By Rick Hinton
It’s almost unreal how memories come flooding out of that compartment you’ve buried them in for so many years; especially valuable when you are working on a book of your teenage adventures. It has given me a sense of how long the “unknown” has prevailed in my life’s journey. Back then, it wasn’t called the paranormal — it was ghosts! I had been introduced to it, but also had other interests: a normal, red-blooded 14-year-old boy who wanted a girlfriend, yet didn’t really know what to do with one. It’s funny how everything eventually comes full circle.
Robin Flint lived just north of my parents’ house on South Post Road. It was an easy walk. Her brother, Tom, was my best friend and the same age. Robin was 13. I spent many overnights at his house, and he at mine. Robin would stare at me doe-eyed. It was a short matter of time before she became my “girlfriend.”
Things were not good at the Flint house. The parents were filing for divorce. They were weird times! A tree in the front yard had fallen during a storm and the mother (a tad on the eccentric side) decided to keep it where it lay because it was aesthetically pleasing to her. It lay in the lawn for years, even after they moved. Tom was a wreck. I think Robin was glad it was over. Tom went to live with his father. I never saw him again. Robin went to live with her grandparents in southern Kentucky. She didn’t want to be with either of her parents. She wrote weekly, filling me in on the small details of her life and some surprises …
Her weekly letters continued, but they had turned dark and ominous. She was not happy. She wanted me to come visit her. And then … her grandmother died suddenly. It became a paranormal situation for her. The house she lived in was ancient (she mailed me a photo), out in the country with no other neighbors in sight. Electrical service was spotty at best, and during a bad storm the house usually lost power. There was a ritual when that occurred. Her grandmother would walk the house using an oil lamp to check that everything was buttoned up.
After her grandmother’s passing, it would seem she hadn’t left the house after all. Robin wrote that frequently, during those very same storms, she would hear the footsteps of her grandmother moving slowly, shuffling through the upstairs hallway. Robin watched the light move past under her closed bedroom door. She would hear the clanging of pans in the kitchen below her and the smell of food, yet no one was there. On other occasions she was awakened by gentle hands rubbing her back —just as her grandmother used to do to get her to sleep as a child. The grandfather would have no comment. Robin felt like she was going crazy. I couldn’t help her! Eventually her letters dwindled to once a month, and then quit all together. I never found out what happened to her or her haunted house.
My own paranormal journey also started in Kentucky, nestled in a small town with tourists in the summer and dormant in the winter. It remains the town of my youth. I’ll probably end up there … in the end. Small towns hold their secrets well, usually under lock and key. However, there are those who will talk. My mother was one of them …