Where Is It Going, Where Has It Been?

By: Olivia Quinn

© Copyright Wilson Adams and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

© Copyright Wilson Adams and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

It’s easy to dismiss the existence of a supernatural world if you’ve never had a supernatural experience. When I was young I never truly believed in ghosts or demons and have been lucky enough to avoid an encounter thus far. However, I changed my mind when somebody I completely trust told me about her sighting of a ghost train. This is my mom’s story.

It was an unusually foggy night in 1993 – the kind of fog so thick that it’s nearly impossible to see through the swirling darkness; the kind that makes your arm hair prick and makes you remember every scary movie you’ve ever seen. My family was driving home from a soccer game in two separate cars – my mom and oldest brother were in the front car, with my dad and other brother following closely behind. We were living in South Lyon, MI at the time, and as we headed home my mom took a back road to avoid traffic on Pontiac Trail. Griswold Road was a dirt road and was pitch black since there were no street lamps or traffic signals. The darkness combined with the fog made visibility nearly impossible, so the two cars crawled along slowly.

As my mom approached the train tracks that crossed Griswold, she slowed to a stop. There were no electronic signs or gates at this crossing, just an old stop sign. As my mom was about to proceed across the tracks, she spotted a round glowing light approaching from the right, heading left along the tracks. Within a second a train came into full view – but this wasn’t the typical modern freight train that frequented these tracks. This train was an antique stream engine with a big smokestack on the front. The smokestack was pouring out steam that quickly mixed into the swirling fog, yet the usual hiss that accompanies a steam engine was absent. In fact, the train made absolutely no sound at all as it slowly moved along the tracks. Attached to the engine car was a coal car, and behind that, a single passenger car. As the passenger car moved into view, my mom peered into the glowing windows. Inside the car she could see kerosene lanterns hanging from the ceiling, swaying gently back and forth. She could see people inside the car dressed in period clothing – women in bonnets and men in bowler hats.

As the end of the passenger car moved across the tracks, the train was swallowed by the fog and disappeared from view. My mom, who had been silent during the sighting, turned to my brother sitting beside her. “Did you see that?” she asked, to which my brother replied, “Yes.” Glancing in her review mirror, my mom noticed my dad’s car just pulling up behind hers. With an unsettling feeling, she proceeded across the tracks and drove towards home. A few minutes later, both cars were safely in the driveway and everyone climbed out of the cars. My dad asked my mom why she had been stopped at the tracks so long, to which she responded with the same question she asked my brother – “Did you see that?”

My dad and my other brother did not see the ghost train that night. My mom and my oldest brother, though, swear that they did to this day. The story is always the same, and it always told with the same amount of grainy detail; detail so vivid that makes it impossible to be just a story and turns it into a real life account.


11 thoughts on “Where Is It Going, Where Has It Been?

  1. That’s pretty interesting. I think even though I believe in ghosts, I would try to be skeptical at first, thinking maybe some rich people are having a weird period themed party on the train. It could happen, but it’s probably way too far fetched, although to many a ghost train would be ridiculous as well. I’ve never experienced something like that, but it’s kind of amazing to see a whole train for such a long period of time. I feel like a lot of ghost encounters are often quick sightings, so that makes this experience something really great.

  2. As someone who crosses railroad tracks every day to get home I’m now a little bit concerned about ghost trains. This story is actually really scary, and I’m hoping it was just a murder mystery theater train, or something of that nature, because where does it end when trains can become ghosts?

  3. I don’t know about everyone else, but I am at the point where I want something supernatural to happen to me, not only for the good ghost story but also so I can more easily believe things. I wish we could know more about this train because I feel as though the back story would explain why it was there. Based on what your mom saw, the atmosphere on the train seemed a bit morbid and eerie to be considered a giant party.

  4. As the person who saw the train, I can assure you it was no murder mystery train. Years ago I tried to do a little research to find out if there had been any train incidents in the area, but had no luck. I understand why some people are sceptical, but I will never be convinced that I didn’t see it.

  5. That is really spooky. It makes me wonder why your mom and brother were allowed to see the train and no one else. Perhaps it is like the creatures in Harry Potter that you can only see if you’ve had a near death experience? Super interesting. Super spooky.

  6. This is such an interesting story. And I completely agree with the comment above – I think it would be so cool to experience something like that. While it would probably terrify me, it obviously makes for an excellent story. As to the idea of only certain people being able to see it and what makes those certain people different – perhaps it has something to do with a belief in the supernatural. You said that before the incident you didn’t believe in ghosts or the supernatural – perhaps that’s why you weren’t able to see it.

  7. The first thing I thought of when reading your story was the polar express because that is one of my favorite movies. I agree that things like this occur to people who believe in them. For example, in the movie, you can only hear the bell if you believe. I’ve never experienced anything like this but sometimes I wish that I could just to see how I would react.

  8. This is definitely a spooky story. I would be scared and have that image of the train stuck in my head for the rest of my life. I wonder why it was just your mother and brother who saw the ghost train though? I looked up ghost trains to see what would come up and I came across an article about a huge crash that happened in 1891. The article says that you can hear the whistle of the train and the screams of the passengers on the anniversary of the crash each year. Apparently, a group of people came on the anniversary in hopes to see the ghost train and when a real train rounded the bend, there were people on the trestle and one man was killed by the train. This article makes me hope that many people don’t put themselves in danger trying to see ghost trains or other supernatural things. I think that maybe once you see something, you may never be able to see it again or even explain what it was.

  9. Can I just say that this is beyond freaky? I mean, you said your mom only asked your brother “did you see that,” not, “did you see that train” so there is no way suggestibility could have altered or even created a false experience or memory in his mind. Second, based on what I have learned in my psych class, memories always change, and the more times you say it, the more it changes. The fact that the stories have been constant since then is crazy. Maybe that could be because it was supernatural? Other than that, I have no idea how this story could not be true. Your mother was brave, kudos to her for not freaking out right on spot.

  10. This is a really cool story and one that makes me pretty bugged out at the same time. I’ve heard a few other stories about ghost trains but never one this detailed. Mrs. Quinn, I believe every word of this story. Olivia, you’re mom is awesome

  11. Its possible for people to make up stories, even say that they have been to a place that they’ve never been to before, but as vividly as your mom described that train, the clothing and the hanging lanterns inside, and how the train was constructed, there is no doubt in my mind that your mother and your brother saw that train.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s