Ghosts - Haints - Spooky

The Disappearance of David Lang

man standing in a plowed field

“In 1880, Tennessee farmer David Lang was walking across his field as his wife and two children watched from the house. A buggy carrying two men was passing by the field at the same time and saw Lang making his way through the field in front of his home. Suddenly, Lang disappeared. It happened in the blink of an eye. One moment Lang was walking and the next he was gone as though he’d vanished into thin air. His wife and children ran from the house to the spot where he’d disappeared as did the two men in the buggy. Everyone assumed Lang had fallen into a hole, but the field was level without any holes. Still, neighbors and friends joined in a search over the field that stretched into the night. No one found any kind of anomaly or disturbance in the field. David Lang had simply vanished. By now, his wife was hysterical and had to be taken to the house. No one could explain the strange disappearance of a man in broad daylight that was witnessed by his wife, children and two men. It was said that the vegetation in the area where he disappeared turned yellow, extending to a 15-ft circle. No animal would graze in that section of the field. Several months later, as the Lang children played near the area where David had disappeared, they reported hearing him call out for help. They reported that his voice sounded very distant and soon it, too, disappeared.  Now there are people who think it true and others who think it’s a hoax.  I don’t know but it sure gave me the creeps when I first encountered it 50 years or so ago.”

—Kenny “Doc” White


Well that’s a spooky story for Halloween! The incident has been well documented. You can read more  about it here.


Subscribe for FREE and get a daily dose of Appalachia in your inbox

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    November 3, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    Tipper when I worked in Atlanta this woman told a group of ladies this story that happened in Gainesville Georgia years early said this woman let her 3 year old son out in the back yard to play later she checked on him . He was no where in sight they had all neighbors looking and they never found the child . The back yard was fenced but they never found the child . The people thought a big bird had swoop down and took the child.

  • Reply
    October 31, 2019 at 3:32 pm

    Similar story in my family of my Third Great Grandfather, William Sparks of Lawrence Co., KY. (See below that is written up in “The Sparks Family Quarterly)

    “No record has been found of Bill Sparks after 1856. The lack of records is still a mystery. Two versions of his disappearance have been handed down by his descendants. One story is that he was returning from a trip to North Carolina, but he never arrived home. The other tale is that he and his youngest son had taken timber to Cincinnati, Ohio, where they had sold it for a good price. As they were returning home on an Ohio River steamer, Bill and the money disappeared near the mouth of the Little Sandy River.”

    Happy Halloween Everyone.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 31, 2019 at 10:29 am

    About this same time my great great grandfather William Martin DeHart husband and father of five young children would disappear from a holler in Western North Carolina. He left his happy home with a load of apples headed for market and just disappeared. Unlike this story however another person from the community, their servant, Mattie Totherow a sweet young lass from Wesser, disappeared at the same time. And unlike Mr. Lang they would reappear in Jackson County, Alabama and raise a whole nother family.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    October 31, 2019 at 10:02 am

    The same similar story was heard by me from kinfolks in Western NC…Farmer in the field…had been plowing…checking the rows and just suddenly disappeared. No trace of him was ever found…Stories are pretty close to the same. WNC and ETN are pretty close…so thru word of mouth could have morphed from one state to the other..LOL
    Thanks for this post..

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    October 31, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Love the old stories with no answer. Makes you think. Could it really happen or is it just another tall tale. However, it is perfect for Halloween.

  • Reply
    October 31, 2019 at 9:37 am

    This no doubt would be horrific for the family. I recall old stories of on occasion when men would seem to just walk off and leave their families. Whether some weight of responsibility or through a homicide, the family sometimes never knew what became of them.
    Since it is the time for spooky tales or unexplained events, I thought about this. By far the scariest thing I have ever heard of is the tales of the death crowns of old. This seemed to be an Appalachian phenomena, and was when the feathers formed a crown with a swirling appearance. They were generally found in the pillows of those who were ill for extended periods. or had died. This was also supposed to be a prediction of death. With the new pillows filled with other foam materials this no longer occurs. I thought it was the possibly the outcome of an extended period of being bedfast with fevers and restlessness. Modern medicine prevents a lot of those kinds of symptoms.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    October 31, 2019 at 9:28 am

    I read the whole story and don’t believe it’s true. Neither could David Lang or the judge be found on record and the farm couldn’t be found. I don’t believe David Lang had a Elijah disappearance.

  • Reply
    Don Byers
    October 31, 2019 at 8:22 am

    I have read that story before!!!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    October 31, 2019 at 8:10 am

    That is the strangest story. Reminds me of Enoch who ‘walked with God and he was not for God took him.’ I read once about a similar story of a young man disappearing into the night sky on his way to the well. Only the bucket he was carrying was found lying in the snow near where his footsteps ended.

    By the way, there are You Tube videos of the Brown Mountain lights which -I think – have never been explained.

  • Reply
    sheryl paul
    October 31, 2019 at 7:22 am

    Love these spooky stories

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 31, 2019 at 7:14 am

    Yep, that certainly qualifies as spooky! Puts me in the mind of all the stories about crop circles with the 15 ft circle of dead grass. I accepted a long time ago that there is a lot in this world that I don’t understand, perhaps in the next we’ll have some answers.
    Happy Haunting!

  • Leave a Reply