James, my grandpa, is a 75-year-old African American man who grew up in the South. This story took place in St. Joseph, Louisiana, in the late 1950s when James was about 10.
“This was way out in the country. We was living way out in the country. So, I was riding a bicycle one evening. It was just dark. I rode up to the end of the street here they got a curve at. So, I seen a little – at the time, I didn’t know it was a ghost; I thought it was my little friend Tom –. He had a white suit, white hat, and he was about 3 foot tall. I thought ‘What Tom doing picking up pecans in the dark?’ I said ‘Imma ride down there, get a little closer, see what he doing.’ The closer I was getting, he just started knelt right down to the ground. *laughing* I turned that bicycle around, boy, as fast I could. I was riding and it looked like he was coming behind me. When I got to the top of the street, I looked back and he had disappeared.”
James adamantly believes this was a ghost because of the way it moved: “He reached down and picked up something. Then he stand up. Go over there. Reach down and pick up something. Then stand up.” James continues, saying “It scared the devil out me. That’s when I realized it was a ghost.”
I don’t know how I feel about this story. I’m not saying I don’t believe it, but my papa says it was dark yet he had no light. Therefore, he may not have seen the figure clearly. On the other hand, it’s hard to mistake a small man dressed in all white out in the woods with anything else.