While not always humorous, scary stories can also provide relief from the doldrums of daily life, so let's try a new category here and see what develops. This story comes from the early twentieth century (some of you may be old enough to remember the twentieth century!). It happened to a man named Jediah Worthington. As he tells it: I once inherited an estate in New Hampshire from my grandmother on my father's side of the family. The house was a fourteen bed mansion. Large orchards covered the property. I stayed in the mansion to watch over the property until it could be sold at auction. I slept in the only heated parted of the mansion, the servants' quarters adjoining the kitchen. At nights, just before dawn while I slept, my covers would be pulled off. After a few nights, this became tiresome, so I lay awake in bed one night, and when the covers began to be pulled off me, I pulled back. I became involved in a tug-of-war with something that growled. I jumped up in terror, standing up on the mattress, and threw the covers on the floor at the foot of the bed. The remaining nights I stayed in a hotel several miles away. I drove to the estate during the day. I arrived early one morning to look over the bedroom, and in the closet I found some loose floor boards that I pulled up. Underneath was a sort of tunnel leading through a crawl space to the outside of the mansion, with the orchards just a few hundred yards beyond. A few days following, while in the nearby town, I looked up the old cook. I mentioned the night-time goings on. "That," he said, "Would have been the tree imps that take care of the orchards. They were waking you to let you know to begin preparations for breakfast." "Tree imps?" I said. "Yes, the souls of departed servants and family, staying on to care for the orchards, house, and grounds of the estate."
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