Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Bleeding Woman
(A Ghost Story)

             "In September of 1916 at what was known as the old Riddick place, in the Woodard area of Bertie County, a young wife and mother, Sally Sallie  Mountain White, was going about her afternoon chores. She was preparing supper for herself, her husband L. T. White, and their young son who was just starting to walk. As she took a pan of biscuits out of the oven, she could hear her husband chopping wood by the wood shed behind the house. She left the kitchen and went outside to let him know that supper was almost ready.
            "No one knows what made L. T. angry enough to strike his wife with axe but that is exactly what he did. He struck her hard enough to inflict serious injury. Somehow, Sallie managed to get away from him. She grabbed their young son and ran in an attempt to save herself and the child. L. T. ran in a different direction to try and cut her off before she could reach her brother-in-law, John Thomas Smithwick who lived a short distance away. John Thomas, also known as Captain Jack, had married Sallie's oldest sister one year before their mother had passed away. He had assumed the position as head of the family following the death of the four Mountain sisters' mother. Their father had died when they were all children. Captain Jack had been more of a father than brother-in-law to Sally and her sisters. Sally knew if she could make it to Capt. Jack he would protect her.

            "It is not clear how long Sally was able to elude her husband. However, he did find her. He could have easily been led to them and by the crying of his child for he had not had supper and it was getting well past his bedtime. What happened next was known only by Sallie and the old L. T. Sallie did not survive the nightmare to tell anyone. Hyone. He placed her and their uninjured son inside the house where he left them. He then departed the area never again to be seen. Before leaving he placed a plate of biscuits on the floor so his child would not go hungry.

            "The next day Capt. Jack noticed no activity at Sallie's house. There was no smoke coming from the chimney created by the wood stove on which she would have cooked breakfast for her young family. Maybe he suspected that things were not going well  between Sally and L. T. He decided to go to their house to see if everything was as it should be. He opened the door to something so horrible he became physically ill. His young sister-in-law lay on the floor, his nephew sat at her side in a large pool of blood. The child had blood all over himself, his bloody little handprints were all over the floor in the area where his mother lay.

            "Sallie's family took the child and raised him. As a young man he was killed in a car crash. At his funeral, an old man wearing a trench coat, with the collar turned up, and a hat pulled down over his eyes appeared. He looked at the young man laying in the casket, he then made a quick getaway before anyone could find out who he was.

            "L. T. White was never caught and punished for his dreadful crime.

            "As the years passed, Sallie's murder faded into a distant memory, and was eventually forgotten. In the fall of 2004 a young deer hunter had been hunting in the Woodward area. It was not yet dark nor was it daylight. As he exited his deer stand, h heard a woman screaming for help. The screams were coming from a field near him; however, his view was blocked by a thin strip of woods. He could tell that something was terribly wrong as the screams continued. The young man got on his four wheeler and made his way to an opening where he could see a young woman running about midway a cut corn field. As he approached her he could see that she was about 5 foot 7, with blond hair, carrying a young child in her arms. She had a very bad cut near her neck, and her clothes were soaked with blood. He asked if he could help her. She screamed at him to get away from her. The young man became very frightened. He got on his four wheeler and headed home to tell his mother what he had witnessed. His mother called the Sheriff's Department immediately.

             "The Sheriff's Department, along with a K-9 unit, the N. C. Highway Patrol helicopter equipped with a thermal imaging unit, and the Bertie County Search Team did a thorough search of the area. No trace of the woman was to be found. It was as if she had vanished into thin air. The young man was questioned numerous times. His story never wavered.

            "Did the young man see the ghost of Sallie? … "

Source: "The Bleeding Woman (A Ghost Story)" by Linda Bynum Smithwick:" Bertie County: North Carolina Heritage; 1722-2010: Pages 37-38

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