted him. Helplessness clawed its way into his heart.

The violent haunting started with the appearance of a ghost ship. It came out of no where and began firing cannonballs. That strange ship’s cannons blasted at the Cheska, targeting the aft deck and the engineering sections. It was hell bent on stopping the Cheska dead in its tracks. The U.S.S Cheska trembled under the pounding as throughout the ship, crewmen tumbled to the deck and some even rolled off the ship into a watery grave. The ocean smacked against the hull of the ship, faster and faster as it too was bellowing a challenge to the Cheska. The sea appeared to be taking sides as it was relentlessly pounding violently against the hopeless ship.

As the ghost in chains rumbled forward he glanced at the horrified faces of all the men left on board. He laughed a hollow laugh that just sent chills through the air like vapor. He gestured to the other ghosts to move back, with a collective grunt they obeyed.

Why was there so much destruction? Ghosts, they were only ghosts. The cook saw the images of the captain’s face floating away into a void. Sweat was pouring down his face, even though it was a cool October night. He couldn’t understand why his kitchen crew or he was spared. The cook remembered the captain as a man who always laughed; now his face was carved in somber, unyielding lines.

The U.S.S Cheska’s interior was bleak and barren. The chained ghost stood motionless with empty eyes and it betrayed any sign of recognition. The cook felt the terror on his face as he knew his fate would be settled by dusk.

The cook leaned back against the pantry wall, his heading spinning like a child’s top. His fear thickened as the chained ghost approached. There was an odd wind picking up. It lifted his hair like static, which was long in the first place and he left it unbraided. When the chained ghost touched him several months have gone by, just like that. The time that they missed drove some of the men in the room mad, and others died because they neither ate nor slept. The cook’s mind had long settled into the rhythm of the ghost’s progress. He was simply trying to avoid anything so painful which included his own thoughts. Day turned into night, night became day, and he barely noticed. The ghosts remained still, haunting him from a distance. They made no attempts to overtake him as he was not in a clear state of mind, nor did they try to speak.

Suddenly, it was October 31st 1962, midnight. The chained ghost stared into the cook’s shriveling face. What greeted the cook’s eyes was a slaughterhouse. His own shipmates flashed into his memory. There were lifeless bodies, fleshless torsos and spirits floating into the skies like steam rising. It was at that moment when contemplation of his own life no longer frightened him. The moon was a fingers width from the horizon when the cook felt his spirit leaving his body. On shaky uncertain legs he moved forward trying to become one with his spirit. That failed as he collapsed to the floor.

His spirit floated up and when it looked down at the bridge of the Cheska it noticed that it was alive with sound and movement of a ship restored to good health. Every station was fully manned and brightly lit; crew members marched briskly back and forth across the deck from one station to another; and minute by minute, everything was returning back to normal. So even though the U.S.S Cheska was pronounced lost at sea, that ship was thriving but its future remained cloaked in mystery…

Source

© 2013 Frank Atanacio

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Comments 50 comments

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

Wow, Frank, this should be published! I mean in a book or E-book. Fantastic, and I know you have to be proud of it. Ups and sharing!


btrbell profile image

btrbell 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

Interesting, Frank! A real ghost story! Thank you for sharing!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

A one-of-a-kind forever mystery! You did it again, Frank. I'm shivering.


damselfly21 profile image

damselfly21 3 years ago

I love a good ghost story. Well done, Mr. Atanacio.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Jackie and thank you too btrbell for stopping by


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

MsDora thank you for your constant support bless you and thanks for stopping by damselfy21


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

A year passed between those two Hallow’s eves. “When the chained ghost touched him several months have gone by, just like that. The time that they missed drove some of the men in the room mad, and others died because they neither ate nor slept..” as the cook barely noticed. Now I’m wondering who was the ghost…was it the cook after all? There are layers to this superb tale.

This is terrific, Frank. I loved this; each word kept me tied, spellbound to the story from beginning to end. Excellent. :-)


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Superb, Dear Frank! This is really chilling to the bone good. It could very well be on the Top Ten Best Sellers' list if turned into a novel, or publication of short creative stories...published somewhere for sure ...even a blockbuster movie!

My favorite line ..."The moon was a fingers width from the horizon when the cook felt his spirit leaving his body. On shaky uncertain legs he moved forward trying to become one with his spirit. That failed as he collapsed to the floor." This made me shutter in terror, perfect for this time of year, especially.

I love the scene at sea, makes it even more desolate.

Hauntingly good story.

Up and more and sharing

Have a lovely night of sweet dreams ... now, I am not sure I will : )

Bless you, Faith Reaper


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

Thank you so much Genna East and my dear sweet Faith for visiting me on the darkside..LOL Im so glad you wonderful women loved this brief short Bless you both and Happy Holloween..:)


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Halloween, look out for Frank. thank you


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

What a yarn you spin! You have quite some talent, Frank! I certainly encourage you to pursue this genre if this is something you enjoy. Seems like there's quite an interest and Halloween is such big business. Just sayin'.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

Wow, I just read your bio and took a look at some of your other hubs. You do have amazing talent!


