The Pendulum is a creepy ghost tale about a child who hears strange sounds in the attic at night.
When I was young, my mother brought me to visit my grandmother at the old farmhouse where she lived. At night, my mother would put me to bed in the upstairs room, while she slept on the couch downstairs. Every night, as I lay awake in the darkness, I would hear an odd scratching noise in the attic.
It was very slow and sounded like it was moving back and forth, like a pendulum. Back and forth, back and forth, it would sweep across the ceiling. At first I was scared, but after a while I got used to it and the slow, steady rhythm of the scratching would lull me into an uneasy sleep.
A few years later, when my grandmother passed away, my mother and I were cleaning out her house. We were in the attic, moving some old boxes, when I noticed something in the middle of the wooden floor. Under the thick covering of dust that had collected over the years, there were visible scratches in the wood.
Chucking, I called my mother over and told her how, as a child, I often heard a scratching noise coming from the attic when I slept in the room below. My Momâ€™s face grew pale and she gently took me by the shoulders. In a trembling voice, she told me that her father had lost his job in the Great Depression and could barely afford to feed his family. He came home one night and hung himself in the attic with a horse bridle.
Apparently, at the last moment, he regretted his decision, because he struggled to gain his footing and his flailing boots had scratched the wooden floor where he had hung himself.