“We have a 10-16 over on 13 Howard St. Is there anyone who can take the call?”
“This is Officer Connolly, responding to the 10-16. On the way.” 13 Howard St., why does it sound so familiar?
I’ve lived in Verona, NJ all my life. It was a fairly small town and everyone knew everyone there. We were a tight-knit community and always tried to stay positive. We were a very peaceful neighborhood, except for what happened at the Jenson’s house.
The old Jenson’s house has been around for years. It was built in the 1600s by Jacob Jenson. He lived in that house with his wife Lillian, three children Sarah, Tommy and little Pete, along with his household workers Anthony and Betsy. Jacob was a well-known Blacksmith. Lillian stayed home with the children and tended to them while having Anthony and Betsy help her. The Jenson family lived in that house for generations upon generations.
They say that the oldest daughter, Sarah, died in the house. She caught smallpox and died in her room upstairs. It’s been rumored that the house was haunted ever since. As kids, we used to go to the house and try to find the ghost of the girl. We always left the house disappointed. After a few years, we stopped going and moved on with our lives. My best friend Jesse became a teacher and Jonathan left the state and became a news anchor for a local news show. I stayed in New Jersey and became a cop. I’ve been a cop for five years now and we all keep in touch.
In 2008, Jonathan, Jesse and I were going to visit the house for the last time when we heard a large explosion. We ran to the sound and saw the old Jenson house on fire. We all watched as the house burst into flames. All the neighbors watched the house from their yards, pointing, watching the house as it continued to burn. Mrs. Barbara Jenson was sitting in her yard, staring.
“I had to burn the house down, it was evil,” she cried.
As I turned on Howard St., everything started looking familiar. The tree that hung so low the branches touched the ground was still there. The green house that had three huge dogs was there too but I heard no barking. The street looked, abandoned. All the houses were undone and abandoned. The windows were boarded up and the grass was as tall as corn stalks. Where is everyone? What happened to everyone? My thoughts continued to run in my head until I saw them.
“You have got to be kidding me,” I gasped.
It was the old Jenson house, still standing after 25 years of me seeing it. It was a lot duller now, vines and plants came out the windows of the house. It gave me a very uneasy energy, even from looking at it. I parked my car in front of the creepy old house. I stared at it feeling a little nervous. Have you ever had the feeling that you are somewhere you were never supposed to be? That’s exactly how I’m feeling right now. My eyes caught the window. There was a girl that could be no older than 15. She wore a very dirty dress, her hair was matted. She stared at me, her face was blank. As quick as a snap of my fingers she disappeared. I quickly got out of the car and ran toward the house. Was the girl okay? Does she need help? Did she call the police? As I approached the door, my stomach turned into knots and I felt nauseous. The voice in my head was telling me to drive away and don’t turn back. I didn’t listen and I proceeded to knock on the door.
“Hello!,” I yelled. No answer, “Hello, this is Officer Connolly! I’m responding to a call at this residence!” I yelled again. No response.
“These prank calls are annoying,” I mumbled. As I turned to walk away, the door creaked open. I looked in the doorway and saw darkness. I slowly walked in, grabbing my flashlight. The house had very little furniture in it. I saw a chair that was torn to shreds and a couch that’s peeling. The smell was horrid and there was water leaking from the top floor. It was dark.
“Hello!,” I yelled once again. “This is Officer Nora Connolly! I’m responding to a domestic violence call! Is anyone here?”
“I am.” I turned around to see the same little girl. Her skin was very pale, her hair was matted severely. She wore no shoes but her dirty long dress covered her feet just a tad bit. She looked no older than 15 years old.
“What’s your name?,” I asked.