The Ghost of Cheswick

The miserable town of Cheswick, Pennsylvania was as good as dead.... It was one of those lonely towns, isolated from the rest of the world with a creepy folklore scaring away any visitors.

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1. The Ghost of Cheswick

 

The miserable town of Cheswick, Pennsylvania was as good as dead with no more than fifteen families constituting a population of a mere fifty two. It was one of those lonely towns, isolated from the rest of the world with a creepy folklore scaring away any visitors. The Cheswick tale began with the Cheswick Family back in the 18th century. The Cheswicks were the religious sort. They read and reread the bible every day, had many superstitions and followed weird customs which left the rest of the town to believe they were crazy. One among their strange customs included the very story behind the town's mysterious past and its dreadful present. Mr. and Mrs. Cheswick, along with their two sons and three daughters would conceal themselves up in their third floor attic on every full moon night, claiming a ghost was unleashed into the remaining of their house. They said the ghost arrived with the dazzling lunar glow in search of innocent victims in the Cheswick house. Any human wandering the house at that time would fall prey to the ghost and disappear, never to be found again. They hung garlic cloves on the door to the attic and claimed it warded off evil spirits. The attic was, apparently, the only safe place in the entire house.

 

When people raised dubious questions as to why the ghost only haunted their house, or where the people would disappear, the Cheswicks would simply wave off the matter and delve into another one of their insane fibs of the Ghost of Cheswick. They wouldn't disclose even how they knew all of this was true.

 

"It simply is," they would say, followed by a heavy sigh and a distant, weary look at the sky.

 

Of course nobody believed them. They were usually dismissed as sorry attempts of the crazy family at lies to frighten the townsfolk, or perhaps to draw attention to themselves - the forlorn family in the lone house to whom nobody gave a pennyworth of care. They laughed at them behind their backs and made the Cheswicks nothing more than objects of ridicule. Some would look at them with pity, watching them gather their belongings and retreating into their attic every full moon night.

 

"They are imbeciles! Lunatics! A messed up ol' family!" they'd say.

 

But on the thirteenth day of the seventh month of 1784, the moon shone round and bright above an unusual dreariness and unnatural restlessness that seemed to envelope the town. There was something off about the way the town's people mocked the Cheswicks that night, for they felt it oddly malign. An uncanny chill was suspended in the air - the kind that brought shivers down one's spine. The Cheswicks, with routined casualness, climbed up to their attic and shut the door, sealing themselves within. But the next morning, they were gone.

 

The house lay vacant at the end of the street, emanating a glum and sorrowful aura. Nobody noticed at first. They imagined the Cheswicks were just busy with their Bible at home or just didn't feel the need to socialise. But as months passed without a sign of the Cheswicks, it became evident that they weren't just hiding. They had disappeared. And they were never to be found again.

 

As unpopular as the Cheswicks were, their story lived on. Many theories were formed about their disappearance. Some say they had gotten sick of being mocked and fled the town as a final attempt to scare the townsfolk. A couple claimed to have even seen the family wandering the streets of a neighbouring town, only to confess later on that it must have been a mistake. A few children spoke stories of a lonesome shack that had appeared in the corner of their playfield with the name ‘Cheswick’ etched across the door. But soon admitted it was only a tale they had cooked up and that there isn’t any such shack at all.

The theory of the Ghost of Cheswick also exists, of course. And it's more than clear how it intimidates the townsfolk to such extent that they hesitate to even set foot near the Cheswick House. But those who are unashamed enough to admit that they believe in it to this day are very few. On rare occasions, foolish men have wandered into the Cheswick House on full moon nights to prove that the Ghost of Cheswick doesn't exit. Instead, their vain attempts brought nothing but death upon their poor souls and exhibited more proof of the existence of the so-called Ghost. None of the unfortunate venturers have walked out of that wretched house alive.

 
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