Ghost Stories

Short Ghost Stories

by Beth Martin

Copyright © 2023 Beth Martin
All rights reserved.

This ebook is provided for free by the author for a limited time as a collection of short stories originally shared on social media during the month of October 2023. While this ebook is free to share in its entirety, it is protected by copyright law. You may share this ebook with others, but you may not alter, modify, or extract any part of its content, including individual stories. The stories in this collection are meant to be enjoyed as a whole.

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The Photograph

Willie straitens his hopelessly crooked tie as he tries to smile broadly—as best he can with a never-quite-healed-correctly broken jaw. The camera beeps, and then a blinding light flashes. He blinks, trying to regain sight as the gears in the camera whir, allowing it to spit out a single picture. His first instinct is to grab the fresh Polaroid and shake it, but he knows that won’t do anything.

He adjusts his tie again, even though it’s no longer needed. For once, he’s glad his family chose such a smart suit to dress him in. Slowly, the colors of the image begin to appear: first yellow, then red, then darker tones. He realizes that the image is just of the abandoned room around him. His likeness didn’t get captured. His likeness never gets captured. But for a magical moment when he waited for the image to develop, Willie forgot he was a ghost.


Jenn was always here, but once a year, her friend Jorge would visit. He didn’t have ‘unfinished business’ like Jenn, so he was only aware of his corporal existence on his death-iversary.

“Oh, hello there,” he greeted her from behind, surprising her.

“Jorge,” she gushed. She tried to lean casually against one of the headstones, but it was slippery from a recent rainfall, and she almost fell.

“Careful, young lady.” He rushed to her aid to help her regain her balance.

She almost laughed at being addressed as “young lady.” She hadn’t been a young lady for at least 150 years when she passed away.

“I’m quite alright,” she assured him.

“It’s a beautiful night,” he observed.

“It is.” It wasn’t—it was cold and damp and the rain had made the ground mushy and slippery. The thick clouds obscured the stars, and the moon only found occasional openings to peek through. “Perhaps a song…” she began to suggest.

“Yes,” Jorge immediately agreed. “A song! Let me get my fiddle.” He reached behind his tombstone, and a ghastly violin appeared in his grasp. Jenn suspected he had been buried with the instrument.

He began to play, a sweet, clear note piercing through the murky night. Jenn smiled, and as Jorge’s song swelled, she started to dance. This was their routine; he’d play and she’d dance. She wished they could have known each other in life, but in death, she looked forward to this specific day all year.


“No way! Ghosts aren’t real,” Andrea said, sticking out her bottom lip and crossing her arms.

“Then you shouldn’t be afraid of the Ouija board,” Devon countered. She and Rachel nodded enthusiastically.

This was Andrea’s first slumber party, and although she had expected to play games with her new friends from school, she wasn’t familiar with this one. She needed to make a good impression on the other girls, so she ultimately gave in. “Fine! How do you play?”

Rachel showed Andrea how to place her hands on the placard, then Devon closed her eyes and sat up straight like she was in a trance. “Friendly spirits, we call upon you to join us in the physical world.” She opened a single eye and glanced at Rachel, and then whispered, “What should we ask?”

“Ask them how long ago they died,” Rachel whispered back.

“Friendly spirit, thank you for granting us your presence. We humbly ask, how long ago did you die?”

Andrea glanced from the placard to Devon, then to Rachel. It wasn’t moving. After a moment, it slowly began to glide across the board. She wasn’t sure if Devon or Rachel controlled it, but she knew she wasn’t.

“Andrea, you’re not supposed to push it!” Devon scolded.

“I’m not!” Andrea countered.

Devon glanced at Rachel, who shook her head and said, “Don’t look at me!”

The three girls recited the letters as the placard landed on them. “N-O-T, D-E-A-D, Y-E-T.”

“Not dead, yet,” Andrea recited. Then, all three girls screamed and dove behind the sofa—the safest place to hide when confronted with the undead.

Good Boy

Buster enjoyed his new routine. First, he checked the hook next to his front door where his leash hung along with his old collar with his tags. He’d walk around the living area before going upstairs and visiting the bedrooms. He always finished in Mark and Gary’s room, where Buster also had a big fluffy bed situated in the corner. Jumping up a bit on the big bed and resting his front paws on the comforter, he could survey the occupants sleeping. He didn’t dare disturb them and would move on to his bed, where he’d curl up and fall asleep.

However, today was different. The leash was still on its hook, but his collar had been moved. Buster sniffed the air. There were new smells he didn’t recognize. His previously empty food bowl had a mound of fresh kibble in it. He wished he could take a bite.

The changes were all explained when Buster finished his rounds and entered Mark and Gary’s room. His bed was gone and replaced with a new smaller bed. Something rustled on the big bed, then a high-pitched bark echoed through the quiet room.

Mark stirred. “Go back to sleep, Buddy,” he slurred. Instead, the floofy source of the sound made another yip before jumping off the bed and greeting Buster.

You must be the new Dog, Buster said.

Buddy smiled and wagged his tail. He was a smaller and much younger version of Buster.

Buster was sad he’d been replaced but also relieved that there was someone new. You have a very important job, he said to the pup. Take good care of this family.

The puppy barked again and wagged his tail with renewed gusto. I will! I’m a Good Boy!

Yes, you are, Buster agreed. Be careful not to wake up the family. You need to protect them if you sense any danger. And look after the little ones.

Before he could continue, Buddy stomped a paw. I got this, don’t worry.

Buster nodded. He left, mixed emotions swelling in his heart. At the very least, he could finally rest in peace.

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