Listen closely and ye shall hear the tale of the haunted ring.
The haunted ring is a beautiful ruby ring that has been in my family for generations. It became a part of my family back during the Depression in the 1930s. My grandpa was working at a gas station in Big Cabin, Oklahoma. Money was tight, but not as bad as the western part that came to be known as the Dust Bowl.
One day while he was pumping gas, a car pulled up. A man got out and said he was trying to get to Texas to be with his wife and children. But, (isn’t there always a but in these kind of stories?) his car was out of gas and he didn’t have any money. He did have a ruby ring, though. He told my Grandpa (who wasn’t my Grandpa yet. He was a young man, not even a father) that he would sell him the ruby ring for $400.
My Grandpa got the price down to $150 and a tank of gas.
I’d like to be able to tell you that the ring had magical powers. But it didn’t. My Grandpa wore it sometimes as a pinky ring. But mostly it stayed in a saucer on top of his dresser.
After my Grandpa passed, the ring became my mother’s. She wore it every day. And here’s where the haunted part comes in.
I had just moved from Los Angeles to Tahlequah, Oklahoma. One day while my mom was driving me from her house in Miami, Ok., to my new house in Tahlequah, I remarked on her ruby ring. I told her that someday I wanted to wear the ring. She gave me the ring and I tried it on. (this part is important – you’ll need to remember this later.)
We got to my house and prepared for bed. Mom was staying in my guest room. She took off her ruby ring and put it on the tall dresser like she did every night at her own house.
That was when I told Mom that my new house was haunted. But not to worry because it was only my Grandparents who were doing the haunting. I only halfway believed this. I had heard my Grandmother calling my name a few times. A couple of times, I had seen what I thought was a ghost out of the corner of my eye. And I ‘felt’ a presence in the guest room.
The night passed without incident and the next morning my mother said, “Very funny, Layce. Now give me back the ruby ring.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Daddy’s ruby ring is gone. I put it on the dresser before I went to sleep and now it’s gone,” she said.
“I didn’t take it.”
We thought maybe two year-old Emma had taken it. But she wasn’t tall enough to reach the top of that dresser.
We scoured the house, top to bottom. No ruby ring.
Later, my mother called my father. He was still at their house in Miami, Ok. She told him about the missing ruby ring.
“It’s here,” he replied.
My mother couldn’t believe it. “It’s there?”
“I’m looking right at it,” he said. “It’s on the kitchen counter.”
When she hung up, she was pale and shaking. And remember that part I told you was important? The part of the story where we were in the car, driving, and I tried on the ruby ring? That’s right. I know for a fact that the ring came to Tahlequah with us because I not only saw the ring, but I tried it on. This isn’t a story about a woman who was a little crazy and left her ring back home while she went on a trip. This is a story about how a ruby ring transported itself from one location to another location ninety miles away.
My mother stayed in my house another couple of nights. And she told me that her mother’s ghost appeared to her each night, sitting on the bed next to her. She said it wasn’t scary; it was comforting.
And whatever happened to the haunted ruby ring?
I’m now wearing it.
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