Ghost Stories

I Know Moonrise

retold by S.E. Schlosser

Excerpted from Spooky Georgia


     Mama told me I should never to walk along the marsh shortcut that led from our plantation to the town of Brunswick.  She said it was dangerous and I’d get myself killed if I didn't listen to her.  That didn't make any sense.   The marsh shortcut was a wide, sandy path that my buddies used all the time when they went to the store in town.  None of them ever got hurt.  And at the age of thirteen, I was perfectly capable of taking care of myself. 

      It was Pa who told me why Mama was so scared of the marsh path.  Pa said: “Your Mama's little sister disappeared in the marsh a long time ago.  She was taking the shortcut to the old pond to gather some firewood, and she never came back.  They found her straw hat floating in the stagnant water, but they never found her body." 

        "I ain't gonna fall into the water like Mama's sister," I protested.

         "That ain't it, son," Pa said.  "It's the spirit of yer little aunt.  She comes to the marsh path some evenings and she...she sings." 

        Color drained from my face and my arms grew goose fleshed.  "She’s a ghost?" I gasped. 

    "Not just a ghost, son," Pa said.  "Your little aunt, she’s kind of like the Jack Ma Lantern.  After she drowned, her ghost started floating over the marsh at night, singing softly of death and the grave.  She's lonesome and wants her family to join her, so she tries to lure them into the water with her song.”  Pa swallowed hard and continued:  “It's safe for your buddies to walk that path ‘cause they ain’t family.  But if you go there, the ghost will come fer you.   So you stay away from the marsh."     

     It was easy to forget the ghost in the long days of summer as the fellers and I rambled around the countryside after the day’s work was done.  One day, my buddy Jimmy and I were caught in Brunswick after sunset.  “My Pa’s going to be sore at me if I miss dinner,” Jimmy said.  “We better hurry.”  Jimmy swerved onto the shortcut through the marsh, expecting me to follow.  I stared after my buddy, torn between speed and safety.  I knew I shouldn't take the shortcut, but with Jimmy present, chances were good that the ghost wouldn’t come because he wasn’t family.  I raced down the marsh path after Jimmy. 

    As the wind swished through the marsh grasses, all whisper-whisper-whisper, I paused for a moment to admire the moon, which was rising over the treetops, making a glittering path across the still water.  Suddenly, the air around me grew cold until my whole body shook with chills.   Out of the silvery moon-sparkle there came a child-like figure that danced and floated above the dark water like a will-o-wisp.  I gasped, my throat tight with fear.  I called to Jimmy, just a yard in front of me, but he didn't hear me and I knew he couldn’t see the spirit floating toward us across the marsh.  Puffs of freezing air formed in front of my nostrils as the little girl started to sing.    

  "I know moonrise, I know star-rise, Lay dis body down.
I walk in de moonlight, I walk in de starlight, To lay dis body down.
I 'll walk in de graveyard, I'll walk through de graveyard, To lay dis body down.
I 'll lie in de grave and stretch out my arms; Lay dis body down...."

  I relaxed suddenly, as lovely pictures floated through my head.  I saw myself as a grown man and I had become rich and famous.  I had a fancy house and an expensive car and a lovely family.  Then I saw my Mama right in front of me.  She was beaming with pride over my achievements.  She beckoned to me, want me to come give her a hug.  I hurried forward, splashing through water that came to my knees, my waist, my chest.  "I'm coming Mama!" I called, stretching strangely heavy arms toward her.  Then I was overwhelmed by the stink of stagnant marsh gases.  My mouth filled with sour water and I choked as the world went dark. 

  I woke gasping as someone pounded me on the chest.  I choked and vomited swamp water all over the person thumping my ribs.  Then I heard Pa's voice:  "Son?  You all right?  Son!"   I opened my eyes and saw Jimmy and my Pa staring down at me in the shimmering moonlight.  It was Jimmy that pulled me out of the swamp, and Pa that forced air back into my lungs.  I was soaked to the skin and my whole body trembled with cold and shock.  "I saw Mama's little sister," I gasped.  "She sang to me..."  Then I lost consciousness again.

  When I woke the second time, I was in my bed and Mama was holding my hand and weeping.   She hugged me so tight I could barely breathe and scolded me something fierce for disobeying her.  I promised her then and there that I wouldn't walk the marsh path again, and I kept that promise.  And ever after, I could never listen to anyone singing the song ‘I Know Moonlight.’  It made me feel sick to hear it. 



It was alrite i guess

make it more scary!

Www....oooooo........w. ....want.....scary ......ha....ha

its ok but not scary

It was scary and cool i rate 5 out of 5 stars keep up the work

that freeeeeeeeekkkkkkked me out

I really like this story but as the boy walks down the marsh path you should add more suspense.The idea is mysterious, so it will be easy to make the atmosphere a bit more scary.Good job!

Umm is it me or have I heard that song bifore but in my dreams........naa probably not :3........

it was ok

I heard music when it came to the singing part

i think it was an okay story, it kept my attention

It needs to have a second part but the second part needs to be a lot more scary.

Love this

awesome. doing a spooky story session and going to use this

I like it i think it was nice. : )

it was not the best but it was ok

It wasn't that scary

very scary

make it shorter and more edge of my seat and then it will be amazing.



This was an awesome story wow why would she do that kinda creepy!!!!!<3

I never expected it

Geezz...even I could hear the song sung in a tune...!!!


more scary please

Wwwoooooowwww!!!!! I loves that soooooo much it freaked me out!!! It took me a while to find it again cause I was reading it yesterday! But I liked it

That was creapy

That was creepy if my sis reads this she is going to be crept out

That story was awesome!!!!!

I thought this story was creepy because his aunt was luring him into the water.

Ok now im scared i heard that same song in a dream


That was actually pretty scary

It was a little

I really liked this story because was I little scary but it was okay keep up the good work......

Sam..Dean... We need you.

it aint scary at all...

That story was creepy. It really scared me. I loved it.

Wow That was so creepy make more stories !!!!!!!!


OMG this sroty is great!

This may sound alittle psyco but thats so awesome! I want to try that!

Gud bt nt too scary

make it more sacry

Good story weird ending I thought he was going to die but great story keep up the good work a+

wwwwwwwwwwwwwwooooooooooowwwwwwweeeeeeeeeee!creepey. i loved it. you know what, it sould have like more crepy stuf in the aunt part.


I really like this story, but I'm a bit disapointed at the fact that the boy was saved in the ending it would of been better if he had met with a watery end, I think.

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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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