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The Haunted House of Huckleberry Hill

Updated on September 9, 2016
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The dog days of summer

It was during the dog days of the summer of 1972 that I went to visit with my friend Donnie. I was sixteen years old back then, and trying to squeeze every drop out of summer vacation. At the time, we were rehashing our old adventures over a slice of watermelon, when Donnie suggested that we take the cross roads over to the local Dairy Queen. He was in the mood for a nice cold milkshake, if we could scrape up enough money. I reached into my wallet, as if to see how much I had, knowing that it was empty, then stuck my hand into my front pocket. I had about seventy-five cents, enough to buy one shake, with a little change left over. Donnie managed to get the rest, and we set off.

The cross road was a dirt road that cut from one main highway to another. It hadn’t been used in years, and now was unpassable for most vehicles. Only a few loggers used it from time to time. As we made our way along that dusty red clay road, Donnie pointed out an overgrown side road. “You know about that haunted house up at the top of the hill?” he asked.

“Oh come on Donnie,” I chided, “you don’t really believe in ghosts do you.”

“Oh, not me,” Donnie laughed, “but there are some people around here that do.” Then it struck him, “Hey, we should camp out there tonight. We would show all of these hicks around here how brave we are.”

“I don’t know Donnie,” I said showing my distaste for the idea. “That place is going to be dusty, and probably snake infested.”

“Come on, you’re not afraid are you?” Donnie egged, knowing that l couldn’t reject a dare, so I accepted, and that’s how it all started.

Now mind you, this isn’t your typical ghost story. To be honest, it isn’t a ghost story at all, but that’s how it started. That afternoon we packed a couple of back packs with the minimal gear we needed, and Donnie brought his five foot long oak walking stick for protection. If we were lucky we could make it to the abandoned house before sunset.

The cry in the night

Well, as it turned out, we had grossly miscalculated the amount of sunlight that we had left that afternoon, and after an hour's journey down the road, it was already getting dark. Still, we were halfway there, so we fired up the lantern and carried on. Now Donnie had spent the first part of that journey bragging about how he was going to rub his bravery into everyone's face, but after sunset he became far less vocal. It was just before reaching the side road that we heard this eerie cry, and Donnie turned to me, "What was that?" he asked nervously.

"It kind of sounds like a panther," I replied.

"There aren't any panthers around here," Donnie scoffed, "maybe some bobcats, but that's about it." I explained to him then, that I had relatives that had a garden nearby, and they claimed to have seen a panther on the perimeter of that garden more than once. They were supposed to have taken a picture of the big cat. In all my time spent in the woods, I never saw one, but that doesn't mean anything. A rare species that is reclusive by nature could easily go unnoticed.

Then we heard the cry again, only this time it was louder, and closer. "That sounds like a woman crying," Donnie observed.

"That's exactly what a panther cry sounds like," I replied soberly, a bit concerned myself now. It was then that we came to the side road leading up to the haunted house. "Donnie, you’re missing our turn," I said, but he kept walking. "Donnie, did you hear me. We just passed the road. Aren't we going to stay in the haunted House?"

"Let's don't, and say we did," he replied without ever stopping. "There's a big sand pit at the bottom of this hill. We'll camp out there, where we can make a fire, and have a good view of our surroundings. Besides, everyone knows we went into the woods, they won't know where we spent the night."

"But you gave John your scouts honor that we would stay in the house," I reminded him.

"I wasn't in the scouts," Donnie retorted, "besides, you should never let the truth or promises get in the way of a good story."

Now I'm not sure if Donnie coined that phrase or not, but I like it, so if you read my stuff, you may see it again.


Attacked

By this time, Donnie was more than just scared, he was terrified. He now held that oak staff over his right shoulder in a tight grasp, ready to swing. He was walking to my left hand side, and kept close enough that his elbow rubbed against mine, hogging the lantern light up to his side of the trail. We were headed downhill now, and there was a steep ravine on my side of the trail.

