25. Adelicia Acklen

It works best if you have two young, suggestible pre-teen girls in your back seat.  You take them to Bobby’s Dairy Dip and then start filling their heads with ghost stories about Adelicia Acklen.  It doesn’t matter which stories you choose to tell.

Start with the ones about how greedy she was and so she never left her home because she couldn’t bear to be without her things.  Go on to the ones about how she sold her soul to the Devil in exchange for prosperity, even in the darkest days of war and reconstruction, and so is doomed to walk the land.

Or tell them about her grief for her dead children and how she cannot bear to leave them behind.

Just tell those stories as you drive across town towards Mount Olivet Cemetery.  As you’re pulling up the long drive, be sure to tell them how people have seen her figure around her mausoleum.  And yes, you’re going to have to explain what a mausoleum is.

But it will be worth it, when you pull up in front of the Acklen mausoleum and you dare them to go take a peek in and you make like you’re going with them, but you hang back.

They walk towards the door, the closer they get, the slower they go.  Slower and slower until finally, they are pushing each other and daring each other to look in.

And they do.

And they will see the figure and they will scream.

And you’re laughing, because you know it’s just a statue, a marble angel.

But when you hear the laughter of another woman, and you look around and see there’s no one there but you, then, maybe you’re the one who’s screaming next.

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