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California

Spine chillingly good.


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

What a great ghost story for Halloween!


SandCastles 3 years ago

Good, creepy ghost story. When the ghost ship fired on them, the crew became possessed and joined the other ghosts by taking their own lives. But not the cook. It makes me think of a movie, "Desperado" when the man said, 'so the bartender was spared, the bartender never gets hurt'. And the other man said, 'no man, the bartender got it worst of all'. But the cook went to heaven so in the end he escaped.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

Mhatter thank you, and Flourishanyway, thanks so much for the stopover, bless you


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

Thank you so much tirelesstraveler, Blossoms, good seeing you, and Sandcastles always nice seeing you and reading your comments bless you guys :)


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

You just keep getting better!!

I really enjoyed this ghostly tale.

Excellent work. :)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks tobusiness :)


Valleypoet 3 years ago

Very eerie read...I like how the story drops you right into the action from the opening lines, grabbing you by the throat and not letting go...a super scary and apt read for the time of year....thank you Frank:-))


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Valley for reading my Haunting :)


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and interesting. A most spooky tale. Made me think of the scenes from Dracula movies where the ship comes to shore and everyone on it is dead. Passing this on.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks so much Gypsy :)


Sueswan 3 years ago

Hi Frank,

Hauntingly awesome. It would make a great movie.

Voted up and awesome.

Have a great week


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

So Halloween and all its spirits creep into your mind and dredge out the story of a ghost ship leaving us to decide who the ghosts actually are as we are frightened along with the cook. Is he man or ghost?

This was great Frank.

Voted all but funny, pinned and shared.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

Syeswan good to see you and as always thank you soo much Til for your comments and visits :)


Tom Schumacher profile image

Tom Schumacher 3 years ago from Huntington Beach, CA

Fun read! The creepiness really sank in as I read your hub late at night in the dark during a windy and rainy fall night. Voted up!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Tom S for reading my violent Haunting :)


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

Ghosts are known to play mischief of various sorts. They might have been playing with our heads too, making asses of us.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks for stopping by Vin bless you :)


moonlake profile image

moonlake 2 years ago from America

I love ghost stories and this is a good one. Voted up.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you moonlake :)


wayne barrett profile image

wayne barrett 2 years ago from Clearwater Florida

Very good work, Frank. These kind of stories always bring me back to my days aboard ship.

Voting up!


ziyena profile image

ziyena 2 years ago from Southern Colorado

Love me a bone chilling ghost story ... something I'm very akin to

Voting UP


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you wayne barrett and Ziyena for stopping by :)


cam8510 profile image

cam8510 2 years ago from Columbus, Georgia until the end of November 2016.

I read this story first when you initially posted it. I just came back to it and couldn't believe I hadn't commented already. Great story, very creative and descriptive.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Cam8510 :)


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 2 years ago from Georgia

Very spooky. Ghost ships with questionable beginnings and endings are always such fun to read. You have done a masterful job hooking us with this one. Keep them coming. It would make a good book, by the way. Take care.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Cyndi, and its good to see you again bless you


carrie Lee Night profile image

carrie Lee Night 2 years ago from Northeast United States

Brillantly told with a spark from the beginning to end. Great work :) Voted up and Awesome of course ! :) Thank you for taking the time leading us through that rocky tormented ship. Have a great weekend.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Carrie :)


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Good read Frank. Different feel than the detective stories, which is at it should be. The ending was quite unexpected. :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

What a perfect story for Halloween! The ghosts are indistinguishable, who really is a ghost and which ship is really a ghost ship? Superb ghost story for adults!

Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and shared.


James-wolve profile image

James-wolve 2 years ago from Morocco

Great ghost story.It reminds me of the movie " Fog".I love the eerie atmosphere you created here!Voted up!


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

Leapin' lizards! This is one chilling tale. Well done, Frank, as usual. Up, awesome and scary!


lisavanvorst profile image

lisavanvorst 2 years ago from New Jersey

Chilling, Frank. It kept me on the edge of my seat. A great hub for the Halloween. Keep them coming.


savvydating profile image

savvydating 2 years ago

One wonders why ghosts are so "chilling." It is said that spaces which are imprinted with evil are cold. Ghosts are not of the ordinary, and as such, they bring terror. Your story captures the essence of horror on a ghost ship perfectly.

Up, awesome.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 10 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much for reading my haunting.. savvydating, lisavanvorst, of course Phyllis...Tillson, James wolve and Phdast.. great to see you guys


always exploring profile image

always exploring 10 months ago from Southern Illinois

I guess I wasn't following you two years ago. This is a chilling tale and scary to boot. Well done Frank. Boo!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 10 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you always for checking my horror out..:)

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