Texas folklore


A Texas folktale

Retold by S.E. Schlosser

I heard the neighbor's car running in the garage as I got into my car to drive to the grocery store.  That seemed a bit odd, since it was summertime.  Why would they need to warm it up?   I shrugged the thought away and drove to the store.  An hour later, I heard the car again as I unpacked the groceries from the trunk.  I frowned.  Maybe they'd just gotten back?  I couldn't see anything because the garage door was closed. 

As I was putting the groceries away, my mother phoned about some arrangements for my son's third birthday party.  We talked for nearly an hour.  Then I ran back out to the car to get a bag I'd forgotten.  And heard my neighbor's car again.  Maybe they forgot it was still running?  I walked over to their house and rang the doorbell repeatedly.  No answer. 

Now I was getting worried.  There was no sign of anyone home, and normally the kids would be out playing in the backyard with their father at this time of day.  I phoned the house.  No answer.  I phoned both parents' cell phones.  I got voice mail.  I couldn't leave things there.  A car running in a closed garage was dangerous.  Reluctantly, I called the police and explained the situation.  They sent someone over. 

And found the father dead in the car.  Suicide.  Worse, the carbon monoxide had crept into the house, and all the children were affected.  The eldest girl and the baby were far enough away from the garage to recover quickly.  But the middle daughter was hospitialized in a coma.  I went every day with her hysterical mother to visit.  Poor woman.  A dead husband, traumatized children, and a daughter who would be a vegetable all her life, even if she woke from her coma.  My family did everything we could to ease her burden, as she waited for her family -- who lived overseas -- to arrive.  I took her to the hospital to see her child and my mother watched the other kids while we were out.  My husband even went over to cut the grass and fix the leak in her sink. 

On the fourth visit to the hospital, something strange happened.  While I was watching by the side of the little girl and my neighbor was talking with the nurse in the hall, a breeze swept suddenly into the room and seemed to whirl about the little girl.  It flattened the hair on her head as if it were a hand patting it.  I heard the murmur of a man's voice.  Then the breeze vanished, and in that instant the child's eyes popped open and she sat up in bed. 

I exclaimed in surprise, bringing my neighbor running with the nurse.  And the child called out to her mother in a perfectly rational voice.  "Mama," she said, holding out her little arms.  Her mother swept her up into a huge hug.  The child hugged her back and said:  "Daddy was here.  He said he was sorry I had gotten hurt, and that he missed me.  He told me to wake up, so I did.  He said he missed you too." 

I know I gasped.  So did the nurse.  My neighbor was crying -- tears of joy for her daughter and pain for her loss.  Quietly, we tiptoed out of the room and left them alone.  But I wondered, looking back over my shoulder, about that strange breeze that had swept through the room.  Was it possible I had seen my neighbor's spirit talking to his daughter?  I shivered a bit, and went to phone my husband with the good news. 


This story is ausome. Such a nice ending. But it wasn't scary. :( (:

i thought it was a good story and i have had the chills and someone talking to me before it could have been a dream but it felt like reall no joke

that was the best halloween story ever it was sooooooo amazing.

that was ossum

its not the best but it was alright

this was a good story! not that scary but still good! do you have any more THIS good? lol! really. :]

the sad part iz wen the husband committed suicide

that wuz a sweet and amazing story

cool but freaky

good storie but why did the dad comet suicide it seemed like they had a pretty good life going on in the storie. then he killd h im self??? strange if u ask me

This was a really good story. im glad the little girl woke up healthy and im glad her dad is still around to make sure there ok but it's still sad that this has to happen to this family.

cute story

I think that story was sad because the dad commited suicide and almost killed his children i was so mad children should be popular

I like this story.But its not scary.:)(: Poor little girl must have been really sad when she relized her dad had past away:(

I really like this story it is a great story!!!!!!!!

good,sad,but not scary

good,sad,but not scary

i came here looking for a scary storie but found a sad story thats ok though but did the dad commit suicide?

yea baby i like it



This story wasn't scary, and it wasn't meant to be, I understand that.

I almost started to cry when the little girl started to talk about her father, I know, I'm a wussy, but still, that's so super sweet.

this was an awesome story i wanted to read it again! lol :)(:

That was an intresting nice little story but it really shouldnt be under the ghost stories!!!=D

i liked that one it was great!

Sorry but that wasnt a scary story but it was very cute but also sad for what the dad had done to himself...

Not really scary, but a good story. Sad, and then sweet. =)

wow nice ending i liked that =)

cool wasnt scary but..........

wat happen with the baby? is it ok? did it survive? :()

it was a little chilling no kidding

That was waaaaay better than a scary story!!!!

That was waaaaay better than a scary story!!!!

that was not scary but it was emotional......

wasnt scary but it was a happy story

nice story!!!

it was a great story but not scary at all but really good story and and it was pertty sad too!! :)

So scary but still a good story why did the dad comit suicide

Even though it wasn't scary, this was a really great story (:

aw....:)....nice story...:)


scary i dont think so heart filled yeaa (: i liked it alot it was amazing (:


wow never herd this one. AMAZING

who says it has to be scary to be a ghost story or to be good? it was really sweet. ;)

This story is epicly sad/awesome! :):):):)


Awwwwwwwww!!! So sweet!!!!!

not scary but why would he commit suiside if he was going to miss his family??? they should have made it a merder or gost thing :D


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Schlosser, author of the Spooky Series

About the Author: S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser is the author of the Spooky Series by Globe Pequot Press, as well as the Ghost Stories deck by Random House.  She has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of "let's pretend" quickly built themselves into full-length tales acted out with friends. A graduate of both Houghton College and the Institute of Children's Literature, Sandy received her MLS from Rutgers University while working as a full-time music teacher and a freelance author. Read more

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