Urban Legend

Part I

I think we all have witnessed odd things that can’t be explained. I’m not talking about mistaking a blimp for a UFO type odd. I’m talking about chill you to your core because nobody will believe it even if you caught it on camera, type odd. Have you ever felt like you were being watched when no one was there? Ever had a random vision and moments later that vision comes true? Ever see something so frightening that you question your sanity of it actually being there? I have. And apparently, so have other members of my family. I thought it would be fun in the spirit of Halloween if I tell you my family’s urban legends I was told growing up.

The very first story I heard about the paranormal was when I was seven. My brother told me about my grandma and her sisters seeing figures hanging from trees while they were working as sharecroppers. Legend has it (meaning my brother told me) that when my grandmother and her siblings were young (I’m guessing around the late 1920s) they would get up early in the morning and work the fields. Briefly, after waking up, they saw what they believed to be the figure of a man hanging from a tree. As one of them walked closer, they were shocked to find out IT WAS A MAN HANGING FROM THE TREE. Terrified, the sisters grabbed their mother to show her their horrific discovery. When the sisters pointed out the hanging corpse to their mother, they were told, “Girls, stop with the foolishness and get back to work!” Perplexed, the girls screamed, “A man is hanging from that tree, you don’t see that man up there?!” My great-grandmother couldn’t see the corpse in the tree. I called bullshit on that story, and when I asked my mom about it, she said that story was true. My mother’s explanation for it was that back then, in the rural south, people’s sins manifested themselves in real life. I think it was some biblical story about a parents sins being passed down as a burden to their children. That thought has haunted me, and I still think about it daily as to which sins will manifest into my reality or which ones I will pass down to burden my children.

This story is just one of the many urban legends that have circulated throughout my family. It gives me chills to think about what those young girls had to witness as they screamed in horror and nobody believed them. What would people see if their sins manifested into their real life? I have so many questions about that story that I will never get answered because all involved are now deceased. Over the years, my family has come in contact with the paranormal. I have personally seen orbs, figures, heard footsteps when no one was there. I used to think my family was cursed or had ties to the occult. It was normal for us to have real life ghost stories at every holiday gathering. Does your family talk about hanging dead corpses at the dinner table? Stand by for next week’s #PoundTake when we revisit more urban legends from beyond the grave.

Happy Swalloween!