Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Troops meet crazy Madge

Yes here is another “crazy” story for the Halloween season. This one like some of the others that I’ve shared they month came from and has a twist of sorts. Appearing in the Dallas Morning News out of Dallas, TX on June of 1901 it tells the story of a mans experience while he was on picket duty.  

It was a cold, stormy night in the spring of ’63. The elements seemed to be jealous of the storming our troops had done that day and were taking their spite out on us. The thunder was incessant and a frequent intervals came great blinding sheets of lighting, making everything as light as day. God’s aim is better than a Yankee’s, and I feared he might see fit to aim one of those bolts at me. So I felt a deal more nervous out alone on picket duty, with the lighting playing hide and seek with me thank I had felt surrounded by my company with the enemy’s lead pouring down on us like water.
In order to keep warm kept walking back and forth before my post, although the slush made walking very tiresome. Every few minutes brought my steps by an old house, long since deserted by man, but not by nature.  She had covered it with luxuriant vines, as if to hide the signs of decay. The roof was completely gone, probably carried away by a storm similar to this one. The tall pines looked into the rooms below with evident curiosity. What they saw God alone knew, for men scarcely ever ventured near there. Many tales of ghost and spirits, and midnight cries whispered about it, and it was given a wide berth. I was sorry it was at my post of duty.
In the army one hears many stories of “haunts” and midnight wanderings of white-robed spirits and the strongest-minded of us can nor hear these tales without a shudder. We boys were prone to believe such things then – most of us coming from a black mammy’s care, whose entire stock of narrations were of disembodied spirits.
I must confess I felt “shaky” and lonely and wished I was in camp. It was about twelve when a most blinding flash of lighting revealed the old house vividly and played around me as an affectionate dog plays around the one he loves. I stood quite still, somewhat stunned, I guess, when suddenly I heard a shrill feminine voice; cry out “I see you!” of course she saw me - anybody could see me - but where was the owner of the voice? It sounded so natural I thought at first it must be a human. I called out when my speech had been given back, but there came no answer. I tried to persuade myself it was my imagination. That I was tired and excited – but when the next flash revealed me standing in the same spot and the voice called out, “I see you,” I knew it was just a pure ghost and nothing else. That ghost saw me run. I went to the camp as fast as I could, told a few of the boys of the ghost at my post; and well armed they returned with me to investigate. “I see you all,” it cried as we neared the house, and the boys suddenly withdrew from its angle of vision. Every time the lighting came it called, “I see you all.” At last we got ashamed and mustered up courage enough to enter the house, and on the stairway sat a little golden-haired woman – too little to harm a fly. She turned to flee, but I pinioned her in my arms and had her carried to the guardhouse for the night.
The next morning her father, a refined gentleman called for her. “She isn’t just right, sir,” he said with a choking voice as he place her in his carriage. I’m only daddy’s blue – eyed Madge,” she said. “And as crazy as a loon,” I observed as I walked away followed by the cries of the boys asking for my experience with ghosts.
Weatherford, Tex

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