THE GHOST DRIVE
"Amalgam" tells of an uncanny experience in a tragedy-haunted mine.
DEAR "John,"-Many miners tell yarns of super natural happenings underground, but having been brought up in a. sensible household where 'bogeymen'' never intruded I grew up without any fear of the unseen.
I started mining almost as soon as could carry a drill or climb down a ladder, and eventually I drifted to the lead mines at Galena, north of Geraldton, where I worked in the Surprise Mine. Often when working on the afternoon shift I was- alone in the No. 1 level except for George bogger, who cleaned up the ore left by the previous shift.
About 50 feet north of the crosscut where I was working was another crosscut connecting up with a worked out lode. Whilst mullocking-up this ore a miner had been killed and here were many tales circulating concerning his ghost which walked the deserted stope, where noises from falling ground and the creaking of decayed timber provided plenty of weird sound effects in support of the stories.
One day I went along to the north of the deserted lode to obtain a drill, which I needed. Picking up the drills I bumped against some timber and out went my light.
I remembered then that I had left my matches on a ledge near where I had been working, so there was nothing for it but to grope my way back as best I could.
Going along with one hand on each of the truck rails I felt an uncanny sensation; the sense that someone or something else was there with me in the dense blackness. Strange electric shocks seemed to run up my spine and the hair on the back of my neck bristled.
I tried! to be sensible and master the sensation but panic had gripped me. I heard a stealthy shuffling and heavy breathing, then another shuffle and a sharp intake of breath. Every sense taut as piano-wire I struggled for self-control, then moved forward and bumped into something, which gave the most dreadful blood curdling shriek it has ever been my misfortune to hear.
That was the last straw. The tattered remnants of my self-control vanished; I leapt into the air and my head came into violent contact with a cap-piece. I rushed through the darkness hell-for-leather until I collided with the timber in the No. 2 lode and eventually got back to my matches. I lit the candle and collapsed on the floor of the drive.
When I came to, I found Yorkie Farrar, the shift foreman bending over me. I was covered in blood and he thought there had been a fall of earth.
"Where's George?" he asked, and once again I got a grip of my frayed nerves. Taking the Candle I led the way to the place where I had collided with the "ghost."
There was George, flat out in a dead faint. We put him on a trolley and took him out to the plat and eventually brought him round. Two days later he packed up and caught the train vowing that he had had more than enough of underground work.
Before he departed, he told me that he had gone into the north end of the "ghost drive" to obtain a bar to wrench out some sleeper dogs. Feeling nervous he had been hurrying back and dropped his spider, extinguishing the candle. He too had left his matches behind and had then undergone the same nerve-wracking experience that had fallen to my lot.
Classic James, cheers for sharing
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Registration date : 2011-04-08
It's a good one hey.
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