GHOST ON DUKE'S HILL
IUE-CWA LOCAL 798
TRUCK AND BUS DIV GMC MORAINE, OHIO
A song to lift our hearts
The Ghost on Dukes Hill
A true story from a time gone by
This is Autumn humor at it's best !
Many of us have heard quite a few scary stories in our life times.
Some of the various events were on the frightening side of life.
Back in the mid 1970's, I had a brother in law, who we shall call Gib.
He was the fellow who passed this account on to me.
He was a very bright guy and interesting to hear.
This is his true account.
For this story and its strange setting, we venture back in time to a more peaceful 1950's setting.
Somewhere in the back woods of Kentucky lies a farm with rolling hills.
Those hills are mingled with a ridge or two.
It was on this farm that my former brother in law Gib, grew up.
Nearby was a typical village town with all the homespun traditions and way of life.
Gib had a good friend. His name for this story, we shall call Slick.
It was getting close to Halloween.
Life was pretty much a good one after the harvest season.
The cooler days of autumn were giving wonderful relief from the hot afternoons of summer.
Here it is the afternoon of October 25, 1950
There is a full moon coming out tonight.
It will be illuminating the woods and countryside alike.
Slick heads over to Gib's house to see his old buddy.
Along the way, he stops by the country store.
Some guys are shooting the breeze about the local goings on. In a casual mention, one fellow says they are having a revival at a Charismatic church.
He says you know the one over the ridge and just beyond the big hill on Duke's farm. Duke was Gib's dad!
Several boys that went to that church always took a short cut over Duke's farm to get there.
Duke knew they did but he didn't care.
Slick thought that this might be a good time to have a little fun.
He walked out and hurried over to Gib's house. Time is a wasting!
Quickly, Slick comes running up to the house and hollers for Gib.
Gib comes out and says what's up? He says come on.
I've got a great idea for some fun tonight. You have to wait to see it.
Get an old sheet, some light rope and a leaf rake.
Gib says, "What have you got in mind anyway, Slick?"
You'll see. Come on let's get going.
They gathered up their stuff and headed off for the ridge top.
Soon they were close to the top. Here was the perfect place Slick thought. He told Gib to rake away the leaves in front of the old stretch wire fence.
As he did so, Slick started telling him about the trick that they were going to pull. When those two boys come up here tonight, we will be ready and waiting.
The boys went to work and had a nice flat place in front of the rusty fence. They carefully laid down the huge sheet that they brought up there.
Then, carefully, Slick moved out into the middle of the sheet. He reached down and grabbed a handful of the sheet near its middle.
Slick pulled it up slowly until he had about a fistful. Throw me that line Slick said to Gib.
He then tied a secure coil around the small section of sheet in his hand. With that done, he eased back off the sheet.
They stood up and looked around this stand of old growth Oak tees. Slick took the coil of light rope.
Slick gave it his all as he threw it up onto a high limb. The rope landed where it was intended.
Right on a secure old oak tree as it slithered down the other side onto the ground.
The boys got busy and gathered up the leaves to cover up the sheet. They got a nice layer down.
Then they added even more, scattering the leaves about to appear very natural.
It was then they admired their handy work.
Slick got the rope and had Gib steady it so that it wouldn't disturb the sheet.
Slick gently carried this long rope over near another tree. It was here he secured it. It would be kept in ready for the ghost on Duke's hill.
Slick said, "Gib, When those guys get up here, this is what I want you to do.
I want you way back over here so they won
't see you. Now when they get close to the sheet, pull on that top wire of barbed wire fence.
That will be the signal for me to pull the sheet up out of the leaves.
Gib said that they waited for a long time and the light was beginning to get low in the woods.
Suddenly, their victims arrived. Gib waited patiently until they were about 30 to 40 feet from the sheet.
His hands tightened up on the barbed wire fence. He gently placed his foot on the old fence post.
Swiftly, but surely, he pulled the top wire of the barbed wire fence.
Gib said he didn't expect what happened.
The barbed wire fence was so rusty that it gave out an horrific screech as he pulled it.
Slick pulled gently but smoothly on his end of the rope.
The victims attention was rudely grabbed by the screeching fence.
In the next instant, they had a heart stopping experience.
Before their very eyes was a ghost wafting upward in the dim light.
Gib said those two boys didn't go forward. They split.
They ran left and right. Those boys skeedaddled as frightened as if the devil himself were after them.
Now the story doesn't quite end here.
It seems those two boys had a very good reputation around the countryside.
For many years thereafter, it seems everyone knew about the Ghost in Duke's woods on the ridge.
Duke was part of what was called a "hard shell Baptist".
Gib told me that it was many years later.
In fact some years after he was married and had kids of his own.
He finally told his Dad the truth about Duke's ghost on the hill.
He said his Dad sighed a breath of relief. He too had believed the story of those boys.
* End of account *