GHOSTS OF THE PRAIRIE
HAUNTED NORTH CAROLINA
The Phantom Rider of the Confederacy
Near Fletcher, North Carolina
Located in the North Carolina town of Fletcher is the Calvary Episcopal Church. While the church itself does not boast a ghost, it has become a famous location over the years where the "Phantom Rider of the Confederacy" has been seen.
This phantom rider is said to be the ghost of a young woman who rides on a palomino horse and who appears for a few moments on the road near this church and then gallops away, as if she is being chased by someone. On the portions of her ride where the highway is paved, she always rides along the gravel shoulder, her long blond hair and her Confederate cape billowing out behind her. Beneath it, she wears a filmy gown, a remainder from the time when she was a young lady of the region.
Legend has it that the ghost is that of a young woman who died shortly after she learned that her husband had been killed during the Civil War. She began to appear on her horse a short time later, unable to rest in peace and seeking revenge for her lovers death.... and it is believed that she still rides today.
In the spring of 1865, the first encounter with the ghost took place. In fact, it was said that she was responsible for the deaths of 23 men who were under the command of a Union General named George Stoneman. They were patrolling an area near Fletcher when they followed a young woman on a horse into a deadly Rebel ambush. Those who survived reported that the girl suddenly vanished just before the Rebels opened fire on them.
Stoneman was enraged and organized a search party to find the woman and punish her. She was sighted several times, but they could never catch her. When the soldiers would get within firing range, they found that their bullets seemed to pass right through her.
Since then, she has been seen many times over the years by reliable witnesses and townsfolk, even a former minister at the church claimed to catch sight of her. One has to wonder why she still rides... perhaps revenge really is a dish best served cold.
Fletcher is located ten miles south of Asheville on US Highway 176. The phantom rider has been reported between the towns of Arden and Fletcher and also on the church driveway, just beyond the iron gates.
Copyright 1998 by Troy Taylor. All Rights Reserved.
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