The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

My Ghost Tale

By Marilee C. Cockrum © 1990

Issue: June, 1990

I remember a lot of different things from childhood. One very dear memory I have is of the day my brother was born 62 years ago in July. The day was hot and bright. He was born at home and we had gone to a neighbor's house for the time.

When I came home I wanted so much to hold him. I cried so much that the neighbor asked me to come and spend the night with her. Later, I remember finding an 1836 big penny while playing in the pasture near the creek. The word was that Civil War soldiers had camped on the hillside near by and had buried kegs of money. It was never found.

One memory that I have often thought and told of was of one summer night. Our home was the oldest home in the area. It was over 125 years old. We called it the old red house and today, I know that it was a beauty.

The girls slept upstairs and on this hot summer night, we had moved to the downstairs front room to sleep. The door was open and I was lying where I could see outside. The moon was shinning. As I was looking out at the pretty night time shadows, I saw a man appear at the door. He was standing and looking in the door. I could not see his face but by the outline of his clothes I thought he was a World War I soldier. He stood there for a while and all at once he faded away. I know that I was awake and I was not afraid.

Later in seeing pictures of the Civil War, I realized he was a soldier of that war. I told one of our granddaughters about this because she needed a ghost tale for school. She answered why he was there. "Grammie, he came back for his penny," which I still have.