The Headless Black Shadow

History, Mystery, and Hauntings of Southern IllinoisFrom History, Mystery, and Hauntings of Southern Illinois by Bruce Cline.

Southern Illinois has had its share of witches. Some witches were good, some were bad, and others were just plain scary. In the early 1800s, a young man was courting the daughter of a witch. The witch was not very fond of the young man or his intentions for her daughter. One evening as the young man went to fetch his date for the barn dance, he heard what sounded like a wild goose holler and the wind kicked up and blew off his hat. The man picked up his hat and saddled up his horse for the trip to pick up his date for the evening.

Later that night, as the young man took his date home, the lady invited him to stay the night or the devil might catch him on his ride back home. The young man said that he would take his chances with the devil. The lady asked him if he had heard a wild goose as he came to her house that evening. When he replied that he had indeed heard a wild goose, the lady said that “right there is where he will get you as you go back.”

On his way back home, the young man soon forgot about what his lady friend had told him. When he got near the spot where he heard the wild goose earlier, his horse stopped in the middle of the trail. The horse refused to go any further. The man looked toward a fence corner and noticed a headless black shadow that was tapping out a tune with its feet. This startled the horse who took off at a full gallop. The headless black shadow darted alongside of the horse and rider.

All of a sudden, the black shadow seemed to grow a mouth that was large enough to swallow the man. The black shadow chased the horse and rider all the way back to the young man’s barnlot. The frightened young man put his horse in the stable. He ran all the way to his house and told his family about what had happened. Everyone decided that they had better stay in the house for the rest of the night because they might see it too.

Copyright Bruce L. Cline, 2014. You do not have permission to copy this post.


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