Nightmares: Black Cat and the Legend of Old Man Griffin

I must say I’m very flattered by all the well-wishers bearing sympathy, suggestions and advice on my ongoing nightmare issues. Looks like I’m not alone in dealing with this problem and just knowing that — has its comforts. In fact, a few of your suggestions I’ve taken to heart. The results let’s say, and not wanting to get too ahead of myself — looks promising.


Perhaps there’s a haunting childhood memory that you’re suppressing, one correspondent wrote. Your ongoing nightmares may be a manifestation of some hidden subconscious memories from the past? Maybe you should face your Demons down. Facing your fears head-on will force a confrontation and perhaps that will get you to the root-source of these recurring and ongoing nightmares.

Try “Lucid Dreaming” another wrote. Teach yourself to gain control of what happens in your nightmares by practicing Lucid Dreaming. Once skilled enough, confront your in-dream tormentor and demand to know why they continue to haunt you. Find the source of your continuing nightmares and voila! No more Nightmares!

At this point I thought, why not, I’m willing to try anything!

So I started to read about Lucid Dreaming, whereby once in a dream, the dreamer himself (in this case me) can become aware that he is dreaming. Perhaps even able to gain some control over the dream characters, the environment or maybe even the story-line itself.

It all sounded pretty far-fetched to me. But what the hell, I was desperate. Willing to try anything to solve these haunting nightmares.

And so one night… As I drifted off to sleep, my dream journal by my bed, I duly repeated my Lucid Dreaming mantra — “I will be aware that I am dreaming … I will be aware that …”

And soon I drifted off to sleep…


It was a cool autumn night, the moon full and the stars shining brightly. I was in my early teens again, standing on the sidewalk across the street from an old dilapidated abandoned house. A frightening looking house I faintly remembered.

Yes, this was the old haunted Griffin house of legend back when I was a kid. Maybe 3 or 4 blocks away from where I lived and near the dead-end street where we used to play our road-hockey games as kids.

Johnny lived 5 doors down and Richie, almost straight across. But why was I here? And why so late at night? My parents never let me out this late at night and the old Griffin place? In real life I’d be much too afraid to even go near that place. — Day or night!

Wait? — In real life?... So that means…

As I was trying to wrap my head around the meaning of this just out of reach yet seemingly important thought, a black cat appeared out of nowhere and sat beside me. “Guess you wouldn’t know what’s going on here would you my furry friend?” I asked half jokingly. Yet when he did answer me, I wasn’t really surprised at all.

Because?… Because talking cats are…

But the cat interrupted that thought, surprising me with his “inside-my-head” voice. It was timbered low, cool and confident. He never once looked up at me, never once met my queried gaze. He just sat there, attentively staring across the street at the old Griffin house.

But in the end, he did have a lot to say…

“I’m not suppose to be here” the cat said. “I’m taking a big risk just coming here and my time is short. The rules are simple, no questions, just listen. Any questions and I’m gone understand? Intrigued, I simply nodded.

“Good” the cat said… “Let’s begin.”


“You do know this place” he started. “Even if you can’t quite remember. And I know this place too, because I too once lived near here, many lives ago.” Many lives ago? … I began to ask, then cut short remembering his rule. He nodded in acceptance, then carried on …

“It’s an evil dark place with a haunting history” he continued. “It all started many years ago when Archibald Griffin and his family lived there. He was a very mentally troubled man” the cat said. “And one night …

Old man Griffin lost it one frosty starlit night, and hung his entire family; wife, daughter, son, even the family dog. All swinging ever so gently with a noose around their blue swollen necks and dangling from the upstairs rafters. He was still there waiting — so the story goes — on the front porch in his old rocking chair when the cops pulled up guns drawn.

Just sitting there blank-eyed and emotionless, slowly rocking — ever so slowly rocking — back and forth, back and forth — much like the dead bodies of his family were — gently swaying to and fro at the end of their death rope.

When the cops showed up, guns drawn and advancing, he calmly reached down beside his rocker and picked up his old shotgun. He rested the butt-end on the old porch floorboards and leaning slightly forward, put the business end up under his chin. Before anyone could react, he blew his head near clean off.

The House has sat there vacant ever since. Going on now some 50 years or so. Now, legend has it — it’s haunted! Not just haunted, but possessed by evil. Old man Griffin turned evil incarnate himself still there protecting the house. Creaking the upstairs floorboards, turning on lights, or sitting outside on the porch and rocking in his suicide chair.

“If you listen closely they say — you can still hear his insane wailing’s, carrying softly on the cool nights breeze.”

Yes I said. “Yes, I remember now. I remember how afraid we all were of that house. And something more! Something happened there that forever changed all our lives — Johnny, Pete, Big Mack and me! Oh, God! Something terrible happened to us inside that house! ”

“Is that why I’m Here” I asked in a shaky really-don’t-want-to-know voice?

“A question?” The cat said distastefully, rising and stretching-out in satisfaction as only a feline can do. Then he was gone. Didn’t trot away, or disappear slowly leaving only his grin — He was just gone!

I waited, but this cat, unlike the song, didn’t come back! “But what am I suppose to do?” I whined, pleading woefully into the night.. “Why am I here?”

“And who are you really? Surely not just some stray cat? ”

And with that, the moon began to fall behind an eclipsing dark shadow. The wind picked up in anger and the night’s sky blinked out black of all starlight. As my attention drew full on the old Griffin house, a low anguished moan came drifting on the wind.

And a creaky old sound, like an old wooden chair — slowly rocking on the floorboards of a rickety front porch.

Inside my head, a final voice. ” I think you’re supposed to go there! To the old haunted house” it said.

“But then again, what do I know?

“After all, I’m only a cat.”





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8 thoughts on “Nightmares: Black Cat and the Legend of Old Man Griffin

    1. The real scary “shit in my pants ones” stay with me for days, some even years. Because I was having so many of them and for so long, I’ve kept nightmare journals since I was young. I’ve just found the old one recently while digging for something else. Maybe that’s why they seem to be starting up again? Lucky me eh? Take care Bill!


  1. I’ve heard about lucid dreaming before. Can’t remember who but I believe there are people who can control their dreams. They walk around and bend it to their will. Pretty amazing. I’ve found whenever I’m aware that I’m in a dream I wake up immediately. Scary story Wayne. Not sure how well I’ll be sleeping tonight after reading that one! 😬

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks AP, apparently anybody can learn how to Lucid Dream but it takes practice and commitment. Two things I’m having trouble with during this, my Covid brain fog. Side note here, there really was a murder-suicide haunted house in my neighborhood when I was growing up. I say was, because I’ve been back recently to see if it was still there but it wasn’t. Still there in my dreams though! — Lucky me eh?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think If I developed that skill my dreams would be very unsuitable for children 😂. Like a pornographic inception – I’d refuse to wake up! Yeah that sounds creepy as hell. Maybe you can turn the haunted house in your dreams into the playboy mansion? Hopefully none of the playboy bunnies come dressed as a black cat of course!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Unfortunately, my playboy bunnies would more and likely turn into ghoulish vampires a la the movie “From Dust to Dawn!” Still? Even that would be an improvement! Lol!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooohhh spooky 😮 you need to repost this at Halloween too!!

    Dreams can be anything – either left over from the past, current situations we face or future possibilities

    Crazy how the mind does!

    Liked by 1 person

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