An Unexpected Sight

My family, my parents and my younger sister and I, used to live in a rural part of North Carolina but we moved to Maryland 7 years ago due to my father's job.

We used to go on trips to the NC mountains every year but when we moved away, our mountain getaway trips sort of stopped. Well, we finally got a chance to go back to the NC mountains a couple of years ago. I was in my 1st year of college and my sister was still in high school, but since it was during the summer, we all got to make the trip and really had a great time. Nobody in my family has ever had any sort of supernatural experience so what happened on the trip home was a great shock to all of us.

We had decided to take the long way home from the mountains so that we could pass through our former home town. It was mid morning and a sunny day and I was just looking out the window while my sister listened to her portable cd player with earphones.

We were on the outskirts of our town and my father said something about a turtle, so I looked up to see what he was talking about. There was a turtle crossing the road and my father didn't want to hit it. He pulled off the road and parked on the side of the road next to a creek. I volunteered to get out and take the turtle down to the creek since that was the direction it was headed anyway and we didn't want it to get run over. When I got back in the car, my mother said that she saw Mr. Whitener out plowing his field. We all looked at the field which was on the opposite side of the road on which we'd pulled off. We could see a man in the distance on a red tractor. None of us had seen Mr. Whitener since we'd moved away. We'd seen him out plowing that field every year and it was a common sight. But my father made the remark that the field was usually already plowed by this time and corn was usually already growing. There were still old stalks lying down and we didn't see any parts that had been plowed up.

I got the binoculars from the back floorboard and looked out into the field. It was sure enough Mr. Whitener on the tractor. He always wore an old pair of overalls and a baseball cap when he plowed. I passed the binoculars around and then as the tractor got closer, we got out of the car and waved to Mr. Whitener. But he didn't wave back. He looked straight ahead even as we yelled out to him, and then turned the tractor in the opposite direction. The spot where he turned around wasn't that far from the road so he had to have seen us. We just assumed that his eyesight must be pretty bad since he was getting up there in years. We didn't really have the time to stick around and wait for him whenever he would plow in our direction again so we just got back in the car and went on our way.

Before we left town, we had to stop and fill up on gas. My father went in to pay while my little sister got some soft drinks from the cooler in the trunk. When my father came back to the car, his face was very pale and he had a troubled look on his face. My mother handed him his drink and asked him what was wrong. He wouldn't say anything and just started the car and drove.

Finally, after about twenty minutes, my father told us that while he was in the store, he ran into a wife of a former coworker. He had mentioned to her about seeing Mr. Whitener a few minutes before. She told him that it couldn't have been Mr. Whitener that we saw because he had died two months ago! He had suffered a stroke around Christmas and just kept going downhill, never getting better! But we all know what we saw!

I still get chills just thinking about it! All I can figure is that we were seeing a part of the past being replayed that day. It was definitely the image of Mr. Whitener that we'd all seen. We saw him plain as day! He was solid and so was the tractor. We've all talked about that day many times in the past two years. My father always mentions about the way that the field was unplowed and that even where the tractor was supposed to have been plowing at the time, there wasn't any plowed up earth.

I guess we just didn't notice the unplowed earth part that day because we were so excited to see an old friend and were trying to get his attention. And the obvious reason that the old stalks were still there is because Mr. Whitener had died before he could plow the field and plant new corn that year.

Submitted by Jennifer, NC, USA