The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Ghost That Gave Up

By Laverne Sutton © 1984

Issue: October, 1984

Like Casper, there are nice ghosts. This ghost story happened back around 1935.

As a young bride, my mother-in-law's husband took her to visit his dad who, after her husband had left home, moved way back into the mountains of Tennessee, to the old home place where he had lived as a boy.

The house was very old. The front door was made from thick, solid boards, with a board on the inside that slid into a leather strip on the wall to lock the door inside. With the board in place, the door couldn't be opened from outside. This door led into a wide hallway, with a doorway to rooms on each side and one at the end. They were given the room on the end.

After they had gone to bed, they heard what sounded like a lot of horses coming from the valley below. The sound grew louder, as the horses raced up the mountain, until their thundering hoofs pounded around the house. In an instant all was quiet.

They heard the sound of the board on the front door slide open, then back in place, locking the door. The sound of heavy walking came down the hall. She thought it was her father-in-law returning to his room.

All at once, their cover was jerked off of them and thrown to the floor at the foot of the bed.

Her husband got up and lit the lamp. As he replaced the chimney, the lamp went out, as if someone had blown their breath into the chimney. He relit the lamp. Again it was blown out. After several tries, he gave up, got the cover and went back to bed. Again the cover was snatched off and thrown to the floor. After the third time, they gave up and left the cover on the floor.

After a few minutes, the cover went flying into the air and landed on top of them, as if it had been spread on the bed.

The foot steps went back down the hall, the board on the door slid back and returned to the leather strip.

The walls of the old house shook as the running horses once more circled the house before heading back down the mountain. The sound faded out into the valley.

The next morning, she asked her father-in-law if he had heard anything during the night.

"Just old Ed." She was told. "He drops by from time to time. Didn't stay long last night, Guess he didn't expect to find anyone sleeping in his bed." "We didn't see anyone." She told him.

"Of course you didn't, Girl." He replied. "Old Ed's been dead for years."

Being unable to scare them off, the ghost had given up and left.