Louisiana ghost story of traveling newlyweds who spend the night in a haunted house, and learn marriage can be more terrifying than ghosts!
Pastor Fitch was a serious and humble man – a might lacking in the humor department, but still a pleasant sort of fellow who was always confident that the good Lord was standing by his side. He was working hard not to let pride overcome him this night as he drove his lovely, young bride, Sarah Sue, toward their honeymoon suite in New Orleans. Gazing across the horse-drawn wagon at her, he admired her beauty, appreciating what a fine pastor’s wife she would become – with a little guidance.
Soon after they crossed into Louisiana, a hard rain suddenly poured down upon them. At first, the good Pastor kept on going- nothing was going to stop him from having a blissful honeymoon with his beloved. But as the cold rain came down harder and harder, he figured he’d better find shelter for the night.
By the side of the road, he spotted a small, run-down house with a light on in the window. He pulled up the drive, knocked on the door, and asked the elderly woman inside if she had a spare room. The elderly woman shook her head, then pointed toward a winding dirt road that disappeared into a thick, menacing-looking forest.
“There’s a pretty big house up that road,” she said. “It’s empty – folks there moved out a long time ago. Nobody’ll care if you stay there. But I wouldn’t recommend it.”
“Why not?” asked the Preacher.
“‘Cause some strange things happen up there,” she answered. “They say the place is haunted.”
The Preacher smiled and patted the well-worn Bible under his arm. “No ghosts will harm me, ma’am,” he said. “I’m a man of God.” The elderly woman chuckled and said, “Yeah, do what you want. Just don’t say you weren’t warned.”
Pastor Fitch and his wife rode up the long, bumpy dirt road, the thick oak trees sheltering them from the rain. Soon they spotted a large, gloomy-looking mansion peeking out of an overgrown yard. Thick strands of kudzu covered the weather-beaten stone walls, but for the most part, the house was in reasonably good shape.
The couple got off the wagon and slowly opened the rotted door, its rusty hinges creaking loudly. Inside the dark, musty house, they could see that most of the furniture was still inside, covered in dust. A large stone fireplace filled the living room. Long hallways led to other darkened rooms, but they had no interest in finding out what lurked in the house’s unseen depths.
The Pastor gathered some wood and started a roaring fire. Even though the warmth felt heavenly, the flickering flames cast eerie shadows on the empty walls and high ceilings, making the spooky house even more sinister. The Pastor sat his shivering wife in front of the fire, handed her his Bible and suggested she read some selected verses to combat any fears she might experience.
After an hour of sitting by the fire, the couple suddenly heard a strange noise from somewhere in the darkness. It sounded like faint footsteps walking up and down a distant hallway, pacing anxiously.
“Do you hear that?” asked Sarah Sue.
“It’s nothing, dear,” answered the Pastor, working on notes for a future sermon. “Read your Bible.”
The footsteps grew louder and louder, as if walking down the hallway toward them. Sarah Sue looked at her husband, but he kept his face buried in his notes, writing furiously.
The footsteps then entered the room. Sarah Sue looked anxiously about, but could see nothing. What followed next chilled her blood – a low, painful moan, filling the cavernous room with its misery.
“Dear?” started Sarah Sue.
“Ignore it!” said the Pastor. “Read your Bible!”
The footsteps circled her chair, the moan growing louder and more anguished. Her hands shook as she flipped the dog-eared pages of her Bible, reading the most inspirational, evil-fighting passages out loud with uncommon fervor. The front door then slammed, and slammed again, over and over, until it completely flew off its hinges! A fierce wind blew into the home, snuffing out the large fire, plunging the room into total darkness.
“Dear?” yelped Sarah Sue.
“I said, ignore it!” blurted the Pastor. “Keep reading your Bible!”
The howling wind roared through the house, knocking over lamps, dishes, statues and books. Sarah Sue read her verses louder and louder, while the Pastor wrote furiously. Suddenly, the noises stopped.
Sarah Sue turned and looked at her husband. He smiled back and said, “See? I told you no harm would come to us. The Word of God is like a sword by your side.”
