My father would tell this story on Halloween It was the only ghost story he ever told us and he told it so well that we were never sure if he was reminiscing or relating a tall tale.
Lars And The Hanging Lady
It was a pleasant October evening for two teenage boys, my father and his friend Lars, to be walking on a country road on their way to a barn dance. They had to pass the haunted house but if was of no concern because there was still plenty of daylight. The ramshackle house had stood empty for years. It was said that the last occupant of the house had been a young woman who would lure young men inside and poison them with a tea she concocted herself from things found in the woods. One of her victims survived and escaped to tell the tale but before she could be apprehended she hung herself.
After the dance the boys decided to take the same route home. There was plenty of light from the harvest moon and it was the shortest way to go. They both agreed that ghost stories were just horse puckey. They walked along chatting about how good the fiddle player had been and how pretty the girls had looked until they came in sight of the old house. "it looks like a light is burning in that window," my father said. "Just a reflection of the moon" Lars assured him. But the closer they got the more sure they became that a light was burning inside. Perhaps someone had moved in but it seemed unlikely that the old house was still in livable condition.
Boys will be boys. Lars dared my father to knock on the door but dad said that he would not disturb anyone at that hour. Lars claimed that he was not afraid to do it. My father hung back as Lars slowly walked the little path towards the door. When he set foot on the old step it creaked eerily . Then they heard the voice. It was the voice of a young woman calling "Lars! Lars!" Lars stopped short to turn and look at my father who was looking at him and wondering if they had heard the same thing. And then the voice rang out again. "Lars, please untie my rope."
My father said that he and Lars ran faster that night than they ever had or ever would again. When they reached the safety of the town's main street they assured one another that they had been the victims of pranksters. The following day my father learned that the house had burned to the ground during the night. The sheriiff told folks that the only thing found in the ashes was a charred rope.