In honor of the publication of my friend Melissa Bowersock's new novel, Stone's Ghost, my blog this week is dedicated to sharing ghost stories I have uncovered in my own work. I'll have a different story each day through Thursday. Then we'll join Melissa's "Friendly Ghost Party." on Froday, July 26. Here at "Roundheads and Ramblings" I'll be hosting part of her moveable ghost buffet. My blog will present a delectable buffet of ghost-related main dishes, complete with recipes. So be sure to join us then.
In the meantime, here's a South Carolina ghost story:
One stretch of road on St. Helena Island has been haunted for at least 150 years. Observers see balls of light almost every night. Here’s a passage from The Road to Frogmore that describes the phenomenon.
“No, Miss Towne. With all due respect, I think you’re wrong. I learned that there is an old oak tree with a strong branch that hangs over the road on the way to Frogmore. Before the war, the slave owners used it as a hanging tree to kill any slave who tried to escape. Then they would leave the corpse dangling there over the road as a warning to others. A slave woman named Judith told me that the spirits of the lynched slaves still live on that road. At night they come out looking like balls of fire, and they roll up and down the road, hoping to catch one of the slave owners.”
“Surely you must realize how impossible that is.”
“No, ma’am. She’s seen them herself. She said the tree limb still shows the rope burns,where the bark is all stripped away. She says none of the slaves will walk past that tree. That’s why Frogmore’s slaves never come to church. They’re more afraid of the haunts than they are of God.”
This story is so widely known and believed that the local Beaufort newspaper went out to investigate several years ago. Here's the picture their reporters took:
And no, that's not an approaching car! When the ball of light moves too close to an observer it floats upward and hovers in the trees.