Monday, March 24, 2014

The Phantom of Wolfe Woods


I received the following submission from a reader:

My family and I lived off State Rd 23, two 1/4 mile from the Edwardsburg, Michigan state line in Granger, Indiana. Our house was just down from what "we" called Dead Man's Curve. There were a lot of accidents there, usually in the Spring and Winter.

In the spring of 1963, about 3:30 AM, we all were woke by a woman screaming "Help Me, Help Me". My Mother, Grandparents and myself all met in the living room. The woman's voice was very loud, we all assumed there had been another car accident up on the curve. It was extremely foggy that night, so much so you could not see more than four to five feet in front of you. My Grandfather grabbed a flashlight and headed out to the woods across the road to search for the woman in distress. In the meantime she is still screaming "Help Me". My mother called my uncle who lived just down the road. He too joined in the search and heard the woman's screams. After a good 15 minutes my Grandfather came back to call the County Sheriff's Dept to send a car out. One car came, then two, then three. They combed the woods in search of the woman's voice that slowly became weaker & weaker, finally as the sun came up, her voice had completely faded. They never found her, a car, or any evidence of any kind. I remember standing in our driveway hearing the police officers telling my Grandfather that this was best kept quiet, not to tell anyone because no one would believe this. They decided they were not going to file a report, even though they too had heard the screams. My grandfather searched that woods every day for weeks to see if he could find any signs of any kind, but nothing was ever found. We moved out of that area in 1976 after my grandmother died, and I often wonder if the people that live in the old brick house ever hear the screams of an unknown woman on foggy spring nights.

I swear this is a true story...the only thing I am not positive of, is the year, since I was just a kid when it happened...It could have been as early as 1961, but no later than 1964...this was not a dream or figment of my imagination. It was talked about at the dinner table for quite some time after...as a child it was a pretty frightening experience, and was very upsetting to my grandparents as well...everyone was baffled, including the Sheriff and his Deputies. The property was owned my Mrs. Wolfe who lived down State Rd. 23...Wolfe Woods was a small wooded area that divided Adams Rd & State Rd 23. It was kind of a triangular shaped & Birch Rd intersected at the East end of the property in Granger, Indiana. - KLR


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The Granger, Indiana and greater St. Joseph County, Indiana area seems to have a fair amount of paranormal lore. The following quote describes one of the events:

I will never forget the experience my best friend and I had 30 years ago when I was 15 yrs old. I was staying the night at her house (She lived on Dead Man's Curves) . It was just before dusk when we decided to hang out in her back yard and have a camp fire and roast some marshmallows. As we were gathering up twigs and wood for a fire, she looked up, pointed to a tree about 20 feet from us, and ask me ''whats that''. As I looked at the tree, I saw a man hiding behind the tree staring at us. No sooner did I see him from behind the tree when instantly there he stood 2 feet in front of us. I thought it was a real man. I was terrified and screamed at the top of my lungs. When I did, he disappeared instantly...right before our eyes. I can still visualize every detail of him. He was a man in his mid 50's. He had curly dark salt/pepper hair and dark eyes. He was wearing a white t-shirt and brown pants with black work boots. I remember his face having razor-stubble as if he hadn't shaved in about 3-5 days. The scariest thing was that one minute he was right there in front of us and after I screamed...bam! Gone. My friend witnessed the exact features. Since that incident (30 yrs ago) there have been many deaths there. I have had many people tell me that they see a young woman in white standing at the bottom of the dip. People have seen sightings of ghosts near the blinking lights. I still keep in touch with my friend every few years or so. - ghostsofamerica.com

When the earliest pioneers traveled into the wilderness of St. Joseph Valley, they had to contend with three dangers...beasts, savages and disease. The following excerpt describes a bit of the latter:

One of the greatest obstacles to the early settlement was the "chills and fever", "fever and ague", or "shakes", as it was variously called. It was a terror to newcomers; in the fall of the year almost everybody was afflicted with it. It was no respecter of persons; everybody looked pale and sallow as though he were frost-bitten. It was not contagious, but derived from impure water and air, which are always developed in the opening up of a new country of rank soil like that of the Northwest. The impurities continue to be absorbed from day to day, and from week to week, until the whole body corporate became saturated with it as with electricity, and then the shock came; and the shock was a regular shake, with a fixed beginning and ending, coming on in some cases each day but generally on alternate days, with a regularity that was surprising. After the shake came the fever, and this "last estate was worse than the first". It was a burning-hot fever, and lasted for hours. When you had the chill you couldn't get warm, and when you had the fever you couldn't get cool. It was exceedingly awkward in this respect; indeed it was. Nor would it stop for any sort of contingency; not even a wedding in the family would stop it. It was imperative and tyrannical. When the appointed time came around, everything else had to be stopped to attend to its demands. It didn't even have any Sundays or holidays; after the fever went down you still didn't feel much better. You felt as though you had gone through some sort of collision, thrashing-machine or jarring-machine, and came out not killed, but next thing to it. You felt weak, as though you had run too far after something, and then didn't catch it. You felt languid, stupid and sore, and was down in the mouth and heel and partially raveled out. Your back was out of fix, your head ached and your appetite crazy. Your eyes had too much white in them, your ears, especially after taking quinine, had too much roar in them, and your whole body and soul were entirely woe-begone, disconsolate, sad, poor and good for nothing. You didn't think much of yourself, and didn't believe that other people did, either; and you didn't care. You didn't quite make up your mind to commit suicide, but sometimes wished some accident would happen to knock either the malady or yourself out of existence. You imagined that even the dogs looked at you with a kind of self-complacency. You thought the sun had a kind of sickly shine about it. - A History of St. Joseph County, Indiana

NOTE: I'm quite sure that the spirit energy of those early settlers, as well as the native Miami and Potawatomi people, still roam the recesses of this area...Lon

Pictorial and Biographical Memoirs of Elkhart and St. Joseph Counties, Indiana, Together with Biographies of Many Prominent Men of Northern Indiana an

Indiana Legends: Famous Hoosiers from Johnny Appleseed to David Letterman

The Miami Indians of Indiana: A Persistent People, 1654-1994






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