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Mormon Ghost Stories

Interview with the Bishop - Part I

Cover Image for Interview with the Bishop - Part I
Moroni's Ghost
By: Moroni's Ghost

Read Part II

“Yea, he was exceedingly wroth, and he did curse God, and also Moroni, swearing with an oath that he would drink his blood”

Alma 49:27

“President, there is something I have to tell you,” I said. “And you probably aren’t going to believe me.”

We sat in my small office tucked in the corner of our quaint chapel. It was an older building, but I liked that about it. It made it feel like home.

“Whatever it is Bishop Abbott, I’m sure we can work through it together.” President Sutherland said. He was a gentle and kind man. One of the best church leaders I’d ever known. After years of building his trust. Tonight was the night I would finally see if he could help me.

“Well, there is no easy way to put this President, but I’m cursed.”

“Oh, is that all?” He said calmly with a smile “Well after all these years I’ve never noticed a curse. What kind is it?”

“Mine is an ancient curse. Passed on for generations upon generations. Of course I’ve been around for several generations myself. That is simply part of what the curse does though.”

He chuckled “Bishop Abbot, you are a much younger man than I am, in fact I’ve been wondering how you do it for years. You look as if...”

“I haven’t aged a day since you’ve known me?” I cut him off. “Well, surprise!” I waved my hands in the air with feigned excitement. “Now you know why. Cursed, plain and simple.”

“Alright” he said “I’ll humor you. Tell me about this curse. How did you get it?”

“It happened to me as I was crossing the plains to settle with the Saints” I began. “I was part of the ​​William Atkinson Company of 1853. The journey hadn’t been easy, though it was much worse for others of course, you know all those stories. But no one else in the world knows my story. For me, that trip changed everything."

“Brother Crosby, you are on duty for watch tonight.” Brother Atkinson said to me. “Do you need anyone else to sit up with you? Or do you feel up to the job?”

I was 17 at the time, though my appearance made me look much older. I already had a full beard that could compete with the older men in the company. Despite this, Brother Atkinson always checked in when it was my turn to be on watch. I was the youngest one in the company that they had stay up for the job.

“Yes Brother Atkinson.” I said “I reckon I can manage just fine, thank you.”

Brother Atkinson nodded, then turned and walked away.

As the others around me started to settle in for bed, I tucked in next to the fire. I put my hands out and felt its heat against the palms of my hands. Time passed slowly on watch. I tried to make it pass by more quickly by watching the shadows of the flames dance across the dirt and rock. I would pretend the shadow was a dancer leaping across the prairie grass. Jumping to and fro. I would also look up at the stars. Some nights were cloudy and miserable. But others were clear and breathtaking. The heavenly lights twinkled across the night sky. Every time I looked up on a night like this one, I couldn’t help but thank God for the beautiful creations he had blessed us with.

I remember it clearly. I was staring at the stars when suddenly, I heard a call for help. I stood up and scanned the company. There were only 80 of us, so it was quick work. From what I could tell, that cry for help hadn’t come from us or any of our wagons. I heard it again. But this time, I could tell it was coming from the south of camp. I grabbed a candle and lit it in the fire. Then headed out into the dark.

We were just about 50 miles southeast of what is now Scottsbluff Nebraska. I know, because I have been back to visit the exact spot to see if I could learn anything more about my affliction. We had heard rumors of Indians being in the area from a small group of trappers we had happened across a week or so prior. We traded a few goods, swapped stories and laughed with them. They had been up and down the trail many times and had given us some useful tips for the next few legs of the journey. But he had also warned us that he had heard a few wagon trains like ours had been attacked. We had our guns of course, but we still didn’t relish the thought of a skirmish.

These thoughts swirled in my head as I stepped out into the darkness of the Nebraskan plains. I followed the yell for help, which came about every 15 seconds or so. It grew louder and louder as I rounded a small hill which was peppered with medium sized trees. The sound was coming from inside a small thicket that I couldn’t see past in the darkness.

My heart rate quickened. I didn’t want to be the victim of an attack, but I was a good Mormon. I couldn’t just leave a man stranded in the wilderness.

I decided to snuff out my candle. The stars were bright enough I would be able to make it back to camp just fine. I got down low and crept slowly into the small thicket of short trees that had found shelter against this hill in the middle of the seas of endless grass.

As I moved forward, I could see the smoldering embers of a dying fire cast a faint glow along a man laying on the ground. It was hard to tell in the darkness, but it looked as though one of the larger trees on the edge of the clearing had fallen down and pinned the man beneath it.

I slowly entered into a well lit spot where I knew the man would be able to see me. He was Native American, but his cries for help had come with no accent. And he was wearing non traditional clothing. He looked more like a pioneer than anything.

I held up my hands as I crept forward to show him I meant no harm.

“Thank you” he said “I didn’t know if anyone would hear me.”

“What happened?” I asked.

