It was the Fourth of July 1975, I was living at my friend Carlos house in Norwood, Massachusetts. I had trouble with a biker club from the North Shore of Boston, I just had to get away. Carlos and I had met in the U.S. Veteran's Hospital, West Roxbury, Massachusetts. He had taken a long vacation to Las Vegas, Nevada, and left me his house, his 1973 BMW Barvaria, and one lousy neighbor who complained every time I turned up the stereo. I shared the house with another friend of Carlos, Jimmy, a parapalegic Vietnam Veteran who was wounded in combat, and now restricted to a wheelchair.
I had known both Carlos and Jimmy for two years, we were all good pals. Carlos is a ballsy guy. He was wounded in Vietnam, shot through the back by a VC. He refused to be restricted to a wheelchair, he did all in his power to walk with crutches and those horrible ankle braces that keep the feet from dropping, he wears them all. He was what us Vets called a "walking parapalegic" and probably still is. I haven't seen him in years. We all had many parties and good fun together. We got on fine, and I couldn't ask for a better deal.
Jimmy, on the other hand, had too much damage to his lower back, and could not be a walking parapalegic, as hard as he tried. Man, could he play a mean game of Wheelchair Basketball! Wheelchair Basketball is the same as regular Basketball, only all the players are in wheelchairs. These guys are as good and as fast as most players in the NBA. Carlos, too, he would only get in a wheelchair to play. Carlos was in Vegas, Jimmy and I had a party planned.
We had a big bash planned, with many friends coming. We had a whole cardboard box full of firecrackers, skyrockets, and sparklers. We had a great stereo system, our neighbors just loved it and had sent the cops down many times to tell us just how much they did love it. Everyone we invited showed up, there must have bee thirty or more people there at the height of our festivities. We drank heavily, washing down a few tabs of mescaline, dancing, carrying on, eating though everything tasted strange because of the mescaline. You get that acidic taste, not unpleasant since it tells you you haven't wasted your hard earned pension on a cube of sugar or some little colored pill made of rolled up yak dung. We were blowing grass inside. We started blowing off firecrackers outside, but our one bitchy neighbor soon had the cops down to put a damper on our fun. By then we were all ripped. We couldn't blow off the crackers outside, so we set them off inside, instead.
Our neighbors, the good ones and the one bad one, must have thought we were all nuts. By 5AM the last group had left, leaving Jimmy and I picking up the pieces. I was sitting on the couch looking into the kitchen archway, Jimmy was sitting in his chair, also looking at the archway to the kitchen. Firecracker paper was four inches deep all over the house, there wasn't a square foot of floor without firecracker paper, we were lucky we didn't burn the house down.
We had drank ourselves sober, and the mescaline had long worn off. We were laughing hard over funny things certain people did at the party, stupid things. We laughed about the spiteful neighbor who always called the cops and what we were going to do to try and drive him out of the neighborhood. Carlos didn't like the guy, either. He would have approved all we did, if he was there. Carlos was tired of his bellyaching neighbor out the back. He ended up selling the house because of this one neighbor.
The morning light was just breaking though big picture window behind my head, when it reached the archway into the kitchen I was shocked to the point where my hair stood straight up on my head. I could not breathe. I could not look away, I was riveted in a very shocked stare. There, in the doorway, plain as day, stood three Grim Reapers! The black capes with the hoods, the staff in each of the Reapers hands, and voids where the faces should have been, no feet on the floor. I could not believe my eye.
I turned to Jimmy and asked: "Do you see what I see?!" Jimmy was looking at the archway with a shocked look on his face, he was white.
"Yeah..there's three of them!"
"I'm going to turn around and look out the window," I said very loudly, "and when I turn around you all better be gone!" I turned away, Jimmy turned to the window behind me, too. When we turned around, they were gone.
I asked Jimmy, "did you
see what I
"They were "Grim Reapers, three of them," he said.
My hair stood up again, and I rushed out into the kitchen and looked out the door, with no sign at all of anybody or anything moving. I came back in and got two more beers for us. We swilled them down, and I went to the fridge and got more, we needed more. Neither of us believed in ghosts before all this, and I truly believe it was not the mescaline, or the beer....how was it possible that we both seen the same three apparitions? "Grim Reapers."
I will never forget that morning. I believe in ghosts, so does Jimmy , we had seen three of them, not just one, all at once. I have never seen another ghost since that day, but I am always watching out for them. Shortly after that, things in my life began to go horribly wrong....but that's another story. Where are the "Ghostbusters" when we need them?