Thursday, March 18, 2010


One-minute review: Commuter train. Agitated passenger. Finally, nervous passenger agrees to tell his story. Nine years ago, he was president of an exclusive fraternity at an exclusive college. He and eight other members of the fraternity took three freshmen pledges to a reputed haunted house out of town. Built a fire to warm themselves and sent the first freshman into the house with a directive to return in fifteen minutes. He did not return.

Sent the second freshman to retrieve the first. Didn’t return. Exasperated, they sent the third freshman, a future football star, to retrieve the first two freshmen pledges. Didn’t return. The agitated passenger went into the house himself. Found the future football star lying face down, covered with blood, his hair turned white, and tapping a hammer on a piece of board. He died. The other two pledges were never found.

On each succeeding anniversary of that day, one of the original nine who took the three pledges to the haunted house was found covered with blood, hair turned white and tapping a hammer, followed by his death. Each of the nine had met the same fate on succeeding anniversaries. Only one of the nine is left—the narrator—and the next day is the anniversary of what happened in that haunted house nine years ago.

Famous Ghost Stories. Compiled by Bennett A. Cerf. New York: The Modern Library. 1944.

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