Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ghost Stories

Tammy over at The Color of Home has been writing some great "we are not alone" posts. I must say that these have brought up some interesting memories of my own. And since everyone already thinks I'm a little off my rocker, I thought I'd share some of my stories.

I'm sure we've all heard the slumber party ghost stories of ill-fated camping trips or careless hitchhikers. We had those, too, but I grew up in Middle Tennessee, and we had lots of ghosts. All kinds of ghosts, and some of them were really loud. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that the main route to the Mississippi River, The Natchez Trace, ran smack-dab through the middle of my town. Another, was that one of the bloodiest battles of The Civil War, occurred there November 30, 1864.

Because it was such a popular thoroughfare, robbers were a frequent hazard along The Trace, and many unfortunate travelers met a tragic end during their journey. As teenagers, we were always down by the river at night waiting for one of the most famous ones of our area, the screaming woman, to pay us a visit. The story goes that she was murdered by robbers after watching her entire family die first. You never saw her as a woman, she was either a green light, or just a screaming noise. Now, we almost always went when there was no moon, of course, and the one night I encountered her she was only a scream. Just the same, I never went back. One night, she came as a screaming light to some friends, and for a brief moment, their running car would not move either forward or backward, as if she were holding it. They never went back there either.

Most Civil War towns are full of lingering spirits, and one in particular lived in my friend Donnie's antebellum house. This ghost was a confederate soldier named Jeremiah, and he was mortally wounded and brought back to the house, which was being used as a hospital, after the November battle. Jeremiah was basically friendly, but he had some issues. He lost a leg in the battle, so he hopped around the upstairs halls at night. Donnie would call from his room: "Go back to bed Jeremiah," and he would turn and hop away. One night we were there watching television downstairs, and the three of us simultaneously turned around to see pairs of socks being silently thrown over the upstairs balustrade. No one was home but us.

One other visit I had was with Catherine. Catherine was the great-great aunt of some friends of mine, and she lived with them because her furniture was in their house. It seems she needed to be with her things. One night I asked who the woman in the living room with the white shirt and dark hair was, and the whole family fell silent. I liked her, she was serene and beautiful, and you could just feel her whole presence.

4 comments:

brneyedgal967 said...

Great stories. I'd rather stay away from screaming spirits - gulp. I'm a scaredy cat and would pee my pants. I wouldn't mind peg-leg hopping around the house but someone should teach him to mate the socks, not throw them over the banister. Maybe that's what my spirit needs - a chore. Hmmm. I haven't seen things move yet, I'll encourage her to muster up her energy and move something. Like a broom. Repeatedly. Then a dust pan. Yeah. That's the ticket.

Kacey said...

wow. Just wow. I'm with brneyedgal though. I'd stay WAY away from the screaming woman!! Too spooky.

asthmagirl said...

Yikes... I'm not a big fan of spirits and am glad I've never had a visual encounter...

Christine said...

Um... wow... screaming spirits? I don't know... Weird.