In Texas, when I was very small, my mother took us to a railroad track in the dead of night to see the spirit of a man with a lantern, who used to guide the trains. We were terrified, as usual but, we were also always excited.
The legend, as my mother told us, was that if you parked on the tracks the lantern man would come by and wave you off the track with his lantern. If you moved on all would be well but if you stayed a sprit train would plow thru your car and maybe take your soul.
Here's what we experienced.
It was my mother, her mate Jean, my older sister (10 yrs older), younger sister and me. My mother pulled up and stopped right before the tracks, on a small incline, and turned off the car. She wanted to see what we all felt or saw from there. We sat there for about 30 minutes but nothing happened at all.
My younger sister and I were getting restless and wanted to go, my mother gave in and tried to start the car. It wouldn't start. She tried several times, but nothing, it didn't even make a click. Jean wanted to get out but my mother wouldn't let her. Much discussion and griping ensued.
Out of the ruckus Jean shouted "there!", we looked and sure enough, a blue orb was bobbing along the tracks heading toward us. As it came closer it seem to grow in size, not because of distance but it actually seem to get larger. It started out about the size of a tennis ball and grew to basketball size. It passed right in front of the car, no sounds, no nothing, just a blue orb.
As we sat in quiet amazement, the car just suddenly moved an inch or two forward, all on it's own, then stopped. My mother said something and then it moved again, just an inch or two. Jean told her to take it out of gear and when she did it started to move steadily along.
We were all excited and thinking it was cool but then we started hearing giggling children outside the car. It was barely audible at first, like you weren't sure you were actually hearing it but soon it became clearer and louder. It was as if a bunch of kids were happily pushing our car along. But it didn't actually feel like they were happy, it felt very wrong somehow. The laughing sounded negative and not right. We all felt chilled by it, there was a malevolence in the giggles.
As suddenly as it began, it stopped. No more pushing or laughing. My mother put the car back in gear and we realized where we were, on the other side of the tracks. The children had pushed up a small incline and over the tracks to the other side.
My mother turned the key and the old car started right up. We drove away in awe.
On the way home that night we also saw a UFO, something I'm not very into but I've seen them on at least 2 occasions is a way that I have no doubt, whatsoever, of what they were. But I'll leave that for another time :)
Story and Art by Juli Krasinski Ozark Gypsy Art