HOMER'S GHOST (A Commentary)

 

The Banks Observer, Wednesday, May 30, 1888

 

Homer, Georgia

 

One of our young men was out late one night last week, and in coming home met with an unearthly object on the hill above the Presbyterian Church, and as it seemed to be ready to stop and talk a few minutes the young man entered into a conversation with it, and a  dismal click came from its throat.  On being questioned as to what was the matter he replied:

        "If you must know, I am a ghost, and"______

 

At this moment the young man was struck with abject terror and amazement and started to run, but the ghost waved its hand in an imprecating manner and another click came from its throat.  The young man stood riveted to the spot, as as the ghost proceeded with its story he became filled with interest and pity and the ghost related the following strange story, as it limped with much difficulty towards a level spot of ground with its bones creaking and its joints popping.

 

        "You know I have been laying down yonder in the old cemetery for a long number of years.  I rested peaceably for a long time behind the old Presbyterian Church with the large oaks swaying and swinging in the breezes.  One a year the Presbyterians came over there where the public square is now, and held a campmeeting.  The singing and shouting of the congregation was music in my ears, and I was happy.  But after awhile Dick Hooper and Col. Turk and a few others among them the inferior court, got in a big row about putting a new courthouse here.  This lasted for a long time, and at last they began to cut down the trees around here and to build.  This did not disturb me much but when they moved the old church away and I could no longer hear the singing I began to feel lonesome."

 

Another click in his throat and the ghost remarked,

        "I have not had a drink of water in twenty five years."

 

The young man made another start but another wave of the hand stopped him, and the ghost preceeded,

        "After awhile the old graveyard began to be much neglected, and the cattle came  and trampled around and grazed in the cemetery and slept there and great holes began to sink in the ground.  At last a flood of water came and filled up the place where I lay, and I attempted to get up and make my way out of that dismal place.  In doing so my foot fell into one of the neglected graves and I broke my thigh.  I could do no better and crawled down into the hole and found that a darky had been buried there.  I stayed there until my thigh got well and the darky told me that the white folks had quit burying there, and some of our neighbors had been taken up and moved to the new Presbyterian grave yard on the hill.

        One day some boys in town got after some chickens and they ran into our hole and we subsisted on them until now.  I have started out to find the new cemetery.  Can you tell me where it is?  I think call my old neighbors in the old cemetery had concluded to leave for more respectable quarters.  Can you give me directions please?"

 

But the young man was so terrified that he ran for life and the ghost moved off saying, " I will pick an opportunity to meet some of the little boys one of these nights.  Maybe they will tell me?  I always make it my business to go everywhere at nights."

 

Transcribed as printed 2004 by Jacqueline King

copyright 2004 © Vicky & Jackie