The Case of the Pigspittle Ghosts
My name is Payne, Crystal Payne and I’m a private investigator.
One late November afternoon I was sitting at my desk watching as the rain poured down the window barey being able to see the garden beyond. The phone rang, it was 4:27, I always take note of the hour.
“Crystal Payne’s Spirit Investigations, Crystal Payne speaking.” I learnt long ago that a simple clear answer on the phone saved a lot of time. As my number wasn’t in the book, in fact it was nonexistent the caller could only be a friend or a client. Clients could always find me when they needed me.
“Oh my God! Thank heaven’s I’ve found you! I’m in a terrible bind! There is blood everywhere!” a woman’s ragged voice came over the line.
“First of all ma’am, to whom am I speaking.”
“Oh! Mary Pigspittle, from the Ohio Pigspittles! You must come at once. I live near Cape Sod down near Mulberry Hill. It’s really urgent! I’m up to my arms in blood!”
“Excuse me ma’am, but don’t you think this may be a job for the police?”
“Of course not! You must have realized that this isn’t any ordinary blood! This is the blood of the ghosts that live here! My house guest is a medium and she wanted to exorcise them … and well now it’s raining blood!”
“Yes ma’am, ok I’m leaving now, I’ll be there is less than half an hour.”
I got my jacket on and called Caesar my partner.. He’s always useful when I’m investigating haunted houses. A big over-sized black cat with a 7th sense for the occult is really handy to have on hand in my line of work.
The rain had stopped and the sun streamed through the clouds like a picture postcard of heaven. Didn’t seem like the proper scenario for a haunted house case. Midnight would have been better, at least in books. However, this was the real world and ghosts seem to turn a blind eye on what should and shouldn’t be proper. After an hour I drove into the gloaming as lights began to twinkle on down the roadside..
I reached the house at 10:02. The house was all I could ask for, it looked straight out of Psycho. Caesar meowed his approval and as I opened the door, he jumped out with his tail straight up like a flag pole. I got my bag from the trunk, where I always kept it and walked up the sidewalk to the rickety wooden porch. Then rang the bell.
A plump silver-grey haired lady opened the door. She wore a green chenille calf-length house dress over a clashing orange sweater and blue metallic trousers. Her hair was done up in a brittle purple bouffant with a black bow in it. The image that came to mind was that of a spoiled over-aged over-indulged child.
“Oh! I’m so glad you could come so soon! Please, quickly, my friend Marie Ange is in the drawing-room!”
How quaint I though. I’d nevert heard anyone use the word drawing-room outside of an Agatha Christie book. I followed her, but before I walked through the drawing-room door, I opened my bag and pulled out and lit a camomile scented candle. Better to be on the safe side, camomile being a calming agent, it would be better to go in ready for whatever hysterical ghosts I might find. Caesar had followed in discreetly behind me. He knew a few things about hysterical women and preferred to keep them at a distance.
The sight that greeted us was extraordinary. The walls were seeping argentine blood . Marie Ange who was huddled in abject terror, was being harried by two irate ghosts who were oooooooing and awwwwwing and being all together rather rude. My mission here was pretty straight forward. I took Caesar into the crook of my left arm and held the candle up high with my right, then in my best school marm voice, I said:
“What in the name of all that’s holy is going on here! You two! Stop this howling immediately and explain yourselves!” Caesar punctuated my words with a hissing that would make a dog run for his life.
The ghosts stood stock still in surprise. The blood chilled on the walls and Marie Ange gracefully fainted.
“Ah Ma’am, sorry ma’am.” said one of the ghosts. He looked like he might have been a butler in life. “”Tis all the fault of this gormless ninny! She gots outta Ouija board and started mumbling and grumbling, what’s a body ta do!”
“Yeah! and she put out a charm and said she wanted to see all the blood we’d shed o’er the years! Likes we’d shed any blood at all! Right insulting she got at one point calling us wretched souls and stuff like that!” said the other ghost, who must have been a lovely young teenager when she’d passed on.
I looked at the skinny old lady that was Marie Ange and then at Mrs. Pigspittle:
“Well, what have you two been up to?”
“It’s like this, Marie Ange went to a cloister last year and met this interesting priest. He taught her all about exorcism and getting rid of unwanted spirits…” the butler and Caesar hissed at her “and well she thought it’d be only proper to send them to where they belong and …”
“And, where would that be you ol’ biddy?” said the teenager. “I suppose you mean hell or somefing like that! We’ve lived here far longer then you have and caused no harm to no one! Right Jeeves?”
“Tha’s right missy! I’ve always been discreet. I’ve been in this house since it was built!”
“Is this true Mrs. Pigspittle?”
“Well, yes of course. I only thought she’d play around a bit, I never imagined she could really call up the spirits! I am so sorry! Can you do anything Ms Payne?”
“Of course I can! This is Caesar.” I said pointing to the black cat. “He’ll have everything right in a jiffy. Now, Mrs. Pigspittle, go to the kitchen, boil some water and put these leaves into it, then bring me a cup of it.”
She scuttled out of the room. I drew a small pentagram around the table and Marie Ange. Then put Caesar onto the center of the Ouija board.
He began to circle on himself, his tail twitching and slashing, howling at the top of his voice. The blood instantly disappeared from the walls and the two ghosts began to smile and finally faded from view. By the time Mrs. Pigspittle returned to the room, everything had gotten more or less back to normal.
I blew out my candle and erased the pentagram from the floor. Marie Ange was still in a faint, but that was normal, between the camomile tea and Caesar’s hiss, both very potent spells against way-ward exorcists, she’d have been out for a week without my special tea!
I brought the cup to her slack lips and she began to gulp the concoction avidly . In less than twenty minutes she was herself again. Except, she’d totally forgotten not only her dreadful experience, but also her visit to the cloister the summer before. In the meantime, after being paid, I invited Mrs. Pigspittle to have a cuppa as well.
I let myself out. The ladies could no longer see us of course. Now they didn’t believe in either ghosts or witches so they could see neither.
It was 8:45. I got in my car and drove off under the cover of a clear starry sky.
By the way, the name Pigspittle, come from the name of one of my favorite blogs.. It’s administered by a really great writer whom I think you should all visit … she’s at Pigspittle, Ohio