The Ghost’s Gold

📅 Published on July 13, 2020

“The Ghost's Gold”

Written by Matt Dymerski
Edited by N/A
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

ESTIMATED READING TIME — 5 minutes

Rating: 10.00/10. From 2 votes.
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It had rained off and on that summer night, leaving the forest dark and humid. Pushing through the wet underbrush after his friend, Noah wiped his hands on his pants, gripped his flashlight tighter, and complained, “But what if the ghost is real?”

Crunching through the leaves several steps ahead and refusing to slow down, Benjamin curved his own flashlight back briefly and replied, “That would be great! If the ghost is real, that just means the gold is real, too.”

Noah had grown up hearing the legend of the buried gold somewhere on the inside bend of the creek, but he didn’t care about the money. The part that kept him up at night in bed was the supposed protector of the gold. His grandfather often claimed that, during the Northwest Indian War, a tribe of American Indians had buried a valuable trove somewhere along the banks of the creek to hide it from the enemy. They’d intended to return to claim it once the fighting had ended, and their Chief even stayed behind to guard it, but the tribe kept going west and never came back.

And that Chief, it was said, guarded the treasure still.

Thinking that maybe Benjamin just didn’t know enough about the legend, Noah ducked under grasping branches and dodged big falling drops of water. “There was a kid!”

“A kid?” Benjamin asked dismissively.

“Yeah,” Noah continued. “Ninety years ago. He was poking around the creek bed with an iron rod by himself. Then he screamed, and they found him with wild hair, babbling about a ghost on horseback that charged at him in the woods.”

“Sounds like he saw a horse and got scared.” Benjamin started walking faster between the trees.

Getting more scared the deeper they went into the woods, Noah tried to think of other stories his grandfather had told him. Before he could, the deep voice of a man boomed out in the dripping darkness. The voice said ominously, “Turn back! What you encounter will shock you!”

Ahead, Benjamin froze, and Noah quietly ran up next to him and hid behind a large tree with his friend.

Together, they shined their lights in every direction, but saw nothing but shadows angling this way and that behind silent tree trunks. Branches cast eerie silhouettes that seemed to dance and leap between scrubby bushes and mossy boulders.

Noah whispered, “You heard that, right?”

Benjamin gulped and said, “Nope.” A moment later, he was moving forward again.

“Then why did you stop?”

His friend didn’t reply.

Jogging to catch up, Noah finally thought of something else his grandfather had told him. “Okay then, how about this? Sixty years ago, a man with several trained dogs searched the creek for gold. He was out here for six nights. On the seventh, they found him with wild hair and crazy eyes. He refused to tell anyone what had happened, and he ran off as soon as he got the chance.”

Benjamin led the way out of the trees and onto the muddy banks of the creek. “Big deal. He didn’t even mention a ghost. It could have been anything.”

Well, that much was true. Noah held his flashlight close and followed his friend down along the creek. Together, they found long sticks, and started turning over rocks and poking the mud. He decided that it was unlikely they would find the gold in the dark anyway. No gold, no ghost, no problem!

The distant sound of drums began to echo through the forest.

Benjamin abruptly turned his flashlight toward the opposite bank.

Wide-eyed, Noah turned his the other way, watching their backs. “You’re hearing that too. I know you are!”

“It’s just someone playing the drums somewhere.”

“At night?” Noah asked, his heart pounding. “That fast, and that angry?”

For the drums were indeed angry, like war drums.

A deep male voice boomed out again, the same one as before. “You must turn back. You will encounter something not for the faint of heart!”

Shining their lights back and forth rapidly, both boys tried to figure out where the voice had come from. Water dripped, the creek burbled, and their footsteps slopped mud, but there was nobody around—nobody that they could see, anyway. The drums slowly faded as they waited and listened.

Benjamin finally let out a breath. “That just means we must be close to the treasure.”

Noah wasn’t sure how much more fear he could handle. “You know the nickname of the bridge over this creek?”

Stomping forward through the mud, Benjamin said, “Yeah, so what?”

“It’s named after a man who crashed his tractor off it thirty years ago. A man who they found with wild hair, who kept talking about his tractor going crazy just after a man on horseback rode by and told him to leave.”

“Now the tractor’s crazy?” Benjamin asked. “I thought it was the people who were going mad.”

Exasperated, Noah said, “I’m trying to tell you this is a bad idea!”

“You’re just scared. There’s no such thing as ghosts.”

Nearing a deeper bend in the waters of the creek, the two boys slowed.

Noah felt the hair on the back of his neck prickle. Turning slowly, he took in the sight for several seconds before understanding what he was seeing: down the creek, a ghostly white image of a Chief on horseback was riding in their direction.

Beside him, Benjamin was staring at it, too.

The image was strange, and not at all the way Noah had expected a ghost to appear. It looked as if a hollow image from a very old film had somehow been burned onto the air, complete with brief flashes of cue dots, as if the ghost was a projection from a film reel of old memories repeating on an endless loop. Stunned, he watched as the Chief rode right up to them, making no splashes in the water.

The horse and rider came to a stop. Towering over them, staring right at them with a fierce gaze, that same voice boomed, “I am warning you!”

Benjamin’s mouth was hanging open, and his eyes were as wide as they could go.

Noah imagined his own face was similar.

But the ghostly rider turned away. The horse quickly galloped between the trees and out of sight, leaving nothing but a faint charred smell of something burned.

Noah blinked, then finally worked up the courage to say, “Ben. It’s time to leave.”

But Benjamin’s fear faded into a grin. “We must be closer than anyone’s ever gotten. I knew this spot would be the one!”

The hairs on the back of his neck were still standing on end even though the ghost was gone. Noah shook his head. “No. Something’s very wrong here. I’m not going with you.”

“Fine, then I’ll take your half of the treasure!” Benjamin pushed him roughly, causing bits of static electricity to jump between them.

At his limit, Noah let fear take over, and he ran back the way they had come in a total panic. By the time he’d calmed down, he was almost out of the woods, and he felt bad about leaving his friend—but he’d done all he could. He’d warned Benjamin three times, and so had the old guardian Chief.

* * * * * *

When Benjamin’s mother was frantic the next morning, Noah knew something bad had happened. He led the adults along the secret path he and his friend had taken the night before, and they soon found Benjamin wandering between the trees. His hair was wild, and he seemed permanently terrified. He could not remember what had happened to him.

Concerned, the adults searched the area, and one noticed a static charge in the air. “See here,” the old man said. “Old power lines laid in the early 1900s go under this land. They must still get some electricity from the grid now and again.”

Noah nodded along to this explanation, realizing what the ghost had actually said: that what they would encounter would shock them, that it was bad for people with weak hearts, and that it was warning them. The Chief hadn’t been hostile after all. But then, why was he still riding the forests after all this time?

It was only later, when the adults finally stopped hovering over the two of them, that Benjamin silently opened his hand to reveal a small square of mud-crusted gold.

Rating: 10.00/10. From 2 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Written by Matt Dymerski
Edited by N/A
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Matt Dymerski


Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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