One of the best parts of going to Camp was sleeping in the big bunkbeds Grandpa built into the walls of the cabin. But one night we had more excitement than we bargained for!
There were two big beds downstairs and two upstairs, along with a couple of twin sized. Those beds were so big you could have one heckuva slumber party in them. At the very least, we fit four of us kids in each one. They also made great trampolines!
One night we girls decided to sleep in the upstairs bunkbed together. As the sun started to set, we climbed the stairs into the dusky room lined with knotty pine paneling. The bed was built into the corner of the room and took up two walls. We clambered on in but rather than sleep, we launched into telling our scariest ghost stories.
Mom, Dad and the boys were trying to sleep downstairs. We must have been making a lot of noise, because Mom yelled up to us. “You girls stop talking or I’m going to have to send your Father up there!”
So we quieted down, laying still and silent for a while, listening to each other breathe.
Then we heard the noise!
Scratching and thumping, it would go on for a few seconds, then it would stop. Did it come from the closet or inside the walls?
“Did you hear that?”
“Uh yeah. Did you do it?”
We weren’t sure WHERE it was coming from, but we didn’t like it one bit!
We started yelling, “Daddy, there’s something up here!” Dad came bounding up the stairs in his under shorts. He shined a flashlight all around the room trying to see where the sound was coming from.
By then we were screaming, “The picture! The picture! It’s over there!”
We pointed towards the picture on the far wall. It was jumping around. It lifted and fell like it had a life of its own. And it DID!
By now the boys had run up the stairs to see what was going on. Still more screaming from us girls but the boys were louder. “Get it Dad! Get it!”
Dad grabbed a broom and lifted a corner of the picture frame up and away from the wall. Down crashed the picture…
…and out flew a bat!
It fluttered back and forth around the room, darting here and there, ducking and out-maneuvering Dad’s broom. Now ALL of us were screaming, jumping up and down and flailing our arms to fight off the softball-sized creature. Dad tried to hit it, but he kept missing. That bat was quick!
Finally Dad opened the door which led to the roof, hoping the bat would find its way out. After a few more laps around the room and a few more swats with the broom, the bat flew out into the night.
“We’re so glad you got rid of that thing!” said a sister.
“We should have kept it, Dad!” said a brother.
Once the glass from the broken picture was swept up, back to bed we went. It took us a long time to settle down after that. Adrenaline still pumping, we giggled at how funny Dad looked in his under shorts chasing that bat with a broom.
Mom didn’t think it was so funny. “Settle down girls,” she yelled up at us. Then Dad added one of his famous phrases, “You kids go to sleep now. Tomorrow’s another day!”