I want to thank plat00n from Reddit for giving me permission to share his story. I thought this was the perfect story to finish up our ghost stories of December.
Three years before I was born, my mother and father had their first child. He lived for a mere seven minutes before his breathing stopped and he died. I have never inquired as to what caused him to stop breathing. A little over a year after this terrible incident, my parents had a daughter, and then two years after her, I was born.
Naturally, my parents had no reason to tell me about my older brother when I was younger, and even as we all got older, the story was never told to me, presumably because it was too painful to recall. If the following events had never occurred, I might have never found out about him at all.
In early December during my junior year of high school, the family gathered ‘round the Christmas tree to load it up with the ornaments we had gathered over the years. Our family had continued to grow after my birth; my parents had added another son and daughter. My parents had bought each of us an ornament each year, so after adding those to the stockpile that they had owned before we were born, we always had one hell of a time fitting all of the ornaments onto the tree.
This year was no different. But we pushed and we slid and shoved and eventually found some green for all of them. In addition to the ornaments, we had a fairly nice Nativity set that was placed underneath the tree. It had the whole birth party, and of course, contained a wooden manger in which the figurine of Baby Jesus lay. After my siblings and I had set this up, we stood for a minute or two and admired our work, and then we each went our separate ways and on with life.
A day after setting the tree up, I walked into the living room to find one of my ornaments on the ground. It was the first ornament that had been given to me and had “First Born Son” etched into its face. The bright bronze had become cloudy over the years, but the ornament was sentimental, so it always managed to find a prominent place on the tree. I found the spot I thought it had fallen from and re-hung it before walking through the room.
I passed through the room the next day to find the ornament again on the ground, and again I hung it up. I tried to hang it in a different spot this time, assuming the weight had allowed it to slide from a thin branch, but to no avail, as it was on the ground the following day as well.
I placed it back on the tree and was not too surprised when I came in the next day to find the ornament missing from the spot. What did surprise me, however, was that the ornament was not on the ground, but was instead sitting on the coffee table a few feet away. I assumed my mother was having the same problem with the ornament and had just given up and placed it on the table, so I stopped in the kitchen to ask her about it.
She was doing the dishes, and when I asked, she turned around and with a funny look on her face and told me that she too had been picking the ornament up each time she walked into the room.
For the next few days, each time I walked into the room, I continued to find the ornament off the tree. But now the location had changed. It was no longer lying in random spots on the floor or on the table like it had been before. Each time I walked in the room now, the ornament was inside of the roofed manager, leaning against the crib with the Jesus figure.
I was young, and I’m sure that didn’t help prevent me from thinking that things were adding up a little strangely. It seems really stupid now, but I grew up in a semi-religious family and something about finding my “First Born Son” ornament leaning against Jesus every day appeared to me to be a harbinger of something evil that would cometh my way.
The non-surprising thing is, nothing ever happened to me. Obvious, I suppose. But my dad – my no-nonsense, get out of my face with your stupid paranormal bullshit, I’m just going to go into this scary dark room to get the toolbox, mysterious moaning be damned – had something happen to him.
He tended to work in his basement office until the wee hours of the morning. Most of that time was actually filled with him sleeping in his chair, as evidenced by him springing up and feigning awareness every time I would go into the basement late at night.
In the early hours of the morning of December 23rd, he was, as usual, down in the basement. Around 2 AM, he was awakened by footsteps crossing down the first-floor hallway above his head. He decided he would come up and see who was up and then continue upstairs to bed.
As he came up the basement stairs, he could hear the person walking through the kitchen on the other side of the door, but when he opened it, the person had just crossed into the dining room. He followed the steps through the kitchen and around the bend but again was too late; the footsteps had beat him around the turn and into the living room. He rounded the corner and was surprised to see an empty room and could no longer hear the footsteps.
From the other room, they had appeared to stop at the Christmas tree. As he stood there, scanning the space and trying to figure out what he had heard, he noticed an object lying on the ground towards the middle of the room. As he walked up to it and started bending over, he realized there were actually two objects lying in the middle of the living room floor: Baby Jesus and the “First Born Son” ornament that was lying against his side.
The next day, my dad told all of us the story at breakfast. My parents must have known that I was feeling a little unsettled from it all, so they decided to finally tell me what they had kept a secret for sixteen years. They told me about their happiness at getting pregnant, the nine long and exciting months my mom had carried my brother, and their feeling of complete desolation and absolute loss when he died. They told me how it still hurt, especially around the holidays. At first, I assumed this was because everyone becomes sentimental around the holidays. Then they told me the real reason: my brother had been born, and died, on December 23rd at 2 AM. Last night had been the 20th anniversary of his death.
Merry Christmas and Happy Friday!!!