When I was about twenty or so my friend Lydia and I were taking a so-called “road trip” to visit her loser boyfriend who was locked up in a prison about 60 miles from where we lived. The roads were long and filled with nothing other than trees and the occasional farmhouse or tobacco barn. We passed through the one or two small towns marked with “welcome” signs and “come again” signs only a half a mile apart and not a stoplight in sight. We were taking what considered a shortcut, which I found to mean a drive through the middle of nowhere all while listening to Lydia justify her relationship with her deadbeat man.
Needless to say, I spent an hour outside in the hot car frying until she finally made her way back to out. She bounced out looking as giddy as a schoolgirl and soon we were off to make our way back through the middle of nowhere. I decided to stop for gas at the one country store gas station located on the outskirts of the little prison town we were in. I looked up at the dark clouds rolling in accompanied by a strong summer breeze, signaling the coming of a storm. Great! I went ahead and filled the tank (ha! This was back when gas was $.89 a gallon) to be on the safe side. I would have checked things like oil and water level, but the only thing I really knew about cars was how to drive and where to put the gas, so I used the complimentary wiper brush to clean the windshield and went to pay for the gas.
The store was fill with a few local men who were somewhat frisky but within respectful bounds. They warned us of the coming storm and tried to convince us to stay and play a couple of games of pool to ride out the storm. Though the guys were nice, behaving like perfect gentlemen, I just kept hearing my mother’s voice telling me “never trust strangers” and since she wasn't around…I listened. We thanked the guys for the warnings but we had road to burn.
We had to be no more than five miles outside of that little town when we heard what sounded like a gunshot and felt the car jerk on towards the front driver’s side. This caused me to lose control of the car for a split second making us swerve back and forth across the road. I was able to regain control and bring the car to a complete stop on the side of the road. We got out to investigate and found that we had blown the front tire. It was then that I remembered that I had taken the spare tired out in order to have more room for clothes when I went back to college at the end of summer. We decided that since we were only five miles outside of town that we could walk back to town to try to find a spare or at least a payphone so that I could call my brother to come help us.
We grabbed our purses and started the hike back to town, praying that we would find a cheap spare in town, so that we wouldn’t be forced to tell our parents just where we were and why. We had easily made it through about three miles when we started making promises to workout more to build endurance. The sky seemed to be growing darker by the minute and we were both starting to fear getting caught in the rain. Our worse fears were confirmed when a sheet of came roaring down the street towards us. We saw what appeared to be an abandoned old house that look like an old plantation house or something and ran up on the porch to get out of the rain.
The wind began to howl, blowing the rain across the rickety old porch, which wasn’t providing us with much more shelter than walking in the rain. Lydia turned the knob on the front door and to our surprise it opened. We rushed in without hesitation or concern that the house may, in fact, not be abandoned, but once inside it was more than evident that no one lived there. In fact, it was certain that no one had lived there in quite some time. The house looked as if it had been vandalized numerous times with various messages written across the walls and panes of glass were missing from the large picture window in the living room. We decided that it would be best to stand close to door making sure to leave it open, so that we could see inside our temporary shelter. Thunder and lightening rumbled across the sky violently for about fifteen minutes before dying out completely, leaving behind the pouring rain.
The rain hadn’t died down any, but the spooky feelings inside the house were making me want to take my chances walking through it. I couldn’t shake the disturbing feeling of being watched. Lydia decided to read some of the messages on the wall aloud.
“If you see her she’ll give you such fright. Her soul is pure evil and her hair is white!!!”
“LEAVE NOW TO SAVE YOUR SOUL”
“This house belongs to the devil’s mistress.”
“DEATH HANGS HERE”
“Cameron wuz here.”
She made her way around the room reading until she had read each one. I took just two steps over toward the window to have a look at an old painting that was still hanging on the wall. Written in the dust that had collected on the painting were the words “GET OUT”. Just then I heard Lydia scream. I spun around and there in the doorway of what I guessed was the kitchen or dining room stood a tall slender woman her white hair pulled atop her head in a bun. She was unusually tall for a woman, towering over Lydia like a skyscraper. She was wearing a long dark colored corset dress that appeared to be something straight out of “Gone With The Wind”. In her hand she was wringing what appeared to be a handkerchief repeatedly with both hands. She began mumbling something under her breath with her eyes fixed on Lydia with an angry glare and infuriated look on her face. She didn’t even seem to notice that I was there.
Lydia started backing up towards the door, which caused me to inch my way over to the exit as well. Lydia began apologizing repeatedly, trying to sound as sincere as she possible could. The old lady’s mumbling became louder as she made her way forward, saying “GET OUT OF MY HOUSE” over and over again. I was within a step of reaching a door, when it slammed shut…then quickly open…and shut…and open and shut continuously. The old lady’s scratchy voice getting louder by the second made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. The door flew open one last time, slamming hard against the wall. An enormous gust of wind swept through the house causing another one of the panes of glass in the window to fall out and crash onto the weathered hardwood floor. She finally noticed me creeping toward the door and glared at me with those icy blue eyes and yelled “GET OUT OF MY HOUSE”.
That was more than I needed to get my butt into gear and out of that house, as fast as my feet would carry me. I didn’t even check to see if Lydia was in tow. I just booked it, feeling as if only the tips of my toes were actually touching the ground. I didn’t stop until I had reached the safety of the road. I stopped for no more than a second to find Lydia dead on my heels and to have a last look at the house. There in the doorway of the big old house hanged what appeared to be the woman who had just screamed for us to leave, her body swinging back and forth, with her long white hair blowing in the direction of the wind. It was the most frightening thing that I had ever seen in my entire life.
The rain hadn’t stopped and neither did we. We ran until our legs wouldn’t allow us to run anymore, but we dared not to stop moving. We made it to town to find the men still there shooting pool riding out the storm. It was there that we learned that the woman that we had seen was Miss Charlotte Monroe and she had, in fact, hanged herself in that house after South lost the war causing her to lose everything, including the house. They went on to say that legend said that she was so mean that she hanged herself in the house to spite the bank, knowing that no one would want to buy in the house after they found a dead woman hanging in the doorway. Apparently, she was able to continue to protect her home even in death, because even though the house had changed hands numerous times since her death no one ever stayed more than one night.
One of the local guys drove us to a used tire shop so that we could purchase a spare and was even kind enough to drive us back and put the new spare on for us. It’s been more than a decade since that incident, but even now on summer days when the dark clouds roll in and the rain starts to pour, I still see the image of her body swaying in the wind.
*This story is soooo NOT true, so please don't write responses about how you don't believe it happened...because it didn't, lol.*