This is a true story. It is Rose Hancock Kemp’s story and I am only retelling it here. The words below are hers and any first person references in the story refer to Rose as the story teller.
My sister Joyce and her husband Bill bought a dairy farm in Cedartown, Georgia in the late sixties. It was a beautiful place and my sister loved entertaining me and my girls whenever we visited.
She had a dancing goose named Heathcliff that would dance atop a stone wall as the girls clapped their hands and there were no “bahs” from Ophelia the lamb when Joyce went out to see her. Ophelia would greet her with “Joooyyyice.” Joyce could even drive the girls from Georgia to Alabama in less than two minutes by taking them straight across a big pasture in her little open topped sports car.
The farmhouse was once a train depot during the civil war with one area serving as sleeping quarters for overnight passengers. There was a dark, damp cellar and there was also a second floor that consisted of two unfurnished bedrooms.
Strange happenings occurred in the house from time to time. Joyce was frightened by the slamming of one of the heavy wooden doors once when she was vacuuming upstairs. Bill convinced her that drafts in older buildings can sometimes cause heavy doors to slam.
One thing Bill could not explain away was Joyce’s ashtray sliding across a coffee table of its own volition. Bill asked her if she saw the ashtray moving across the table. She replied, ‘Yes I did,’ then she returned the ashtray to its original place whereupon it again slid back across the table by itself. He wanted her to try it again but Joyce was totally spooked and refused to touch the ashtray again.
Even more bizarre was a wooden statue of a warrior holding a long spear on the living room mantle. The spear was firmly attached to the statue but one day while Joyce was vacuuming the living room, the spear dislodged itself and flew across the room. She replaced the spear and began dusting when the spear once again flew across the room. On telling the story later to her sister-in-law while sitting in the same room, the spear repeated the performance once more. Apparently the telling of the story or the sound of the vacuum cleaner were not occurrences the ghost welcomed.
Once while visiting Joyce and Bill, I personally felt the presence of somebody or something in my bedroom.Whatever it was woke me and as I eventually drifted back to sleep I was awakened again by the crash of balls downstairs on the pool table. On investigating the sound of the balls striking together we found they were still moving back and forth across the table with no visible signs of how they had been set into motion. Joyce shared with me that she had experienced the same weird phenomena several times.
Once when we were visiting, the children played with empty storage boxes in the two unfurnished upstairs rooms. They had built their own little town with the empty boxes and upon being told it was time for bed, they asked if they could leave the boxes untouched so they could resume their play the next day. The next morning they returned from upstairs very agitated and upset because the boxes were no longer in the bedrooms but neatly stacked in the upstairs hallway.
One evening Joyce and Bill retired early. Joyce awoke to see the figure of a woman from the waist up. She was wearing a dark veil and motioning for Joyce to follow her. Joyce woke Bill but he convinced her she was having a bad dream. Later she woke again to the sound of music playing, people talking, dancing, laughing and the unmistakable clinking of glasses. She woke Bill again but he told her she probably was hearing squirrels in the attic. She reminded Bill there was no attic over that part of the house.
Joyce left Bill alone when she visited Albany. Being alone made a true believer of him. Bill was by himself in bed one night when he had the frightening experience of seeing the bed sheet over his legs begin to swirl violently as if a tiny tornado were circling him under the sheet. Bill’s feelings about the house being haunted changed drastically after this whirlwind experience occurred.
I asked a friend if she would help me pose questions to a Oujia board about the frantic goings on around Pryor Station Farm. My friend reluctantly agreed to help me and although we were kind of shaky when we began, we did manage to learn from the board that the ghost was a woman who was killed during a forcible rape in the cellar of the old farmhouse. When we asked for the woman’s name, the answer came back, “Dora.”
There was an old family cemetery on the property with an iron fence around it. One of the tombstones was missing. Bill was cleaning an outbuilding on the property one day when Joyce decided to visit him. As she stepped up into the outbuilding she realized she was standing on the missing tombstone ans using it as a stepping stone. She asked Bill to return the tombstone to its rightful place in the cemetery. When Bill took the stone and cleaned it up to return it to the grave site in the cemetery he saw, for the first time, that the name on the stone was, “Dora.”
Returning the tombstone back to its rightful place did not bring the strange happenings to a halt as you might think. Different odd events continued to happen until one day when Joyce had firmly decided she could take no more ghostly interference in her life she screamed out, “Go, get out of here and leave me the hell alone.”
That’s when it all stopped. We never could decide if we liked it more with the ghosts or without them. To tell the truth, it was never quite as exciting at Pryor Station Farm after that.
Please direct comments to Rose Hancock Kemp on Facebook or on the FaceBook Group, “Vintage Albany.”