No sooner had these words escaped his lips when a heavy object fell down the chimney with a large thump. It rolled into the center of the room between the Pastor and his Wife. They looked at each other for a moment, then the Pastor struck a match and held it down toward the object…
It was a man’s bloody head! What was left of its worm-eaten flesh hung in thin strands off its cheek bones. To the Pastor’s horror, the head opened its eyes and began to speak:
“Lord Almighty!” it said. “What’s it take to get some attention ’round here?”
Sarah Sue shrieked and fainted dead away on the floor. The Preacher stood and clutched the cross around his neck. “Back away, you demon of Hell!” he screamed. “I’m a man of God!”
The head rolled its eyes. “Easy, preacher-man,” it said. “You broke into my house, remember? What are you doing here, anyway?”
“My wife and I were caught in a rain storm,” the Preacher answered. “We’re on our honeymoon. This is the only shelter we could find until the storm cleared.”
The Preacher suddenly remembered his Wife, and rushed over to revive her.
“Wait,” said the Head. “You may want to hear what I have to say before you wake her up.”
The Preacher glared at the Head. “I’m not interested in anything you have to say. You’re obviously a cursed spirit.”
The Head laughed and replied, “Ain’t that the truth. And I’ll tell you why. A few years ago, I, too, married a beautiful young woman. I wasn’t the most handsome man in the world. But I did have a lot of money, as you can see by this nice home you’ve so conveniently broken into.”
“I was so blinded by love that it never occurred to me that this woman might have married me just for my money. But sure enough, a few months into our marriage, she started disappearing on me. Her errands in town took a little longer than usual. There were whispers in town that she had found another man, but I didn’t believe them. Oh, no, I said – not my lovely wife!”
“Then one night, I was awakened by my wife coming home at a very late hour. But she wasn’t alone; she was with her new lover – a muscular young man who worked down at the mill. They stabbed me to death and cut off my head. Then they buried my headless body out in the woods.”
The Head then grinned, its brittle jaw making a gruesome cracking sound. “But I got the last laugh,” it said. “You see, what they really wanted was my stash of gold that I kept hidden in the house. They tore the place apart looking for it, but couldn’t find it. So they fled the county empty-handed. That gold’s still in this house, and I’m the only one who knows where it is.”
As the Head said this, the Preacher backed away from his unconscious wife and sat attentively on the floor. The Head sighed wearily and said, “I’m tired, Preacher-man. I can’t find no peace until my head is buried with my body. If you’ll bury me out in the woods with my body, I’ll give you all my gold, plus the house.”
The Preacher’s eyes sparkled for a moment. “Show me where the gold is,” he said, “and I promise, I’ll do as you ask. And it’ll be a decent Christian burial.”
The Head smiled and said, “It’s buried in the fireplace. There’s a pick-ax down in the cellar.”
The Preacher ran down to the cellar, found the pick-ax, then ran back up and frantically hammered away at the massive fireplace, his face drenched with sweat. The Head shouted words of encouragement, egging him to dig further. Finally, after what seemed like hours, the Preacher’s ax struck a wooden chest deep in the rock. He yanked it out, bashed open the lock and found that, sure enough, it was filled with gold.
The Preacher then picked the Head up with a shovel and went out into the yard. The Head directed him to a mound of earth deep in the woods. The Preacher dug inside and found a headless corpse, still dressed in its bloody nightgown. The Preacher set the Head beside the corpse and started flinging dirt back into the grave. As he did, he could hear the Head yell up to him: “Remember what I said, Preacher-man. Don’t be blinded by love!”
As the years went by, the young couple settled into the house and lived a life of domestic bliss. The Preacher founded a church and became one of the most beloved men in the community.
But deep in the woods, just a few yards from the unmarked grave, the Preacher buried that chest of gold, far away from his Wife’s curious eyes – just in case.
– THE END –
Story Credits – Blinded By Love
Written by Craig Dominey
Told by Babs Bagriansky
Sound Design by Henry Howard