There was an abandoned house sitting in the middle of a fancy neighborhood in Calgary that nobody would go near. And I mean nobody! Now, my pal Albert was the agent in charge of selling that haunted house and he tried everything in his power to close a deal. But folks were too plumb scared to make an offer, even at rock-bottom prices. Finally, Albert lit on the notion of selling the house sight unseen to a rich city slicker from the States. Worked like a charm, too, until the day the city slicker decided he wanted to visit the property after all.
Albert was all set to take the fellow there at high noon, but the city slicker’s train was delayed, so it wasn’t until after dinner that the two men set off for the haunted house. It was a dark and rainy night, but early enough in the evening that the ghost might still be resting. At least, Albert hoped this was the case.
Albert unlocked the front door, and it opened with an ominous creak. Albert swallowed nervously, but the city slicker just chuckled and said something about atmosphere. Albert relaxed a bit, and wondered if he shouldn’t have raised the price a bit. The two men entered a tall foyer absolutely festooned with dusty cobwebs.
“Creepy!” the city slicker said enthusiastically. He bounded energetically into the center of the foyer, “Come to me, foul spirits!” he intoned loudly.
Immediately, the whole house rang with a sinister, unearthly chuckle. Then an unearthly voice boomed: “I’m coming down now!” The city slicker jumped and then turned to Albert with a happy grin. “Great special effects! How’d you do that?”
“I didn’t,” Albert said, his teeth chattering. He backed up until he hit the front door and stood there with his hand on the knob.
“I’m coming down now!” the voice boomed again, and the city slicker’s grin slipped a bit. He looked at Albert’s frightened posture and then followed the agent’s gaze toward the stairs.
A bright light exploded into being at the top of the steps and quickly resolved into a sinister green head with flaming eyes, writhing hair, and fangs instead of teeth. The head opened its mouth and screamed; a terrible, high-pitched sound that scraped across the nerves.
As the head began rolling down the stairs toward the two men, Albert’s nerve broke, and a moment later he was halfway down the road, his own scream rivaling that of the specter in the house behind him.
It wasn’t until he was almost home that he realized that he had company. The city slicker was running along beside him.
“Mister, I don’t think I want that house after all,” he panted.
“Why not?” asked a hauntingly familiar voice. Albert and the city slicker looked over and saw the green head with flaming red eyes keeping pace with them as they raced down the street.
The city slicker gave a screech that would have shamed a banshee and disappeared into the distance so fast there was no keeping up with him.
“Must have been the asking price,” the floating head said conversationally to Albert. The real estate agent shrieked even louder than the city slicker and ran away so fast that his shoes made sparks against the pavement.
The next day, Albert quit his job and moved to Vancouver, where he spent the rest of his life working on a fishing boat. And the haunted house fell into ruin and was eventually torn down.
my last visit to the cinema
I’m coming down now! an alberta ghost story. retold by s. e. schlosser