Happy Halloween from American Precision Museum! Our Spooky Story Contest has come to a close, and we are delighted to announce our winners: Audrey Dion and Bob Hall. Thank you, Audrey and Bob, for participating! Audrey is our main winner, as she was the only child to submit a story. We really enjoyed Bob’s story, and although he is an adult, we’ll let it slide for the young at heart this time.
At the American Precision Museum
Written by Audrey Dion
Once upon a time, Rosabelle and her family went to the American Precision Museum. Rosabelle was excited to see her favorite part: the working models of factories. Her parents were looking forward to seeing the old guns.
When they were in the American Precision Museum, Rosabelle followed her parents through the museum. She noticed the air was kind of misty and cold. She could smell old machine oil as they walked by the machines.
As Rosabelle looked out the window, she thought she could see a bridge over the dam. She thought, “But that bridge leads to nowhere!” She told her parents what she saw. They told her, “There used to be a foundry on the other side of the water. But I don’t see a bridge.” Rosabelle stayed to look out the window while her parents kept walking. As she followed her parents, Rosabelle felt like she could actually see people still working at some of the machines and she could almost hear the whirring, clanking sounds as they worked. She would have liked to talk to the people, but she knew her parents would think it was weird talking to people who weren’t really there.
While her parents were looking at a drill press, the man working stopped and grabbed both of Rosabelle’s parents by the arm! Before she could grab her Mom and Dad, the man sunk through the floor. She decided this man must be a ghost!
She knew she had to find a way below the floor, too. She started walking around looking for a soft spot in the floor. Luckily, she found a door that led to basement stairs. When she walked down the stairs it was dark, cold, and wet. Luckily, she had a flashlight to help her see. She kept walking and found where the old water wheel had been, and her parents were tied to post nearby!
Rosabelle saw the ghost hiding behind another post. She wondered if she could be sneaky enough to use her scissors to cut the ropes. She took her scissors out of her backpack and got closer to her parents. Rosabelle got close enough to her parents and quickly cut the ropes. She showed her parents the stairs and quickly ran up them, asking her parents to follow her.
Once they were upstairs, they left. The whole family thought it was the scariest trip they had ever been on! Rosabelle was wondering why the ghost had captured her parents, and who he was. Maybe one day she will get some answers. They will have to go back to the American Precision Museum to get those answers!
My Dad, the Ghost.
Written by Bob Hall
As a science teacher and advocate for clear, logical thinking based on facts, I dismissed stories of apparitions, ghosts, and anything paranormal as superstition and wishful thinking. I still do. Us humans need our parents, and when they are gone we want them back. My attitudes towards the supernatural changed just a bit a few years ago.
My dad worked in Cone Automatic machine shop with a lawn mower repair business on the side. I sometimes worked with him summers when he would sweat. Worst, he was reluctant to shower often. He had a particular odor that I would recognize anywhere: sweat combined with machine oils. I worked with him enough, side-by-side to be amply supplied with that odor. It was one of those memories of my dad that stay with me more than a decade after he died.
One day I was working in my own clean, oil-free shop on some project on my bench when I got stuck on a problem, not knowing what to do next. I asked myself “What would my dad do?” At that moment I had this powerful feeling of his presence, standing just behind my right shoulder, pressing gently against me as he did, looking over as he had done so many times before.
I could feel his touch, smell that smell, and even hear his voice. The sensation lasted only two seconds, max, but it was incredibly powerful. It was strong enough for me to look back over my shoulder to make sure he was not there. Of course, he was not. This was a figment of my imagination, a deep memory aroused by the moment, and the feeling of the loss of my dad. But the sensation, that image, was real enough to remember years later. No, my dad was not there to help me with my work, at least not in the flesh, or as a ghost. I missed him and wished he were there. For those two seconds I brought him back, and that was enough for years to come.
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