She has a name and a story to tell…

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

My sister and I were sitting in the living room visiting. She had just arrived from west Texas for a quick visit. She hadn’t been in but about ten minutes when Jack walked into the door. He had been gone most of the day with Glenn, a local farmer and long-time resident of the area. As Jack sits down with us and joins in on the conversation, my sister says, “Hey, Deb, by the way – have you seen anymore ghosts lately?” Jack has a perplexed look on his face and asks what we’re talking about. I said, “oh, honey it’s really nothing. I never said anything to you because it was just some strange something that happened; I don’t know if I saw a ghost, but something strange happened.”

He looked at me with curiosity, saying “well, what happened?” I said, “The day you left to go fishing last month I was sitting on the bed upstairs and saw something in my peripheral vision. It all happened very suddenly, in a split second, but I saw this woman hanging from a noose in the bathroom. As soon as I turned my head to look she was gone, but it was so real. Although it all happened in a flash, it was vivid enough for me to know that it was a woman. It was just really strange. I never told you because by the time you got home from your fishing trip several days later I had pretty much convinced myself that I must have been dozing off and it was a dream or something.”

Jack then said, “You’re not going to believe this – let me tell you what Glenn told me today.” Jack went on to say that Glenn’s father (who was in his 90’s) told him a story about coming out to our place over 50 years ago after a woman had committed suicide by hanging herself out here.

Of course my sister and I are both sitting there with our jaws dropped. We couldn’t believe someone had actually died from a hanging out here. When Jack and I bought this farm no one had ever mentioned anything like this before.

Several weeks went by and I never had any other strange sightings or sounds. Then one day a very nice lady I will call Mrs. L stopped by and introduced herself. She is in her 70’s and had just moved across the highway from us to what she called “her family homestead.” She said that she had grown up out here and that at one time her family had owned all the land on both sides of the highway, including our place. She was very friendly and wanted us to know who she was and that she was now our neighbor. After she left I told Jack that we should ask her sometime if she knows anything about a hanging out here.

Then, shortly after meeting Mrs. L, a REALLY strange thing happened. This is very odd ya’ll and makes seeing ghosts hanging from nooses sound normal. Okay – let me set this up for you. Please stay with me on this one:

I’m back upstairs alone, reading in bed late at night. All of a sudden a woman with long brunette hair comes and sits on the foot of my bed and talks to me. I know, I know, it’s very weird. But she speaks to me ya’ll… It was such an odd moment. It sort of felt like a dream, but I knew I wasn’t dreaming. I wasn’t even reading anything intense or mind jolting that could have caused my brain to play tricks on me. I was reading People Magazine for God’s sake! I don’t know how else to explain what happened other than it felt like a dream but I was wide awake. She said to me that she understood what I was going through. That she, too, was my age when she had breast cancer but no one knew what was wrong with her; that her cancer had spread to her bones and she was in excruciating pain and simply couldn’t bear it any longer. She said, “I had to end the pain, but you’re going to be okay.” (For the record, I had just had my final reconstructive surgery from breast cancer about a month earlier).

Another couple of weeks went by and Jack ran into Mrs. L once again. As they visited for a bit, Jack asked her if she knew anything about someone hanging themselves out here. She said, “Yes, that was my aunt.” She went on to say that her aunt was 41 or 42 and had two children that were around 11 and 13 when she committed suicide. Jack said, “I don’t know how to say this, but I think my wife saw her spirit.”

Several days later Mrs. L came back over. She wanted me to describe to her what I saw; she asked me what color hair this spirit had. I responded that it was dark. She then asked me if her hair was long or short. I said that when I saw her hanging from the noose I thought her hair was short, but the woman that sat on my bed had long flowing brunette hair. Mrs. L confirmed that her aunt had long brunette hair, but always wore it up with a braid across her head. I went on to say that she was wearing a dress that looked more like a long apron. Mrs. L said she had on a long apron that went over her head when she killed herself. Mrs. L then showed me an old black and white family photograph. It was a photo of a very large family, probably a picture from a family reunion. There were at least 15 men and women in the photograph. As she showed it to me she said, “Does anyone in this picture look familiar?” I pointed right to her saying “this is her,” and Mrs. L shakes her head, “yes, that was my aunt.”

I told Mrs. L that her aunt had spoken to me and told me she had cancer that had spread to her bones and was in horrible pain, which is why she had to end her life. Mrs. L responded with a very blank look on her face, “My goodness, we all thought she was a hypochondriac and just wanted to get out of doing all her chores. She always said she was sick but no one ever believed her.”

You see ya’ll, life in the Hill Country sixty years ago was rough. Water was scarce and even electricity was not introduced in this area until the 1940’s. It was a very rugged way of life. Everyone had to pull their weight and do their fair share; I’m sure it was non-stop work from sun-up until sundown.

So now let me throw one more twist into this story: Her children are still living. Her daughter is in a nursing home, but her son is living about 40 minutes north of here. He actually came out to visit and brought more family pictures. Although he seemed happy and content while he was here, Mrs. L (his cousin) told us that he really got choked up about the whole ordeal after he got back home.

After all these years her son was able to put closure to why his mother took her life. He had spent his entire life wondering why….

Since she sat on the foot of my bed I have never heard another thing from her. I believe her story has finally been told, and she is finally resting in peace.

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