Ghost Story - artwork by book illustration artist and llustrator Duncan Long

In one of the schools where I taught (in St. George, KS), I discovered that neither the teachers nor the custodians wished to remain in the building by themselves after dark.

After asking around, I learned that those who were in the building alone at night sometimes saw a young woman walking down the hall reading a book. When they called out to her, she would look directly at them but would never speak. Rather she turned and left, her feet “walking” several inches above the floor. She would disappear into a wall where there had once been a doorway. The room had been sealed up years before; no one remembered why.

I never saw her, but this is how I imagine she looks. The building has since been torn down. A book of love poems was found sitting in the sealed room. Workers claimed the dusty room smelled of roses.

And I may have embellished the story just a tad.

Duncan Long is a freelance magazine and book illustrator for HarperCollins, PS Publishing, Pocket Books, Solomon Press, Fort Ross, and many other publishers and self-publishing authors. See his book illustrations at: