Nuggets of Wisdom

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Nightly Frights: Clinkity-Clink

Another childhood tale of fright from Scary Stories. This one about a gravedigger who steals two silver dollars from the corpse of an old woman, only to be haunted by her spirit later that night.

Once again, it's one of those ghost stories best told to another, with the narrator screaming at the end.

If this story sounds familiar, it should, especially if you're a brony. The My Little Pony episode "Sleepless in Ponyville" featured a similar tale about an old mare with a missing rusty horseshoe.
There was a lonely old woman who got sick and eventually died. She had no family and no close friends, so her neighbors got together and dug a grave for her. They asked the undertaker to make a coffin for her and they dressed her up in her best clothes and laid her body out in her living room.

When the old woman died, her eyes were wide open, staring at everything and seeing nothing. This disturbed the neighbors so much that they found two shiny silver coins on her dresser and put them on her eyelids to keep them closed.

As was the tradition at the time, they held a wake so that people could come by and pay their respects. The neighbors lit some candles and sat up with her corpse so that she would not be alone.
The next morning, the gravedigger arrived to collect her body and take it to the cemetery. When he was about to start digging the grave, he opened the coffin and peered inside. When he saw the silver coins covering her eyes, he immediately snatched them and stuffed them in his pocket.

Looking down at the dead woman, a chill ran down his spine. Her wide open eyes seemed to be staring up at him, watching him as he stole her silver coins. It gave him a creepy feeling, so he grabbed a hammer and quickly nailed the lid on the coffin shut. Then he buried her as fast as he could.

When the gravedigger got home, he put the two silver coins in a tin box and shook it, listening to the rattling sound. Try as he might, he couldn't forget those eyes staring at him. He placed the tin box on his mantelpiece.

That night, it grew dark and the wind started blowing. The storm shook the house and rattled the windows. A cold wind whistled through the cracks in the walls and down the chimney.

Bizzy, bizzy, buzz-zoo-o-o-o-o! it went. Bizzy, bizzy, buzz-zoo-o-o-o-o!

The gravedigger threw some more wood on the fire and jumped into bed, pulling the covers up over his head.

The wind kept blowing through the cracks.

Bizzy, bizzy, buzz-zoo-o-o-o-o! it went. Bizzy, bizzy, buzz-zoo-o-o-o-o!

The fire flared and flickered and cast evil-looking shadows on the walls. Lying in bed, the gravedigger couldn't stop thinking about the dead woman's eyes staring at him. As the wind blew stronger and louder, and the fire popped and snapped, he began to get scared.

Suddenly, he heard another sound.

Clinkity-Clink, Clinkity-Clink, it went. Clinkity-Clink, Clinkity-Clink.

It was the silver dollars rattling in the tin box.

"Hey!" shouted the gravedigger. "Who's stealing my money?"

But all he heard was the wind blowing, Bizzy, bizzy, buzz-zoo-o-o-o-o! and the flames flaring and flickering, and snapping and popping, and the coins going Clinkity-Clink, Clinkity-Clink.

Shaking with fear, he flung off the covers and sat up in bed. Looking around, he couldn't see anything. He leaped out of the bed and barred and chained the door. Then he went back to bed, but his head had barely touched the pillow when he heard, Clinkity-Clink, Clinkity-Clink.
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