As long as he could remember, he had been a slave.
One day, his master beat him to death because he was caught washing his hands in the well bucket instead of the clay bowl.
Just before he died, he said, “I’ll haunt you for the rest of your life!”
And so he did.
The master’s name was James Clarkson. He had a wife named Elizabeth Clarkson, and his daughter’s name was Betsy Clarkson. They lived in a huge house with many rooms.
The master had taken John to the cellar and beaten him down there, so no one could hear his screams of pain.
One day, hundreds of years later, a man came to the house to explore. When he went down to the cellar, he heard the screams. Then he saw it. He saw John Austin’s ghost. He was sitting in the corner gazing through the cracks in the ceiling. Then, he slowly looked down to the man. John stood up, walked to the man, and took out a knife.
“Your great-grandfather killed me!” John said.
“I didn’t know that!” the man screamed sorrowfully, as if he were in pain. “He probably didn’t mean to!” he said, trying to defend himself.
“Oh, he meant to, all right! And you’re gonna get it!”
Up to this day, no one has seen that man again.