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Spectre of Spanish Lake

Kevin (De Kavman) Griffin, New Mexico, USA
October 1998

Reading some of the stories that your readers have sent brought back a memory that I thought I had long ago forgotten and would like to share it. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) it did not occur to me. But instead, to a childhood friend of mine.

Being an x-Army brat, and continuously moving from place to place, part of my childhood was spent in a small suburb just East of St. Louis Mo. called Spanish Lake. Not a very big town, and not a whole lot to do either, from a teenagers standpoint anyway. At any rate, the town was called this, I guess, for the Lake that was near there, naturally, called Spanish Lake. As do many towns and cities, this one was rich in its own stories of the supernatural and the one I'm about to relate to you is no acception.

The lake itself was a rather nice lake, during the day that is. But at night I was told stories of ghosts and spectres that would come out and, in general, do their thing. But I was also told many stories of people that would disappear and would never be heard from again. Truth or not I will not speculate. I was also told a story that a Spanish Galleon lay at the bottom of the deepest portion of this lake, which was also said to be bottomless. How it got there or how the story came to light I'm not sure (remember I had pretty much just moved there) I was told that the sailors from this Spanish Galleon would come out at night and walk the shores of the lake, in search for what was anyones guess.

Being teenagers, and fearing nothing, (or so we thought) we would go to the lake and "park" with our girlfriends. But one night my friend, Randy, told me that he and his girlfriend received the scare of their lives and would never, ever return to the lake at night.

Forgive my long windedness but it was somewhat necessary....My story begins on a late Summers morning in 1971 when I walked from my house and saw Randy up the street at his house absolutely throwing a fit. Yelling, screaming and, in general, having a perverbial cow. Not only was he angry but scared out of his wits as well. When I approached him to ask what the matter was I was first shown his car and then he told me the story.

Thinking back on it today I remember the blood draining from my face and standing there with my mouth hanging open. Something you must understand is that Randy's car was his "Baby" and he took care of it as such too. It was a 1966 Plymouth Roadrunner, Metallic Turquoise in color and "Built to the Hilt." It appeared that someone, or something, had run their fingers down the entire length of the passenger side of the car. Now that may not sound significant by itself, but, the fingerprints appeared to have completely melted the paint from the car. He told me that he and his girlfriend had gone to the lake to be alone and had parked in a rather secluded area. They had been there for a time, I guess enough time to get things warmed up anyway. Randy told me that he had noticed a sort of red glow that began to eminate from the center of the lake but really paid it no mind, his attention elsewhere at the time. But he said the red glow began to pulse, in a way, and within the red glow an even redder orb appeared. This drew his, and by now his girlfriends, attention. Randy told me that the glow appeared to start moving toward them and that is when his girlfriend decided it was time to leave. Not that Randy couldn't have agreed more at the time. He said that he tried to start the car but absolutely nothing happened. Nothing, Zero, not one d____ thing. He told me that he tried and tried but to no avail. His girlfriend started to become hysterical and he said that all they could do was make sure to doors were locked and the windows were rolled up as tight as they would go.....and wait. He also told me that he was not about to go out to try to find out what the matter was, even though his girlfriend had suggested he do so. After a very short time Randy told me that the red glow had completely surrounded them and the car began to rock. Seemingly gently at first but then the rocking became more and more violent. He told me that they could hear what sounded like some sort of a growling outside and then he heard a scraping sound down the entire length of the passenger side. The way he described it was like fingernails scraping down a chalkboard over and over again. By this time his girlfriend was thoroughly hysterical. Screaming and crying and demanding that they leave immediately. Randy said he wished he could have, and try as he might the engine would not even so much as turn over. All they could do was sit there and hope above all other hopes that whatever was out there did not or could not gain access to them.

Randy said that they don't know how long this went on but it finally stopped. He said that, while doing his best to keep his girlfriend from getting out of the car to run, the glow, the growling and the scraping just stopped and was gone. Just that....Gone. He said that he reached for the ignition switch, figuring the car wouldn't start, and turned it and the car started right away, almost as if nothing had happened. Needless to say they got out of there as quickly as they could, which is to say very quickly, and were relieved when they were back up on the main road to town. Randy told me that when he arrived at his girlfriends house he got out to see what kind of damage had been done to his car. He told me that he and his girlfriend looked very, very carefully but could find nothing. No marks, no scrapes, absolutely nothing. The car appeared to be completely undamaged. He said that he was extremely grateful, made his goodnights to his girlfriend and went home. when he got there, he said he made on last inspection to make sure and went to bed.

The next morning, when I saw him up the street, Randy told me that his brother had come into his bedroom, wakened him in excitement, inquiring what had happened to his car. At first Randy said nothing but his brother would not leave him alone. So he decided to get up and go take a look. what he saw, he said, scared the bejeezus out of him. That was when I had seen him.

I left Spanish Lake shortly after that, joining the military, and was told that Randy had tried many times to repaint his car. But within a few days the "Marks" would reappear and the car started to have, what was termed as, unfixable problems. Randy eventually got rid of the car and I never heard anything much more about it.

I've never gone back to Spanish Lake and don't really have that much of a desire to do so. I, instead, live hear in New Mexico which, needless to say, has an even richer heritage and a whole lot more ghost stories. But that is for another time........

Kevin (De Kavman) Griffin, New Mexico, USA
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