An older man living in Pocahontas County remembered as a child a story of a family who bought an older farmhouse. The story goes that after living there for a while the family began witnessing the ghost of a small boy appearing on the hearth of the fireplace. The family became highly concerned or maybe frightened at the idea of their home being haunted by the nether world.
In that era circuit preachers were known to travel the area staying with local families that would have them. The family with the haunting had a guest preacher stay with them. One evening the ghost appeared again frightening the family enough that they ran from the room screaming leaving the preacher alone in the presence of the apparition.
The preacher then verbally confronted the ghost with the following statement, “in the name of God the father I command you to tell me what you’re doing here?” The ghost then turned and faced the preacher squarely, and stated plainly & clearly, “I was murdered and buried beneath this very hearth.” The ghost then disappeared with no further questioning.
The very next day the hearth was busted up using spikes and sledgehammers. The skeleton of an eight-year-old boy was found entombed in the concrete. After a proper burial of the remains the ghost never bothered the family again.
My wife and I were married in early 1991. Within a few months I was taken to meet the late great Ota Lewis Hefner (1896-2000) my wife’s great-grandmother who was living at the time. The saying “that a fine wine ages with time” could very well apply to the great Ota.
Ota or “Otie” as everyone called her was very interesting to engage in conversation with. Otie was also bright as a tack, and time had not dulled her memory or thought process at all. She would speak of things that occurred in 1932 as though it were yesterday. During one of our prolonged conversations I asked her about ghosts or ghost experiences. The first story she told me, I will never forget.
When Otie was a little girl she briefly stayed with her relatives. An aunt told her that a ghost woman would appear in their house and hurry down the stairs from the upstairs to the downstairs, and right out the front door of the house.
After the ghost woman had done this for several occasions the aunt became confrontational, and stepped squarely into the path of the hurried ghost. The aunt then asked the ghost to state its business there. The ghost woman using its hand then “struck or scratched” the aunt on the face leaving a mark for life.
Otie stated that the aunt except for the particular mark left on her face for life was never bothered again by the ghost woman.