Twisted Tale: Dealing with Ghosts in Detroit

two-story, single-family home on Wilfred Street is where I grew up in Detroit. It was built back in the 1920s. And to be honest, I was never convinced the original tenants ever left.

As a child, I felt them lingering in every room. It creeped me the eff out! Floorboards creaked under no weight, pipes stirred and walls popped with random noises. No doubt, it was them. And somehow, you'd think there'd be better jobs for the eternally damned in the afterlife besides scaring the bejesus out of little girls-it is eternity, after all. But I guess even the pits of hell could feel Detroit's auto industry slow down.

Those strange noises were proof that we are not alone and our house would never really be home with them here. This was all an appetizer to the terrifying main course: the second floor staircase with the window.

To get to the bedrooms on the top floor, there was no way around passing this window. And it was our own little path to purgatory suspended over the stairwell landing.

When it was hot outside, the window was cold with frost. When it was cold outside, the window glowed with hellfire. I always ran to get pass the window, never looking back. And with each step, my heart raced. I could feel them around me, behind my back, at my heels, ready to drag me off to the underworld.


I was 6 years old when I swore those undead bastards would never catch me. I would be like Ms. Pac-Man, doing a nonstop waka waka waka up to my room. Unfortunately, the day came when my waka wasn't fast enough and I heard them whisper, "Monicaaaa … Monicaaaa …"

At 6 years old, I knew it just got real.

I sprinted to my parent's room, sobbing and terrified.

"Mom!" I announced frantically. "One of them is on the stairs and said it was going to get me!"

My mother didn't miss a beat. "You go over to the top of the stairs and tell them if they have a problem with you to come see your momma!" she said with the confidence of someone who didn't know any better.

I followed her lead anyway and stepped into the hall and shouted down to the window: "My mom said that if you have a problem with me to go see her! And ooo-wee, you're going to get a whoopin'!" Surely the threat of a whoopin' was enough to set any type of ghoul straight. But soon it was clear that threats didn't scare them at all.

It was only moments later when my mother doubled over, writhing in intense pain. She said the sensation was like a hot knife in her side and it wouldn't let up. We immediately rushed her to the emergency room.

After days of blood tests, X-rays and questions, the doctors released her. They found no valid cause for her pain. But I already knew what had caused it and she did, too. It was them. We picked a fight, but it was them who'd won … for now.

The next morning, the sound of footsteps on the stairwell woke me. I peeked out my room and saw a caravan of church members holding Bibles in one hand and holy oil in the other. They shuffled from room to room, hands doused in the holy oil marking crosses on each wall. As the fleet of praying troops marched past me, a random hand reached out and made a cross in oil on my forehead. The praying and dousing of oil went on for a few hours before our front door flung open with my mother leading her friends in a shout for evil spirits to leave.

An atmosphere of peace and calm fell over the entire house afterwards. That feeling lasted for days and even seemed to carry over into our neighborhood. My mother was walking upright and normal just days later, free from all her pain.

To this day my mother tells that story to anyone who will listen. She shares a stern warning to be careful of what you say, because you never know when you could be saying it to them.

Now that I am looking for a house of my own, preferably a ranch with no second floor window, I have my holy oil and Bible ready. But if it really get's that serious, I'll just kindly ask them to pay rent.

Indie author Monica Sholar isn't afraid to find the funny in her stories-even in the scariest of situations. "Stories are the secret handshake of the world," she says. "To know them is to know each other." Get to know her most recent work, the suspense thriller series Belle Isle Heights, at

Facebook Comments



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here