It was the summer I turned twelve. My dad is a doctor, and back then he had just started a new position in a hospital in Upstate New York. I wasn’t happy about leaving behind all of my friends in Texas.
“I don’t like this house.” I said as we pulled in. I knew complaining wouldn’t change anything; I had been trying and failing for the past two months to change my parents’ minds about moving.
I did like the new house–it was a Victorian, and bigger than our old one. I didn’t want my parents to know I liked it, though. I Instagrammed a pic of it.
My room on the second floor was larger than my old room, and it was one floor below my parents–which gave me space and privacy. The only bad thing was that my room here was cold and drafty. It felt like a cold breeze was stirring, even though the window was closed.
“Jake! The movers are here!” My mom called from downstairs. “Can you come down and help me unpack the kitchen stuff?”
I turned and trudged down the stairs. The rest of the house was hot and stuffy. It smelled musty, probably because it had been empty for over a year.
When I got to the kitchen, I asked mom “Why was this house empty for so long? It didn’t take long for our house to sell.”
“I don’t know, sweetie. The realtor didn’t disclose any problems–they are required to. We had a contractor inspect it, and he didn’t find anything wrong. Maybe people just wanted a newer house. Anyway, we got a good deal on it.”
I’ll skip over the boring parts about the unpacking.
Things quickly escalated; there were more and more strange occurrences. The second night we were in the house, I got up around 3am to go to the bathroom. There was frost on the bathroom mirror and I could see my breath. I got a little freaked out; it shouldn’t be this cold–it was even colder than my room. I hurried and did my business, but when I went to wash my hands–the hot water didn’t work. I let it run for what seemed like an eternity, but it was still ice cold.
I hurried back to bed, shivering with cold and dove back under my covers.
The next morning I told my mom about the hot water not working. She checked, and called me in there to show me that it was working fine. “Maybe it froze last night, it’s an old house with old pipes.” She said.
I scrunched up my face at this. “I’ve never heard of anyone’s pipes freezing in the summertime.”
She just shrugged and went downstairs. “Why don’t you ride your bike around, and explore the neighborhood?” She called over her shoulder. “I saw a park not far away.”
I rode over to the park and saw a couple of guys playing catch. I parked my bike near a bench and watched them. They noticed me after a few minutes and came over to talk.
“Hi! Are you new here?” The boy that spoke had curly brown hair and green eyes.
“Yeah” I replied. “We just moved here from Texas.”
“Oh wow. That’s far!” The boy said. “I’m Kevin, and this is my brother Jack.”
“Where do you live?” Jack asked. He was taller than his brother, and his hair was a slightly lighter shade of brown.
I told them my address, and their eyes got big.
“That’s the old Miller place!” Kevin exclaimed. “They died there!”
“No! They didn’t die there, doofus!” Jack said, “It was a car accident!”
“Oh yeah” Kevin said. “I forgot. Well it’s still haunted!” He turned back to me. “The whole family died on New Year’s Eve, they were hit by a drunk driver. It was so sad. They had a son my age, he was in the car too. I didn’t know him because he went to a different school.”
“I think his name was Benjamin.” Jack said. “I have heard people say that the house is haunted, that is why no one would buy it. Until now.”
They both looked at me with respect and awe. “Can we come over and see it?” Kevin asked, looking hopeful.
“No, Kevin!” Jack interrupted. “Mom said we are not to go near that place.”
“Well, that was before, when it was empty. It’s not empty now.” Kevin replied. “Besides, mom would want us to make friends with the new kid, make him feel welcome.”
“Sure,” I said. “You can come over.*
They high fived each other excitedly, and ran to get their bikes. “Wow, we are really going to go inside the Miller house!” Jack said, as they followed me home.