As told by Dorothy Amling and Chris Woodyard in Haunted Ohio II[affiliate link]
This story gave me chills when I came across it, as I myself drive frequently late at night. It seems that in 1955 Dorothy’s brother was driving home one foggy evening in the fall. He arrived in a state of shock. His mother had been waiting up for him and noticed his distress, and asked him what was wrong. He then related the following tale.
It seems that he had been driving down Van Wagener Road just south of London, Ohio. Near a sharp bend in the road the young man saw the figure of a woman standing in the center of the roadway. She appeared to be in need of some help as she was waving her arms and crying. The boy slowed and came to a stop. The figure of the woman then drifted to the driver’s side of the boy’s vehicle. When she was a mere five feet away from the rolled down window, the boy noticed in horror that she was not walking, but appeared to be floating. She also was translucent, and he could see the terrain behind her. Then the transparent lady spoke!
“I need help, please help me.” the specter cried.
“What do you need?” the terrified boy replied. (How many of you would have just driven off at this point?)
“Help me , help me, I need help.” the woman kept repeating.
“What’s wrong?” the boy managed to ask.
The strange figure of the ethereal lady failed to answer the boy’s question. Finally overcome with fear of the ghost the boy gunned the engine and sped for home.
At first the young man’s family assumed that he had been drinking, but then came to the conclusion that he was telling the truth due to his shaken state. Finally after calming him down the mother convinced him to go with her back to the spot of his encounter. Arriving at the spot in the road which was only a mile and half from their house they were greeted by only silence. The place was deathly dark. Even the ramshackle house off the side of the road was dark and quiet. Then mother and son returned home.
The story does not end here though. It seems a few days later the boy’s father heard the following gossip from a local sheriff’s deputy. It seems that the darkened house near the boy’s encounter was not unoccupied. A man and his wife lived there. They were a quiet couple and kept pretty much to themselves. The husband had reported that his wife was missing just a couple of days after the boy’s encounter with the ghost. He claimed that he went to work in the fields on the day of the ghostly encounter, and when he returned his wife was gone. For some reason the man stated although he did not know were she was at, he was not alarmed until she had been gone for a few days, reasoning that he thought she would come back. A week passed before the local authorities decided to conduct a search of the man’s property. His poor wife was found dead at the bottom of the couples well dressed in her white nightgown. The local corner estimated she had been dead for 6 to 7 days. Although the husband was suspected of some foul play he was never charged.
Dorothy’s brother became convinced that he had encounter the poor woman’s ghost just minutes after her death. No realizing she was dead her spirit wandered to the road and headlights of his car seeking for someone to help her.
The location of this encounter is Madison County south of London, Ohio between State Routse 38 and 56. The name of Van Wagener has been shortened to just Wagener now, that is according to a map which the Madison County Sheriff has posted on their website. This is located at http://www.madisonsheriff.org/jg02.jpg for those of you that are interested in finding the site.
This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets’ site.