LawDog Goes Ghost-Busting

One of the nice things about working in small towns is the...unique...problems that you learn to solve. One such problem belonged to a sweet little old lady who lived in big, old mansion over in the old section of town. She had a (ahem) ghost infestation.

Now, most of the time this was all right (I think she liked the company), but once in a while the ghosts would get a wee bit rowdy. Thereupon, she'd call the S.O. and one of us would be dispatched to take care of the situation. We'd show up, she'd let us into the huge old house, the officer would go upstairs and read a stern warning to the ghosts.

I found that if you took George C. Scotts' speech from Patton, complete with pacing back-and-forth and gestures, and cleaned up the language a bit, the ghosts would normally be impressed enough to keep quiet for a week or two.

Once you were done, you'd go back downstairs, where the lady would stuff you full of homemade cinnamon rolls and iced tea, and you'd swap gossip for a while.

One day the Sheriff gets a bright idea: we'd take care of this situation once-and-for-all. Plans are made. People are notified. We wait for the call.

And one Friday evening, she calls. Not only are the ghosts rowdy, it sounds like they're having a party. And (delivered in whispered tones) she thinks she heard some girl ghosts giggling up there, and this Wasn't Right.

The call goes out. We load up our full-time officers (all four of them), we get our Reserves (mostly guards from a local Federal facility), we don our Ninja gear, we mount our Trusty Steed (re-worked, Korea-era Ambulance) and we sway and sputter and backfire and shudder and creak our way up the hill.

Once on location, a hasty conference took place. Who looks the least threatening? That would be Yours Truly having hysterics in the back.

Up I go, I knock on the door, tell the little old lady that we're here to solve her problem and seat her on the porch swing with a blanket.

CRASH. Twenty SWAT rhinos in full gear hit the door, clear the bottom floor tactically, flow the stairs, and then the shouting starts.

"Hey, you! YES, YOU! OUT, OUT, OUT!!"

"One here! Out, out, out! CLEAR!"

"Where do you think you're going? OUT, OUT, OUT!"

And our throughly scared and cowed (albeit invisible) subjects were herded to the front lawn, where the Sheriff is standing on the roof of the ambulance--excuse me, SWAT vehicle-- delivering his patented fire-and-brimstone, straight-path/crooked-path speech. Complete with finger-pointing, arm waving and emotional entreaties to what only a absolute cynic would consider an empty lawn.

Watched with great interest by all the neighbors, heck, most of the town, who promptly got out the lawnchairs, the sodas and the snacks and basically started a block party.

*sigh* Small towns.

Once we were done, and had allowed the thoroughtly chastized spirits back upstairs, we sat in her kitchen (in black BDU's, rifles, shotguns, etc.,) and ate cinnamon rolls and drank iced tea.

During this last part, the lady whispered to me that we had "Missed one."

Never said I wasn't fast on my mental feet. I whispered back that he was too young to be subjected to such a scary action. She examined him closely and declared that I was probably right.

It took the ghosts almost three months to go back to their rowdy ways.


LawDog is a deputy sheriff in a small Texas town. For reasons that should be obvious, he wishes to remain anonymous. Reprinting or redistribution of any of The LawDog Files stories without LawDog's permission is expressly prohibited. LawDog is a moderator and regular poster on TheHighRoad.org and TheFiringLine.com, where this story originally appeared.

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