AllwaysConfused Thread

I already posted something, but here's something my grandma told me as it was told to her in part by her grandmother and partly what my grandma herself experienced. She was born and raised in a very old house - old enough that they didn't use metal nails but wooden pegs. During the Civil War wounded confederate soldiers were tended to and hidden in the attic.

So, once upon a time the family was prosperous and had lots of cotton and corn fields, and slaves as well. According to my great-great-grandmother there was a young boy who liked to play under the house. He was 'a bit touched in the head' as my grandma put it so he really couldn't be depended on to work. He could often be heard bouncing a small rubber ball off the bottom of the house. The house wasn't too far from a river and so was up on beams a bit. One day the kid was playing under the house and was just digging a hole like kids do. For some reason he decided to bury his head in the dirt. Well it would seem just at that moment, a section of wood fell from the underside of the house, pinning him. The wood was too heavy for him to move and he panicked and suffocated. Everyone else was out in the field so he wasn't even missed until dinner time. They called and called him but never got an answer. One of the dogs kept whining and trying to get someone to go under the house. Finally one of my great-great-grandma's brothers went under the house and found him. He was buried in the family plot and everything thought that was the end of it. But a few days after his death they began to hear the thump-thump-thump of his ball being bounced on the underside of the house. Sometimes the ball would be found on the hearth in the living room, which had been the kids' favorite spot to lay under the house - propped up against the chimney, bouncing his ball and eating something.

Reading all these posts now made me remember this for the first time in years. Once - not long before the house was finally condemned - I was staying there with my grandma for an overnight visit. It was winter and cold, so we had a fire in the fireplace. She didn't have a TV or anything like that, so we were just sitting in the living room, her knitting and me reading. We hear 'thump...thump...thump...thump...thunk' coming from behind the closed door at the rear of the room. It was a stairwell that led up to the second floor and then onto the attic. My grandma put down her knitting and walked over to the door. When she opened it a little red rubber ball rolled out and across the room to end up on the hearth. She didn't say anything other than to tell me not to mess with the ball. And I didn't know the story at the time. She just closed the door, left the ball where it was and went back to her knitting. Later on, when I got a bit older (I was probably only about 8 or 9 when this happened) I asked her why the ball came from upstairs and not from under the house. She said in the wintertime the little boy (I think she said his name was Tobias but I can't remember for sure) liked to play on the stairs. Sitting at the top of the stairwell and bouncing the ball down the steps. So I have a bit of a phobia about red rubber balls I guess. They always make me uneasy, though I only experienced anything that one time.

Just a few months after that the house was demolished and one of my great - aunt's built a new house on the lot. Not in the same spot, but about half a mile farther away from the river. I don't know if anything else ever happened. When my great-aunt died a few years later the land was sold out of the family.