Aunt Ellie and Mrs. Berris is a story I wrote back in April 2012. It was a flash fiction of 1000 words or less. The story is fiction based on a few actual truths. If you haven't read it before, read it before continuing to read this post.
My son and his family, which includes my 3 year old grandson, moved in with my Mom a few days ago. Last night, my son and I had the following text conversation.
Him - Mom, is this house haunted?
Me - That depends on if you believe. Say hi to Mrs. Berry for me…bwahahaha
Him - We have heard footsteps on the second floor two mornings in a row with solid proof no one is up there. Like today, I heard them right before I left with Grandpa for work. He was in the kitchen like 10 seconds before I walked in and Steve was right behind me. Everyone else was asleep. Then Heidi heard it again and again, so she got up to check, and Grandma and Chris were still asleep.
Me - Her name is Mrs. Berry. She is harmless as long as you don’t anger her by being afraid of her. It is okay to talk to her, she likes it. She loves children. She always made sure you stayed covered up on cold nights when we lived in the house. She probably remembers you. The house was a wedding gift to her from her new husband nearly 100 years ago. They lived, loved, and raised their children in that house. After she died, Mr. Berry couldn’t stand to be in the house without her, so he sold it…to your grandparents. Just say…Hello Mrs. Berry, and know, she is always keeping an eye on your son. You are safest in the house with her there.
Me - She can’t leave the house because she can’t bring herself to leave the memory of her wonderful life there. That is where her children were born and came home to on Christmas. That is where she lived her life with her true love. It is a wonderful story.
Me - We used to live upstairs with her. I appreciated all the trouble and harm she kept you and your brother from getting into. Again, tell her I said hi.
Him - So this is truly real? Because we have heard true footsteps up there one after another all the way across the room above us.
Me - Yes, it is truly real. But zero reason to be afraid. I see her as the best Great Aunt and Nanny I could have had. She is/was a wonderful and caring woman.
Me - If you are hearing her, she is testing you to see if you are afraid. Really, just talk to her and you will hear her less. But, every now and then you will hear something fall in another room that shouldn’t have fallen. When this happens…check the children…she is trying to tell you something is wrong.
Me - Ask your Grandma about her. She knows the whole story. I met Mr. Berry not long before he died. He came to the house one last time to tell his love goodbye. She won’t hurt you, she will keep you safe. Treasure her presence like I did when I lived there.
Me - By the way, your bedroom, the bathroom, the storage room, the kitchen, the laundry room, and the sunroom are all additions to the original house. Those additions are all single story…there is no room above your bedroom.
Me - Sleep well Son. Goodnight Mrs. Berry.
Him – Goodnight Mom…GOODNIGHT MRS. BERRY!
So…tell me…do you believe?