Poetry & Art
by Jim Nasium

The Fairhill Ghost

Many years ago way back in the late 1970's shortly after I hung up my traveling shoes to run the family concrete business after my Daddy died I bought an old general store / post office/ cafe / hotel, stone four story one hundred and twelve year old building up in the north country way out in the middle of no where in some'a the most beautiful farm land around. The building had a separate six car garage building in the back that was perfect for a work shop and a place to store all my concrete and masonry tools, scaffold, and my mixer and there was plenty of room for me to park my work trucks and my twin Lincoln Town Cars [his and hers] inside of the garage as well.

The land in the front of the building was beautifully landscape, we discovered, once we pulled the weeds and cleared the over grown brush away and that first summer living there we were very impressed to see how quickly the flowers we planted there, mostly lilies, roses, some lilac bushes, and other plants that didn't really demand too much attention from us grew.

The back of the home not only had a beautiful stone outdoor fireplace and patio, but nearby, just a short walk away there was a lake that had some twenty foot cliffs on the one side that you could dive off of. This place was my nirvana... my paradise on earth, a safe place for me to escape to when the pressures of business get too much. Being in the concrete business here in the greater Philadelphia area I was forced to deal with some real low life slime and it was a welcome change for me to "go home" out there in the country.

The building was the perfect handy man's special and the price was right so I had no worries in buying the parcel and had plans for it. I took me some months to complete but I managed to turn the old building into 5 nice size two bedroom apartments, with a nice big modern sixth apartment / home for me and my live in girl friend [at that time] which was tucked safely away behind sound proofed walls on the bottom two floors. I made sure that the main ground level floor and the basement area which also had an outside entrance in the back by a spiral stairway we used to go up and down from inside the apartment we lived in was the nicest of the six apartments. It didn't take me long to realize that the place was haunted, or at least had one resident ghost that was definitely living there...

We'd spend the whole day there on a Saturday and on a Sunday just working inside of the place re-doing the kitchen [for example] and then when I was getting ready to call it a day and leave I would always lock the whole place up tight to make sure no one could get inside. The first thing I did when the place became mine was to get some new doors and locks that would all use my "master" key so I could get into any apartment at any time I needed to.When I was ready to stop work and leave for my place in the city I'd leave my drywall hammer on the table with the screws and nails and my tape measure, and my drill and then the next time I went back to do a little more work all my stuff would be moved, like say to on the floor. Now trust me on this; there was no way that anyone could have gotten in that building...

Needless to say after this happened a few time I got freaked out and started thinking that maybe there was some "secret" way that someone, like a bum maybe could get into the place so I went outside and started looking for some "secret' entrance to the building; I found nothing. I searched the whole outside of the house, all four of the basement walls, and all the windows in the house especially the one's on the ground level and up over the front porch roof on the second floor front...

After a few times of my tools being moved over night with out any logical explanation, despite the fact that I knew they would all think me crazy, I went ahead and asked some of the folks who lived up the street on the farms and in some'a the old farm buildings that had been converted to homes over the years what they knew about he old general store building I just bought.

"The place hadn't changed much in the last sixty years or so years" the old man told me, and they still called this tiny farming community Fairhill after his granddaddy who was one of the man who first founded this area and who was among the first to settled here way back when his family moved to Bucks County one hundred and some odd years ago. The old man was happy to have me visit with him and went on to tell me stories about my building when it used to be the post office, the bank, the general store, and the only cafe & hotel for miles and miles around.

Among the stories the old man told me that day as we sat out on his front porch sipping mint tea was the one story that answered my question. When the old man told me the story of a man, a Mr. Carol Applebee who owned and ran the old post office, general store, cafe and hotel building who had hung himself in the basement of the building when he caught his wife with another man in their bed one summer afternoon when he came home early from working in the fields that are behind the house I knew that the story of Carol Applebee had to be the only answer to my problem and explained to me why my tools had moved. I knew that they had not moved all by them self after I left the place at night. The old neighbor man down the road went on to tell me that it is he, Carol Applebee, who is still living [in spirit] in the house to this day.

The next time I went back to my new building to do some work the tools were right where I left them and nothing strange happened at all, but that night before I started locking up the place so I could leave I actually started talking to the air, and called out to the guy by name, "Carol, Carol Applebee, are you here now"? I spoke to him as if he were there in the room with me even though I could not see anyone and I asked him to please stop moving my tools around at night.

I went on to tell him how sorry I was that his wife had cheated on him, and that I understood how very much he must have loved her and how bad he must have felt about it all. I went on to tell him that I felt so sorry for him because I had hooked up with some two timing slut once myself who did the exact same thing to me and I knew from personal experience just how bad that kind of thing can hurt. I must have talked to him for at least twenty minutes; I just went on and on to talk about anything that came to mind.

The woman I was living with then, Justine, who was helping me to do the renovations thought I was nuts, and so we made a bet that the tools wouldn't be moved next time we went back there to work. Justine was sure that they would be moved, I bet her they wouldn't be, and needless to say I won the bet. Talking to Carol Applebee seemed to do the trick and he and I became good friends. My tools were never moved over night while I was gone again. I would talk to him as I worked and I told him what I was going to do that day and we talked all about the things I had planned to do in time and the whole time, even though I won the bet, Justine thought I was cracking up from the pressure of the concrete business in the big city...

The whole time I lived in the bigger of all the apartments in my building I always talked to Carol and would ask him to watch over the place while I was gone, and the whole time I owed that building, nothing ever happened; no break ins, no problems with sewer or electric or plumbing or anything at all.

Once I was done refurbishing the place I lived there for about seven years and then one day, for some strange reason I decided that the commute in and out of the city every day was too much for me, especially in the winter months, so I decided to sell the building if I could get my price or a little more for it. Actually it broke my heart to leave there but the place was just too far away from everything.

The man who bought the place from me, a Mr. John Gugglasimeli [at a great profit] called me about a few weeks after he bought the place to bitch me out for selling him a apartment building with faulty wiring; he said the lights would blink on and off all the time at night. "There was nothing wrong with the wiring, it had all been re-done when I bought the place and remolded it" I told him, but John boy wasn't buying that. He told me "the lights blink so the wiring must be faulty, and that there could be no other explanation".

Since Jonnie G. was family from South Philly, a cousin through marriage on my dad's side, I told him to go ahead and hire an electrician to go through the whole building to check the wiring and circuit breaker at my expense, just to prove to him that all the wiring had been new. After the profit I made on the building selling it to Jonnie G. it was no problem at all for me to spend a few hundred dollars to put John's mind at rest.

Finally the second time John called me, about three days after he had the electrician that cost me Two Hundred and Eighty-five bucks check the wiring to prove it was all new, I told him about the man who used to own the place many many years ago; a Mr. Carol Applebee. I went on to tell Jonnie G. how Carol had hung himself in the basement when he found his slut wife cheating on him, one summer day when he came home early from working out in the fields near by and I suggested to John that he talk to Carol every once in awhile. Once the man who bought the home from me started talking to Carol everything was fine...

A few weeks later I got a check in the mail from John, for twice what I paid for the electrician to go there and prove that I was telling the truth about the wiring so I called John to thank him and I asked John to give Carol Applebee my best....

The End

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