April 7, 2017

It was like any ordinary day at the beach, flip flops flying off of feet, towels being laid out, and beach bags being dropped. My younger cousins were the first to have their toes touch the water. Soon after, all eleven of us ran into the water and created big splashes that disrupted any peace.

After what seemed like hours in the ocean, our pruned hands and feet return back to our belongings and gather up to leave. The sun burns on patches of skin that were left untouched by sunscreen, so the decision to go back home is made amongst all.

Eleven of us kids run back to the beach house on a splintery boardwalk, private to the renters and owners on 18th street. The boardwalk is only wide enough to walk one in front of the other, but with one shower at the house, the race is on to whoever can get there first. Even though raw feet encounter tiny blisters that are sure to cause pain, it is dulled by the thought of getting in the shower first.

Later that night while everyone is sleeping, we don’t wake up to the salty smell of the ocean or the light that peeks through the worn shades, we instead wake up to the screams of one child. “AHH” screams my cousin, frightened by something in the middle of the night. She wakes up the entire house and everyone rushes to go see what is wrong. 

“What’s going on Amelia?” asks my sister.

“I… I think I saw a ghost!” shouts Amelia, my cousin. Shock is wiped across everyone’s faces.

“What do you mean you saw a ghost? Like what did it look like?” asks one of my entrigued younger cousins.

“Well, while I was sleeping, I woke up to the sound of something scratching. I thought it was one of the dogs, but they were all asleep next to me. Next thing I know, the scratching noise was there again and I got really freaked out. I thought it was just me, but then I saw the creepy painting on the wall just drop to the floor”.  She points to the painting that once hung on the wall but is now dropped between her bed and the dusty blue wall. My uncle goes over and hangs the painting back up, and reassures everybody that it was just a loose nail. He tries to comfort the younger cousins to make sure they can fall back asleep, but their curiosity gets to the better of them.

“I want to see the ghost!” “Yeah, me too!” shouts the younger kids.

“Let’s all just go back to bed and deal with this in the morning” my uncle states.

Everybody heads back to their rooms with every intention of falling asleep, but the thought of a ghost in the house spooked us all.  Although my room was underneath the “ghost” room, I was still nervous that maybe something like that would happen to me too. I tried to stay awake to be alert in case anything was to happen, but my tired eyes gave in and I fell asleep along with the rest of the house.

That next morning, my cousin who claims to have seen a ghost tells us all at breakfast that she saw the closet door open while everyone else was asleep. The closet door she is talking about is broken and all battered up, so to move it would be virtually impossible. However, she proves us all wrong and shows us that the closet door in fact has fallen out of the hinges completely. The younger kids start screaming and planning to set traps to trap this so called “ghost”. The older kids know better though, they know it is nothing more than the imagination of an attention seeker.

Well, that is until the ghost was spotted again a year later in the same room. Ever since the second sighting of the ghost, nobody chooses to sleep in the upstairs bedroom where creepy paintings hang gingerly on walls and broken doors collapse in the middle of the night.

All of the cousins, aunts, and uncles return year after year to the same house that is placed where we have an ocean view, sand filled carpets, and rooms where ghosts were rumored to be seen. Every time this family gets together, there is always an exciting time to be found. Even though summer is supposed to be filled with fun and adventure, this is one excitement my summer could go on without.

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