I grew up in a small house in the wrong side of town in Duncan, Oklahoma. Both of my sisters were born while we lived in that house, and we did a lot of growing there as a family. Dad got promotions at Halliburton, Mom perfected her photography skills, and we girls had slumber parties and caught tadpoles and played in the snow and broke bones and learned about life. When I was 12 years old, the family was getting too big for the house, so we decided to move across town. We sold the house to the crabby neighbors' kids and set a date for the movers to come.

About two weeks before we were supposed to move out, we woke up one morning to find blood running down the wall in the living room. Right there in the middle of morning oatmeal and sunshine and getting ready for school, there was blood. Running down the wall from the ceiling, dripping onto the curtains and pooling on the carpet. Sticky stuff, too, as I recall. We were dumbfounded. Mom did the sensible thing and immediately stuck the curtains in the washing machine and shooed us out the door for school. That night, Dad took a flashlight up into the crawlspace over the living room (no attic) to see if there was a dead bat or a bird or something, but the entire space was completely empty. The blood didn't stain too bad on the brown carpet, but the yellow curtains were completely ruined. Mom had to throw them out.

We moved out of the house as scheduled, and none of us gave much thought to the incident for quite some time. I brought it up a couple of years ago because I was trying to come up with a good story for my Nonfiction Writing class. After some discussion, we all pretty much agreed that the house didn't want us to leave (it couldn't have been a ghost becuase the house was almost new when we moved in, and the land had previously been uninhabited.) That was the feeling Mom remembers, especially. We had a lot of fun in that house, and the good times were about to end. The new owners have added all kinds of ugly, out-of-place rooms onto the house, and we know that they were pretty sleazy people to boot. The neighborhood's gone way downhill since we left, too. I think that sometimes places can absorb a personality from the people who live in them, and that's what I think happened there. And in the end, it didn't want us to leave. All in all, it wasn't so much a scary incident as a sad one.

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