AINT NO HAINT GONNA RUN ME OFF!
Written By: ©Esther M. Ziock Carroll
23 October 1999

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Some years ago when I was still with the local historical society and was still a volunteer tour guide for some of the historic buildings in Potosi an incident occurred one Sunday afternoon. Gene and I were scheduled to staff the Banta House in Potosi as tour guides. We obtained a key and at the designated time unlocked & opened the house for tours. No tourists had yet arrived so we were planning on sitting on the nice shady front porch for the afternoon waiting for any tourists that might want to take a tour.

This big, beautiful Victorian style home was built in the 1860's over an old, dingy stone cellar or basement which had been the cellar to a previous house on that same lot. The Banta House has several large rooms on the first and second floors and a small stairway leading from the trunk room upstairs to a dusty, spooky old attic. The house is furnished with beautiful antique beds, chairs, large wardrobes, steamer trunks and other furniture. Over the more than 130 years of the home's existence at least five family members died in the house. The Banta house is rumored to be haunted so anytime I gave a tour through the house I always mentioned this in the tour dissertation. I thought it kind of added a bit of mystery to the place and the tourists seemed to enjoy the tour more, sometimes even making humorous comments about bodies in the trunks, etc.

Well, after Gene and I opened the house that day Gene started putting some chairs on the front porch while I went waaaaaaaay to the back of the house to the kitchen to see if there were any sodas in the fridge. In the kitchen there is the steep, narrow enclosed stairway which comes down from what used to be the maid's room upstairs. I had only been in the kitchen a few minutes when I heard the distinct sound of slow, heavy footsteps coming down that stairway. Suddenly I felt a kind of adrenalin surge go through my body but I couldn't run - I was curiously frozen to the spot where I was standing. I couldn't seem to do anything except stand & stare at that stairway wall & think, "OH, S**T!! SOMETHING IS COMING DOWN THOSE STAIRS!!" My heart began pounding louder and louder as the footsteps came closer to the bottom of the stairs. I seemed to almost stop breathing as my eyes focused on that stairway door waiting for it to open. I vaguely remember thinking that now would be a good time to run, but still my feet just wouldn't move! Then with an eerie creak the door slowly began to swing open and then I saw………………….

 

Do you have the courage to scroll down and find out what I saw?

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GENE. Yep, it was my husband! I had thought he was still out on the front porch but he had gone up the stairway at the front of the house to check out the upstairs and make sure everything was all right. Because the house is sooo big I had not heard him go up those front steps but I sure heard him when he came down the back ones! When he opened the stairway door and I saw it was him and not a "haint" I couldn't help but laugh, laugh, laugh at myself for reacting the way I did! Gene innocently stepped into the kitchen, looked at me real bewildered and said, "What the h*ll is so funny?" Now he knows & so do you.