Until I was 14 years old I lived in a small town, a small town of about three thousand people where everyone knew each other, everyone attended everyone's wedding party, everyone celebrated new born baby, or everyone gathered at someone's funeral. Everyone knew everyone's affairs. Everyone watched the same shows and patiently waited for the next episode. And by the way there was only one channel, and no commercials and the TV was still black and white. Beyond all this the gossiping was big, and there was not a single day when we didn't have a gossip or story to tell. As title states, there were many ghost stories going on in our town. Sometimes it was parent's greatest tool to keep children disciplined by scarring them with ghosts - not very bright idea. We as kids never saw ghost, but we knew and we had to believe that they existed as our parents and grandparents made us to believe.
When someone died, at that time the body of the deceased was kept in the house for three days. For three days most of the time grandmothers and sometimes mothers, and may be grandfathers, would gather around the body, sit for hours and talk. Sometimes they would bring us kids so you could actually listened to the real prayers - gossips and ghost stories, lol.
Not to go into scary mode immediately, this ghost story told here is a ghost prank played among few guys - unfortunately tragic. One day bunch of twenty year olds decided to play a prank and bet some money on two guys who claimed that are not scarred of ghosts at all - they believed that there were none. One of the guys was told, if you such a hero, then go to the cemetery's funeral home before eleven at night jump into the coffin and close the lid. He was instructed to lay in it until pass 12 am. At 12 am - the so called ghost hour, a ghost will come to the funeral home. The cemetery had this old funeral home which was not used at all, I think it was build by Germans who lived in our town before. However, it was well maintained by the cemetery's gate keeper.
Later on, the pranksters told other guy, if you such a hero, then go to the cemetery's funeral home just before 12 am. Bring some hazel nuts with you and start cracking them on top of the coffin at exactly 12 am. We are sure that the ghost will show up. There may be even one in the coffin.
The bet started. The ghost non-believers went for free cash believing that they will win the bet. What happened next? Well that one day first guy showed up at night at the cemetery's funeral home. What he did exactly, how he felt, and was he scared? - no body knows, it is just him, and I cannot speculate on this. He jumped into the coffin, covered with lid and waits. There is probably more to the story, he probably showed up during they day and ensured that the doors were open, and the coffin was free of dust, may be or may be not. Note, at those times life was different, so doing things like that was very normal. Yes, what do you do with all this time when shows on TV were only for limited time, there were no computers, no video games, and no work for students.
Very close to 12 am, the second guy showed up with flashlight, hammer and sack of hazel nuts he probably stole from someone's property. At exactly 12 am he sat on the coffin and started to crack nuts. What happened next? Well the guy in the coffin puts his flashlight on and checks the time - and its 12 am. He is not scared - just curious. Now the guy who was cracking the nuts noticed the small illumination coming out from the coffin, and he probably started to think that may be ghosts do really exists. He continued to crack the nuts now more eagerly. Well the guy inside the coffin is now very very curious as he hears harder knocks - he decided to get out. This did not help the other guy, when the lid moved and more light escaped from the coffin, and it is only speculation, the guy probably got into a shock first. Well for sure he collapsed. As the lid continued to open, and the curious guy is walking out, thinking - someone is probably playing a prank on me. He is right, however, to his surprise he found his friend lying dead and realizing what just happened.
[TRUE STORY, SOURCES: MY TOWN]