Poor, road-weary Thomas Lester decides to spend the night in a haunted house. Never a good idea! A Southern ghost story told by Yomi Goodall.

Listen to storyteller Yomi Goodall narrate ‘The Spirit of Thomas Lester”

This here tale is called the spirit of Thomas Lester. 

Y’all recollect what it’s like when somethin’ pass you real quick like?  Give you a chill up the back of your spine and make the hair on the back of your arms stand up?  Well, folks around these parts, they call that the spirit of Thomas Lester – my husband!

Well now, let me tell you how it all began. You see, Thomas Lester was coming back through the country one evening when he growed tired and weary. So he stopped past the little house on the side of the road, and he asked the man there if he could spend the night.  Well, the man explained to Thomas Lester in his little bitty house, he ain’t had no more room. But there was another house down the road. Only thing though, that house was haunted!

Now y’all – Thomas growed up right here down South, just like many of y’all, always hearin’ the Southern ghost tales and tales of the supernatural. So he boasted he ain’t afraid of no haints! So Thomas went right on down that road, until he found the house. When Thomas Lester got to that house, he took a look inside. He could see that it was dark and creepy. The walls was full with cobwebs. And when he went inside, the floors they just creaked. But Thomas Lester, he was tired and weary. 

Now right there in the middle of that floor was a broken down chair and a table with a lamp on it. Thomas Lester walked over to that table, and he lit that lamp and sat down in that broken down chair to give his tired body a rest. And y’all know what?  Ain’t nothin’ happened – at first.

It was nearly midnight, when all of a sudden a big black cat poked his head in through the door, looked right at Thomas Lester and said – “me-ow.”  Now Thomas Lester, he ain’t said a thing. Then that cat walked on in that room. And he walked all over that room. Then he jumped up on the table, wrapped his tail around the lamp pole, looked right at Thomas Lester with them there big green eyes and said – “me-ow.”

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Now Thomas Lester, he ain’t saying a thing. Shortly after that, Thomas Lester heard a thump, thump, thump, come from upstairs from the loft.  And not long after that he heard another thump, thump, thump on the stairsteps.  And I tell y’all that a man’s head come roll right across that floor, stop right there at that chair where Thomas Lester was sitting.  The eyes in that head look at Thomas Lester.  But Thomas Lester, he ain’t saying a thing!

Not long after that, Thomas Lester hears one more thump, thump, thump on the stairsteps.  And I tell you folks, that a man with no head – yessir, I say no head – walked right over to that chair where Thomas Lester was sitting.  He reached down and picked up that head that was there at the foot of the chair where Thomas Lester was sitting.  The eyes in that head looked at Thomas Lester.  Thomas Lester looked at it and it said, “I see two of us here this evening.”

“Yes,” said Thomas Lester.  “But not for long!”

Thomas Lester jumped out of that house and he got to running.  He ran and ran ‘til he had plum give out!  So he sat down on a log to take a rest.  He hadn’t been there but a short time when the man with the head in his hand come sit down on the log right beside Thomas Lester!  They look at Thomas Lester, Thomas Lester look at them.  They say, “this here a nice race we’re havin’ this evening, ain’t it?”

“Yes,” said Thomas Lester.  “And we’re ‘bout to have another one!”

Thomas Lester got to running.  He ran and ran, straight through the woods, he did.  He ran out of the woods and straight into the cornfield.  He was running through that cornfield and he saw a jack rabbit running.  He hollered to that jack rabbit, “move out of the way, jack rabbit, and let somebody run who can!”

So next time you nice folks feel somethin’ run past you real quick-like, give you a chill up the back of your spine, or make the hair on your arms stand up.  Don’t y’all go gettin’ ‘fraid!  Ain’t nobody but my husband – Thomas Lester!

Whoosh!  There he go again!  I can’t talk to y’all no more – I got to run.  Thomas Lester, I’m comin’, honey!

The Spirit of Thomas Lester – Story Credits

Written and Told by Tomi Goodall

Recorded for the Tour of Southern Ghosts. Story used with permission of ART Station, Stone Mountain, Georgia.

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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Jamie McDonough

    Thanks for this tale, The Moonlit Road. I had fun. I’m a little baffled by the idea that the story implies Thomas Lester at some point becomes a spirit whereas it has nothing to do with his adventure here seems to me. After hearing his funny adventure, I kinda want to reassure him, “You scared of ghosts now? You’ll get used to it.”

  2. Elijah

    This was really funny and kept me on edge the whole time.

  3. Donie

    Enjoyed the reader as much as the story! Love it!

  4. zoey kring

    this story is good my favorite part not really scary tho my favorite part is when the cat said meow

  5. really awesome but scary at the same time

  6. this is really scary but awesome becuase i like scary stories

  7. hellsoutlaw

    Lillyanne: are you sure his name was Thomas Lester? cuz i dont think they said it enough!

  8. Steven

    How are you scared by words??

  9. thomas lester found a haunted house and went in it and then he was hearing scary noises and he saw a man and heads so he started running threw the woods.