Mr Boswell looked down at the table between us, inhaled deeply and began to explain the haunting.
“A few years back, my son and I were driving down to a fair when we saw this green bow top wagon sat in a drive off to the side of the road. I thought to myself that it’d be a wonderful addition to the museum, so I went and knocked on the house next to it, to see if it was for sale. A lady answers the door and tells me immediately that it isn’t. I was disappointed, but she said that if she ever changed her mind, she’d get in touch.
I left my contact details with her and we went on our way. To be honest, I didn’t really think about it again until one day, about a year later, I get a call from this lady. She says she thinks she’s ready to sell the wagon if I still want to buy it. Of course, I’m thrilled, but then she says to me that there’s one condition. She tells me that I have to take the little girl that comes with it.”
My eyes widen. “What did you say to her?”
“Well I didn’t know what she meant! I thought that perhaps there was a doll that she’d bought with it or something, and that she didn’t want the two separated. So I agreed!”
“Anyway, I drove down to pick it up the following week and as I was pulling away I suddenly remember what she said. I ask her whether the doll is inside one of the cupboards in the wagon. She looks at me for a moment, and tells me that I’ve misunderstood. It’s not a doll that comes with the wagon but an actual little girl. A little girl who comes out to sit on the step of the wagon, but runs back inside and disappears when approached.”
Now, as mentioned I consider myself a sceptic, but if anything can creep me out it’s child-ghosts. You’ve seen Guillermo Del Toro’s El Orfonato (The Orphanage)? Don’t, it’s terrifying (except do, because it’s excellent). Anyway, at this point in Mr Boswell’s story a rare shiver frequented the length of my spine.
“So you took the wagon anyway?” I asked.
“Yes, it’s just over in the corner, beside the red kite wagon.”
It was my turn to inhale deeply. Unsure of whether or not I really wanted to know the answer to my next question, I whispered, “…Have you ever seen her?”
“Oh, a couple of times,” he says, “out of the corner of my eye…”
Read the chilling conclusion to ‘The Ghost of Gordon Boswell’s Romany Museum’ in Part III.