It was Halloween of 1980. My sister and I had already finished trick-or-treating and our parents decided to let us go five houses up the hollow (also called hollers) to visit my aunt.
After a few hours, my sister and I wanted to go home to get something for our aunt. When we mentioned it, her father-in-law started teasing us about the “Late Night Stranger” getting us. We had heard this story, and many others about ghosts, all our lives, so we didn’t think much about it and headed out the door.
There had been a light drizzle all evening long, which added an eerie touch to our surroundings. The holler was completely abandoned and was unnaturally quiet.
My sister suddenly put her hand on my shoulder and whispered, “Hey, where’s everybody at?”. I said, “I don’t know… maybe they all went inside. Let’s go.”
She hesitated a bit, then whispered, “It’s kinda creepy. Should we go back?”.
I grabbed a hold of her shirt sleeve and pulled her along. “Come on, Sis. What, are you scared or something?”.
We got about halfway home when she stopped and said she was scared. I turned to her and told her that we were almost home and she could make it.
When I turned back, there was a man walking towards us. He was a short distance away and I noticed that he was dressed in a black trench coat with a black hat on.
My sister’s hand tightened on my shoulder and she whispered, “Who’s that?”.
“I don’t know. Let’s just keep moving.”
We kept walking. As the stranger passed, I glanced up towards his face, but couldn’t see anything. His features appeared as a black blur.
He must have noticed me looking, for he said, “Good evening, ladies.” His voice was soft and strange. My sister and I didn’t respond but kept walking.
After a few paces, I turned around and then back, half expecting him to be following us, a child’s instinct, I suppose. What I saw was even more frightening. The street was completely deserted. There were no signs of anyone having been up or down the road. No man; no footprints on the wet cement; nothing at all!
There wasn’t a single place the man could have went or hidden in such a short amount of time. Yet, he was gone. A chill ran down my spine.
I looked at my sister in utter disbelief. She gazed at me with the same expression, then we both turned in unison and ran the rest of the way home.
I explained to my grandpa the details of the encounter. From the spot where my grandpa was sitting on the porch, he could see my aunt’s house. He claimed that he had only seen my sister and I come up the road, no one else.
We are all convinced that it was the “Late Night Stranger” that we had heard about in previous stories. Although I had heard of him my entire life, I never expected to actually see him, and I’ll always remember that night.