The Ghosts in the Walls

I recently found a short poem I wrote by hand. This was back in 2012, before I tried writing short stories and longer works – and before I had sufficient practice in the writing craft. I wrote this during a sleepless night as I listened to the walls in my new house creak.

The Ghosts in the Walls

One more glass. That’s all I need to have before I hear them.

It starts with a whisper. Sometimes.

Other times it’s louder than that – out of nowhere. It’s frightening.

However, it’s terrifying when I listen for them and I hear nothing. That’s when they are listening to me.

The ghosts in the walls.

They only talk at night. I’ve tried to listen in the day, but I never hear anything. Until I lay in bed and it’s quiet for a while, then I hear the creaking. I try to fall asleep before it starts, but that’s a rarity.

The tapping from inside the wall, each tap is either louder or softer than the previous. That’s the worst part. I never know how loud it’s going to be.

A wretched, teasing finger, rapping in the wall.

I’ve never seen anything when I look for them. Maybe I’m just hearing things.

If I am, I’m crazy.

But if it’s real, what does that make me?

I don’t want to go to sleep.

Just one more glass.

I hear it now. The tapping. It’s getting louder.


Waves of terror crash upon my dreams, the waves that carry the voices. Waves of featureless grey faces, whispering all at once, trying to tell me something. I hear the tapping above the whispers. The tapping is coming from the doorway.

The doorway is open. How? I know I closed it. I always do when I go to bed. I’m too afraid to get out of bed and close it. My bed is my safe place.

The tapping is back in the wall now. I turn towards it. The tapping stops. And I look back at the doorway to my room.

There’s a shadow in the doorway. I’m terrified. My heart stops and my muscles ache with fear.

At least it’s in the doorway this time. Last time it was at the end of my bed.

I’m afraid to go to sleep.

The ghosts in the walls.