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  • Writer's pictureArthur Mills

Candle Face Victim #5: Skeptics in the Afterlife - A Spirit's Regret

Candle Face Victim #5: Skeptics in the Afterlife - A Spirit's Regret

Candle Face Victim # 5

December 7, 2023


It has been a week since the last visit from my nocturnal guests. I have begun to wonder if they have abandoned me. Ironically, what once filled me with dread now brings anticipation. To ensure I’m tired by nightfall, I’ve stopped taking my usual afternoon naps, keeping myself occupied during the day. Previously, I would stay awake through the night, but now I retire to bed early to be ready to assist a new spirit. My journey in aiding these entities is still in its early stages; so far, my role has been limited to listening and recording their testimonies. Despite not having made a significant impact yet, I remain hopeful that I’ll be able to guide these tormented spirits in their quests.


Then, a breakthrough occurred. As I concluded my prayers, the shadows in a corner of my room began to stir, almost as if dancing. Gradually, they merged into the form of a young woman, her figure still cloaked in darkness. She moved towards me with a sense of urgency, eager to share her story, not wanting to lose a moment. This is her story:

As I walked into the nearby gas station, seeking shelter from the encroaching darkness, I noticed a young girl with messy hair pass me. It triggered a memory, a story I had heard at the women’s group home where I lived. It was a story of a female ghost.
The women would huddle together during late-night conversations, discussing this ghost in the dead of night. They spoke of a girl who had perished in a fiery blaze and now haunted those who doubted her existence, seeking vengeance on skeptics.
Back then, the story had hardly registered with me. I had been preoccupied with my own internal battles, the relentless struggles of my mental health, which overshadowed any fear I might have had for an urban legend. But today, as I stood in the gentle glow of the gas station, those memories resurfaced.
Feeling an unexpected twinge of nostalgia, I let out a soft laugh. “If only she were real,” I mused aloud, “she’d see that life had scarier demons.”
After leaving the gas station, I decided to take the longer route back to the group home. I needed the solitude, the opportunity to gather my thoughts in the quiet night. The path led me through a stretch of woods off the main road, where the trees rustled gently in the breeze, and the world felt serene.
But then, I felt it – a hot, prickling sensation on the back of my neck, as if someone’s eyes were fixed on me. Trying to shake off the unease, I quickened my pace, but then I heard a faint whisper, barely audible above the rustling leaves, “Believe...”
Panicked, I spun around, my heart racing. There was nothing but the vast, seemingly endless expanse of the woods. I cursed my overactive imagination, berating myself for letting the ghost stories get to me.
But then, a soft glow emanated from the woods to my right. My curiosity overcame my fear, and I ventured closer to investigate. There, hidden amidst the trees, I found a weathered camping tent. I couldn’t resist peering inside through the unzipped flaps.
A single candle illuminated the interior. And within that flickering light, I saw a little girl holding the hauntingly beautiful flame. Time seemed to stand still as our eyes locked. Hers were pools of unending sorrow, seeking understanding, yearning to be understood.
“Do you believe now?” she asked, the soft glow of the candle reflected in her hollow eye sockets.
I stammered, my voice barely above a whisper, “I...I don’t know what to believe.”
Suddenly, the wind roared, extinguishing the candle’s flame. Darkness descended, and she was gone.
I ran, the weight of regret heavy on my chest. Why had I ventured this way? Why had I invoked the legend of the ghostly girl? My thoughts swirled in a chaotic dance of fear and disbelief.
Days blurred into nights, and her presence seemed to linger everywhere, an ever-present shadow reminding me of our encounter in the woods. With each blow of the wind, with each flicker of a candle or light, the same question echoed in my mind: Do you believe?
A week later, I was drawn back to the gas station, compelled to revisit the old tent. Part of me hoped it wouldn’t be there, that it had all been a figment of my imagination, a nightmare I could dismiss. Yet, I stood before that same decrepit tent, its presence undeniable. The tent was zipped shut this time, and I hesitated momentarily before unzipping it.
Inside, the tent was bathed in hundreds of candles’ soft, warm glow. And there she stood at its center, her face illuminated by the flames’ soft radiance.
“Why?” I asked, my voice trembling. “Why me?”
“You needed to believe,” she responded, her voice echoing the pain of years gone by. “In life, you faced your demons, you battled your fears, but you never believed in me. My existence, my pain, was invalidated by your skepticism.”
Tears streamed down my face as I gazed into her sorrowful eye sockets. “I believe now,” I said, my voice filled with remorse and understanding. “I believe in your pain, in your existence.”
The room grew brighter as every candle flared up, their flames reaching out, almost touching me. She took a step closer, her face inches from mine. “It is too late,” she whispered.
My world went dark.
Days later, they found my lifeless body in those same woods. The cause of my death remained a mystery, but the legend of the girl ghost, Candle Face, took on a new chapter. She was no longer a mere myth to scare children; she had become a symbol, a reflection of the deep-seated human need for validation and belief.
In death, I had become a testament to the importance of listening, understanding, and, most importantly, believing. Sometimes, the most haunting stories aren’t about the ghosts that lurk in the shadows but about the ghosts we create when we choose not to believe.

After she finished her testimony, I did something I had never done during these visits: I sat upright. Extending my hand towards hers, she also began to reach out. Suddenly, a loud screech echoed from the shadowy corner of my room, assaulting my ears. The spirit hastily retracted her hand and darted towards the corner, vanishing into the darkness. In response, I hurried downstairs to document her story, holding onto the hope that I might be able to assist her.


Personal Note to My Readers


Reflecting on this ghostly encounter, I’ve noticed a significant shift in perceiving fear and the supernatural. Initially, these visits from the other side were terrifying, but over time, they sparked curiosity and anticipation. This change underscores a more profound truth: confronting our fears can transform them into something new, like curiosity or purpose. This resonated with me, especially recalling my experience with Candle Face during my childhood. The young woman’s story, blending the supernatural with deep human emotions like the need for validation, profoundly impacted me.


When I reached out to her, an action I’d never dared before, it wasn’t just an attempt to help but an acknowledgment of their existence and her story. Even the frightful interruption of a screech only fueled my determination to assist and understand these spirits.


This journey, especially this distressing story, taught me a crucial lesson. The ghosts we fear often mirror our own doubts and the parts of ourselves we’re reluctant to face. In documenting these stories, I’m investigating the essence of belief and understanding, essential elements of human experience. This story serves as a reminder of the power and importance of belief.

 

Key To Understanding

To ensure readers grasp the full context and significance of this article, it’s crucial to be familiar with Arthur Mills’ award-winning memoir The Empty Lot Next Door, inspired by actual ghostly events in Austin, TX. The book provides essential background information, and without it, the nuances and depth of this article might not be fully appreciated. Therefore, reading The Empty Lot Next Door is highly recommended for a more enriched and coherent understanding of this article’s content and implications.


To purchase The Empty Lot Next Door, please visit Amazon


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