Photo gallery: Troutman library serves up ghost stories and treats
BY DEBBIE PAGE
Storyteller Sylvia Payne presented her program, "Story Traditions: Ghost Tales of the Carolinas," to a rapt audience on Monday afternoon to kick off some early Halloween festivities at the Troutman library.
Payne, who began storytelling as part of her duties as a librarian in 1976, shared an eerie Iredell County ghost story about a train which plunged off Bostian Bridge on August 27, 1891, in the early morning hours. The wreck killed 23 people.
A musician was able to escape the wreck with another man and crawl the 60 feet out of the pitch black ravine to get help. More than 2,000 community members came to aid the rescue efforts, and many housed victims in their homes.
One of the dead was baggage master H.K. Linster, a railroad employee of over 30 years who proudly displayed the gold watch, given to him by the railroad for his faithful years of service. To this day, some still claim to see the smiling and uniformed Linster walking the tracks, consulting his watch..
Her other stories included one about a couple investigating a swampy creek for a crying baby near Five Bridges Road in Sampson County. After an unsuccessful search, they stopped at a country store, whose owner told them of the baby lost in the swamp over 100 years ago after a horse and buggy accident.
“If you go out late at night around Halloween,” said Payne, “they say you will hear that crying, ghostly baby, sobbing his little eyes out.”
Payne also told a Wilmington-based story about a young man, Samuel, whose ghost appeared several times to his friend Alexander to complain he had been buried alive. After digging up his grave, friends found Samuel’s body face down and claw marks inside the coffin from his attempts to escape.
After the story time, kids crowded around the craft table to make Halloween treat bags for trick or treating as they left the library. The kids and teens also enjoyed making and eating ‘smores at the treat station, followed by a costume competition with prizes for best child, teen, and adult costumes.