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Weekend Edition has been asking you to share your scary stories, the ones that have become family lore. This week, we're sharing those stories and delving into how and why they affect us.
Singer-songwriter Rita Hosking grew up in a house that was haunted. It was known as the Old Erickson Place on Hatchet Mountain in California. In her 2009 album Come Sunrise, she tells the tragic story of the woman and her little boy who lived there years before.
"She was lonely before the Lord took her son," Hosking sings. "She couldn't take any more, so she took out her gun. It's there that she died with her hand on her hip, and it's there that she cried, this song on her lips."
Hosking grew up with the story, her father telling the tale on stormy nights.
One day, in the corner of a room in the house, she saw a little blond-haired boy.
"I immediately knew that this was this woman's son. He was looking at me, and I took off flying out the door ... because I was so frightened," she says.
When she looked back up toward the house, the curtain in her parents' bedroom on the top floor was being held back — then dropped. Hosking says she knew immediately it was the mother.
"Tragedies bring sorrow so deep and so strong that I feel like sometimes it just doesn't end with one generation. It carries on," she says. "And maybe that's what ghosts are, maybe they're just carrying on this sorrow."