As soon as that voice (see end of Part I) made its feeling known about our being there, my brother and I were making haste to get out of the room. Before we could even open the door, the door started opening by itself. It was grandma! Grandma looked at both of us as if she didn't know who we were. She stopped us both in our tracks. My brother was jabbering loudly about a ghost in the room telling us to get out of his house. There was a small hassock next to the door that grandma told us both to sit down. All my brother and I wanted was to not only get out of that room, but get completely out of the house. After some momentary protesting, we complied with what grandma wanted, we sat down holding each other in fear. Grandma looked around the room as if she was searching for the form that scared us so much. Grandma was about to say something when grandpa made his presence known. "What in sam-hell is going on in this house tonight? What you two boys yelling about?," grandpa asked. Grandma whirled around to say, "Joshua get back to bed! I'm handling this. Go!" When grandma used that tone she had, not even grandpa wanted to tangle with her. So, grandpa went back cussing and grumbling to his bedroom. Grandma looked to us and told me to tell her what we saw and heard. I told her about the ghostly shape floating toward the bed, the voice telling us to get out of his house. Grandma gave us both an exasperated look. It was as if she had dealt with this before.
"Jonathan Minter! I thought we had an agreement. You promised no more of this nonsense! If you bother my grandsons again, I'll get the preacher out here and you'll be banished to hell for all eternity. Do you want that?" grandma asked. Ben and I looked around, half expecting an answer from the darkness of our bedroom. There was no voice this time. But, in the corner near the open window, the form slowly took shape. It was constantly changing. It did not seem threatening for some reason. Maybe it was due to the outraged grandmother who was beside herself with anger. "I'm not joking this time. This isn't the Widow McKinsey or a hired hand you are scaring this time. This is my blood! I won't stand for it. One more time and Preacher Hancock will be paying us and you a visit. No more!" With that, the form in the corner slowly dissipated into nothing. It was so quiet that you could hear the gentle breathing of my grandma. Well, it was gentle now. Two minutes ago, she was a fire breathing dragon. Grandma turned around to us, rubbing our heads with her gentle hands. "He won't be bothering you boys again. I promise you that," grandma said. "Who or what was that, grandma?" I asked. Grandma looked around the room and told us to sit down. I didn't want to tell her we were already sitting down.
"What you saw here tonight and last night was the spirit of a man named Jonathan Minter. Jonathan Minter was the owner of this house back in early to late 1930s. He was a man who lost his wife, Rebecca, and only child, a daughter named Charlotte, to the flu back in 1938 or so. As you boys can imagine, this left him very depressed and heart-broken. His wife died first and about three weeks afterward, his daughter also died with the flu. It was more than Mr. Minter could take, boys. That corner of the room, where you have seen his spirit take form, is where he slung a rope to the overhead rafter and hung himself. He wasn't found for at least a week until one of his former workers came to check on him. Since that time, he has haunted this old house. Every owner has had an encounter, including me. It scared your grandma just as much as it did you at first. After I heard about his sad story, I came to this room and said aloud that he could stay here as long as he behaved himself. Most of the time he does just that. In fact, your grandpa has never mentioned him to me and I haven't said a word to him about Mr. Minter. Neither will either of you boys. It's best grandpa not know some things. Now, I considered having the preacher to come and bless this house. That would put Mr. Minter into the pits of hell-fire. You boys know that's where you go if you kill yourself, don't you?" Grandma asked. We both gave a quick "Yes ma'am." "To eternal damnation in hell! I would not wish that on my worst enemy. I don't wish that on Mr. Minter. That's why I tolerate him as long as we have lived in this house for the past 12 years. Now, you boys get back to bed. You won't be bothered again. If he bothers you, come get me. He knows you are my grandchildren now."
My brother and I got back in the bed. Grandma came over and kissed both of us goodnight again. Then she was off to her room. Neither my brother or I were in any hurry to get to sleep. "I kinda feel sorry for Mr. Minter now, David," Ben said. "He must be lonely and he doesn't have anyone to talk to since he is a ghost." I told Ben to go to sleep. I felt sorry for him also. I felt sorry for him because he had incurred the wrath of my angry grandmother. I thought about him lurking around the house for decades and for all of eternity, even when me and Ben are no longer on this earth. That was a sad thought to me. Loneliness can cause so much heartache. It caused Mr. Jonathan Minter to take his own life. For that, he was doomed to dwell in that old house.
After my grandma died in 1986 (grandpa passed in 1975), that old two-story house stood for sale for 5 years without a buyer. It was slowly falling apart from neglect. Finally, the county declared it unfit for habitation and it was set to be torn down. My brother and I went to watch the house be razed in 1991. We both were thinking the same thing. But, we didn't mention it to each other. What about the spirit of Jonathan Minter? I guess we will never know. I saw Mr. Minter take shape only one other time in the same corner that summer. But, it appeared very benevolent and not a threat (grandma had that effect on the living and non-living). I just looked at it and was not scared. I saw him one other time the next summer and then never again. Like Ben, I felt sorry for him. Wherever Mr. Minter is, I hope he is at peace.
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