Adapted from a story by Algernon Blackwood
She was very much into psychical research,
And this so-called haunted house was near her church.
It was now owned by her great uncle, Henry,
But because of its bad repute, it stood empty.
He told her that a murder had once occurred there.
And most people who’d gone there came away scared.
These folks swore they saw the ghost of the victim.
It was that of a woman killed by her husband.
Her uncle didn’t believe a single bit of it.
He said their minds and eyes must have played tricks.
She said: “I want to explore the house for myself.
This strong urge now grips me more than anything else.”
So with the keys in hand, on a dark summer night,
She approached the house prepared for a scary sight.
She had a flashlight, so that was some comfort.
When she entered the house, something grabbed her skirt.
She breathed easy when she saw it was a door latch.
She laughed, thinking: “I’m glad I escaped a ghost’s wrath.”
But it stopped when she saw a young man’s ghost.
It said: “Don’t be afraid; I’m just your harmless host.”
Panicked, she thought: “It’s the ghost of the murderer!
Now I’m gonna die because I’m an intruder!”
She fled upstairs, entered a room, and locked the door.
Then it appeared there, floating a foot above the floor.
It said: “I mean no harm. I just wanna be loved.
In my short pitiful short life I never was.”
It appeared some tears were on its handsome face,
And after a moment, the two of them embraced.
Afterward, her uncle said he had lied to her.
In that house of his, no murder ever occurred.
But an unhappy young man did kill himself there.
His suicide note said that life was quite unfair.
Ron Larson is a retired community college history professor (Ph.D.), and one of his hobbies is writing prose poetry in rhyme. His work has appeared in DM, Westward Quarterly, Big Pulp, Aphelion, The Horror Zine, Soul Fountain, and The American Dissident.