The Weeping Child

The cool October nights in Harpers Ferry are often still and quiet, in sharp contrast to the day's bustling visitors and scurrying shopkeepers. At dusk the town is reclaimed by the townspeople, and except for an occasional freight train passing in the night, there is an undisturbed tranquility conducive to sound sleep.

One such evening a man who lived with his children on the top floor of a government building retired to bed, expecting to rise at the usual morning hour. But in the middle of the night he found himself suddenly awake, alert, and acutely aware of strange sounds he had never heard before.

As his eyes grew more sensitive to the glimmering light from the period gaslamps in front of the historic house, he saw nothing unusual in the bedroom; then he heard it again. It was a muffled sound, a soft whimpering as that of a child. For several moments the man listened to the sounds before it abruptly ceased. Pulling himself from bed he turned on the room lights, but things were as he had left them. Through the rippled panes of glass he saw only the familiar street scene. Could it have been a dream?

Several nights later he was awakened again. He lay still, listening intently to the muffled cries, the same pitiful whimpering of a small child. The sounds were soft, yet near, as though originating from the very room in which he slept. He got out of bed and tiptoed across the room, trying to get closer to the sounds. In front of the closet he stopped and pressed his ear to the wooden door.

Carefully taking the door handle and securing a firm grip, the man yanked open the door with an explosive energy to expose whatever was inside. There was nothing. The room was silent. He turned on the light and inspected the closet, but the clothing and shoes were exactly as he had put them. He returned to bed feeling uneasy, sure he had heard something.

The strange whimpering sounds were heard a number of times in the ensuing months, but the source could never be located.

(from Haunted Houses of Harpers Ferry by Stephen D. Brown)