Telling A Ghost Story To A Ghost

Telling a Ghost Story to a Ghost By Teal L. Gray There’s something wonderful about a summer evening rain breaking the grip of the scorching Texas heat. It elevates your mood and energy, and makes being outside a lot more pleasant. So when family friends invited Casey’s over for a late evening cookout, they jumped at the invitation. Both families had known each other for years. Their daughters were best friends. And like so many times, the rest of the family members hit it off and became friends as well. On the drive over to their house, the Casey’s passed by the legendary Old Alton Bridge, built in 1884. It is a big rusty iron through-truss bridge, known by locals as Goatman’s Bridge. Located seven miles south of Denton, Texas on Old Alton Road, right across from Guyer High School. The bridge is a popular paranormal research site for people hoping to catch a glimpse of the Goatman or a ghostly lady that’s been seen frantically searching for her baby around the bridge. They remarked as they drove by, that checking it out sometime would be fun, and made their way to the cookout without any more mention of it, or anything else paranormal in nature. They arrived at their friend house to the aroma of steaks on the grill. They made jokes, laughed and enjoyed each other’s company for hours, and of course enjoyed the barbecue! The girls were trying on different make up styles from a giant new makeup kit. The guys were talking about work, hot rods and the deep sea fishing trip they would be leaving for soon. The moms were swapping recipes and laughing at the antics of the two dachshunds as they played chase with each other through the house. We wanted to find a way to bottle all that energy. This brought the topic around to compasses and energy points around the world. You know how Texan’s can hop down a rabbit trail in a conversation right? So about an hour of this goes by, and the host husband Tim tells a story he had always wondered about. He was a complete skeptic of anything paranormal, but could not explain the mystery of his Uncle Randy’s watch. Randy was a very particular man. He liked everything in order and always kept his watch on exact time. Randy also made regular visits to the jeweler to have it cleaned and gone through to ensure he was always on time. Randy received an emergency call late one night from work. A power line had gone down in a storm and he had to get to the site quickly so no one would be injured by the downed live wire. With his thoughts focused only on the safety of the town residents, he rushed out of the house and left his watch. This never happened. His wife saw his watch too late to say anything. After he left, his wife was troubled by the sight of his favorite watch on the bedside table. It didn’t seem right. He loved it so, that watch was part of him. The night did not go well for the uncle. He was walking on the roadside in the dark just at the unseen bend of a curvy road, and was struck by a car and killed. His coworkers tried desperately to save him, but he died just after 11:00 p.m. When the news reached the wife, she was devastated. She ran to get his watch from the nightstand, just to hold it, to feel close to him. When she reached for the watch the hands began to spin. She was frightened but thought it was her mind going from so much grief and stress. Randy’s wife shrieked when she saw where the hands stopped; 11:07p.m., the exact moment her husband had died. As the wife related the story to family members and friends about her experience with the husband’s watch, they all explained it away as a faulty winding mechanism. Or they thought she might have without remembering, set the watch to the time of his death, then the watch ran out of power locked on that time. After months of carrying the watch with her constantly, the dial always reading 11:07p.m., the aunt finally packed it away. And there it stayed until she took very ill and knew her time was running out. She called for the nephew to come and take the watch. She wanted to know exactly who had it when she passed away. The host said, “Hey, weird even by my terms this is odd, look at the time. It’s just after 11:00pm! Off he went to grab that watch. Soon, the watch was being passed around the group of friends. There really was nothing remarkable about it, but everyone was polite. Casey was a little creeped out by the story, although didn’t really think much of it until she noticed a slight movement of the watch hands. She was sure of it. Going outside to get some air, Casey noticed a young man coming up to a street light a couple of houses away from the area of Old Alton Bridge. Light reflecting off of the wet street around the man. Casey wondered if he had ever seen a ghost at the bridge. Curious, she waved at him and he stopped walking and stood just under the pole. He didn’t wave back, but grinned. Her stomach tightened with fear realizing this was probably not the best idea. She was alone on the edge of the property. Everyone else was still inside having a good time. All of the sudden, faster than seemed possible, the young man was only feet away from Casey, standing just outside of the light from the porch. She could see his features well and his clothing, but it seemed strange he was sort of trying to stay in the shadows. Nervous that he might be dangerous and realizing there was no one else around, Casey did what she always does when she’s nervous, talk. She began her nervous chatter to the man, “So I didn’t mean to interrupt wherever you were headed to, but saw you coming from the direction of Goatman’s Bridge. You know even if you are a skeptic about ghosts, the bridge has a tragic history worth taking pause at. Do you know the story?” There was no answer from the young man but he grinned again so Casey continued. “The story goes that Oscar Washburn was a well-liked black businessman living just past the bridge over there where you came from. People nicknamed him Goatman, because he raising goats, obviously. In the 1930’s, not everyone around this area was happy about his success. On a dark August night like this one, the Klansmen hung the Goatman from the bridge and then killed his goats and his family.” “Oh”, Casey continued without hardly a breath, if you didn’t see him, did you see the other ghost lady that they say roams the creek bed looking for her lost baby?” Before the man could answer, Casey heard the slam of the screen door. It was her friend running outside with the watch in hand. Casey turned to find the young man gone, nowhere in sight. The friend asked what she was looking for. Casey recounted the story of seeing the young man walking up to the street light from the direction of Goatman Bridge, and that she asked him if he saw anything. She continued that he only ever grinned, but never spoke. Her friend looked pale and asked, “What exactly did he look like?” Casey replied he looked to be in his early twenties, shaggy blonde hair, wearing jeans and a blue jacket with a deep red shirt underneath and tennis shoes. Why? What’s wrong, and why were you running out with the watch?” The friend said, “I was bringing you the watch to show it had started spinning. We never witnessed that before.” “What? Show me.” Casey said now holding the spinning watch in her hands. The friend continued in a shaken voice, “And also, just two weeks ago, a man walking to visit our neighbor was hit by a car by the curve in the road there. He died underneath that street light, and he look exactly like the man you were talking to!” Teal L. Gray



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