Ghost story

Lincoln

 

On the right-of-way of the New York Central Railroad, track-walkers, sand-house men, “shacks” and section-hands used to tell this ghost story of Lincoln’s funeral train.  So said the Albany Evening Times:

“Regularly in the month of April, about midnight the air on the tracks becomes very keen and cutting.  On either side of the tacks it is still warm and still.  Every watchman, when he feels the air, slips off the track and sits down to watch.  Soon the pilot engine of Lincoln’s funeral train passes with long, black streamers and a band of black instruments playing dirges, grinning skeletons sitting all about.

“It passes noiselessly.  If it is moonlight, clouds come over the moon as the phantom train goes by.  After the pilot engine passes, the funeral train itself with flags and streamers rushes past.  The track seems covered with black carpet, and the coffin is seen in the center of the car, while all about it in the air and on the train behind are vast numbers of blue-coated men, some with coffins on their backs, others leaning upon them.

“If a real train were passing is noise would be hushed as if the phantom train rode over it.  Clocks and watches always stop as the phantom train goes by and when looked at are five to eight minutes behind.

“Everywhere on the road about April 27 watches and clocks are suddenly found to be behind.”

 

From “Myths After Lincoln” by Lloyd Lewis, 1949, pages 344-345 (first published in 1929 by Harcourt, Brace and Company).

Related Posts

It hates the federal The Tea Party has a point about religion and the founding fathers By Theo Hobson, Wednesday 31 August 2011 12.30 BST ... There's a presidential...
Israel was the main issue The Neocons Won By Gary Leupp, Weekend Edition March 29-31, 2013   Reading an assortment of commentaries (“retrospectives”) on the tenth a...
Six Points Important Considerations Regarding Homosexuality: Why Churches Should Welcome and Affirm Christian GLBTs By Bruce Lowe, 2011   “It terrifi...
U.S. officials denied at the time… WikiLeaks: Iraqi children in U.S. raid shot in head, U.N. says By Matthew Schofield | McClatchy Newspapers, Wednesday, August 31, 2011 ... A ...
Palestine was the factor For 10 years, we've lied to ourselves to avoid asking the one real question By Robert Fisk, Saturday, 3 September 2011 ... By their books, ye...
Willfully blind Dick Cheney: organ grinder to George Bush's monkey By Megan Carpentier, Tuesday 30 August 2011 18.30 BST ... On 31 March 1981, then Secretary o...
On a hill far away ...stood an old rugged cross, the emblem of suffering and shame. (from a hymn by George Bennard, 1873-1958) ... For at least the last two thousa...
Here at the altar of loneliness The Facebook Sonnet By Sherman Alexie, May 2011 Welcome to the endless high-school Reunion. Welcome to past friends And lovers, however kind or ...
Conservative solipsistic morality Teavangelicals: in capitalism and free markets they trust By Anthea Butler, Monday 15 August 2011 12.21 BST ... Charles Finney, the great 19t...
How such rhetoric performs Mr. Mileikowsky and the "seal of Netanyahu": the perilous encounter between modern nationalism and ancient history By Hussein Ibish, August 17, 201...

Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2014/10/12/ghost-story/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.