Friday, October 30, 2009

Ghost Stories - Part One

This charming old barn hides in the middle of the woods down Onemo. The other day I drove down a dirt lane I'd never been down before (with good reason, it's a dead-end road and people live there). For reasons I can't explain, I looked into the woods to my right and there, just barely peeking through the trees, was this lovely structure.

Since it was a very desolate spot--except for the homes nearby--I pulled the car over and dashed into the woods for the quickest of shots. Satisfied, I hightailed it walked back to the car. There was a ditch in between the barn and my car, and as I hightailed it negotiated it a wave of perfume hit me. A strong wave.

There was no wind blowing that day, there were no flowers or blooming bushes nearby, and I was not wearing perfume. Besides, it smelled like an old lady's perfume, and I have three more years decades before I qualify for that particular scent.

(Dear Older Females who may be offended reading, I didn't mean to imply that you are old, I'm thinking more along the lines of an aging grandmother about to go in the nursing home. That sort of old. Before I dig this hole any deeper, let's continue with whatever it is I'm trying to convey.)

Mathews has many well-known ghost stories, most of which have to do with Old House Woods near one of our public beaches, Haven. There are stories about pirates, buried treasure, ships flying through the air, and strange figures wandering around at night.

In the book "The Ghosts of Tidewater" by L.B. Taylor, Jr., there's an account of Old House Woods and the ghost ship from a Mr. Ben Feribee, a fisherman who lived along the bay in the early 20th century. In 1926 he told his story to a newspaper reporter:

"...One starry night I was fishing off the mouth of White's Creek well out in the bay. As the flood tide would not set in for some time, I decided to get the good fishing and come home with the early moon. It must have been after midnight when, as I turned to bait up a line in the stern of my boat, I saw a full-rigged ship in the bay, standing well in it. I was quite surprised, I tell you. Full-rigged ships were mighty scarce then; besides that, I knew I was in for it if she kept that course. On the ship came, with lights at every masthead and spar, and I was plumb scared.*

...They'll run me down and sink me, I thought. I shouted to sailors leaning over her rails forward, but they paid no heed to me. Just as I thought she would strike me, the helmsman put her hard aport and she passed so close that I was almost swamped by the wash. She was a beautiful ship, but different from any I had ever seen. There are no ships like her on any ocean. She made no noise at all, and when she had gone by, the most beautiful harp and organ music I ever heard came back to me.

...Well, sir, I pulled up my anchor and started for home up White's Creek. I could see that ship hanging over Old House Woods, just as though she was anchored in the sea. And running down to the woods was a rope ladder, lined with the forms of men carrying tools and other contraptions..."

* CBW back again. I'm plumb scared too--scared that I'll get the award for Longest Post in History. More ghost stories tomorrow.

For now, tell me about a strange phenomenon or something that scared you.

That reminds me, I need to clean out my refrigerator.


Annie said...

(clean out the refrigerator)

Funny you should mention that perfume.. what day was it...cos I smelled a lovely perfume one day I was here at I didn't recognize from any that I know of...!! Very weird!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Annie, it was either last Thursday or Friday, probably Thursday.

That *is* weird.

In related news, I can't remember if I said it in the post, but last year I wrote about several posts about Old House Woods, so there is more (mostly anecdotal) info there. Also, last year at this time I wrote about Churchill Plantation in neighboring Gloucester. That's another really good/consistently told story.

Big Hair Envy has some ghost stories too - from nearby West Point. The infamous light that appears at the train tracks. Have heard/read quite a bit about that since she mentioned it last year.

Speaking of BHE, she and I are having dinner tonight along with The Waterman's Wife and Noe Noe Girl.


Ann Marie said...

I will have to tell you the Hawk Story from Old House Woods tonight.. you will LOVE it... and by the way.. I adore your little barn. :)

Annie said...

Ah, hi there...a Happy Friday to you, and a lovely dinner tonight with friends.

I am not much into ghost stories myself. But I was intrigued by that perfume...wonder if ti was the same day...?

Hope you have a great day and a great weekend.

Bethie said...

I love ghost stories. I went to Rosewell Castle in Gloucester a few months back. Here are some pics. That place is spoooooky.

Mrs F with 4 said...

The scariest thing so far today? I saw the reflection of a wrinkled old hag, with grey roots showing and no mascara, and a rump the size of a small country, in a mirror this morning. I mean, it was so gigantic it had a weather system all of its own. I have no idea who it was, but it must have been a ghost, right?

wv: cychin, as in 'it was cychin scary'.

Ann Marie said...

Our blogs.. weirdest today so far.

Daryl said...

Well, there was the summer I spent in Venice, California .. there was a serial killer on the loose and we kept jumping every time we heard any noise. Once in the middle of the night I woke to hear the sound of someone sweeping in the hallway outside my room. I lay there thinking 'who the heck is cleaning, NOW?' ... I fell back asleep and when I got up a few hours later and opened the door there was a broom leaning against the wall between my room and the bathroom.

A few of my housemates were in the kitchen making coffee/breakfast .. I walked in holding the broom .. and my friend Sue asked 'oh that was you sweeping, I wondered' AND I said 'I wasnt sweeping .. I heard the sweeping round 4 a.m. but I thought it was one of you'

Well it wasnt any of us and even weirder no one remembered ever seeing the broom before.

Maybe next time I will tell you about the ghost in the basement of our brownstone here in NYC

AND I am sooo jealous of your dinner company ... have a drink for me!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

OK, folks, we have a very, very bizarre coincidence happening here.


Anyone familiar with this area knows that old barns/structures are a dime a dozen. There are *hundreds* I could have posted today, and hundreds of my own pictures I could have chosen to post.

Why did I have a weird ghostly perfume experience there and then she and I go and post pictures from that spot the very same day? The same day.


p.s. Forgive the poor sentences above, I am doing three things at once and can only spill the contents of my brain, can't edit them for quality. But what else is new.

big hair envy said...

I LOVE a good ghost story! Although, you and AM are freaking me out with all of these coincidences.....

Caution/Lisa said...

I am really too unnerved to type. Excuse me now while I go lock the doors and turn on all the lights. Any why is my guard dog snoring??

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

I dont have any ghosts stories CBW but Little T likes to make them up!

See you in a little while...I'm plumb scared with excitement!

Mental P Mama said...

Cue the Twilight music. Remember Twilight--the series? I love ghost stories, and I have plenty of them. We used to go drinking down on the Natchez Trace and wait for the spirits of all the people killed by robbers--they came to visit us. A lot. Or maybe it was the beer...

foolery said...

No ghost stories, but I think I'll write about the time I thought my dad was going to murder me. That sounds like a good post, since I haven't posted in days and I'm STILL woozy from fake Nyquil.

Love the barn, CBW.

Have a wonderful time tonight, girls!