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Helpful Slaves

Well, everyone in my family knows this story and everyone believes it. About six years ago, my mother, father and I went to visit my uncle who lived just outside of Chicago. Their house was built before the Civil War and was proved to be a house that was part of the underground railroad that hid escaped slaves. Well, on our first night as we all sat down to dinner my cousin Peter said to his mother, "Have you told them yet?", and she promptly responded, "Oh they'll just think we're crazy." Of course, this tweaked my interest so I asked what they were talking about. They all then began to tell us of the ghostly happenings around the house. My aunt told a story of how one day she came home from work and no one was home (which is an odd thing in a family of seven), and she felt very lonely. Just then, she felt a reassuring presence and then someone putting their hand on her shoulder. When she turned, there of course was no one there. Now of course all of the stories they told are all hearsay because I myself had never experienced them.

Then, around midnight, everyone went upstairs to settle for the night in for bed, and my cousin Peter said that maybe I'd be lucky and see or hear something during the night. I asked him why he said that, and he told me that he had the most "active" room in the house because it was the slaves' quarters. I laughed it off and told him where he could stick his ghost stories. As I took off my clothes and tossed them on the floor next to my cot, Peter freaked out and said, "Get your clothes out of the closet." I asked him why, and he told me of how weird things always happened to his clothes when they were in the closet. Just for reference, this was a small room about 8'x10' with a walk-in closet that had a curtain going over it instead of a door. My shoes were just inside the closet area and my pants and shirt were partially inside. At seeing my clothes in the closet, I told Peter just to calm down because nothing would happen. We both shrugged it off and turned in for the night.

About ten minutes after the lights were out, you could hear banging footsteps coming up the rear spiral staircase. This of course scared me stiff until my uncle Paul shouted, "Keep it down, I have to get up early." This struck me as odd, shouting at a "ghost" like that, but surely enough the footsteps quieted down. They didn't stop, but were more muffled sounding. I knew this wasn't one of my cousins because the stairway was just outside his door and we never shut it. At this point, I was beyond words because ghosts only seem to happen in the states that the thirteen colonies were formed in, not Chicago, Illinois. My cousins sensed my fear and said, "Go to bed ya wuss, they're nice." This calmed me some, so I tried to sleep.

After about two hours, I began to fade into that fuzzy feeling that isn't sleep but isn't consciousness either. Just as that feeling set in, I heard something like someone talking far, far away. I snapped back into consciousness and listened for a moment, then lied backed down. A few moments later, I heard it again but this time it was much closer and it continued to get louder until I could make out what it was saying and who it was saying it to. This voice was speaking to me, and it said, "Massa, what you want me to do with these?" It sounded just like a slave out of a bad movie. I couldn't believe what I heard, so I sat bolt upright and looked over to my cousin and said, "What did you say Peter?", but he was contently snoring in his sleep. I then heard the voice from just behind me. So I slowly turned to the closet. I remember this part quite vividly, there was just enough light coming through the window that you could make out objects around the room. I looked to the closet curtain and saw that it was now open. The first thing my cousin did when he went in the room was close that curtain. I looked at this in shock for a few moments then noticed something else was wrong. I looked down to the floor and saw my clothes were gone. Then the voice said to me in a normal speaking voice, "You want me to clean these Sir?" The only thing that was going on in my head at that moment was run, not because I was afraid of this spirit but because this wasn't possible. Dead people just can't talk to you. I quickly got up and sadly enough headed for my parents room. I quietly slipped into their room and was afraid to wake them because of how creaky it was. I threw my pillow and blanket down and laid on the floor looking at the door, almost daring it to open.

At about 4:40 in the morning I started to fall asleep again, but this time I saw and didn't hear. I watched the door slowly open and when I noticed that this time it made no noise at all, my heart froze in my chest. The door fully opened and nothing happened, so I relaxed a little and said to myself that nothing could happen and that I was seeing things. I rolled over to go to sleep and right next to my pillow were my shirt, pants and shoes. I would have screamed if I could and quickly woke my parents. After my mother turned on the light she immediately knew something was wrong because she said I was so pale I looked dead. She asked me if the footsteps scared me that much. After a few minutes she finally got the story out of me and told me I was crazy until she picked up my shirt to put it on a hanger. At this time I saw her go white and I asked her what was wrong. She told me that she earlier saw that I had gotten a tomato sauce stain on the front of my shirt. I said, "So what?" She showed me the shirt, and there was no stain to be seen. On top of that, it had been ironed, my jeans where cleaned and pressed and my shoes that where dirty from playing baseball earlier were clean as well.

The next day at breakfast, my aunt berated me until I told her the whole story, at which point she made a comment about wishing that they would do her laundry. Of course, I did not find that funny in the least, but she told me that nothing bad would happen. They had been living there for a few years and some very strange things had happened, but the four ghosts that they knew lived there (a stately gentleman, a young woman, a young male slave and an older female slave), had never done anything that was mean or frightening. For the next few night I heard whispers and footsteps, but nothing like that first night. At the time, I was frightened beyond belief, but now that I look back at it he never meant me any harm and if I could I'd like to try to talk to him or any of them, because needless to say I believe in the paranormal and spirits.

Submitted from: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America