The Swamp Road Chronicles



Swamp Road Sally People,

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the reports on your website. I have a story to share too. Many, many years ago, when I was in the fifth grade, I had a friend named 'Billy'. Billy and I were great friends and spent a lot of time roaming the fields and woods around the Kirkersville area. We would leave home in the morning on our bikes and be gone all day. We explored the countryside and knew that part of Licking County pretty well for a couple of little kids.


We were always on the lookout for something interesting to look at or investigate. Well, you know about the curious cat. One day we were going by St Jacob's Cemetery on Palmer Road. Billy saw a groundhog run down into his hole and he said, "Let's see if we can get him out!"


This groundhog's hole was about 6 feet off the road and it went into the embankment that stood just before the iron fence surrounding the cemetery. I asked Billy, "How we gonna get him out?" I was all for it, but didn't know how to do it. "Find me a stick," he said. There was a stand of trees to the right of the graveyard and I ran over there and found a good, straight, long limb laying on the ground. "That's perfect," he said, and taking it from me, he thrust it deeply into the groundhog's living room.


Billy said that he could feel something pushing against the stick at first, but the groundhog must have moved deeper into its tunnel. I went for a longer stick, and returned with it quickly. It was twice as long as the first stick and should get the job done, I thought.


Billy stuck that pole in as far as he could, we heard that groundhog make a loud squeal, but he didn't come out. I know what you are thinking: boys can be pretty cruel and thoughtless. "Twist it," I told him, "Maybe you can snag him," and he did. After twisting the stick several turns he pulled back on the stick and he felt some resistance. "I think I've got him!" Billy pulled that stick out slowly and with some effort. As the end of the stick emerged from that hole we saw it was covered with long, black hair. Very black and very long. I was confused, I have never seen a black groundhog and I have never seen one with long fur either.


We stared at each other for a moment and then we both stood up and looked through the iron fence into the graveyard and right there, just about where our stick would have reached, was an old, old gravestone with the name 'Belle Miller'. We had stuck our pole into a grave and had pulled out hair off of the head of a lady who had been dead for a hundred years! We were horrified and terrified all at the same time. You never saw two kids peddle bikes down a country road the way we did. We stayed away from there for a couple of years. After all of this time, the memory of that long, black hair still makes me want to vomit.


As submitted by Mage Trainer, 5-6-2023 Carlisle, Texas


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