I was twelve years old when I first met Frannie, she was the new girl in my class and we soon became best friends. Frannie had the kind of mother who thought herself above her neighbours and disliked her daughter's friends so I was never invited back to play at Frannie's house.
My story skips forward four years. One day out of the blue Frannie invited myself and two other friends back to her house after school. She explained that her brother, who was much younger than herself, had started school and her mother had gone back to work so the house would be empty.
We arrived at Frannie's home, which was a nice modern three bedroomed detached property, and went up to her bedroom. Frannie pulled a Ouija board out from under the bed and a wine glass from the bedroom table and dared us to try it. We drew the curtains and we sat on the floor one each side of the board, with Frannie opposite me.
"Is any one here?" Frannie whispered. We all started to giggle but Frannie hushed us and said that it was not a game. Suddenly the glass sped around the board spelling the words "get out". Scared now we each blamed each other for pushing the glass. "Don't break the circle," Frannie warned me. I was scared now and wanted to leave. "Who are you?" someone asked. Again the glass moved around the board spelling "get out".
The room was dimly lit and the air was getting heavy. It was then that I noticed that Frannie's head was bowed against her chest and her breathing quick and shallow. "Fran, are you alright?" I called anxiously. She did not reply. "Fran?" I repeated, really scared, the room had suddenly become very cold and I could see my breath.
As I looked at Fran, slumped opposite me, something caught my eye in the corner of the room. Sitting in a large green armchair was a tiny old woman with birdlike features her piercing eyes staring at me. I knew that there was no armchair only a bed, wardrobe and dressing table in the bedroom. This really freaked me out.
With a scream I broke the circle and fled the house in terror. The other three only caught up with me ten minutes later up when I had reached the bus stop, still shaking with fear.
I reluctantly relayed my story to my friends, who thought that it was a silly prank thought up by Frannie and myself, but Frannie was oddly quiet and said nothing.
A few days later at school during a break from lessons, Frannie confessed that she had recognised her grandmother sitting in her favourite chair from my description. Slowly she reached into her bag and pulled out a photograph and handed it to me. I gasped as I recognised the woman in the photograph as the woman that I had seen in the corner of Frannie's bedroom that afternoon. She died just before I changed schools. Frannie told me as I handed her back the photograph, "That was her favorite chair. She sat in all the time."
After that event, Frannie's family experienced strange noises and cold spots in their house. Her younger brother was scared by dark shapes in his bedroom. A priest was called in to bless the house and the noises eventually stopped.
We did much later confess to Fran's parents that we had used a Ouija board, but we never told them what I had seen that afternoon.