In a small town not far from here, there was an old, abandoned house. No one ever went near it because everyone said that it was haunted.
One day, a bunch of local people was sitting in a coffee shop, chatting about bravery. One man, in particular, was bragging loudly. "I'm not afraid of anything!" he boasted.
"I bet you are!" said the man sitting next to him. "What about ghosts?"
The first man laughed. "No, of course not! I'm not afraid of anything!"
The second man smiled. "All right, then, we have a deal. You go into that old, abandoned house over there and spend the night in it, and I will give you $1,000 dollars."
One of the people listening to their conversation spoke up. "You can't do that! That house is haunted! Everyone knows that! If you go in there, you will be dead by morning for sure!". But the two men did not listen to him. They continued to argue about who was more brave and daring .
The next day, the first man went to the house. He was nervous and scared, but he had made a wager and he was determined to win.
As he walked up to the door, he saw a note taped to it. He picked it up and read it aloud:
"You cannot enter here because this is my house- I have been dead for 20 years."
The man laughed nervously and threw the note away before walking in.
He stood in the middle of the living room, looking around. He could barely see in the dark, but he could tell that there was nothing in there- no furniture, no pictures on the wall, nothing.
Suddenly, he heard a noise coming from upstairs. It sounded like someone was walking around up there. He started walking up the stairs.
Just then, a figure appeared at the top of the stairs and started to walk down. The man gasped and scrambled back into the living room as fast as he could. He looked back up at the stairs to see if it was still coming after him, but it disappeared.
The man walked back over to the stairs and looked up at them again- this time it wasn't there anymore!
The man was so scared that he decided to go home and sleep in his own bed.
The next day, the second man who had challenged him came into the coffee shop looking for him.
"Hey, where have you been?" he asked the first man. "Did you go to the haunted house last night?"
The first man smiled nervously and said, "Yes I did."
"Did you spend the night there and what did you see ?" asked the second man.
"I didn't sleep there- I was too scared to do that! But I saw a ghost- it was right at the top of the stairs when I looked up. It was looking right at me and then it disappeared again. It was just standing there on top of those stairs- it wasn't moving or anything!"
As soon as he said this, all the people sitting nearby gasped and started to say things like, "Oh my God! You saw him too?" and "What did he look like? Did he try to hurt you or anything?
The first man shook his head. "No, no- nothing like that happened- I'm not sure what it wants from us. It just stood there and then disappeared again. That's all!"
Then he continued with a grave look on his face. "I went looking for the haunted house this morning again and I couldn't find it!"
The second man laughed: "What are you talking about? You know where it is- it's right there on Sesame Street! It has been right there all along!"
The first man shook his head. "No, it isn't there anymore- I went there this morning and there was nothing there! And I looked everywhere too! The house is gone!"
The second man shrugged and said, "Maybe a new family moved in and fixed it up?"
The first man shook his head again. "No, there were no beds or furniture anywhere last night! The house was absolutely empty! It's just not there anymore this morning!"
He looked down at his coffee cup for a minute before taking a deep breath, then he said, "Maybe we should stop talking about this house now because I'm starting to get really scared."
What do you think happened to the house?