By: Olivia Quinn
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.