Weekly Yuputka: The Christmas Diner

Yuputka (n.): the phantom sensation of something crawling on your skin. 


I think everyone had a rough 2016, so I thought it was OK to post a Christmas ghost story early. It’s a happy one. 😉

This was shared by a reader during the 2013 Jezebel scary story contest.

Untitled, from user Skylario1

This happened to a family friend of mine. I like this story a lot, because although it does involve ghosts, it makes me fear them less.

This story takes place some time ago. The family friend was one of the little girls in the story, now a grown woman with kids of her own.

My friend was a little girl when her father died unexpectedly due to illness. Her mother was a waitress, and now a widow with two young girls. It was getting close to Christmas, and the mother knew she was not going to be able to buy presents this year for her girls. The family had suffered so much recently, and it broke the mother’s heart to know Christmas was going to be especially lonely. The mother decided to head out of town with her kids to spend the holidays with relatives.

Children in long car rides can get very cranky. The girls complained that they were hungry and tired of being in the car, so the mother decided to pull over at a diner. She only had enough money to buy food for her kids. When the waitress came over to take their order, she insisted on bringing the mother coffee and a dinner “on the house”. “You look so tired, ma’am, some coffee and a hot meal will do you some good. It’s on the house”, the waitress explained with a warm smile. As they were getting ready to leave, an older man approached the family. From under his arm he handed a wrapped package to each girl, saying only “Merry Christmas”. The girls tore into the packages as soon as they were in the car again, each girl had a beautiful porcelain doll. The mother was astonished at the kindness of the people here. She decided when they drove back through this town on their return trip, they would pay this diner another visit. She wrote down the exact address and location of the diner, and the family hit the road again.

After the holidays, the family attempted to return to the diner. All that was there was a vacant lot. Confused, and thinking she must have written down the wrong address, the mother pulled into the gas station around the corner and asked the attendant about the diner. The attendant shook his head and said “That place burned down years ago”, the mother turned to leave, very confused. “You know, though”, the attendant spoke hesitantly “you are not the first person to come to my gas station, insisting you had been there since it burned down”.

My friend says this really happened to her family as a child. I have even seen the doll she received from the man (she has kept it all of these years).

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