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Weekly Column by Andy Grieser
Column by Andy Grieser

October 25, 2002

Gather round, friends. Pull a chair next to the fire. The air outside is chilly and damp, perfect for telling a ghost story. This one, though, really happened.

The place was Log Cabin Village in Fort Worth. The main cabin, Foster Cabin, has a history of haunts. The upper floor was closed to everyone but docents because folks kept breaking limbs while fleeing down the steep staircase. Many docents saw a female figure in a white top and black skirt, which matched a picture of Jane Holt. Jane was a nanny for Mr. Foster and his son; she appeared on one census with the Fosters and not on the next (10 years later).

On the night of the hunt, 20 of us arrived and were split into groups of four. Each group stayed in a separate cabin (the village is fairly large) with groups rotating to the Foster Cabin's upper floor every hour. My group got midnight. Of course.

The upper floor of Foster is a rectangle divided into thirds. Each end was a bedroom, and the middle has a large balcony exit and the stairs down. The openings between the thirds are larger and, well, open, so it's easy to see from one end of the upper floor to the other. Also, at the start of every hunt the "hunters" scoured each location for hidden people, prankish stuff, etc. Don't want any (human) surprises.

So, it was midnight. My group (myself, two girls and a truly strange man whose name I forget) was split, with one pair at each end of the rectangle. At around 12:30, my flashlight started to die. Next thing I know -- and I truly don't remember anything in between -- I was out on the balcony. The girl on my end, seeing me jump up and run out, chose to follow.

At the same time, someone peered around the side of the face of the girl on the other end. But her flashlight was trained forward, so she could clearly see the other three of us in front of her. So, she screamed and ran out. Eugene (remembered his name) practically orgasmed. He started calling for Jane and asking her questions like "If you're an angel, does it burn to touch your halo?"

Meanwhile, I got the girls (and myself) calmed on the balcony and gave them a plan: We'd dash through the center of the upper floor to the staircase and leave the cabin. Good plan, except when the girls tried to get through the wide-open doorway, they couldn't. They felt a pressure "like a strong wind" pushing them back, and smelled lilacs. (Which every docent who saw Jane also smelled during the encounter.) They screamed and ran past me back onto the balcony.

Hearing all the screams and running, other hunters came storming up the stairs, which I guess ended whatever was happening. We were taken downstairs and the next group came in early. Various other smaller stuff happened throughout the night, but nothing else quite as spectacular.

Was it Jane? I like to think so. Something was in that attic, that’s for sure. Someday, I plan to go back and see if it’s still there.


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