Blogtober: Local Ghost Story

Ok, this prompt from Anniek & The Library Looter made me think. Mostly because I’ve lived in Colorado Springs for about a year and a half but I don’t know of any local ghost stories. But… I have a kind of freaky ghost/paranormal story of my own to tell, so tell it I shall.

I lived in Texas from June 2001 to December 2005. I’d say the following happened in late 2003. A friend of mine had come over to the house after getting off work and I was fixing dinner for her, my mom, and myself. It was about 10:00PM. I was standing in the kitchen when I heard a helicopter overhead. The problem was, it was really loud. As in, I thought it was going to land on the roof, loud. So I went to the dining room which had a large picture window overlooking the backyard. Sure enough, there was the familiar searchlight shining in my backyard.

There were a couple of things odd about this. First, the searchlight was only in my backyard. The yards on either side of mine were completely dark. Not a hint of the light from the searchlight touched the other yards. Second, even after stepping outside, I couldn’t see a helicopter. To only shine the light in my backyard, it would have had to have dropped low – but there was no helicopter above my yard. Not to mention that we had trees which would have hindered the helicopter’s descent. Last, the leaves – there leaves on ground and they looked like they were trying to crawl away from the light. It was pretty damn creepy.

The kicker that night was that my mom and my friend were both right there with me, but neither of them heard the helicopter or saw the searchlight in the backyard. I chalked it up to my imagination until the next day when I went to lunch and grocery shop with my friend Sarah.

She told me that the night before, she’d heard screaming coming from the front half of the duplex that she owned and lived in. The front half was empty at the time but she went to investigate anyway. No one was there and she thought maybe it was the neighbors at the house next door to the duplex messing around in the front yard. A few minutes after settling back down, she started to smell smoke. She checked her half of the duplex, did another sweep of the front half, and then asked the neighbors if they’d lit their outdoor fireplace. They said no.

Then she heard the sirens. She asked them if they thought the shopping center behind the houses might be on fire. They said they didn’t think so and that they didn’t hear any sirens. Then she heard the helicopter and saw the searchlight in her backyard. But when she looked up, there wasn’t a helicopter. The sky was perfectly clear, no obstructions. But she heard the helicopter and she saw the searchlight in her backyard. The neighbors saw and heard nothing.

We’d known that the duplex had been the second home to be on that property. We also knew that the original house had burned down. That had been disclosed when Sarah and her husband bought the duplex. But Sarah and I now think that perhaps the house that burned down hadn’t been accidental and that maybe, just maybe, someone was murdered there and the house set ablaze to cover it up. Because otherwise, why a helicopter and searchlight?

The one thing we still haven’t been able to figure out is this: Why would the nonexistent helicopter move to my house, four blocks away, and shine on my backyard? I didn’t see/hear anything but the helicopter and searchlight. Sarah had the whole thing. Did the murderer/arsonist come to my house? Did he/she come through my backyard? Or did someone want me to get just enough to talk about it to Sarah, prompting her to tell the story.

The oddest part is, we looked for newspaper articles for the house burning down. There are none. You can search house fire and the address of the duplex all you want to, you’ll find nothing but an apartment fire down the street that happened over ten years after we moved out of Texas. I guess we’ll never know what happened, but we both think someone was trying to tell or show us something.

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