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Red Riding Hood

S.J. Morrissey, Newfoundland, Canada
June 2001

For those unaware, Newfoundland is the Eastern most province of Canada. It is also the furthermost Eastern land point in North America; it is an island (one of the ten biggest in the world), and is one of only two places on the planet with its own time zone. Such things, some are convinced, make the "Rocky Isle" one of the most haunted places in the world, and perhaps the most haunted in the Americas. Above all these, it is also my home. I have had two "supernatural experiences", if you will, whilst on the Rock (the fond nickname given the island by its inhabitants), while my father, when thirteen years of age, lived, for one month plus a week, in a haunted house.

Of my two experiences, I shall share one - the one that I shared with four of my friends (the other was a lone experience).

Newfoundland is comprised of thousands of tiny coastal towns, most with populations as little as two thousand. During the early settlement of the Rock, the only method to reach other towns was by boat.

Nowadays, long dark stretches of barren road connect the townships. These roads have no street lights and when the night takes its throne, the ebony shroud seems to grow thicker on these lone highways.

One night, some three years past, myself and four of my good friends - my best friends in fact - were travelling from the town of Tilton to Bay Roberts via the Tilton Barrens Highway.

It was a clear night, the stars tumbling about the sky, with the moon settled as a tiny sliver, a giant crescent in the heavens.

From these celestial bodies came the only source of light on the Barrens, apart from the headlights from the car. As we carried on our way, laughing and joking, as twenty year guys do when together, we were broken by a sudden shift in the cars movement. Our driver had suddenly slowed the vehicle while exclaiming a phrase not suitable to repeat here. We all soon took glance at the cause of his disrest - there, sitting upon the edge of the highway, on the gravel shoulder, was, what appeared to be, a little girl, dressed in red, with a hood of the same crimson colour.

We all seemed to gasp in unison as the figure remained in its position, moving only slightly as if it were playing with something on the ground in front of it.

Our driver did not halt the car's motion entirely, and so we passed the "little girl". Quick to react, however, we turned around - somewhat reluctantly - on the narrow highway. Yet, upon our return to the spot, we found nothing; no sign that anything of any sort had been there. Brave, I chose to get out of the car, armed with a flashlight from the glove compartment.

I found no disturbance upon the gravel - no footprints, no mark where someone may have sat, nothing of any kind. Uneasy, I took a hasty retreat back to the car (from which I did not stray far from). In a trice, we sped from the scene, with nerves on edge and minds confused.

After the incident, we would all come to agree on two things: 1) it was a little girl playing, apparently by herself, on a eerily lonely highway in the middle of the night, an hours walk from the closest town, or 2) it was a ghost.

The first option seemed so remote that I disregarded it almost immediately. One of my friends still insists that it was indeed a real young child - perhaps lost. That seems unlikely, for if she were lost why did she not approach the car? Besides, all the surrounding areas, due to their small size, would have heard the news of a lost child. Whatever the case, we all came to call the "child", Little Red Riding Hood. If she was lost - either literally or supernaturally - then I wish that she has found her home and her rest.

Newfoundland is full of cases of hauntings and paranormal occurrences. It could be a haven for the serious "ghost hunter". It's remote towns, dark nights and huge stretches of wooded areas make for the ideal abode of restless spirits.

Many on the Rock believe, fewer disbelieve. Imagine that...

S.J. Morrissey, Newfoundland, Canada
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