My mother tells a story that happened when she was around fourteen, around 1937. She was raised near the Friendship Community and no one in that area had electricity at the time. (Electricity did not come to rural Covington County until the 1940s.) Her grandfather, however, had a radio that ran on batteries. These were lead acid batteries that had to be recharged, similar to the car batteries of today. Every Saturday night mother’s family made a trek to Grandpa’s to listen to the Grand Ole Opry. The younger kids played in the front room while the adults and older “young’ns” gathered around the radio in the back. They kept the door closed between the rooms. On this particular Saturday night, the younger kids played quietly in the front room. Suddenly, they began screaming, clawing the walls and banging on the door. When the adults finally got the door open, many of the children were in hysterics. According to them, a woman had opened the front door. Not just any woman, but a woman with long fingernails and long hair hanging loose around her face.The men immediately set out to search the area but found nothing.
The next day word came that one of their relatives had died in childbirth. Many believe the woman at the door was either the relative’s ghost or a predictor of her death. My mother was in the back room and didn’t see the apparition. But my aunt did. Whatever she saw, it terrified her. She still remembers it vividly to this day.
If it had simply been a woman, why did she open their front door without knocking? Why had she stood there without speaking? Why had the men not been able to find her? Why couldn’t the children open the door? What was it about the woman that threw them into such a panic? Why did she look “different” than the other women living in that area? At that time, the women with long hair kept it pulled back and pinned. With farm work, fingernails had to be kept short.
Hmm . . . I’m not saying it was a ghost. But it does make a good ghost story!