Before the hospital or any other buildings went up on Redmond Road, there was a two-lane road through a wooded area from the last house to the main gate at Battey Hospital. From there to Battey Hospital was nothing but a railroad that ran to Berry College. This was where the ghost sighting took place.
Where there is a Chinese restaurant now used to be what was called the plantation house. Just below it was a small drive-in similar to a Dairy Queen. It was there that my partner and I had picked up a hamburger and were sitting to eat at the end of the lot.
A car was traveling down Martha Berry Boulevard at a high rate of speed. Seeing us he came sliding sideways onto the lot. My partner got out of the patrol car to ask what in the world was the matter. The driver pointed, saying, “There, back there at the railroad.”
“What is back there at the railroad?” I asked.
“A ghost girl. I saw her,” he kept saying over and over.
We tried to calm him down to make some sense out of what he was saying. After a few minutes he said he was coming down Redmond Road and when he got to the railroad tracks he saw a girl standing by the side of the road. He stopped and rolled down his window to ask if she needed help. She had turned, looked at him and started to float up the railroad — no feet showing beneath the edge of her dress. “With that,” he said, “I left looking for you fellows.”
I remember looking at my partner with a smile on my face. “Laugh,” he said, “But if you saw what I did, you’d stop laughing.”
I asked him to follow us back out where it happened. He shook his head and said he wasn’t ever going back out there again. He got in his car and left. I looked at my partner and said, “Let’s go ghost hunting.”
We pulled out onto Martha Berry Boulevard and headed for Redmond Road. Once past where the houses ended, the road became very dark. We came to the railroad tracks and stopped. I turned the spotlight on and shined it around in the area. I could not see anything that looked like a woman with no legs.
I got out with my flashlight and walked down the tracks but couldn’t see anything. I came back and got into the car. We went to the gatehouse to ask if they’d seen anyone out on the tracks. All they’d seen was a car a short while before we came, and it had left in a hurry. We went back to the railroad for a second look. Nothing! The gate-guard’s story was the same as what the fellow in the car had said. We pulled out from the railroad and went back on patrol.
The next morning at shift change we asked other officers if they’d ever had a report of a ghost at the tracks. No one had, so we marked it down in our book as forgotten. But this would be one incident that would not go away, as we would soon find out.
Several weeks went by, and one morning at 3 a.m. we got the call. We had just finished eating at the Krystal on Shorter Avenue when we were summoned to see the guards at the main gate to Battey Hospital. We came down Division Street to find the guards outside talking to a man and woman in a car.
“You have got to hear this,” the guard said, and we walked over to where a middle-aged couple sat in their car. These were people who would not ordinarily be easily shaken by things. The man talked excitedly and after a few minutes we understood what he was saying. He and his wife had been driving down Redmond Road coming from Martha Berry Boulevard when they saw someone standing on the side of the road in the middle of the railroads tracks. Thinking it was someone who needed help they pulled over and his wife rolled down the window.
There appeared to be a young girl standing in the tracks with her back to them. He asked if she needed help and she moved a few feet up the track from the road. Thinking she had not heard him over the car motor he turned it off. He’d gotten out of the car and went around to the headlights to so she could see him. She moved a few feet up the railroad tracks and stopped. He moved to the side of the car and asked again if she needed help.
His voice was trembling and he stopped talking for a few minutes. We waited for him to continue. “Officer, you are going to think I am crazy,” he said, but she looked at me with that white, chalky face and when I looked down and saw she had no feet I almost passed out. She was floating above the ground.”
My partner and I had them wait while we went in the patrol car to check out the area, shining the spotlight up and down the tracks. We saw nothing. I got my flashlight and began to walk up the tracks, shining the light as I went. My partner pulled onto the tracks and shined the light in the other direction. I reached the car having seen nothing that looked liked a floating girl with no legs.
We went back to the gate where the guards were still talking to the couple and let them know that we had found nothing that would indicate someone pulling a prank. The couple left and we went back out on patrol.
Both incidents were discussed among the officers on the shift. Patrol cars were a common sight in the area for quite a while. What were people seeing there? Was it a ghost or someone pulling a prank who got out of the area before we got there.
Everyone’s stories were basically the same. And one thing everyone agreed on was that a young girl with a white, chalky face was floating above the ground. And she did not have any feet.