A man was travelling the countryside with his 8-year-old daughter. One particularly stormy night they were forced to take shelter in a local mansion owned by a lonely widow. The widow was happy to receive guests and was very hospitable for the two weary travellers.
The next morning the father said to his daughter:
“I have to take care of some business in the nearby town. Mrs. Sterling has kindly agreed to look after you while I’m gone. I will be back tomorrow morning. Promise to be good while I’m gone.”
“Yes father, I promise”, the little girl said, though deep down she was nervous to spend the night in the big house without her father.
Nighttime came and the widow took the little girl to her room upstairs. But not an hour had passed when the lady heard crying from the little girl’s room.
“What is it, my sweet child? Did you have a nightmare?” The widow inquired softly.
“There is someone in this room. Behind the curtains. I’m scared”, the girl whimpered pitifully.
The widow walked to the window and pulled the curtains aside.
“See? There is no one here. It was probably the draft moving the curtains as this is a very old house. Now be a good little girl and go back to sleep.”
But only a short moment had passed when the widow once again heard cries from the little girl’s room.
“My sweet child, what is it now?”
“There is someone here, I swear! I saw it in the corner. It’s a ghost”, the little girl whimpered in her bed.
“There is no one here but you and me, dear. It is probably just shadows from the old oak tree outside playing tricks with your eyes. Your father will be back with us first thing tomorrow morning. Now for the last time, be a good little girl and try to get some sleep.”
An hour passed and the widow was woken up by a knock on her door. She saw the little girl standing outside in her nightgown weeping pitifully.
“For heaven’s sake child! It’s past midnight and you should be fast asleep! What is it now?” The widow asked, exasperated.
“I saw the ghost again, miss! It won’t let me sleep. Can I come sleep next to you?”
“Now listen to me carefully, child. I have lived in this house for 389 years and not once have I seen a ghost! Now for the last time, go back to bed and try to get some sleep.”
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