Twice a week I lead a Ghost and History walk on the island. It has taken several summers of research for this project. I have read many books and listened to "the ole' folks talk" as they would say.
We gather at 7:30 with flashlights and cameras (and bug spray). I have a great pirate dress with shawl and a necklace of seashells. We begin our journey rather historically...island history, island geography. By the time we reach the water's edge and the darkness begins to descend upon us the stories become ghostly in nature. We then head back into the village for the cemetery stories as flashlights become necessary and folks hold on to each other because of the inky darkness and Ghosts, of course.
Last night a storm began to brew in the ocean...the thunder was rumbling across the water, but often the storm skirts around this tiny island and heads back out to sea. However, this night was different...I began to count the seconds between lightning and thunder, just as I had been taught in elementary school. I knew we didn't have long, yet several stories yet to tell. I walked and talked a little faster. The bolts were more jagged and closer...the wind picked up...the parents picked up their children...but still they wanted the stories. In the middle of my last ghostly tale the rain came in torrents, we all fled for cars and porches (those who had come on foot or bike) to wait out the storm.
Needless to say, last nights tour will not soon be forgotten!
Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories