I love uncovering the stories that are embedded in the lives of our ancestors. This one comes from a history of the Webb family of White County, Tennessee written by Charles C. Webb. It involves Washington Webb (born 1813). He was the first cousin of my niece’s husband (6 times removed).
“Washington was not afraid of anything except ghosts. It seems that on most Saturday evenings, Washington would walk a few miles to visit with Wayman Webb. He would come after dark and would leave after midnight.
His grandchildren learned of his fear of ghosts. On one Saturday evening they took a white sheet and went down the road and scared him as he was passing by. The boys ran through the woods and were back in the house when Washington arrived out of breath. He began telling of how he could not get away from the ghost when the boys laughed. He knew what had happened and stated that the next time anyone tried to scare him that they would get bullets. The boys did not have the nerve to try the prank again.
Sometime later, Washington arrived on a Saturday evening and calmly stated that someone had tried to scare him and that they would find the body down the road in a fence row.
At first the boys were not impressed, then they decided to take a lantern and investigate. In a zig-zag rail fence on a neighbor’s farm, they found a white jersey cow with several bullet holes in her. She was only guilty of grazing in the moonlight and raising her head above the fence to look at Washington as he passed.
Washington paid for the cow, but no one ever tried to scare him after that.”
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