Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Indian Princess

One night we were having drinks with friends. There were ten of us around a large, round, candlelit table at a local restaurant. We were the last patrons that evening and it was pretty obvious that the waitstaff wanted to go home, but since we all had procured babysitters on the same night, we were taking advantage of the situation.

The waiters would have to do just that... wait.

Discussion was wide-ranging and eventually, because we were all drinking, someone brought up "the supernatural." My friend Sal looked at me and said, "You've never seen anything fucked-up at your house, have you?"

The table went suddenly quiet. "What do you mean?" I asked, somewhat defensively. "Like a ghost? No."

Another friend chimed in. "Yeah, I've heard stuff about your place. Actually, we used to not walk by your house because we were freaked out about it."

Normally, a conversation like this would be funny, however, I was immediately pissed because Judy really believes in this stuff. I glanced over at her and she was "whited."

At this moment, the restaurant manager walked over to the table and informed us that they were closing up for the night and that we had to get going. With this, the conversation ended and we all headed home.

In bed that night, Judy couldn't sleep. Every time I woke I'd look over at her and see her eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling. Something would have to be done. I had to find out what was up and then make up some story to tell to Judy. If the truth was that our house was controlled by the supernatural and that the supernatural wanted to rape our cats, well, then... I would have to somehow thwart this truth from getting to Judy.

So the next night we went to Sal's house for dinner. He took me outside to show me some masonry work he'd had done. I decided to bring up our conversation from the night before, "Dude, you completely freaked Judy out with that talk about our house..."

"Oh, that! Yeah, well, I'd be freaked out too!" he said. A little bit too nonchalantly for my taste.

"Why? What did you hear?"

"I heard there's something there... like, not a ghost, but more like some malevolent power. An entity or something."

"Sal, this sounds like a bad movie."

"Yeah, well, I'm just telling you what I heard. Like, I heard this 'entity' pulled a young girl across the floor by her hair."

At this point, I was pretty sure he was just trying to fuck with me and I told him as much. But the next day, I saw my other friend and I asked him the same question.

He was more evasive. "I dunno. I just heard stuff, some of it bad. I dunno. I don't really believe in stuff like that."

"Stuff like what?" I pressed.

"You know. Ghosts and shit."

"So you heard our house is haunted?"

"Yeah, more or less."

Anyway, weeks went by. Awful weeks. Weeks where I held this "secret" about our house that I wouldn't tell Judy because I knew it would just freak her out. But, truth be told, I was a little freaked out too. Moreover, I didn't even know "the whole story" I had just been fed insinuations and my imagination did the rest. Like I thought about my daughter being dragged around by her hair... by some "force." I thought of the movie Poltergeist. I was freaked out.

So anyway, we were doing some work on our house and the village building inspector had to come and approve the work we wanted done. I had met the inspector before because I do some volunteer work for the town. One night after a meeting, while everyone was shuffling out, he whispered me aside and invited me to have a drink of some of his homemade moonshine with him. He was a strange dude but our house had to be inspected so he had to stop by.

The day of our appointment he came to our front door and just stood there, looking past me into the house.

I greeted him, "Hey, Jay. What's up?"

"I haven't been in this house in... years... Ever see anything here?" He had this spaced out look on his face.

"Are you kidding me? I mean, we've been here for 5 years and suddenly in the last month everyone is telling us the house is haunted. What gives?"

Jay walked past me and into the house and stood at the base of the stairwell. He looked up the stairs. "That's where she used to be," he said. "And she also used to hang out in the basement... in the workroom. You know? The oil burner room?"

"Yeah, that's my 'man room'" I'm very protective of my man room.

"Yeah, well, that's where she showed up."

"Who?" I asked.

"The Indian Princess," he said as if I should have known.

Over a beer, Jay went on the explain everything in detail. The man who lived in the house before us was a big fisherman and he had a huge freezer in the basement. He would clean and gut fish down there, sometimes for hours at a time. Well anyway, apparently he was down there, cleaning a fish when he "went cold" and felt a strange presence in the room with him. He turned around and saw what appeared to be a young Native American girl. She was dressed in brown rags but was wearing a crown made of flowers and bird feathers. He looked at her, she gasped, ran into a dark corner and disappeared. The man went upstairs and told his family but no one believed him. Apparently, that was the first of many sightings that he had.

Meanwhile, the father had a son but they had a prickly relationship. But when the father was dying, (right before we bought the house) the son admitted that he too had seen the "Indian Princess" and that he hadn't told the father because he wanted his mother to think his father was nuts. He told the father that "the Princess" was jealous of the girlfriends the boy brought home and would act up at the most awkward times.

I mean, what do you do when everyone is telling you that your house is haunted?

I decided to call the old people who live on my block. Surely, if a little girl had been dragged around by her hair in my house by some "entity," someone would have heard about it. I first spoke to the guy who lives directly across the street.

He told me he'd never heard anything like that but went on to say, "I did hear once that someone spotted a whole pack of 'braves' running through the woods over by Village Hall."

Mrs. Murphy, "the witch" told me she hadn't heard anything about my house either but that her mother once woke up in the middle of the night and claimed that she was being attacked by a soldier. She said that some famous battle had been fought here during the Revolutionary War and that she thought it could have been because of that... but she also told me that her mom was really old and probably a little crazy.

Everyone, it seemed, had a ghost story, but none of them knew ours.

Finally, one neighbor, the big gossip on the block, told me that she had heard about the "Indian Princess." She had heard the same stories that Jay had told us, directly from the homeowners. But she also told me that the father was a raging alcoholic and that the son was addicted to drugs. "I mean, you're talking about a teenage boy in the late 70s... they all saw ghosts back then. And the father... I don't think he was ever sober. Always catching fish or drinking like one."

This was enough for me to go back to Judy with and calm her down. "The people who lived here before us were alcoholic, drug-addled freaks," I said. "They saw ghosts all the time... big deal!" I tried to sound unconcerned about it all.

Meanwhile, it's been 6 years since we've lived here and no sign of "the Princess" yet. However, every once in a while when my daughter wakes up screaming, like out of a nightmare or something, I jump right out of bed because I think I have to get into the next room before the "Indian Princess" gets to her first.

Even if she just wants to put a bird feather in her hair...


Anything-Goes said...

awww! *makin sure nobody saw me*

OBAT said...

Having an indian princess in the house isn't so bad. If she's butt ugly then that's a problem.

I watch the show Ghost Hunters on the sci fi channel. If you ever get a problem with ghost you can have them check your house for free.

Dinosaur Trader said...


Interesting. Luckily for me, I don't believe in ghosts. That would mean I'd have to start believing too much other stuff.

Listen, if the Wombat doesn't work out as my new volatility mascot, perhaps I'll use the Indian Princess.


Bluedog said...

Great story, DT. If I were in your shoes I'd set up a homemade egg thrower with motion sensors to protect your house. ;)


Dinosaur Trader said...


The guys at MtM are helping me build a "forcefield" that will apparently deflect evil spirits.


artha said...


As always, thanks for sharing your story. Do you think her spirit takes over your body during trading hours? Do you feel possessed when you're trading? :)