Halloween approaches, and it is the perfect time to tell a ghost story.
We were camping in Yellowstone a few years ago (back when the federal government allowed that sort of thing) with several friends. We were in a campsite that had just been opened since the Grizzly mating season was finally over – which, by the way, is something you don’t want to get tangled up in. After a long day we sat by the campfire until people began hitting the sack.
A couple of us walked to the toilets, which were about 50 yards down the road. It was pitch black, our flashlights providing the only light. On our return walk, we noticed that a light fog had descended on the area. About halfway back we stopped dead in our tracks.
Emerging out of the mist was a ghost.
It wasn’t a BIG ghost, but it was walking night-of-the-living-dead-like right at us. It looked like this:
My biggest concern was that it would bite me and turn me into a zombie too, but my buddy had the presence of mind to notice it was a little girl.
She was wandering down the road in a nightgown, at night, in Yellowstone right after the Grizzly mating season.
Something wasn’t right.
We tried to talk to her, but she only mumbled responses. She seemed oblivious to her predicament. She just kept walking.
After enough questions she began to snap out her trance. She had been sleep walking!
We gathered a group of people, wrapped her in a blanket, and began walking around the large campground, hoping she would recognize a campsite or car. She finally did, then pointed out her family’s tent.
There are many things I regret in my life, and one of them toward the top of the list is what I said next. Leaning toward the tent flap, I said, “Mr. (Smith)? We have your daughter.”
In retrospect, I might have chosen a different phrase to start a conversation.
A very rattled father emerged from the tent and after a quick explanation, he thanked us and the family was reunited.
Then, just before they zipped up the tent flap, she bit him in the neck and he turned into a zombie.
(Most of it.)