The story goes like this. Late one night, the Anderson family was returning to their home in San Antonio.
They'd been on a three-week vacation driving all over the western US. It was now 3:00 AM. The kids Jessica and sky were sleeping back. Their mom Sarah snuggled in her blanket up front. Their dad Paul was driving, he was exhausted, they were only five miles from home when the car stalled on a railroad crossing. Dead silence.
Dad tried to start the car and nothing. He figured he had flooded it and waited patiently until around the bend just a mile away came a freight train. Its roving light pierced through the fog and lit it up like a big silver bubble. Paul could feel the vibrations of the track beneath him.
He frantically pumped the accelerator pedal but nothing. He shook his wife awake and she looked terrified as the red crossing lights came to life and the train horn began to wail. He said to her, no time to get everyone out, we gotta push. So he popped it in neutral and at that moment the car lurched forward and picked up just enough speed to roll clear the track as the 300 tons of train thundered by.
Paul said must have been on a hill without realizing it the car started up right away then and they drove home Sarah took the kids inside. And Paul was about to get the luggage when his neighbor, a police detective, about to go on the early shift came over and welcomed him home.
Paul told him of how his family had almost been vaporized by the train and how we assume the crossing was not level because they had rolled clear. The detective said no I think you were saved by the ghost children.
Come on you're a cop you don't believe in stuff like that. The detective pop the trunk on his Crown Vic and pulled out his dusting kit. He went over to the back of Paul's car and he sprinkled a white powder across the curve of the trunk. Then he shined his Maglite on the powder as clear as day you could see 10 little handprints outlined by the dust. Paul nearly fainted. The detective said Yep you were saved by the ghost children all right.
You see, many years ago a busload of kids was hit by a train on that very spot. I worked the tragedy myself. Five kids died. The streets around there are named for the kids Billy Allen, Cindy Sue, Nancy Carole, Richey Otis, and Laura Lee. They haunt that crossing to spare people horrible fate they suffered. They're doing God’s work. Well that's the story.
Some reject the idea the ghost kids 'cause they say cars roll off the tracks on their own because there's a steep slope there invisible to the naked eye. Well, I think that it is no fun to go to a haunted house with a ghost atheist so I prefer to believe in the goodness of the ghost kids.
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Stories From Texas, UTRGV Digital Library, The University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley. Accessed via https://scholarworks.utrgv.edu/storiesfromtexas/
© 2018 William F. Strong. Uploaded with permission of copyright holder.