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A Quirky Ghost Tale

By Joyce Jacobo

[Author’s Note: I remember hearing about a ghost who liked to rearrange furniture, and then got inspired to write this story.]

A writer (let’s call her Susan) decided to rent a place out in the countryside. She needed a quiet place to complete her novel and finally managed to find a cheap little cabin up in the forested mountains. Away from any major highways or crowded towns, the loudest sounds in the area were the songs of various birds. The house even had spacious rooms and came fully furnished.

There was just one issue.

“You should know that the cabin is haunted,” the landlord warned. He was an elderly gentleman with a slight hunch and a good-natured smile. “Oh, it’s safe enough. There’s just the one ghost, and the most it does is play minor pranks here and there, nothing too dreadful. Still, most people leave after the first few nights, and that’s why the rent is so cheap.” He sighed. “Are you sure you want to stay there?” 

Susan just shrugged. “I have a novel to write, and this is the best spot I’ve found to do it,” she said, and that was that. After unpacking her belongings in the bedroom on the second floor, she came downstairs and set up her workstation at a desk in the parlor.

Because she was a person who needed her work environment organized in a certain way, Susan moved the furniture around to her preference. An armchair set against one wall found a new home in front of a window that offered a stunning perspective on the forest, while a couch got shoved several inches closer to a bookcase filled with books to peruse during her rest breaks—among a bunch of similar adjustments.

Then Susan set about her work. Throughout the day, she labored over her writing project, teasing out strands of plots and coaxing characters into shape. Everything stayed peaceful and still; the warning by the landlord gradually faded into the background. And by the time she headed up to bed, all Susan could think of were ways to piece together the next passage of her narrative. 

So, it was a surprise when she came downstairs the next morning to find all the furniture in the parlor arranged in their previous positions. “Ah, this is probably due to that ghost the landlord was talking about,” Susan muttered, startled shock giving way to wonder. Perhaps many people would have been spooked by this poltergeist-style activity and gotten unnerved, but Susan almost burst out laughing. In her literary endeavors, the writer had overcome much tougher obstacles than a harmless supernatural prank, and she arranged the furniture again before returning to work.

Yet the furniture had shifted back by the following morning.

Undaunted, she moved the furniture again.

This odd ritual went on for several days, and then onto two weeks, which was when Susan hit a rough patch in her story. A scene had basically fallen apart, in her opinion, and now she was rethinking numerous crucial portions of the overall narrative, along with the roles played by her major characters.

The stress brought on a terrible headache that made sleep difficult, and soon found Susan tossing and turning in bed. One night, when her agitation and anxiety and reached a particularly sharp peak, she heard objects shifting about on the first floor. Apparently, the ghost was going about its end of the ritual between them.

Frustrated anger twisted inside her.

Something snapped.

Susan sprang from bed and stomped down the stairs, where the furniture was, as expected, back in their previous locations. She took a deep breath, and began quietly, “At first, I put up with your childish prank, because you didn’t seem too bad and left me alone most of the time. I thought you might have even done it out of loneliness.”

A dead calm fell over the house, as she continued, “There was a good reason why I moved the furniture, for my work and for my sanity, and I have been working very hard. Now I have a headache bordering on a migraine, my narrative is in trouble, and you are making my life much harder than necessary. I don’t need any other nonsense.” Her voice started to grow in strength. “If I come down here at dawn and find the furniture is not how I arranged it, so help me, you are going to regret it!”

By this time, Susan was practically shouting, and an onlooker might have noticed that a few pieces of the furniture seemed to tremble before the clear fury on her face.

Without another word, she went up to bed and fell asleep soundly.

The furniture was indeed back the way Susan had arranged it by the following morning, and that was how it stayed during the entire time the writer remained at the house—as if the ghost had either gotten too scared or maybe even too embarrassed to try any other type of prank; no one would ever know for sure.

It was obvious they had reached an understanding of sorts, in any case. When Susan finished her novel a few weeks later, she put all the pieces of furniture back in their original places, murmured a thanks to the cabin at large, and left.

Of course, the landlord heard the whole story afterwards. He laughed and wished Susan the best in her writing career. The one thing that puzzled him, however, was in finding all the furniture in the parlor rearranged. He was pretty sure Susan had told him she had put everything back as she had found it, but perhaps maybe he had misheard her.

The landlord moved everything back as he had first arranged them—

Only to find the furniture rearranged again the next morning.

Eventually, the landlord just left the furniture where the ghost obviously wanted it left, as if in preparation for when the writer came back. Or possibly, the landlord would suggest, it was simply out of respect.

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8 thoughts on “A Quirky Ghost Tale

  1. What a great tale and so well told…Quirky, indeed, it truly is a very unusual ghost story…and to think maybe the ghost rearranged it her way..in the hopes she might return?… or just out of respect? Well maybe:) I thoroughly enjoyed your telling of this highly unusual ghost story

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hehe, I always enjoy hearing ghost tales where there is some positive connection made between the specter and the inhabitants of a house. The idea of a ghost rearranging furniture sounded kind of humorous, which is what led to this tale. ^_^

      Thank you for reaching out to me about the difficulties reaching the posting at first, and then for commenting on the story afterwards!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much. There is another ghostly tale that I might share here very soon, so I hope you will enjoy that one as well.

      Anyway, thank you so much for commenting! ^_^

      Like

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