Footsteps is a scary story about two sisters who hear creepy noises when they are alone in the house. It is based on a true ghost story and a version of this appeared in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. In that book, it was told from the point of view of the older sister, but in the real version it is the younger sister who is telling the story.
From the time I was old enough to notice things, I didn’t like that house. I was afraid of the upstairs. I never felt safe there. Mama always kept the light burning at bedtime because I was afraid of the dark.
One evening, when I was nine, my sister was downstairs and I was asleep in bed. She was expecting mama to come home at any moment. When she heard the front door open, my sister called out, “Hello, Mama!” but there was no answer.
She heard footsteps, but they didn’t sound like Mama. Her footsteps were light, but these were heavy, like a man.
“Who’s there?” my sister called, but there was no reply.
The footsteps continued up the stairs and wandered into all the bedrooms but, when my sister called out again, “Who’s there?”, the footsteps stopped.
She was young and afraid, but she knew I was sleeping alone up there, so she took the lamp and searched all the rooms. She even went into the attic, but she didn’t find anyone.
My sister went back down to the dining room, but as soon as she sat down, the footsteps started again. They came down the stairs, through the dark kitchen, and then the door of the dining room where my sister was sitting slowly began to open. She was scared out of her wits.
“Get out!” she screamed.
The door slowly closed and the footsteps moved out through the kitchen, towards the front door. She heard the door open and shut, so she ran to the window to see who it was. There was nobody in sight and there were no footprints in the fresh snow.
That was when she realized that whoever or whatever had walked in, it wasn’t human. She huddled on the couch and waited for mama to come home.
Not long after that, we moved out, but something strange happened before we left. My sister and I were in the living room when, all of a sudden, we heard terrible groans. It sounded like someone was in agony. The groans seemed to be coming from the cellar.
They were so loud that our dog started howling and the hair stood up on the back of her neck. She would always go anywhere with me, but when I tried to coax her to come down into the cellar with me and investigate, she wouldn’t go.
The cellar was well lighted, so my sister and I went down, following the groans until we came to a little alcove and there the groans ceased. I wanted to dig right there on the spot, but there was no time. I’ve always felt that if we had, we would have found the cause of all our trouble. Perhaps someone’s bones were buried there.
We moved away soon after that, and mama would never let me ask the people living there today if they had heard anything. We were all glad to get out of that house.