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By L.J. Ehrlich,
Follett High School,
Class of 1953
The year was 1952. The
High School was
having a high school wiener roast east of Follett on the
At that time there were about 60 or 70 in the entire
high school and most all were there. In addition we had
several high school teachers as sponsors. The exact location of
our picnic was at the south base of a 75-100 foot cliff. This is same cliff
that I drove my 1936 Chevy off of a couple of years
earlier. But then
that’s another story!
To the north of the spot where we had the wiener roast
was an old two story house with many many rooms, a wrap around
front porch, a balcony, a tall roof, fireplace, chimney and
all. No one
had lived there for many years. It was deserted, run
down and said to be haunted. There were actually
some secret passages upstairs from closet to closet. I had previously
traveled through the secret passages in the day time. The place was
spooky. Whenever I watched the
TV show “The Munsters” I would think of the Gigger house as
they looked a lot alike on the outside.
It was just after dark, there was a big bonfire and we
all had finished roasting wieners, marshmallows, etc. The entire
high school was now in smaller groups, (I called them
few girls bunched up and were giggling over the boys. Another bunch of boys
grouped close by and so on. There were
probably 5-6 clicks huddled around talking about anything and
everything, just having fun.
That is where this story begins. There
happened to be 3-4 girls looking for fun and excitement who
were making plans to go though the Gigger Haunted House. The house was
maybe 400 yards to the north and would only take several
minutes to walk.
They were excited.
Unknown to the 3-4 girls were 4-5 boys who overheard
the girls making their plans to go to the haunted house. The 4-5 boys
decided they would run ahead of the girls and really give them
a good scare.
Now unknown to the 4-5 boys was myself and 2 others,
(Dubby, and Squirt.)
We immediately took off running for the haunted
Running through the night over sagebrush, limbs, and
other debris was somewhat difficult, but we made it in record
time, anticipating the fun we would have ahead of
Now I had been in the haunted house before in the day
time, but never at night. I sort of knew
about the first big room directly off the front porch. It was
a living room and I remembered it had a closet on the east
slowly creeped across the room with my groping hands
outstretched in front of me till I reached the wall, then I
felt my way down the wall till I found an old door, it was the
opened the door and slowly got in. Wow! It was small, only
about 2 feet by 4 feet. I don’t know
where Dub and Squirt hid as it was everyone for themselves.
Boy it was dark!
It was darker than dark. It was black
dark. I remember
holding my hand about 1 inch in front of my nose and I
couldn’t see a thing! I was
sweaty and out of breath and trying to get my second wind
before the other boys got there.
I hadn’t been in the closet more than 30 seconds when I
heard the approaching voices of the boys coming closer to the
were laughing and stumbling in the dark. They were saying
things like “Where do I hide?” “Where you gonna hide?” and
stuff like that.
To my surprise the closet door opened and one of the
boys got in the closet with me. I immediately
scooted back into the corner as much as I could because I knew
there wasn’t going to be room for both of us in that
I was still breathing hard and trying hard to hold my
breath so he wouldn’t hear me. He was breathing
hard too and doing a little snort-giggling at the same
lungs were about to burst, I decided I needed to tell him I
was in the closet too. By the
sound of his breathing and laughing I knew he was only about 1
foot or less directly in front of me. I had to make my
Not wanting to scare the living day lights out of him I
quickly decided I would reach out and tap him on the shoulder
and at the same time identify myself and tell him I was with
him in the closet.
I reached out to tap him on the shoulder but my hand
missed his shoulder and my sweaty hand caught him on the side
of his cheek.
Now I believe this for a fact. Somewhere in the
universe there is a distance record held by this person
for “a screaming broad jump from a
standing position”. In fact he
screamed so loud and leaped forward and took off so fast I
never had a chance to say anything! His rapid
exit and loud scream sort of startled me too until I
realized what I had done. Then I laughed
so hard I got weak and had to sit down in the closet while I
His unrehearsed believable screams and other loud
sounds he made while exiting the premises sounded an alarm
that was very convincing to the others and they too started
screaming and running at top speed back to the picnic grounds.
You might describe it
like a night
stampede headed back to camp. In a matter of
just a few moments I was all alone in the haunted house, the
rest were back at the wiener roast site, some were already in
their vehicles heading back to
I never told that person who got in the closet with me
that it was me.
He might have beaten me to death. As of today he
still doesn’t know or have a clue. I hope he never
finds out. If you
know him, please don’t tell him. I pray he never
reads this story.
As corny as this story is, it is true.