Ghost stories around a virtual campfire

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Can you see him?
The ghostly image of a man on this Sarto bridge pillar is called “Marlboro Man,” because people say it looks like a cowboy looking over the range. Legend is that it is the image of a construction worker who fell into the cement of this pillar when the bridge was under construction 100 years ago.

Haunted Avoyelles

{Last in a series on ghost stories of Avoyelles Parish}

By Raymond L. Daye

    From childhood through one’s “golden years,” people love a good ghost story.
    Vampires, zombies, werewolves and ghosts are featured on children’s cartoons and our favorite primetime television fare.
Perhaps the best thing about camping out is sharing ghost stories around the campfire.
    Following are a few Avoyelles ghost stories gleaned from online “ghost hunter” sites. Most of them can be found at
    The posts are anonymous, but they will make you think: Normal or paranormal? Natural or supernatural? This world or the”other world?” You decide as you enjoy these “ghost stories around a virtual campfire.”
     “I lived in a house that used to be a funeral home right before Delfane Alley. When me and my twin would go to bed, I would hear noises in my bedroom. Every night we would see a little girl with a pink dress and long black hair.
     “Once when I was asleep in my room, she took a pillow and put it over my face and tried to suffocate me. I screamed for my Mom to come get me out of my room, so my Mom put my baby bed in her room. The next night, I leaned over my bed and saw her.
     “I screamed and she grabbed me by my hair and threw me out my baby bed. I still hear her every now and then, and no one knows who she is. We tried to find out who she was, but never could. The house is now torn down, but if you look in the yard you might she her sitting there in the tree.
    “On the old iron train bridge by the feed store there was a man and his granddaughter got killed by the train when the car died on the tracks. The inside of the bridge is still bent where the train pushed the car down the tracks. 
    “This happened many, many years ago. Some say you can here the crash of the train hitting the car and hear the scraping noise of the car getting pushed against the iron. Some say you can watch it happen.
    “Thinking it really did, people got out of their vehicle to see what happened, but nothing was there. It's just the past rehappening in a paranormal way.
    “My sister and I both saw the ghost. It was standing across the street from my grandmother's. I saw him first. I told my sister that I saw someone standing in the street.
    “I jumped in on the driver side of the car and she got mad because she did not want dirt on her seat. As we pulled out of the driveway, there he was. I told her not to look but she did.
    “We were screaming. He had a button down shirt and a pair of khaki pants, gold belt buckle, his face was lit up. We were unable to see his face. He was standing about two feet off the ground.
    A person said a friend of theirs “took a picture of a ghost in a very old graveyard in Marksville. This graveyard is across the street from a hotel. I didn't see the man until I went back and looked over the pictures.”
    “There are ghosts all over Avoyelles Parish! I have investigated and researched them from here and around the state for over 10 years. 
    “The Civil War, along with murders, suicides, you name it.
    “Every house I have ever lived in here was haunted -- from Moreauville to Bordelonville.
    “These spirits are walking among us constantly. Iif you could see and sense and hear what I do, along with some of my kids and grandkids, you would freak out. 
    “But they will not hurt you because if they could we would have been dead a long time ago.
    “Do not fear them if you see them. Most of them do not know they are dead and you look like ghosts to them! 
    “Take pictures and do EVPs. You will be amazed at what you get! 
    “Happy hunting!”
    A woman wrote about a home on North Main Street in Hessmer. She said there were sounds like two men engaged in a muffled conversation.
   “I asked local residents about the home and they went on to tell me about the mother that was beaten to death by the mentally handicapped girl that was put inside the closet; the man struck by lightning near tractor equipment; and the suicide that was a male.”
   She said all lights would be turned off when people left the home, but every light in the house would be on when they returned.
   “But I will never forget the night the 6-ft male wearing a white v-neck T-shirt and dark jeans with an athletic build with long, curly dark hair walked into my bedroom. It was as though I was looking at an actual person. We sold the house shortly afterwards.”
    A bartender at the 100-year-old Bailey Hotel insists she has seen ghostly figures in the bar, saw locked doors swinging open and had the lights on a nearby stage glow bright and then dim.
   "The first time I saw it, it was around 3 a.m. I saw this smoky, cloudy form floating close to one of the fans. I called another bartender and got the cook. They both saw it, and then it slowly faded away.
   "When I close the bar, I call the front desk to have someone walk with me."
Big Bend:
   The historic Sarto Old Iron Bridge across from the Adam Ponthieu/Big Bend Post Office Museum is said to be haunted by the ghost of a construction worker who died building the 100-year-old bridge.
   The man reportedly fell into the wet cement of a pillar and slowly drowned as his colleagues watched in horror, unable to get to him to save him. The ghostly outline of a standing man whom some call the “Marlboro Man” can be seen on the pillar.
    Ghosts of America notes on its site that those visiting the site do so at their own risk, that the site “is for entertainment purposes only” and “none of the information presented here is true as far as we know.”
    However, it also notes that it only posts stories that it believes could be true and will immediately remove any story that it finds out is untrue.
   “Some are probably true while some are made up,” GoA states. “There’s no way we can verify.”