Do you believe in ghosts?
The Wiregrass is full of ghost stories. I grew up hearing about the witch’s grave, haunted jail, and Huggin’ Molly, but I didn’t have my own supernatural experience until much later in life.
My first job after graduating college was working the overnight shift as the morning show producer at WTVY-TV. I was living at home with my parents in Blakely, so every night between 10:00 and 11:00 p.m. I would drive to Dothan on Highway 52.
Usually, the most excitement there was on that drive was a deer jumping out in front of my car, but one night – I can’t remember when exactly it was other than it being the year 2010 – something truly creepy happened.
It was near the railroad crossing that leads to Georgia Pacific. There were no other cars on the road. The lighting in that area is sparse. Around the area that the road widened to allow the turn lane, a man appeared walking down the center line. He was wearing what looked to be an old-fashioned train conductor’s cap and carrying a lantern. He appeared so suddenly, I didn’t have time to swerve to avoid hitting him. I just knew I was about to kill this person, but the thud of impact never came, and when I looked in every single mirror, there was no one there.
Years later – so long, in fact, that I had basically forgotten about this incident – I learned about a deadly train accident that happened back in 1905 where the track crosses the Chattahoochee River.
Coincidence? Maybe. What I do know is that three men died in that accident, one of whom was the engineer, and the man I saw that night in 2010 was wearing what looked eerily similar to the engineer uniform of the early 1900s.
Now that we’ve got the spooky out of the way, let’s get to the fun. This is my favorite issue of the entire year! Our annual Fall and Halloween Fun Guide has all the best pumpkin patches, festivals, scarecrows, arts and crafts, and trick or treating in the area. And be sure to check out our feature story, 5 Halloween Traditions to Start with Your Kids.
We don’t have any Halloween traditions other than decorating. This year, we took Alexis on a mini fall/Halloween decoration shopping spree. We usually do something pumpkin-related, as well, and this year we’ve decided to participate in the Dothan-Houston County Library System’s Book Character Pumpkin Contest (details in Bits & Pieces).
For trick-or-treating this year, we’re doing our first-ever family costume theme. Alexis loves Scooby Doo, so we’ll be hitting the streets of our neighborhood as Scooby, Shaggy, and Daphne.
I’d love to see how you celebrate fall. Whether it’s visiting your favorite u-pick farm, decorating a pumpkin, or trick-or-treating, share the fun by tagging in your Facebook or Instagram photos (@wiregrassparents).
No matter how you choose to get into the spirit of the season, I hope you do so safely. At the risk of sounding cliché – Happy Fall, y’all!