Ghost Story by Layton Park

Ghost stories amuse me, but I didn’t believe in the occult, so I don’t write them either.

Then the following story happened, it is true, so l wanted to share the experience.

The wife and I planned to visit the East Coast on a business trip at the end of October. We added an extra week so we could explore Nova Scotia, staying at various bed and breakfasts.

I have always been intrigued by lighthouses, so when the wife found a B&B in one on a property, we booked it.  Arriving late in the day we explored the 150-year-old building then later, we spent the evening with the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Kent, who related the following story to us.

Mr. Kent’s great-grandfather had built the home on the property in the early 1800s. He had served eighteen years as first officer of the Queens Navy and sailed under Lord Nelson at the battle of Trafalgar, where Nelson died. As Nelson died, he ordered Kent to sail, the flagship HMS Victory back to England.

Because it was Nelson’s ship, it led the flotilla home. The British government rewarded great-grandfather Kent for his service by awarding him command of his own ship, then they sent him to Canada to fight in the War of 1812.

He became a war hero raiding American ships. After a sword injury to his leg forced him to resign his commission in the British Navy, he retired and purchased the property where we were now staying.

Captain Kent built a small house next to the lighthouse. Local folklore claimed that the house became occupied by an unknown presence. Twenty years later, the captain destroyed the house and built the new one where we were lodged for the night. According to local legend, the spirit moved from the old house to the lighthouse, where numerous sightings were reported.

A few years ago, during another Halloween, a vehicle caused a stir when all its lights began to flash, and the horn began honking steadily and would not quit. A report on the incident made the news and a clairvoyant arrived from New York to investigate.  After spending some time in the lighthouse alone, she told Mr. Kent she had experienced a “presence.” Without knowing the history, she said she did not understand why he was at this specific location, but the ghost was that of Lord Admiral Nelson. The Kent’s believe his spirit had come to the new land with his protégé, Captain Kent, and remains there to this day.

We knew the East Coast was rife with such stories and found it amusing, but of course, we never really believed it. It was soon time for bed, and I headed up stairs to the room. The wife went out to retrieve her overnight bag which she had left in the rental car.

The ocean was calm. The only light came from a beam from the lighthouse, throwing its cautionary message into the blackness to warn passing ships. The beam from the lighthouse added to the eerie mood created by the chill, the silence, and the darkness. The setting could not have been more appropriate for what was about to happen.

After getting her bag, she closed the trunk and started back for the house when she heard a click and turned to see the lid pop open. She was sure it had latched. Still, she shrugged and returned to slam the lid down again.

As she walked away a second time, she heard the trunk spring open again and a wave of goose bumps ran up her arms and down her back. She looked back at the car but saw nothing. She strained to look out into the dark, but all was still.

Slowly, she walked back and lifted the lid. The trunk was empty. There was no reason for the lid not to shut tight and latch. She slammed it down hard a third time and made sure that it firmly latched before starting back to the house.

Before she had taken two steps, she heard the lid pop again. Nervously, she turned around and quickly shut it hard and leaned on it, holding it down for what seemed like more than a few long seconds. Nothing happened. It was firmly closed this time.

As she stood alone looking around, something moved and caught her attention. She looked up at a second storey-window of the old house. There was something or someone there, behind the dark and dirty glass, and it was staring at her. She could feel it. Straining to see through the window, she could identify an outline. Then something happened that she would never forget.

Through the dark glass of the old house, she began to make out a bearded figure. As she watched, it began to raise its right arm. She was paralyzed with fear. She watched as the arm continued to rise. It seemed to be pointing at her! A cold wave of air came from nowhere, flooding over her, freezing her to the spot. The arm was now fully extended toward her.

Just then, the beam from the lighthouse raced across the side of the house and hit the window, lighting up my face. I had been exposed! I stood there, a grin spreading over my face as I held the remote-control unit that opened the trunk.

From that day on it was my responsibility for retrieving all the luggage!

Comments are closed.