The number of hauntings involving tragic accidents that replay in ghostly form over and over again are high in North Carolina. The spirits of those who were wronged in life and now walk the earth trying to right those wrongs. Some are ghosts of people who made a terrible mistake and paid the ultimate price trying to undo the past. I’m not sure which of those this story falls into, so I’ll leave that up to you.
The paranormal phenomena known as ghost trains criss cross the entire country. This one is in a little town called Warsaw. One late November night in 1906 a man named Henry McCauley was walking his wife home from her job at the local hotel. Taking a short cut, they walked along a railroad track for a while when suddenly, a train whistle sounded behind them. Henry knew from the loudness of the sound the train was bearing down on them and they had little time to get off the track.
Henry rushed (almost threw) his wife off the track as he himself jumped to the ground. They spun around fully expecting to see a train rushing by. Up the track they could see the light and hear the roar of the locomotive. They waited for it to pass… only there was nothing there. It was the ghost train again.
The McCauley’s aren’t the only ones who’ve seen the train. It’s been making it’s ghostly rounds for many years. Some say it’s the result of a horrible accident many years ago involving father and son train engineers.
As the story goes a young girl was walking to her grandmothers house one cold November morning.
As she was walking along the track she heard the whistle from the ‘Shoo fly’ train and step off the tracks to let it pass by. As she watched in horror, the train derailed with a huge screeching sound like it was in pain. As it came to rest the passengers began to climb out of the cars and try to help those trapped inside. For several of them it was too late. The conductor, engineer and baggage master were among the dead.
What had caused the derailment was a freak accident. The night before the wreck, another train had stopped at a sawmill next to the track and had picked up several cars of lumber headed north. As the last car of lumber past, a piece of lumber opened a switch on the track. No one discovered this until after the shoo fly had met it’s end.
And the father and son? Perhaps the creepiest twist in the tale, the engineer killed in the wreck had a son who was the engineer on the lumber train who opened the switch. As far as I know, the ghost train of Warsaw still makes nightly trips.