Another episode in the Walking Ghost epic involves a group of young men varying in ages from mid-teen to early thirties, all residents of the Gardner community and surrounding locality.
Up until the mid 1950’s, a passenger train made daily stops at the Gardner station, located in the heart of the Gardner community, at the mouth of Wysor Valley. The station house became the hang out of local males, who would gather there, play cards, swap tales, and generally socialize for want of other excitement.
One evening, a short time after dark, a group of these men, my father included, were gathered around the old wood stove, swapping stories and enjoying each others company. On such early autumn nights, the surrounding landscape was quite, devoid of the now familiar traffic. As they talked, someone in the crowd became aware of echoing footsteps coming along the rail road bed. Several described the sound as reminiscent of someone in high heeled shoes walking along the track–the clicking of the heels distinctive, and growing louder as they approached. My uncle, the type of young man who preferred to appear fearless, despite the ongoing stories of the “Walking Ghost”, proceeded onto the railroad crossing, and stood facing the approaching steps. No one could be seen on the tracks in either direction.
As the steps grew closer, Kenneth (my uncle) planted his feet firmly astride the tracks, and lifted his arms out by his side in either direction. In this manner, he knew, anyone approaching along the tracks would have to pass under his outstretched arms, and thus expose himself to the group, to travel further along the track. The gathered group waited silently as the footsteps approached my uncle, passed under his outstretched arms, and continued on down the tracks. Though all gathered distinctly heard the footsteps, not ONE of the witnesses saw anything! No one was there, though the footsteps never broke stride, and were distinctly heard by all present. The “Walking Ghost” had struck again!!
© Paulette Boyd
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