“I’m not sure. I was sitting here next to my campfire when the next thing I know. This tree had toppled over. I think the soil must’ve been loose from all the rain the last few days. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

“Are you hurt?”

“I think so, I think a larger branch was facing me as it fell. I could feel it stab me. I think it went pretty deep.”

“Ok, well, let's get this thing off of you”

I scooted closer, feeling more confident that this was a friendly encounter.

“We have a doctor back in my wagon company, if I get you there, we can get you all fixed up.”

“Thank you.” he said.

“Alright, I’m going to lift up, then I’m going to need you to scoot out from underneath, do you think you can do that?”

“Yes, I should be able to.”

“On the count of three, I’ll lift, you push and move… alright… one, two, three”

I hefted the log up off the ground as high as I could. He had gotten really unlucky. This was probably one of the largest trees for miles, and it just so happened to have landed on him. As I lifted, he pushed up on the tree from underneath. We pulled it just high enough to extract a sharp branch that was protruding into his ribs. As soon as the branch came out, his wound started quickly oozing blood which started to drench his clothes. He winced at the pain.

Sweat dripped down my brow as he worked to wiggle himself free from the weight of the tree. He managed to finally get his body out, then he swung both his legs out as well. I let the weight of the tree collapse back onto the ground. The man laid back, shutting his eyes tightly against the pain. His wound did not look good.

“Here, let me get you back to camp.” I said somewhat panicked. “That doesn’t look very good. You are losing a lot of blood. The tree must have been keeping you from bleeding out.”

“I won’t make it,” he whispered, “thank you for trying. It's about time anyways.”

“We at least have to try,” I objected. “I can’t just let you die here. Please, let's get you there.”

“No doctor can help me,” the man said. He laughed a little as he said it. “I’m not like other men you see. I am cursed.”

“Well, we can help with that too.” I said “The brothers in my company, they have the power of God! They could heal your body, and your soul.”

“Ha, that would be quite a feat!” he said “tell me, where do they get this power?”

“We really shouldn’t be talking, we should be getting you to the...”

“Who? Who gave them this power?”

“Well” I stammered “God did I suppose. The prophet Joseph Smith. He was visited by the angel Moroni. He found these plates, made of gold. They had the words of God. Then more angels came. They gave him the power of God. He could do miracles! The brothers in my company, they can do miracles too. They have that same power.”

The man looked surprised.

“Did you say Moroni?” He asked “and… golden plates.” He laughed again. “That old man really did it huh? I thought he was crazy to try. Maybe you really do have the power of God after all.”

The man was starting to sweat. He was losing quite a bit of blood.

“If you really don't want to let me die, there is one thing you can do to save me,” he said.

“What's that?” I asked “I only have the Aaronic Priesthood. I can’t give blessings. I don’t have as much power as the men back at the camp.”

“You can do it. But you, like me, would be cursed.”

“Cursed?” I asked, “I still don’t know what you mean.” I furrowed my brow, trying to make sense of what he was saying. “He must be delusional,” I thought, “I’ve got to get him to the doctor quick.”

“You will be cursed with immortality, is that something you can live with?”

“Well, I already have that gift. Jesus gives that gift freely to all” I said with a smile. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” I quoted the scripture at him. If playing along with his nonsense would get him help, it was fine with me. “Go ahead and curse away. Then let’s get you back to camp.”

“If you say so” he said “come, help me get up.”

I quickly moved closer to help pick him up. As I bent down to wrap my arms around his torso, I suddenly felt the sting of two warm fangs insert themselves into my neck.

“What are you doing!?!” I screamed. I tried to pull away, but my energy suddenly was sapped. I tried to raise my arms weakly as I could feel the blood drain from my body. The man grunted, though I couldn’t make out what he was saying as my neck was in his mouth.

We sat this way for several minutes. All I could see were the stars up above as I felt the life force drain out of me. Finally, he finished and laid me gently on the ground, wiping blood from his mouth as he did so. The wound on his chest appeared to be completely healed.

“What…” I said weakly “what did you do to me?”

“I told you” he said “I cursed you. I could have drained all of your blood. But then you would have died. Instead, you need to drink some of my blood. Then your curse will be complete. If you don’t, you will still die.” He stooped down and picked up a sharp piece of wood that had splintered from off the tree. He dragged the wood across his wrist, causing blood to spurt out. He lowered his wrist down to me.

“You don’t have long to decide, mind you, only a few minutes.”

I didn’t want to die. I had my whole life ahead of me. If I’d known what I knew now, I wouldn’t have done it of course. But I was young and didn’t really understand. All I knew was that he offered life. I did have the good sense to ask one question before sealing my fate though.

“Ok,” I said “But first, what is your name?”

“A good question!” he laughed again “My name is Ammoron.”

At that, he placed his wrist to my mouth. The blood flowed deep into my belly. My body twisted in pain as all of my cells died only to become alive once more. I had become cursed. I had partaken of that which was forbidden. I had become an undead creature of the night.


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