The top of the stairsAs children, we have a tendency to believe what the adults around us say.
They tell us that the boogeyman eats little children who get up out of bed at night; we believe them. As we get older, we start to realize that what they say was all made up, and we go and tell our children the same thing.
While visiting my great-grandparents when I was about six or seven, my great- grandfather told us that, at the top of his stairs, living in the single bedroom was a ghost.
He told us that the ghost liked to open and close doors in the house, and he would make banging noises on the walls, and would stomp down the stairs whenever we reached the third-last stair.
Of course, me and my siblings would dare each other to go up to that step, but none of us really did.
We had to walk by those stairs to get to the bathroom and kitchen. None of us could walk past into the kitchen without giving those stairs a nervous glance. Especially me, as I was the scaredy cat of my siblings. They would mock me, but their laughter was uneasy. We never really knew much more about those stairs, and eventually let the fear go, except me.
A few months ago, I went back with my family to visit my great- grandparents. At first, when we pulled up, I wasn't concerned about the stairs. I was nervous about sitting in the front room, or even the living room, which held to hallways that lead to the stairs.
But, when my youngest sister asked for some water, I got a lump in my throat, and my stomach began doing exotic jumps and churns. Again, when I stepped into the threshold of the kitchen, I threw a nervous glance at the stairs. The door at the top was open. I didn't think much of it.
When we came back out, the door had been closed. I dismissed this as being a draft, or even one of my family members. But, as I walked past the stairs, I heard loud, unmistakable stomps approach the door from upstairs. I stopped, too horrified to even blink, as the door swung open, and the stomps proceeded down the stairs.
I bolted into the front room, panting like I'd just run a mile. Everybody looked confused at me, while I listened hard for the footsteps, so that I might present them as evidence.
My great-grandfather smiled and said, "You look like you've just seen a ghost!"