The other day I was thumbing through a collection titled North Carolina Legends by Richard Walser. These are cool books with brief descriptions of ghosts and other strange stories from the region. Some of the titles from this collection include: “Specter at the Gold Mine,” “Mystery Ship of Diamond Shoals,” “The Witch Bride,” and “The Evil Hunter of Purgatory Mountain.” You get the idea. You usually find these books at gift shops in tourist traps. The write-ups are brief enough to fire your imagination to create your own stories based on the original without weighing you down with too many details.
As I'm looking through, I come across a story titled “Girl at the Underpass.” Sounds like a ghost story. It is. A man on a lonely, rural road comes across a young girl in a formal dress. He stops. She tells him in a strange monotone voice that she's trying to get home. Her date to a dance had left her there. The man offers her a ride. When they reach her house, he opens the door for her to find no one in his car. Thinking she somehow slipped out, he inquires about her at the house. An old woman answers and tells him the girl is the ghost of her daughter who was killed in an automobile accident years ago.
If you're familiar with my story Highway 24, you know why I found the “Girl at the Underpass” so fascinating. The stories share the same premise: man comes across ghost-girl in a formal dress on a lonely, rural highway. Deliciously creepy, eh? Ever come across a story so similar to one of your own tales that it could have been the source?