Beware! Tomorrow night is All-hallows Eve. It is a time when the ancient Celts believed that ghosts returned to the Earth for one night.

It is a time when a clumsy but innocent school teacher, who went by the name of Ichabod Crane, mysteriously disappeared from the village of Sleepy Hollow after an encounter with the dreaded Headless Horseman, a specter reputed to be a Hessian soldier who was killed in a nearby Revolutionary War battle and who restlessly and ruefully roamed that area of the upper Hudson River in remorse and despair seeking his homeland.

And, there are the unexplained apparitions that take place in and around the Village Inn on Main Street in Morgantown. There was the time back in the mid-1800s when a carriage outside the inn was struck by lightning and overturned on the hapless couple who were its occupants. The ghostly couple has since been seen entering the inn.

On occasion, a person can be seen looking out a window on the inn's second floor. Curiously enough, no one ever much goes up to the second floor.

Well, the ol' one and his special someone have had their own slight encounters with the "Lady of the Lilacs." The farmhouse on the property where Sonny, the wisest American Quarter Horse, and Willow, the craftiest burro on four feet, are boarded is haunted. The owner has said that the silhouette of a woman occasionally appears in their master bedroom and calls out his name. While the specter visits, the telltale smell of lilacs pervades the room.

The woman who had once owned the farm had let lilac bushes grow practically wild around the house. When Jim and Patty moved in a few years ago, Jim removed the bushes. It is the ghost of the former owner!

One evening, the special someone was busy grooming "the girls." For no apparent reason, Sonny and our late Katie raised their heads, brought their ears to attention, and stared into the night just outside the barn door. The special someone turned to see what had caught their fancy, but all she noticed was the scent of lilacs. Evidently, Sonny and Katie saw something the special someone had not.

Then on another evening, the ol' one was tending to chores at the barn. He had turned Sonny and Willow out for the night, and was busy mucking the stalls. While it wasn't a strong scent, a slight fragrance of lilac filled the air.

On a night this past summer, while his special someone was out in Montana on business, the ol' one was official ranch foreman for a week. He had gotten Sonny and Willow fed, groomed, and turned out for the night. Will had to be kept in the small yard between the main gate and the barn in order to control his intake of grass. The little guy was dealing with a bit of a gastric problem at the time, demanding utmost caution in grazing habits.

The ol' one had noticed that Sonny and Will had literally put their noses together through the main gate as he made ready to leave for the night.

When the ol' one arrived the next morning for breakfast, Will was up in the main pasture with Sonny. There were no breaks in the fence, and then the ol' one noticed an amazing thing.

Somehow, Sonny and Will had managed to lift the rather wide and bulky main gate off its hinges and somehow, had neatly pushed it open so that it was standing perfectly straight about ten feet or so into the pasture - or had they?

How in the world did this happen? Of course, the two suspects weren't talking. Upon closer investigation, the ol' one discovered that the heavy chain used to lock the gate had not been touched! It was still securely wrapped around one end of the gate.

Hmmm...

If somebody wanted Beware! Tomorrow night is All-hallows Eve. It is a time when the ancient Celts believed that ghosts returned to the Earth for one night.

It is a time when a clumsy but innocent school teacher, who went by the name of Ichabod Crane, mysteriously disappeared from the village of Sleepy Hollow after an encounter with the dreaded Headless Horseman, a specter reputed to be a Hessian soldier who was killed in a nearby Revolutionary War battle and who restlessly and ruefully roamed that area of the upper Hudson River in remorse and despair seeking his homeland.

And, there are the unexplained apparitions that take place in and around the Village Inn on Main Street in Morgantown. There was the time back in the mid-1800s when a carriage outside the inn was struck by lightning and overturned on the hapless couple who were its occupants. The ghostly couple has since been seen entering the inn.

On occasion, a person can be seen looking out a window on the inn's second floor. Curiously enough, no one ever much goes up to the second floor.

Well, the ol' one and his special someone have had their own slight encounters with the "Lady of the Lilacs." The farmhouse on the property where Sonny, the wisest American Quarter Horse, and Willow, the craftiest burro on four feet, are boarded is haunted. The owner has said that the silhouette of a woman occasionally appears in their master bedroom and calls out his name. While the specter visits, the telltale smell of lilacs pervades the room.

The woman who had once owned the farm had let lilac bushes grow practically wild around the house. When Jim and Patty moved in a few years ago, Jim removed the bushes. It is the ghost of the former owner!

One evening, the special someone was busy grooming "the girls." For no apparent reason, Sonny and our late Katie raised their heads, brought their ears to attention, and stared into the night just outside the barn door. The special someone turned to see what had caught their fancy, but all she noticed was the scent of lilacs. Evidently, Sonny and Katie saw something the special someone had not.

Then on another evening, the ol' one was tending to chores at the barn. He had turned Sonny and Willow out for the night, and was busy mucking the stalls. While it wasn't a strong scent, a slight fragrance of lilac filled the air.

On a night this past summer, while his special someone was out in Montana on business, the ol' one was official ranch foreman for a week. He had gotten Sonny and Willow fed, groomed, and turned out for the night. Will had to be kept in the small yard between the main gate and the barn in order to control his intake of grass. The little guy was dealing with a bit of a gastric problem at the time, demanding utmost caution in grazing habits.

The ol' one had noticed that Sonny and Will had literally put their noses together through the main gate as he made ready to leave for the night.

When the ol' one arrived the next morning for breakfast, Will was up in the main pasture with Sonny. There were no breaks in the fence, and then the ol' one noticed an amazing thing.

Somehow, Sonny and Will had managed to lift the rather wide and bulky main gate off its hinges and somehow, had neatly pushed it open so that it was standing perfectly straight about ten feet or so into the pasture - or had they?

How in the world did this happen? Of course, the two suspects weren't talking. Upon closer investigation, the ol' one discovered that the heavy chain used to lock the gate had not been touched! It was still securely wrapped around one end of the gate.

Hmmm...

If somebody wanted to play a prank, they would probably have opted to undo the chain and let the gate swing open, saving a lot of grunting and heaving... if that somebody were, indeed, human.

No, there was no scent of lilac in the vicinity, but perhaps the Lady of the Lilacs wanted to have some fun with Sonny and Will, while befuddling the ol' one.

To this day, even after a few pots o' joe, the mystery remains unsolved, and the ol' one was not looking to get scared.

In keeping with the season, the ol' one invites you to take a read of Washington Irving's classic, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." If you want a bit more of a scare, there's always the fabulous Walt Disney animated feature (on DVD), "Fantasia" with a soundtrack recorded by Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra. The eight-minute segment, "Night on Bald Mountain," should be enough to put a fright into anyone.

Wait! Is that the aroma of a pot o' joe brewing or is it... the scent of lilacs? What was that sound coming from the porch? Whew! It was just the wind causing the rocker to move... or was it?

Time to settle back with a cup o' joe, and listen to "The Music of the Night..."

Ol' Morgan rails about life from the porch four times a month. Contact him at olmorganonporch@yahoo.com.

comments powered by Disqus