The Fire Next Door

08 February 2021 | Haunted houses, Your Stories, Your True Encounters

I was very small when this happened. Though at the time, I did not understand why the things I remember happening took place. It was quite an amazing revelation to find out the whole story when I was old enough that it would not scare me.

I remember one day as my family was driving toward home on our busy street, that we could see a lot of flashing lights. I remember my mom and dad’s concern as we got closer, because of all the fire trucks and emergency vehicles in front of our home. Luckily it was not our place, but our neighbors home that had caught fire. Being so young I really didn’t realize the gravity of what had happened. I remember how charred furnishings and a big burned teddy bear being thrown out of the second-story window. A police officer spoke to my dad, and my dad agreed to follow him to the burned home’s driveway. I guess in the confusion no one noticed a little boy following as well. From a distance, I saw them uncover one of the neighbor ladies for my father to identify. To me, she just looked really dirty and asleep. Like I said, I was not aware of how serious the situation was, and that she had died from smoke inhalation just a few feet from the door. They did not have my father look at her mother who had fallen asleep while smoking. I later found out she was not recognizable due to how badly burned she was. I also remember her husband’s panicked run across the lawn shortly after walking back to our yard.

Well for several days after this, it seemed like every time my siblings and I were outside playing my mother would make us come inside to play. This was weird, because we had a big back yard, and mom always insisted we play outside. Likely so we were out of her hair and for some peace. I think it was about the third day after the fire that my parents went out on a date night. My grandmother came over, like usual, to watch us. I am not sure how much time had gone by, but my grandmother was crying and sent us to our rooms. My folks came home, and although what was being said was in hushed tones, and couldn’t be heard by myself, it was obvious something bad happened. I was scared because I couldn’t think of anything we had done to cause grandma to start crying. With how oppressively weird the last few days had been, I thought we were in a lot of trouble. But nothing happened to us, and eventually, things went back to normal.

I later found out that the reason my mom kept calling us into the house. It was that she was seeing the neighbor lady who burned up in the fire looking into and then entering our backyard. Obviously, she was not about to let her kids know why she was not letting us play back there like we always did. She kept it to herself. That was until a day or so later,she was folding laundry on her bed when she felt like someone was in the room. Looking up expecting one of her kids standing there, she was surprised to find the neighbor lady right there in her room. I guess my mom has always been a woman that did not get hysterical or easily shaken. Heck, she has always been vocal about how she can’t stand useless women like that. Well, her response was not what you might expect. She did not get scared, she got angry! Angry that someone, dead or not, had the gall to invade her home! So her response was to say “what the hell do you think you are doing here”. My mom said this woman just looked at her with a funny confused expression. So my mom said to her something like. “Don’t you know your dead? Your house caught fire and you died. You shouldn’t be here.” So the lady left and my mom assumed that was that, and it was done.

Up till this time, my mom kept it all to herself. She feared what people would think if she relayed what she had been seeing. Of course, she would be considered crazy. But this woman showing up in her bedroom took it too far, so she confided it to my dad and no one else. I think this was the same day that my grandmother was tending us kids. Well, that was not the end, because when they came home to my crying grandmother, grandma said “I don’t want you to ask me to come over here to babysit as long as that dead woman is wandering around here”. My mom said that my dad looked at her with a shocked look on his face, I guess he had not believed it till that moment because mom had only confided in him earlier that day what she had seen. I bet my mom had an “I told you so” look on her face back at him. Later, without divulging why, my mom made inquiries to other neighbors about the woman who had been hanging around after death. My mom found out that the woman’s best friend had lived in our home before we did. Apparently, she moved away because this woman that later died in the fire had made such a pest of herself, that her friend had to move to get away from her. My mom said she wondered if that was why she was in our home. Maybe looking for this friend?

My mom did not see her after grandma’s fright, but something weird was still happening next door. Apparently, the husband got remarried in a very short time after this all happened. My mom said it happened so quickly she wondered if he might have been having an affair with her prior to the fire. The home was repaired, and the new wife moved in. My mom said she was a nice lady and one day she told my mom some of the weird stuff that happened in the home. Her biggest complaint that the door to the upstairs bedroom was constantly sticking. She just couldn’t get it to open no matter how she tried. However, her husband would walk up right afterward and had no trouble opening it. It just did not make any sense because everything was replaced and new, and she was the only one that ever had trouble with it. There were other things but this was something that really bothered her. So my mom told her about the things she saw after the fire. She also let her know that the upstairs bedroom was the room where the fire that killed the first wife and daughter started. That the first wifes burned to death in that room because she was smoking in bed. Needless to say, they moved out of that house. Quickly!


Submitted to Weird Darkness and My by Dave B.

© 2024, G. Michael Vasey & My Haunted Life (Unless indicated otherwise by author’s own copyright above). All rights reserved.

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