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Country Roads

Texas, USA
February 1997

Once, my sister and I were scaring each other with ghost stories. My father, a very practical and "down to earth" kinda guy, had been listening, and,to our surprise, said he had actually experienced a close encounter with the unknown.

According to him, it occurred when he was very young during the early part of this century. My father lived in a small, rural town in Texas. At that time, communities were spread many miles from the actual town. Roads were very narrow and deserted. My grandfather would take my father to the city jail to show him what might happen if he should decide to break the law. On their trips, my father would meet many characters. Most of the inmates were harmless drunkards or trespassers. Yet, on one trip they found a familiar face. His uncle had newly arrived after murdering an acquaintance of his. The policeman on duty said that his uncle "Sam" had had an altercation with the victim after losing a poker game. Both had been very intoxicated. Uncle Sam believed himself to be cheated in the game. Supposedly "Uncle Sam" had laid in wait on a deserted road to even the matter with the other man, and get his lost money. He surprised the man, struggled with him, and killed him. In his anger, Uncle Sam severed the man's head, then fled. The next day, guilt stricken Uncle Sam confessed, and the police went in search of the remains. They found the body, but not the head. After searching, they found that buzzards had apparently dragged the head several yards from the original spot. Uncle Sam had apparently gone insane, screaming in his jail cell about the ghost of the dead man. He said that the ghost was haunting him, and wanted to be set free. A day after their visit to the jail, my father learned that Uncle Sam had hung himself from the ceiling of the cell. This isn't so frightening, as what happened next.

At the first of the month, my father and grandfather traveled to town to purchase supplies for my grandfather's farm. My father and grandfather were returning home from town very tired. It was late at night. At the time, most people still traveled by wagon, and a short trip for us, usually took them many hours. The road to my grandfather's house was the same one which Uncle Sam had killed the victim on. It was very dark, and the only light was that which was given off by a lantern which was held by my father. At one point, my father stated that a vague white "apparition" floated out of the brush on the side of the road, and seemed to pass underneath the horses. The horses became nervous and began to move in quick motions back up and forth. Grandfather wrestled the reigns for control of the horses. My father watched as the white ghost floated from beneath the horses to the other side of the road and disappeared. This of course occurred in a mere few seconds, then the horses calmed and the two were continuing their journey. My grandfather believed it to be a small animal, and didn't think anymore of it. Yet, on one of their later visits to the jail, my grandfather told the story to one of the policemen. The policeman seemed surprised and stated that the very spot where grandfather had had so much trouble with the horses was the same spot where the police had found the victim's head.

Texas, USA
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