The Seaweed is a ghost story about two sisters who spend the night in an abandoned house. It is supposed to be a true ghost story and I found that the original version of the story is “Full Fathom Five” by Alexander Woollcott.
One chilly October night, in the early 1900s, two sisters were out driving in Cape Cod when their car broke down. It was just after midnight and they were stranded in the middle of nowhere. Even worse, it began to rain and it looked like there was a storm on the way.
They saw an old house nearby, so they made their way up the path, through the mud and the weeds, and knocked on the door. The sisters stood there waiting in the moonlight, but there was no answer.
When they tried the front door, they discovered it was unlocked, so they went inside and took a look around. They found themselves in a large room and the walls lined with books. Everything was covered in a thick layer of dust.
It was warm and dry, so they decided to stay there for the night. They fetched some blankets from the car, then lay down on the floor and went to sleep.
A few hours later, they were awoken by a loud noise. When they opened their eyes, the sisters were shocked to see a figure standing in front of the fireplace. It was a man and he was dressed like a sea captain. His clothes were dripping wet. All the frightened women could do was grip each other tightly and stare at this apparition.
After a few moments, one of the sisters managed to call out, in a trembling voice, “Who’s there?”
The man let out a long, low groan and then, right before their eyes, he seemed to slowly dissolve into nothing.
Unable to believe their eyes, the sisters decided that they must have dreamed it or imagined it, so they lay back down and tried to go to sleep again.
The next morning, when they woke up, one of the sisters gasped and pointed at the floor. There were no footprints in the dust except their own. However, in front of the fireplace, there was a pool of water and lying in it, there was a piece of wet seaweed.
One of the sisters put her finger in the water and lifted it to her tongue. It was salty. They hurried out of the old house and managed to flag down a passing car. The driver gave them a ride into the nearest town.
When they asked people about the abandoned house, they were told that no one had lived there for years. The people who owned it had moved away after their son was drowned at sea.
Before they left the house that morning the sisters had taken the piece of seaweed with them. They sent it away to have it examined. When the results came back, the sisters were very surprised.
The seaweed they had found in the house was a rare type that only grows on dead bodies.