When we last left the teenage Lonie, he was driving his friend Peggy home after coming to her rescue from a rude ex-boyfriend. Upon arriving, they saw her father waiting on the teens with a shotgun.
Peggy got out and went to her father and talked to him a few minutes. He put the shotgun on the porch and motioned for us to get out. As we got out he shook hands with us, thanking us for helping his girl. He assured us that after tomorrow Herman would not bother Peggy or any of her friends. He motioned for us to have a seat on the porch. Peggy told him that we were interested in ghosts. A funny look appeared on his face and he began to talk.
His story went this way. His grandfather had built a big house on land he won through a land lottery. Grandfather had married a local girl and raised a family. It was said that he had the best farming land in the county. As time passed, farming got to where you could barely get by. Most of the family moved to town and went to work in plants. Peggy’s dad, Ralph, got married to a girl, name Fay. He brought her to live in the big house with Grand Paw and Grand Ma. He and Fay had two children, Peggy and a boy named Floyd.
He paused, wiping his eyes. He worked at a cotton mill and worked the farm with his grandfather. The job and the farm kept him away from the house most of the time. The day that it happened, Peggy was in school and he and his grandfather were out working the farm. Grandmother, Fay and baby Floyd was at home. No one never knew what happened. By the time the fire was noticed the back part of the house had caved in. Caught beneath the burning cave-in was Grandmother, Fay and baby Floyd. The bodies were burned beyond recognition.
Ralph had built a house close to the burned one. He said he could not tear down the remains of the house, for he often visited his people at night. I looked at him and could tell that he was telling the truth. He looked at us and said, “If you will come up tomorrow night at about eight I will take you and let you see.” He stood up and picked up his shotgun and said "Good night boys. Tomorrow night at eight.”
We arrived at the house where Peggy lived a few minutes early. Her father met us and we followed him to the burnt out house. He opened the front door, motioning for us to follow him. He had a flash light and he had placed a row of chairs for us to sit on. We placed the girls in between us and we set down. He motioned for us to be quiet. I sat for a few minutes watching the burnt out section of the house. I was beginning to get bored and was about to say something when I saw a movement.
From where we sat we could see the form of a burnt out stove. We had been told that an explosion had been from the gas stove that burnt the house. There seemed to be a mist appearing around the stove. A figure of what seemed to be a woman wearing a long dress stood at the stove. It looked like she was cooking. Out of the mist there appeared another form. It also appeared to be a woman. Then a noise that sounded like a child laughing came from the mist. There was no doubt what the next form to appear was. It was a small child running and playing around his parent’s feet. He was wearing nothing but a diaper. She would move him aside and he would giggle. Then the area lit up and a sound like an explosion sounded. The place that we had been watching went dark.
Peggy's father stood up and motioned for us to follow him. I walked at the rear of the people going to the back to his house. I kept looking back to see if there was someone back at the burnt out house. I was not sure that we had not had a show put on for us. Once back in his house, I could see in Ralph’s face that what we had seen put a strain on him. We sat down at the table and was served cake and coffee. We were told that tomorrow night at the same time what we had seen would again appear.
I never went back to see if it would appear again. We all knew that as many places that we had been ghost hunting that this was about as plain as we would ever see. Did Ralph put on a show for us? I don't think so. As far as it would appear at about the same time every night, this is called a “recurring haunting.”
Lonie Adcock of Rome is a retired Rome Police Department lieutenant. His latest book is “Fact or Fiction.”