Hold Him, Tabb is a short ghost story for kids about a man named Tabb who spends the night in a spooky haunted house in Virginia. It is based on an old tale from African-American folklore.
Before the railroads were built in Virginia, a lot of men would earn a living carrying supplies from one town to another on wagons. One cold afternoon, in late December, a number of supply wagons were travelling together when they were caught in a snowstorm.
They came to an abandoned farm very near the road and decided that it would be a good place to sit out the storm. There were stalls for their horses and an old house where they they could stay the night.
As they were unhooking their horses, one of the men said he had heard some strange rumors about the old place. According to the stories he had been told, the house was haunted and not a single person had who stayed the night in it had come out alive for 25 years. Some other men said they had heard the same stories and they refused to stay there. When the rest of the men heard this, they immediately decided to spend the night in the stables with their horses.
One of men, whose name was Tabb, was bigger and braver than the rest. He said he wasn’t afraid of ghosts and that he wasn’t about to stay out in the freezing cold with the animals when he could easily spend the night warm and cosy indoors.
So that night, Tabb stayed in the house while the others bedded down in the stables. Inside, Tabb built a big fire in the stove and cooked himself some supper. When he was full, he lay down on a couch and slept peacefully through the night without being disturbed.
At dawn, Tabb awoke and opened a window and shouted out to his friends. “What a bunch of fools you guys are,” he said. “You spent the night out in the cold when you could have stayed in here and been as warm and comfortable as me!”
Just as he had finished speaking he happened to look up at the ceiling, and he saw there was a large man dressed in white clothes just stretched
out under the roof as if he was sticking to it. Before Tabb could make a move, the man in white fell right down upon him, and suddenly, they started tussling and fighting. They rolled back and forth across the floor, knocking the furniture out of their way.
They made so much noise that the men in the stables heard it and ran to see what was going on. When they looked in the window, the men saw the struggle going on but they were too scared to go inside. First, Tabb was on top and then the man in white would gain the upper hand. It was a fierce fight.
One of the men cried out, “Hold him, Tabb! Hold him!”
“You can bet your soul I will!” yelled Tabb.
A minute later, the man in white grabbed Tabb and dragged him out the window.
“Hold him, Tabb! Hold him!” another man shouted.
“You can bet your life I will!” cried Tabb. “He won’t get away from me!”
Soon, the man in white had dragged Tabb up onto the roof of the house.
“Hold him, Tabb! Hold him!” yelled the men.
You can bet your boots I will!” shouted Tabb. “I’ve got him right where I want him!”
Finally the man in white got Tabb off the roof and the two were floating up into the air.
“Hold him, Tabb! Hold him!” the men bellowed.
“I’ve got him!” screamed Tabb. “But he’s got me too!”
The ghost carried Tabb straight up into the air until they were both out of sight.
Nothing was ever seen of him again.