Spirits in the Water

      They decided to go camping near the lake instead of the woods, where the trees canopy wasn’t so thick overhead that you couldn’t see the stars. Though now that it was getting darker, she wished she hadn’t ignored the niggling fear that was now quickly building to dread.

      She thought it had something to do with the water and how black the surface was. You wouldn’t be able to see your hand just below the surface.

      The ghost stories they shared earlier around the campfire hadn’t helped her nerves either. Her imagination was turning every snap of a twig into some terrible being coming to get her.

      She lay there in her sleeping bag, alone in her tent, unable to sleep. There were footsteps outside her tent shuffling past, then a splash in the water. She unzipped her tent, and although she didn’t know how to swim herself, thought she would sit on the dock and join whoever from her party was out in the water now. The moonlight was bright and in the water she could see her friend bobbing just above the surface. Then in the next moment it looked as if her friend were pulled under.

      She waited a few heartbeats, wanting to see if her friend would resurface, and when she didn’t, started to cry for help. Their other friends, bleary-eyed, came running from their own tents, one tripping over their fire pit. She explained what happened, and they both went running into the water.

      After several minutes, they pulled her friend onto the shore and began CPR. Her friend began to cough up water, and with a speediness surely not normal, stood up and started to walk away. She caught up to her and grabbed her arm.

      “What are you doing? Come back, we will get the fire going.” Her friend, the one she had known since grade school, ignored her. As she watched her friend walk down the dark path towards the main road, she felt as if somehow that wasn’t actually her in there. She walked back to the water’s edge and in the moonlight she could have sworn she saw her friends face just below the surface.     


      There are stories all over the world of ghostly beings that drown those foolish enough to swim in their waters. The story above was inspired by the myth of the Shui Gui. The Shui Gui is a ghost from Chinese folklore. They are the result of a person drowning and will free themselves only when they drown another. The stories I read through vary on what happens. The victim takes the place of the Shui Gui, but the freed spirit either takes over the body or moves on.1


      Another similar story is of a spirit that tries to drag it’s victims to the depths of the pond at House of the Binns, Linlithgow, West Lothian. Though I couldn’t really find any stories regarding these spirits, they were overshadowed by the General who lived there and his card games with the devil.2

      Next we travel to Blackwater, Florida. There is a local legend of a woman who is deathly pale, and smells of rotten flesh. 3

By Tim Ross – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3075595

      As part of the Blackwater River State Park, Blackwater River State Forest is a favorite outdoor recreation spot. But if you’re tubing, swimming, boating or fishing in the river, make sure to leave the water before the sun sets.
Otherwise a woman in the water will drag you to the bottom with her.
      One of the least known ghosts in the area, the woman in the water, has been described as a deathly pale woman with long jet-black hair.
      The few people who managed to escape her clutches first smelled rotten flesh right before she re-surfaced and tried dragging them to their deaths.
      One account says that the ghost of Blackwater River isn’t limited to the river. Apparently, she grabbed a man’s ankle from within a puddle as he ran away from her.
      He was lucky. You may not be. So, stay safe at the Blackwater River State Forest.4

  1. Uncovering Chinese Mythology: A Beginner’s Guide Into the World of Chinese Myths, Enchanting Tales, Folklore, Legendary Heroes, Gods, Divine Beings, and Mythical Creatures by Lucas Russo
  2. This Haunted Isle by Peter Underwood
  3. https://www.rd.com/list/haunted-bodies-of-water/
  4. https://backpackerverse.com/forests-in-florida/#6_Blackwater_River_State_Forest_Milton

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