Appalachian Writers Folklore Ghost Stories Heritage

Spooky October 2

Spooky October

This entry for Blind Pig & The Acorn’s Spooky October comes from David Templeton.

Elizabeth’s Song

When Kasie and I were first married, we lived in a house that was built on land long owned by the Fish family of Lawrence County.  The deeds and abstracts, and local lore, led us back over two centuries of the Fish family.  Their graveyards were very close to our house, one in back, just up on a hillside a few yards from our back door; the other graveyard was across the road.  Elizabeth Fish, daughter of the first land grant owner, was buried across the road and her mother and her daddy were buried up the hill.  These graves go back into the late 1700s and early 1800s.

Elizabeth, as a young girl and fair maiden, loved to sing and it is said that she could be heard a way down into the valley below, singing haunting love songs that would hopefully be heard by Willie, a boy who lived across the valley; a boy for whom her love went unrequited.

Elizabeth also loved her horse and loved to ride about the hillsides singing her love songs.
One summer evening at dusk Elizabeth was out riding and singing and she saw the boy coming through the fields toward her, as if coming to court her.  Excitedly, Elizabeth spurred her horse to carry her to meet the boy.  Riding under the spreading limbs of a great oak tree, Elizabeth was dashed from her saddle by a low hanging limb and her neck and back were broken in the fall from the horse.

She died there, never making it to the boy whom she believed had come to love her.
Now, lo these centuries later, legend says that she can be seen in the mist that is often seen there at dusk; there in the low place where the great tree once stood.

When the land was broken up and sold as smaller parcels, we bought the land on which the tree had stood and built a house there.  We knew the old ghost stories about Elizabeth and it added a certain romance to our place.  Our mischievous daughter, older of two, would kid and scare her little sister with yarns about Elizabeth’s ghost.  We all made up so many stories about Elizabeth that she became a part of our lore and accepted as real.

There was one thing that we didn’t talk about though, didn’t tell one another until years later, after the kids had grown up and left home and after we had moved away: We had all heard singing; faint, very, very faint and woeful singing.  We had all heard it and never spoke of it.  We had heard it about the house, inside, and out along the hillside where the oak tree had stood, and about the roadside across from where the graveyard lay, and mostly we had all heard Elizabeth singing when we saw the mist.  Each of us said later that we had looked about for the source of the sounds and never seemed to come close.
But, we were embarrassed to say we heard her because we had all made such fun of the tales and the tingling and the teasing of each other about Elizabeth and knew we would not be taken seriously.

We are no longer there.

Now Elizabeth can sing without derision, as we are long since gone.  And we hope she has since found her Willie, come across the field to love her. And when we gather at Thanksgiving, we often talk about Elizabeth as if we had known her.  We each believe we have.

——-

Kinda neat-my first 2 submissions for Spooky October had a musical facet to them. I enjoyed Elizabeth’s Song-and I hope you did too.

Tipper

 

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    October 13, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Tipper: That was a neat story of the pining ghost.

  • Reply
    petra michelle
    October 13, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Chills are crawling up my legs and down my neck reading this story, Tipper! David Templeton’s story is just so hauntingly beautiful; no pun intended!

  • Reply
    larry meckley
    October 12, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    tipper great story.i hope elizabeth has since moved on to the light.she deserves another chance at life if she would choose it.sad to be stuck between two dimensions.i love storys about spirituality and multiple lifetimes.i have a few stories.thank you my friend.

  • Reply
    Eggs In My Pocket
    October 12, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    A very good story! So sad as well. Enjoyed reading! blessings,Kathleen

  • Reply
    Stacey
    October 12, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    I love ghost story’s. We had a ghost “Karen” who lived on a property in Oregon with my family.
    She was a little blond girl.

  • Reply
    susie
    October 12, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Hey Tipper, You have a really nice blog here. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving your sweet comments.

  • Reply
    Brenda S 'Okie in Colorado'
    October 12, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Another great story. I sent you one through email that my Granny told me when I was a little girl. I think everyone here would enjoy it.

  • Reply
    Tammy
    October 12, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    I’ve never heard singing, but I have lived in a house with an unseen whistler. So, I do believe this did in fact happen!

  • Reply
    olecrowsnest_nan
    October 12, 2009 at 11:14 am

    I really liked your post on Elizabeth’s song! What a wonderful tale and how spooky you used to live there and hear woeful singing!!

  • Reply
    Fencepost
    October 12, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Singing in the hills….love it. I have loved ghost stories as long as I can remember. There’s just something exciting about getting the pants scared off of you. tee hee

  • Reply
    Rick
    October 12, 2009 at 9:43 am

    That was a pretty good story and one that would go well sitting around the campfire on a cool autumn night.

  • Reply
    My Carolina Kitchen
    October 12, 2009 at 7:46 am

    Tipper, I love Elizabeth’s song. What a wonderful story. When we lived in Mississippi there were many antebellum homes on tour in Vicksburg. One was owned by a friend of ours and it had a ghost they called the Perfume Lady. Supposedly you could smell perfume from the ghost from time to time in the house.
    I love ghost stories. Thanks for sharing Elizabeth’s song.
    Sam

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