Such Things Happen is a scary story for kids about a man who accidentally kills an old woman’s cat. He starts having a lot of bad luck and suspects that the woman is really a witch and that she has put a curse on him as revenge. It is based on an old folk belief about witches and a folktale called “Granny Frone”. A version of this story appeared in Scary Stories 3 – More Tales to Chill Your Bones.
When a farmer’s cow stopped giving milk, he called the local vet.
“I can’t find a thing wrong with that cow,” the vet said, puzzled. “If I didn’t know better, I’d say some witch has cast a spell on her.”
The farmer and the vet both laughed.
“That old hag, Addie Fitch,” replied the farmer. “I guess she’s the closest thing to a witch we’ve got to a witch around these parts.”
A few weeks previously, the farmer had an argument with Addie Fitch when he accidentally ran over her pet cat with his tractor.
“I’m really sorry, Addie,” he said. “I’ll get you a new cat.”
Her eyes were filled with rage and hatred.
“I raised that cat from a kitten,” she hissed. “I loved her! You’ll be sorry for this!”
A few days later, the farmer’s cow had suddenly stopped giving milk. Then his truck broke down. After that, his wife slipped and fell, breaking her arm.
“We’re having alot of bad luck recently,” he thought. “Maybe it’s that old witch, Addie Fitch, getting even with me.”
According to legend, if you are cursed by a witch, there is only one way to stop her. You should carve a picture of the witch into a tree, then drive a nail into the picture where the heart should be. Every day you drive it in a little deeper and every day, the witch will feel more pain. On the ninth day, the witch will die.
The farmer decided to test out the old legend. He took out a pocket knife and drew a picture of Addie Fitch on a black walnut tree. Then, he fetched a hammer and a nail and drove the nail into Addie’s heart. Every day, he came out to the old tree and drove the nail in deeper.
On the evening of the ninth day, he was out working in his field, near where the old lady lived. Looking up at her house, the farmer started wondering what was going on up there.
Then, in the dim light, he saw Addie Fitch coming slowly down the hill toward him. With her thin, bony face and her old black coat wrapped tightly around her, she really did look like a witch. As she got closer, Bill saw that she could barely walk.
“Maybe I’m really hurting her,” he thought. “Perhaps I should stop all this and pull the nail out.”
Before he knew it, Addie Fitch was in the field, coming towards him, her face twisted with rage.
“You killed my cat,” she shrieked, “and now you’re killing me!”
Then, she fell dead at his feet.
“I’m not surprised that she dropped dead that way,” the doctor said later. “She was very old, maybe ninety years of age. Her heart just stopped.”
“Some people thought she was a witch,” said the farmer.
“I’ve heard the rumors,” the doctor said.
“Somebody I know thought that Addie Fitch had put a curse on him,” the farmer continued. “He drew a picture of her on a tree, then drove a nail into it to make her stop.”
“That’s an old superstition,” the doctor said. “But people like us don’t believe in that sort of thing, do we?”