Ghost Stories

Fifty-Cent Piece

A New York Ghost Story 

retold by

S. E. Schlosser

Listen to the story

There is a story told in Troy and Albany about a couple returning home from a trip to New England. They were driving home in a carriage, and were somewhere near Spiegletown when the light failed and they knew they would have to seek shelter for the night.

The husband spied a light through the trees and turned their horse into a small lane leading up a hill. A pleasant little house stood at the crest, and an old man and his wife met the couple at the door. They were in nightclothes and were obviously about to turn in, but they welcomed the travelers and offered them a room. The old woman bustled about making tea and offering freshly-baked cakes. Then the travelers were shown to their room. The husband wanted to pay the old couple for their lodgings, but the old lady shook her head and the old man refused any payment for such a small service to their fellow New Yorkers.

The travelers awoke early and tiptoed out of the house, leaving a shiny fifty-cent coin in the center of the kitchen table where the old couple could not miss it. The husband hitched up the horse and they went a few miles before they broke their fast at a little restaurant in Spiegletown.

The husband mention the nice old couple to the owner of the restaurant and the man turned pale.

"Where did you say that house was?" he asked. The husband described the location in detail.

"You must be mistaken," said the restaurant owner. "That house was destroyed three years ago by a fire that killed the Brown family."

"I don't believe it," the husband said flatly. "Mr. and Mrs. Brown were alive and well last night."

After debating for a few more minutes, the couple and the restaurant owner drove the carriage back out of town towards the old Brown place. They turned into the lane, which was overgrown with weeds, and climbed the hill to the crest. There they found a burned out shell of a house that had obviously not sheltered anyone for a long time.

"I must have missed the track," said the husband. And then his wife gave a terrified scream and fainted into his arms. As he caught her, the husband looked into the ruin and saw a burnt table with a shiny fifty-cent piece lying in the center.


A young man plays Tug-of-War with a ghost in an old house near Albany in Spooky New York by S.E. Schlosser.



this is great! sends chillz up my spine :<

I've read this before but in a different version! The couple leaves 2 see the husbands parents and they leeve 40 cents

read this story before their all diffrent but it sent a chill up my spine

weird do u think tht could really happen?

ive heard ten jillion times this story rox!and this version is extremely similar to the ones ive heard but i like this one too.

the fone rang when it said "ruin" and i ran out of the room. btw im from nyc.

i peed my pants

that was so mysterious i loved it

Damn scary

i dont get it?

A: that's really creepy
B: very impressive nikki

Perfect for telling to little kids

It's just perfect. I liked it very much!

this was kinda creepy, but i dont get it.....

I HAD A SCARY GHOST ENCOUNTER. I was sitting at the computer in my friend's basement and i heard a loud crash upstairs followed by a scream. But my friend was next to me but he said he would go check it out. He never came back down. Turned out that a divorced couple used to live in his house and the man killed his wife and then hung himself in the living room. So about 10 minutes later Billy ran downstairs screaming BRIAN IS DEAD! I ran upstairs to find brian laying dead in the living room. He was trying to sneak in without scaring billy cause he liked to do that but the ghost did not like trespassers who weren't invited in. Brian's body was buried and i stayed the night at billy's then in the morning i went to the living room and saw blood all over and brian's ghost was standing there....


nice story.....the mr and mrs brown were sooooo kind...

love it lol :)

Omg this is so scary!!

Awesome. It'd be creepy if that ever really happened. It's like the house itself is a ghost and it presented itself to the couple as reality. I wonder If they slept on ashes, but thought they were sleeping in a bed. Either way that was a really good story.

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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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