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The High School Dance

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True Ghost Experiences from Everyday People

I just got notified that my high school reunion is coming up. Wow, does that bring back memories. In my reminiscent state of mind, my thoughts turn back to high school events. Flashes of sporting events from baseball to football fill my head. One particular school event comes to flooding back, something that I haven’t thought of in years – The Dance.

I remember the night like it was yesterday. I was dating this girl – who had nice legs and looked really good in a mini skirt. We were going to go to the school dance together. I was getting ready and running a tad bit late as usual. I didn’t want to get to the dance too early. The high school was on the outskirts of town and located on the opposite side. Drive time was about fifteen to twenty minutes depending on how much of a rush I was in. I had to pick up my date, visit with her family and play the polite boyfriend role. Then head my way to the high school. The city that I lived in wasn’t that big nor was it too small. The city or town has a history that dates back to the mid 1800’s. The surrounding land provides a very different history that dates back to the El Camino Real, when the Spanish missions sprinkled the land of the golden coast (roughly the late 1700’s).

One thing about living on coastal land is getting used to driving in the fog. That night was a foggy night. I picked up my girlfriend at her house. I found out that there was a change of plans. Her sister and her boyfriend needed a ride to the dance and the plan was that they were coming with us. The two of us waited and waited for the other couple to get ready so we could make our way to the dance. We get a yell from upstairs saying they were not ready yet. It was decided that we were to get on our merry way without them. Much to my relief, they were going to get a ride with someone else. I was trying to figure out how all four of us were going to stuff ourselves in my little tiny Volkswagen Bug. Since we found ourselves running later than I had planned, I decided to take the back roads to the school. Even though it is considered the back way, it is a bit faster when traffic to the high school is heavy. The route takes us through the older agricultural part of the town, and the longest road runs parallel to the railroad tracks.

I am at the wheel of the Volkswagen and sitting still at a red traffic light preparing for my right hand turn. I can see a short distance down the street in the fog. I make my right hand turn and my headlights dance through the fog. I notice something on the left side of the road, a strange light in the fog. The strange part of it was that it wasn’t really where a car should be, and it wasn’t really in the ditch next to the railroad tracks. My mind starting racing, what was it? I continued to drive approaching the strange light. It turned into almost a soft glow as I got closer. The glow also appeared to shift color in the fog. Suddenly, I felt a vibration through floorboards of the bug. I quickly scanned the gauges, everything was in order. I looked up in the vicinity of the glow and saw a young lady walking the railroad tracks. She looked rather despondent and almost lost. She was dressed in a veil wispy like long white dress, but something was different about the dress. I turned and looked at my date. My date looked me right at me and said “you shouldn’t be looking at any other girls”. In a second we passed the young girl on the tracks. We saw another light in the fog, again on the rail road tracks. This one was brighter and higher. I recognized it for what it was right away. It was a train! I immediately turned around and to try to locate the walking girl on the tracks. I knew that an accident was about to happen, and I should try to assist. I couldn’t find the girl anywhere. She was just right there! I drove very slowly up and down the vicinity of where she should have been. I never saw the girl again, she just disappeared. The train passed on the tracks without incident.

My date pestered me about wasting so much time and trying to find the girl that I should not have been looking at in the first place. We arrived at the dance and my date told her friends about the girl on the tracks that I was “checking out”. All her friends gasped and the guys in the group seemed genuinely interested and encouraged me to tell them of the experience. The whole entire group agreed that we had witnessed the Lady on the Tracks. I had not heard of the local legend so they filled me in.

On the very same night back in the days of horse and carriages the residents of the area held a dance (roughly the 1870’s). A young woman was to meet up with a man that she loved at the dance. For whatever reason, the two did not meet up that night. Fearing that she had lost her love to another she began to feel depressed. She left the dance and walked the fifteen miles home. For ease of walking she used the railroad tracks as a path. A train came and she decided not to move. The story is one of suicide and the classic loss of romance.

Apparently, every year or so other people see the apparition and feel the ghost train rumbling down the track. I am not the only one to see the apparition, stories have been told through the years about people and dogs that have supposedly witnessed the lady on the tracks and have lost their lives to a real train while trying to help glowing lady. Strange events have occurred on that stretch of road near those train tracks. My younger sister grew up in that city – she lived there through out her school years, even got married there. She knew motorcycle riders who lost their lives on those very same tracks. Some blame the fog, others blame the legend.

I haven’t yet decided if I want to attend my high school reunion. Maybe I will. Maybe I should revisit the railroad tracks. Then again maybe I won’t.