Whew, Doggies

I am so relieved to have that grouchy cat back that it’s about all I can think about. That and the shape of the Couchville ghost story. It’s hard, this late into things, to come up with ghost stories that don’t feel repetitive to me. But I guess I can only imagine so many reasons people would haunt places.

You know what’s weird? In 1918, Nashville was home to one of the worst train disasters in U.S. history. Over a hundred people were killed. They estimate that over 50,000 people came to look at the wreck on the day it happened, as rescues were going on. And, for context, in 1920, Nashville had just over 100,000 people in it. Now, certainly, some of the folks who came were from surrounding communities, but those surrounding communities were not that big. So, basically, we’re talking that somewhere between a third and a half of the population of the area came to see that wreck on the day it happened.

But I’ve never heard, nor have I found online, any instance of there being ghost stories surrounding that wreck.

It makes me wonder what the mechanism for something becoming a ghost story is. I find it hard to believe that there’s not been one strange occurrence in the whole White Bridge area, no doors opening for seemingly no reason. No cats staring weirdly at nothing. No voices mumbling in an empty room, even? And, when that ordinary, inexplicable stuff happens, no one at all connects it with the tragedy of historic proportions?

I find that strange.

8 thoughts on “Whew, Doggies

  1. That train wreck — I noticed that sign last week when I was driving your way – as I crossed that bridge on White Bridge Road prior to getting to the Target. I’ve always wanted to stop and read it. We’re on the same wavelength or something…

  2. Huh. I thought I’d told you about those red streaks on my dining room wall. No, seriously. When I painted the dining room yellow (it was previously dark blue), I painted on a layer of Kilz, then the yellow paint and as it was drying, these red streaks appeared on one wall. They look like what would happen if someone had blood on their hand and wiped it off on the wall. I painted over it again and put a mirror up over it. I don’t think they returned, though.

  3. There was a pretty big wreck south of Ridgetop in the late 1800s/early 1900s. Messy, but not many lives lost, thankfully. They redid the dangerous grade when they built Ridgetop Tunnel.

  4. You know, I have been thinking and thinking about this. And we have so many train (and truck) wreck stories and songs, and almost no ghost stories attached to them. I wonder whether it’s because of the technology involved — maybe we don’t mentally attach ghosts to machinery in the same way we do to open spaces, or buildings.

  5. The Chapel Hill, TN Lights are attributed to a train or someone walking near the tracks. But really, with the exception of Lincoln’s funeral train, I can’t think of a whole lot of ghostly trains.

    Here’s what I wonder–I wonder if part of being haunted is being some place, being fixed to something. And maybe we experience our time in trucks and trains and cars as transitory, as kind of liminal spaces already?

    If a haunting takes an ordinary space and makes it liminal, maybe it’s hard for us to imagine vehicles as ordinary? They’re already neither here nor there. Trying to make them moreso would be difficult.

    Plus, how much “haunted” crap would you put up with in a vehicle before it became a safety issue?

    But, weirdly enough, there are a lot of haunted ships, so who knows?

  6. I was so thrilled to see on Twitter that the orange cat made his way home (if he was indeed somewhere else lol).

    Is the Tiny Cat the only one in your house that’s not just totally in love with The Butcher? Or is she too? ‘Cos it sure does seem like all the rest of your animals are just nuts about him, I just don’t recall any particular Tiny Cat & Butcher stories.

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