This story is adopted from an Oneida story called The Night Ghost available Here
The Night Ghost
There is a small village in Upstate New York with many women. I happened upon that town at one point in my travels. The people were friendly and Every night I would go for a run despite warnings. During that same time a young girl named Joanne. She had long black hair and light auburn skin and a slender build.
Every night, I would here her mother yell for her in a big booming voice, “Joanne don’t you go out looking for that boy, you might see the night ghost!”
Joanne wouldn’t pay her mother attention and would keep on walking down the roads to find her boyfriend Gino. Gino was a tall man, in his early twenties. I would always see the two of them hand in hand, Gino scolding Joanne lovingly for having come out into the dark night looking for him, and Joanne assuring Gino that their love would keep her safe.
Around the time that the leaves were falling, near the end of October. I heard Joanne’s mother boom out, “Girl, if you don’t come in here, it’s the darkest night of the year, you’re sure to see the night ghost!”
“Mama,” Joanne said as the screen door slammed behind her, “My love for Gino will keep me safe.” Joanne ran off into the darkness of one of the side streets, her hair swaying in the wind behind her cutting through the cold autumn air.
I was jogging this night and picked up the pace, trying to stave off the cold. During my run, I ran into Joanne waiting for Gino at the bus stop at the far end of town. I stopped there to catch my breath under the warmth of the street light.
“Bus late tonight?” I asked running in place to keep my legs warm.
Joanne shivered in her black hooded sweater and her teeth chattered slightly. She turned to face me a moment and said, “yeah, it’s about an hour late.”
“I’m gonna run another mile or so, you should start heading home and I’ll catch up to you.” I headed down the way.
Joanne headed back and I continued my run. And upon returning to the village found Ambulances and a mob of people. So I asked her mother the next day after it was sure that Joanne was okay. , “What happened to Joanne?” I asked the next day before I went out for my nightly run.
“Oh, Matthew, you shouldn’t go running at night any more. Last night, Joanne was on her way home from the bus stop. She had been waiting for Gino for an hour or so and set herself out to come home. It was too cold for her to be out there, and much to late.
She came home the way she always did walking up the big hill. As she walked up the hill, she heard leaves rustling behind her. So she stopped and looked around but when she looked back there was no one there. So she kept walking, and again she heard the sound of leaves rustling behind her. The wind had died down, so she just knew it had to be Gino playing games, So she looked back but no Gino.
So she walked a little more and turned quickly when she heard the leaves crunching. And saw Gino standing there, waving at her in his mechanics uniform. Joanne smiled and ran to give him a hug but he refused and told her he had a cold coming on. The two of them talked and walked up the hill slowly, Joanne making jokes and talking about future plans the whole way.
Midway through their walk home, she stopped walking and faced Gino and as he turned his feet didn’t make a sound in the leaves and she looked down to see why there were no leaves near him and saw that his feet weren’t even on the ground.
Her face lost it’s color and the Gino ghost asked, “What’s wrong babe?”
She tried to look up to the ghost but was too scared and tears were running down her face, she feared the Night Ghost had killed Gino. When she was finally able to look at the spirit in the face, she realized that it wasn’t Gino at all.
A grey black face with big white eyes looked deep into Joanne’s eyes and smiled a very sinister smile. The teeth sharpened like a shark. And the nails of the Night Ghost seemed to grow long like knives. It was then that Joanne gained some courage and began to run. Tripping in the leaves and worried because it was very late and most everyone in the village, except her and you Matthew, were inside their homes.
The Night Ghost was fast but Joanne ran with all the speed that she could muster. The phantom closed in and reaching out it’s terrible hands, it scratched Joanne in the back. Joanne let out a loud yell, saying “Mama, help!” and I came out quickly. I always stood near the door waiting for Joanne to come home safely.
As I reached her I asked, “Joanne, what happened,” she was near white and cold. When she got to the hospital the doctor said a horrible infection had spread in the wound on her back and that she would die if she hadn’t been taken in by the ambulance at just that moment.”
So, I turned around after hearing this story from Joanne’s mother and went right back to my home. I awoke the next day to run early in the morning waiting just until the sun peaked out from over the hills. I didn’t want to run into the Night Ghost.
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