A teenage girl named Sally and her boyfriend Bobby drove down Old 3- Mile Road in Northern Kentucky to a well known secluded spot for teenage lovers. Since all the good spaces along the road were taken by other cars, the couple decided to turn down the dirt road and park in front of the swinging bridge where the creek ran in front of an old burnt out farm house. They had heard the stories about this place, but didn’t believe them. Their amorous seclusion was cut short when they heard a long low wailing sound emanate just outside the car. Sally looked through the steamed windows, trying not to panic. Suddenly she saw a ghostly wild woman running across the swinging bridge toward them. The crazed figure seemed to be wielding a pitchfork or was it a broom. Sally screamed at Bobby, “DRIVE US OUT OF HERE, NOW!!” As they sped up the hill, spinning tires and spewing dirt and rocks, Sally could see the woman still running behind their car, chasing them.
When I was a growing up I heard this story in many variations, told by multiple persons. And it always began as “A friend said this happened to her cousin’s big brother’s girlfriend ….” or something to that affect. These tales seem to be similar across the country and are now considered ‘Urban Legends’, another form of storytelling. One often repeated theme is the “Old woman ghost or crazy woman” story. My husband used to hear about the “Old Maid” who terrorized the children and teens of his childhood .
The story behind this particular Urban Legend, the Witch of 3- Mile Road, which may or may not be based upon a real life incident that happened to real people, goes like this:
‘Years ago a woman, her husband and their infant son lived in the small farmhouse beside the creek. One night there was a fire and the woman grabbed her baby from his burning crib and ran outside with him towards the creek. By the time she got to the water, they both were on fire and she threw the baby in the rushing water and dove in herself to squelch the flames. But when she came up the baby was gone. He had been swept away by the water. It was dark and the woman could not see to find her son. Her own skin was hanging in blisters from her face and arms, but she was oblivious to the pain or to the fact that her husband lay inside burning to death in their bed. She was obsessed with finding her baby, the one she had tossed into the water. And now every night since, she walks along the road, up and down the banks of the creek, stands on the swinging bridge and wades in the water, crying and calling to her baby. No one knows if she is a ghost or a disfigured old woman driven crazy with years of pain and grief. But she is real and many have seen her and heard her eerie cries along that lonely stretch of 3-Mile Road.’ Especially each year on the anniversary of the fire.
If you have a scary story to share for Halloween, please do so by registering on this blog and posting your story for all of us to enjoy around the Pot Belly Stove here at America’s Virtual General Store.