Mary Beekman is a four-year-old ghost who resides in The Beekman Mansion, and considers Brent and Josh her “imaginary friends.” Follow Mary Beekman’s Diary each week to learn what it’s like to be a young child in early 19th century America
This year at Halloween, we are having the Fall Festival here at our house. Father and Mother enjoy having people come to our house. Our house is larger than most of our neighbors and we have lots of help. We will play snap apple. Last year I was not big enough to play, but this year I can. Some of Mother’s helpers are Negro women. We will have many pies and cakes and nuts and apples. Because these helpers are our slaves, we take care of them and they take care of us. Father had special pews made for them so they can go to church with us. I am glad they are with us and so is Mother. Father says we need to treat them with kindness and respect. We all do, and they eat and drink the same food that is prepared for us. It would seem lonesome without them.
Father told us all a story about when he was a little boy. I think he was ten. He was out picking berries with some friends. They were surprised by some indians who were looking to steal and plunder. The children all ran for home. BUT one little girl was captured because she had long, beautiful hair. I am smaller than ten and I wonder if I would have been captured because I am not a fast runner. When I am really frightened, I cannot make my feet move. At the Fall Festival people speak about the spirits of those who had died. I am certain this little girl is a spirit, moving about in our woods and fields. She must be looking for her friends and for her long, long hair. It is good we won’t have to take a wagon to another farm for the Fall Festival. I would be frightened to ride in the dark on this night.
I wonder if she will peek in our windows after it is dark to listen to us play and visit with the neighbors. Maybe she likes hearing the stories about other spirits. I am not certain that I want to look for her on this night. Perhaps she would even come inside and hide in the attic or in our rooms. I sometimes hear noises coming from our attic. Fathers tells me it is just the squirrels rolling nuts across the boards. When I go into our attic in the day time, the wind sighs through the boards; I hear the name “Nooooorahhhh”……. Nora sounds like the soft whisper of the attic breath. I wonder if that little girl’sname was “Nora”. Josh and Brent might be able to see her. No one can see Josh or Brent……just I can. Maybe that means I will see the little girl too!!! Last year at the Fall Festival, I fell asleep on coats on a bed my myself. I hope someone goes up to bed with me tonight……..Noooorahhhhhhhhh.