In my years, I have noticed how things sometime happen in a way, that you couldn't plan them to if you wanted. Well now, one of those times was about to happen. The backpack that Donnie had loaned to me was a bit tattered, and the strap on my right side was only hanging by a few threads. Suddenly those threads broke, and the backpack flopped away from me, swinging around, and hitting Donnie smack in the middle of his back. The strap itself wrapped around Donnie's neck, and he cried out, “oh my god Randall, it got me! The panther's got me!" He swung around with the staff then, slamming it into me. I lost my balance, and fell over, tumbling down the side of the hill into a briar covered ravine, while Donnie continued to swing blindly at his imaginary beast. When Donnie finally collapsed to the ground from exhaustion, I felt safe enough to crawl out of the ravine. I had just been clubbed, torn up by some wicked briars, and yet I somehow found myself beginning laugh, and I couldn't stop.

"Shut up!" Donnie snapped. "It's not funny. Something got hold of me." I explained to him then what had happened, and he made me promise to never tell anyone, and for the longest time I didn't. However, I'm now reminded of an old saying I once heard, never let the truth, or promises get in the way of a good story.


Randall Guinn


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    • Randall Guinn profile image
      Author

      Randall Guinn 2 years ago from Pinellas Park, Florida

      Thanks for the kind words Ronnie. Yes we have some good ones, and one in particular that I wrote about. I'll have to write about another one of our adventures. I just need to do so in a way that no one gets in trouble.

    • profile image

      Ronnie 2 years ago

      Not only did I enjoy reading the story, I can actually see it unfolding. But then we have stories of our own don't we?

    • profile image

      Randall Guinn 3 years ago

      Thanks for reading Lisa. I appreciate it very much.

    • lisavanvorst profile image

      Lisa VanVorst 3 years ago from New Jersey

      Maybe not your usual ghost story Randall, but still kept me on the edge of my seat. Great hub.

    • Randall Guinn profile image
      Author

      Randall Guinn 3 years ago from Pinellas Park, Florida

      Thanks for reading Mel. I wish that I could revisit those days myself, and I suppose that's why I enjoy writing about those times so much.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

      Lovely little story. What I wouldn't give to get back those teenage years, when I was broke but not a care in the world. Great hub!

    • Randall Guinn profile image
      Author

      Randall Guinn 3 years ago from Pinellas Park, Florida

      To Susan and Tammy, thanks so much for reading!

    • Randall Guinn profile image
      Author

      Randall Guinn 3 years ago from Pinellas Park, Florida

      I'm glad that you liked it Shirley.

    • profile image

      Shirley 3 years ago

      Enjoyed your "ghost story." It brought a smile to my face.

    • Randall Guinn profile image
      Author

      Randall Guinn 3 years ago from Pinellas Park, Florida

      Thank you Tina. I appreciate you taking the time to read.

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      Tina Pope 3 years ago

      I just love this story Randall! Awesome!

    • Susan Guinn profile image

      Susan Guinn 3 years ago from Florida

      Shhhh...NOT, no fun keeping it to yourself, LOL! Send it to Donnie! Good story and very funny.

    • Randall Guinn profile image
      Author

      Randall Guinn 3 years ago from Pinellas Park, Florida

      Yes we can RoadMonkey. I suppose that can be the drawback of having a vivid imagination.

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 3 years ago

      When I saw the comment that "it wasn't the usual ghost story, heck it wasn't a ghost story at all" - I just HAD to read it. We certainly can scare ourselves can't we?

    • Randall Guinn profile image
      Author

      Randall Guinn 3 years ago from Pinellas Park, Florida

      I'm glad that you liked it Ruby. Thank you so much for the compliment and for reading.

      Randall

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 3 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Awesomely funny and well written. A perfect haunted story for me.

    • Randall Guinn profile image
      Author

      Randall Guinn 3 years ago from Pinellas Park, Florida

      Thank you so much Barbara. Donnie was funny without trying to be. I haven't seen him in a long time now. I just tried to contact our old pal John today, but no luck yet. Thanks for reading.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 3 years ago from USA

      Good story! Our imaginations can run wild in the dark. The story gave me a chuckle.

    • Randall Guinn profile image
      Author

      Randall Guinn 3 years ago from Pinellas Park, Florida

      Thanks Jackie!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Very enjoyable read! Still smiling. Up and sharing.

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      Tammy 3 years ago

      Great story!! Had me laughing!