Monday, March 7, 2011

The North Port Ghost

My favorite ghost stories are the ones told to me by people.  I always like to think of ghost stories as the last oral traditions.  These days there a very few stories that are told around the table or camp fire like they used to before television and the Internet.  Ghost stories and urban legends are the last stories the cling to these old traditions and sometimes ghost stories and urban legends can become almost one.  Some friends of mine shared one their favorite stories from their college days with me over dinner this way.  The story was told to me two very different ways.  This is the risk of oral traditions.  They often are told very differently by each person telling them.

The first person who shared this story with me told me that the North Port Ghost was a real story.  He said that if you drive down a lonely road in rural Alabama you will come to a spot where many people have seen The North Port Ghost.    If you slow down,  you might see her wandering the road alone.   According to legend,  the North Port Ghost is the wife of a Confederate soldier.  She wanders the night searching for her husband.   He never came home from the war and she has never stopped looking for him.  Even in death, her lonely specter can be seen all dressed in white waiting for the return of a many who is long go.   She is a classic white lady, forever looking for love that will never come.

The second story I heard was much less fun but still interesting.  She said the North Port Ghost was a snipe hunt.   She claimed upper classman sent Freshmen into the country and told them to drive slowly down a hill while flashing their blinkers.  If this is done properly, the light will catch off a lamp post giving the affect of a ghost and scaring the crap out of the Freshman. 

According to Shadowlands Haunted Place Index,  The North Port Ghost was once commonly seen.   He was the ghost of a fallen confederate soldier who used to roam the area.   The ghost is not seen anymore and has disintegrated into a tourist attraction because the area has become over developed and is no longer rural.

So,  I love my oral traditions and I love this story because it is one that is told again and again, but the true story has been lost somewhere in the telling.  It has become a prank and a joke told to scare college students, but I like to believe the first story is true and that urbanization has driven the ghost away.

9 comments:

The Frog Queen said...

Awesome.....and I think this would be the perfect opening scene/line for a horror movie

"He said that if you drive down a lonely road in rural Alabama you will come to a spot...."

Cheers!

Dakuro said...

Damn... it's very similar to the white lady on mexico or the girl on the way in colombia :S
Thanks for the post.

Pam Morris said...

yep, I like those romantic ghost stories the best, too!

Carrie Miller said...

I lived for many years in West Virginia, an area that loves it's ghost stories. My ex-husband swore that one foggy night on a road in the back of beyond he saw a confederate soldier, dressed all in tatters with his feet bound in rags shuffling in the road. He absolutely swore by this story, although I suspect he was under the influence.

umaslittlesis12 said...

Shadowlands is a great website to find ghost stories and legends in your area. I found it about a year ago, it has some baloney in there but mostly good stories about different places in the area. I believe storytelling is one of the last great american traditions still carried on today!

Courtney Mroch said...

VERY neat info you dug about about just how varied a ghost story can be too. How it eminates from one thing and then can warp into something else. Never thought about how ghost stories are a last oral tradition. I liked how you pointed that out. And of course I liked that you shared another great ghost story!

sanantoniohauntings said...

Your right urban legends do change from person to person depending on who you ask. The donkey lady urban legend has been told to me in three different versions. The only thing that doesn't change from the story is what people have experienced when they have gone to the bridge.

Tim Kent said...

Jessica,
I friend of mine actually saw the North Port Ghost. He said it raised the hair on his neck. He said the guy that drove him there went back past very slow and showed him it was light reflecting off a concrete post beside the road. It's a great story and great blog. Have you read my blog on 'Old Green Eyes'?

Jessica Penot said...

Tim... I have read your blog post and I loved it. You have a great blog.

Sanantoniohauntings.... I need to read more about the donkey lady urban legend! Do you have a link.