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Crashing Objects

 

Savannah finished pulling her hair back into the loose ponytail she always slept in. She took a quick peek at her eight-year-old daughter, Abigail, sleeping quietly in the queen size bed of West Family Sister’s Shop, the motel they had chosen to stay in while vacationing at Shakertown of Pleasant Hill, Kentucky. Savannah gently pushed the hair out of her daughter’s face before retreating to the bathroom to prepare for bed. She left the door cracked in case Abigail should wake up.

            Savannah dried her face and reached for her toothbrush. Spreading toothpaste on it, she began to move it towards her mouth when she stopped, hearing the telltale creak of a door opening. “That’s strange,” she thought to herself, noticing that the bathroom door had not moved.

            Savannah laid her toothbrush on the sink and walked into the bedroom to investigate. Abigail remained silent and still in bed. She hadn’t moved the entire time. The door leading into the hallway, however, was wide open.

            “I know I locked that door,” Savannah thought, but she simply shut it to return to her nightly ritual. Halfway to the bathroom, however, she heard a crash of glass and turned around to see her perfume bottle shattered on the floor. Then, one by one, every item she had placed on the nightstand was picked up. Some were replaced gently, but others were thrown violently onto the floor. When the last of Savannah’s items had been dealt with, the door leading into the hallway reopened, and all became quiet once again.

            Savannah quickly grabbed her daughter and rushed out of the room. They spent the night in their car.

            The next morning, Savannah stopped by a local garage to get a part for her car. Still shaky from the previous night’s events, she inquired of the mechanic, “Have you ever heard of any strange happenings at West Family Sister’s Shop?”

            The man looked at her and smiled. “You mean, like things crashing off dressers and such?”

Savannah was amazed that this man seemed to know what had happened the pervious night. “Yes, exactly like that,” she said.

            The man smiled again. “Well, when Shakers actually lived in Shakertown, they were very modest and strict people. They didn’t believe in makeup, perfume, or anything that would draw unnecessary attention to them or take away from God’s creation. Stories have been told that one of the young girls living in West Family Sister’s Shop bought a bottle of perfume at a store in the city and continued to wear it, even after she was warned against it. For her punishment, the elders of the church forced her to drink the bottle of perfume. The girl died that night. Legend has it that her ghost smashes all the things of the guests that are considered immoral to the Shakers in order to prevent anyone else from meeting her same fate. She doesn’t realize that the Shakers are long since gone, and she means no harm.”

            Savannah was greatly intrigued by the story the man had told her, so she booked the same room for the next night. She was careful to only bring in things that would not be looked down upon by the Shakers. Nothing strange happened that night. The next night, however, Savannah once again laid out her makeup and perfume. Once again, the door opened and all her frivolous things were smashed, though no harm came to her or her daughter. She repeated this process for several nights, always getting the same results. When her vacation was finally over, Savannah and her daughter went home, confident they had encountered a Shaker ghost.

 

Joy Beth Woods

Oneida Baptist