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Sunday, August 29, 2010

North Carolina 'Ghost Train' Investigator Killed by Train

According to legend, every year on August 27th, anyone near the Bostian Bridge by Statesville, North Carolina, will hear the screaming wheels and screaming passengers of a phantom train that crashed nearly 120 years ago, killing nearly 30. Eyewitnesses say the visage of a uniformed man with a gold fob sometimes presages the event.

And so it was that, on the 119th anniversary of the vicious train wreck which occurred in 1891, that several self-styled ghost hunters from around the country were gathered to witness the "ghost train." Unfortunately, as they were investigating the bridge, a real train was headed their way.

Of the dozen investigators, 10 of them made it safely off the bridge; one plummeted to the water below and was injured, but the other was struck by the train and killed. 29-year-old Christopher Kaiser pushed the other investigator, whose condition remains unknown, to safety before he was hit by the train. The train was traveling at the proper speed, and the engineer blew the horn and tried to brake, but there was little he could do.

Over the years, reports of railroad crossing arms dropping without cause have occasionally surfaced, but only one person claims to have experienced the phantasmagorical event. This was in 1991, on the 50th anniversary of the wreck.

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

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