“Where are we?” I heard someone ask. I kept quiet for I had no idea where we were. I don’t believe anyone knew where we were, not even the driver of our car. I looked at his face in the dark but couldn’t see anything. He had raised the hood of the car and was shining a flashlight on the motor.

Let me see if I can put together what had happened so far. ...

A girl, new in the neighborhood, had said she knew where there was a haunted church. The church was old and was not used any more. She had moved from the area of LaFayette. None of us were familiar with the area, but she assured us that she knew it like the back of her hand. We loaded the old Hudson to the brim and headed north.

We carried on laughing and singing all the way to LaFayette. When we got to the other side, she hesitated on which way we were to go. Did we turn right and head for the back woods or left to Lake Howard and beyond?

We pulled over and waited on her to make up her mind. She pointed left and I had that old gut feeling that we had gone wrong. I didn’t say anything but tried to watch where we were going. There was more back roads there than a city had streets. I knew before being asked that we were lost.

Then the Hudson did a backfire and began to slow down. Duke got it off the road. We all got out and looked around. We were in the parking lot of an old abandoned church.

Couldn’t see too much; the moon had run behind a cloud, blocking out the light.The walls of what seemed to have been a church still stood. The moon shined long enough for us to see the tombstones on the graves. We were at an abandoned church all right, but not the one we were looking for.

We were lost in the shadow of Lookout Mountain.

I walked over to Duke and asked, “Find anything?” He stepped down on the ground and said, “I just got this car out of the shop. Had it tuned up and now this happens.” He reached over and took off the distributor cap. There lay the points inside the distributor. I handed the flashlight to one of the girls to hold where he could see to put the points and distributor cap back on.

My curiosity had gotten up when I saw the tombstones. I took out my small penlight and walked over to the wall. Several of the girls were with me, and I shined the light out though the woods where the tombstones were.

A loud squawk — and some kind of animal went running out through the woods. Couldn’t see what it was, but it sounded like someone was choking. I backed up but never could see anything. Then the rest of the girls came over to where we were.

I remember thinking that this is not where we were going but it would do until Duke got the car fixed. I began to walk along a trail that led into the cemetery. When we went into a cemetery we never touched anything there. We came to where there was a fresh grave. The church building was falling down but the cemetery was still being used.

We were looking around when one of the girls let out a squeal. “Look, look,” she said, pointing to the cemetery. I think we all saw it at about the same time. They crowded behind me. I moved out to get a better look.

What I could see was what appeared to be a big bird with eyes that shined in the dark. It moved across the cemetery, giving off the appearance of a floating pair of shining eyes. The white on the wings gave it a ghostly look in the dark.

I remember thinking about having me some fun. I whispered to a girl who knew what I was doing. Between us we had all kinds of ghosts in that cemetery. We had us a hiho time. I laughed so that night my side hurt. Then I heard Duke yelling, so I gathered them and went back to the car.

Where we lived on Reece Street we had many vacant lots. At night you could sit on the porch and watch a big owl hunt there. Then I knew what the ghost was that they had seen. It was a huge hoot owl.

Lonie Adcock of Rome is a retired Rome Police Department lieutenant. His latest book is “Fact or Fiction.”


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