The Old Burned House
Have you heard the tale of the Old Burned House? It sits on the corner of Maple and 3rd, down the road from the grocery store.
Such a sad tale, filled with guilt and sorrow. The Tale of the Old Burned House.
Would you like to hear?
In 1946 a couple moved into the house. What a beautiful house it was then.
The couple had recently moved into the town and had bought the house after the previous owners had moved away. The couple were so warm and kind, bringing joy and happiness to all those around him.
For you see this couple were no ordinary people. They could perform magic.
They were no con artist nor tricksters. Their magic was real and they offered their aid freely and openly to the people of the town. The only thing they ever asked for in return were white lilies.
You see the wife loved white lilies and she would plant them around their House.
The town was both welcoming and accepting of this loving couple.
Oh what a happy story this could have been.
Now all that remains is the Old Burned House.
Can you hear the cries carried by the wind? Oh what a sad cry it is. If you listen you can hear the pain. You can feel the sorrow.
In 1951 the wife was found murdered.
Oh how grieved the town was. Everyone showed up to the funeral offering their condolences and white lilies.
“Such a nice woman she was.” They would say in public. “Always willing to help others.” “Such a tragedy this all is.”
In secret they would whisper, “I heard they were having relationship problems.” “I often heard them arguing.”
Rumors became suspicion and suspicion became blame.
“They never did catch the murder.” “I heard he inherited a fortune from her death.”
Despite all of this the man would still use his magic to help others. The same people that would come to him with injury or strife were the same that would accuse and criticize.
“He practices witchcraft.” “I saw them sacrificing animals before she died.” “If he stays he will only cause us trouble.”
Soon they no longer brought the man white lilies.
The accusations started not long after. People claiming that the man was following them as they walked down the street. High Schoolers claiming that he had come after them. Charges of rape and assault were brought against the man.
Oh what terrible things he was accused of. But he still would help others freely and without complaint. He would use his magic to treat injury, and heal broken hearts. When people saw him he would always have a warm smile and a friendly greeting.
In 1956 the man was found innocent of all charges, but that did nothing to stop the rumors. “He used his magic to convince the Jury.” “They knew if they found him guilty he would curse them and their family.”
For years this went on. Oh how they grew to hate the man and the house he lived in.
It was no longer that house of warmth and love, but instead the house of evil and suffering. A man lives there who devours children. That house is a symbol of all things evil.
But the man remained.
When asked why he did not leave he would smile and say, “Because my wife loved this town and these people so much. How can I leave?”
On Halloween night 1959 a body was found in his lawn.
Oh how quickly the people gathered. Tools and fire in hand they marched. What was meant to force a man to leave soon became a mob out for blood.
No one knows who it was that set the fire, but it spread quickly covering the entire house in seconds. The heat was intense and the smoke suffocating.
Only one person tried to save the man. A stranger who was passing through the town saw what was happening and rushed towards the fire. He screamed and yelled at the townspeople to help, but no one moved. No fire truck was sent no ambulance called.
The Stranger fought his way through the fire and into the house as the townspeople watched, never to come out again.
The town held a service for the Stranger and the man in the house. No one showed up. The guilt was too much for anyone to bare. They could not face the lives that the town had taken.
The stories were quick to spread. “He set the fire himself, we tried to stop him.” “He stood at the window as the building burned, cackling.” “He cast a spell on the Stranger that is why he went in.” “The town is better off without that man and his devilry.”
But such tales could not erase the guilt of what happened.
Late at night at the bar, when the guilt is to strong and the alcohol plenty, you will hear the real story.
“The Stranger was the only human among us.” “The Stranger gave his life to try and save the man.” “The man did nothing but show kindness to us and we showed him nothing but hate.”
Then the morning comes. The sun rises and men become sober. They go back to their cursing and accusations.
No one touched the ruble of the Old Burnt House. No one could face their own guilt. They spun tales of ghost that hunt the place. The spirits of the murdered victims. And the town did their best to ignore the house. But the town could never forget.
On cold nights you can hear it on the wind. The screams of a man who had done nothing wrong being burned because he loved too much.
The years past and the rumor grew and to this day no one goes near the Old Burnt House. Over time the stories and the tales change with each telling but no matter how much time passes one story always remains the same.
The tale of the Stranger’s Ghost.
Every ten years on the anniversary of the fire, late at night when the moon has set, a figure can be seen in the house. The figure of the Stranger who gave his life to save the man. He is dressed in black, his head is covered and his eyes are hidden.
Any who see him will tell you the same thing. That where is eyes should be there is nothing but a void that shows only their own reflection.
Some say he is a restless spirit that is doomed to wander until he finds peace. Others say that he is still searching for the man whom he was trying to save and will continue to walk the earth until her does.
The next morning there will always be white lilies planted around the yard. Only to die off during the next frost.
In secret the townspeople know the truth. He is the specter of their guilt. The guilt of the life that they took. And he is their reminder. The Stranger who died because of misplaced hate, and the unwillingness to do what was right. He will never let them forget.
They know that the specter of the Stranger will only find rest the day the towns people atone for their sins.
But no one ever says this. No one ever dares. They stay silent and spin tales of devil craft and ghosts.
On cold moonless night the wind will blow through the town.
Can you hear what is says?
Have you heard the tale of the Old Burned House? It sits on the corner of Maple and 3rd down the road from the grocery store.
Such a sad tale filled with guilt and sorrow it is. The tale of the Old Burned House.
Would you like to hear?
I am the reflection of all your sins…