The Haunted Rainstorm

Ben N. Keys, Jr.

Over the years, I have made literally thousands of trips into outdoor locations in search of paranormal apparitions and entities. Usually, I know when to go and what to expect so I can prepare my camera and other materials accordingly. But, every now and then, the best laid plans of ‘mice and men’ will opt to go awry if for no apparent reason other than to keep the minds of mortals ‘messed up’. Such was the case for this particular trip that started off being as normal as normal could be but, then taking a 180 degree change for the worse!

I had contacted Glenda, my regular ghost hunting buddy to see if she along with some her housemates would like to accompany me to take a trip along one of the many long river roads that lead to the old historic plantations along the James River. Whether or not we might encounter anything of a paranormal nature was not all that important as a trip such as this is always would always be a real treat especially on a cloudless starry night.

My plan was to drive along one of the old roads that had been laid out hundreds of years ago. Back then, the forests were filled with large old virgin trees too difficult to remove with the manpower of the time so the roads were laid out in the clearer areas of marshlands along the river shore. Many times when extra large trees were encountered, the road merely curved and winded around them. To complicate matters still further, the distance from the main road out to the plantation manor houses along the river might could be as much as several miles long. Such was the case for the trip I had planned for tonight.

It is always an awesome adventure and very enjoyable to ride along these roads at night with the mighty James River on one side and the eerie swamplands of canebrake and rushes on the other side. Add a few wild animals like deer and raccoons to keep the interest in Nature peaked and the trip becomes a Utopian adventure in its own right.

Just when it seemed you were bound to run out of dry land and end in the river, you find yourself confronted by massive wrought iron gates prevalent at many of the courtyard entrances to the old river mansions. Each is unique with their impressive ivy covered brick pillars and wrought iron gates adorned with either brass eagles or other forms of wildlife on top. We all expected to see ghostly apparitions here in this setting if they were going to found anywhere.

After arriving at Glenda’s house in my truck and greeting everyone, we began to load up and get under way. I was driving so everyone agreed that Glenda should be my ‘co-pilot’ and join me in the cab while the other three girls would bring along their bed pillows to sit on in the truck bed. They had no problem sitting back there and felt they had the ‘best seats in the house’ from which to view the myriads of animals crossing the road plus any ghostly spirits that might dare to pass overhead. There should be possibilities of getting some great pictures of ‘critters’ from all the dimensions, ghostly or otherwise!

The night could not have been more beautiful with a finger-nail sliver of a new moon in the sky and a thousand stars to keep it company. It may have seemed perfect but somehow I developed an uneasy feeling and was having trouble coping with it.

At last we were off and the first few minutes of the trip was wonderful. Then all of a sudden, as we started down the long lonely lane beside the swamp and the river to one of the furthermost plantations, the girls in the truck bed began to rant and rave in a most impressive fashion. "For god’s sake Glenda, open the sliding back window of the truck cab and see what is wrong". When the window was opened and she looked back, then she too screamed. I stopped he truck and when I too looked, I did not scream but I was shocked beyond belief. A very heavy down pouring of rain was occurring over the truck bed and no where else. I turned and looked at my windshield and there was not one drop of rain on it. I looked through the read window to the back of the truck once more and it was still pouring rain! The first crazy thought I had was "how lucky we were to be to be getting all this rain over the truck body with no thunder or lightning?"

Normally we have our own description of how intense a rainstorm is but this time it seemed to be a combination of them all. This storm we determined to be a clay soaker, a trash mover, a frog choker, dam breaker and gutter cleaner all combined into one intense rain storm.

My psyche thought it a bad move on my part, but Glenda and I got out of the truck and walked around to the tailgate. There was not one drop of rain falling anywhere except over the truck body. The ground everywhere else was perfectly dry! Glenda and I stuck our hands and arms into the truck body with the girls and our hands and arms got soaked. How could this be? We offered to help the girls out of the truck and into the cab, but no one was willing to move. "Let’s just go home" was the only in unison statement I heard. Not a bad idea I guess for how do you fit five soaking wet people in a small truck cab and then drive?

Just for the hell of it, Glenda and I got back into the truck and pulled the truck up about fifty feet. That move accomplished absolutely nothing for the rainstorm merely kept pace with the truck to an exact degree without wasting one drop of water anywhere except over the area of the truck bed.

By now the girls were a total mess and getting worse by the minute. Their hair was in strings and their makeup had run like spilled water-colors. Their pillows were soaking wet along with the cameras even though they had done their best to protect them. A beautiful ordinary jaunt along the river shore road somehow had turned into a fiasco!

I had no alternative but to turn around in a logging road and hope we did not get stuck. Then I made a mad dash back to the main highway and ‘our world’ where rain storms could be counted on to ‘do right’! As I think back now, I do not believe that anyone ever uttered one word about the ordeal we had just lived through!

After what seemed an eternity, we arrived back at Glenda’s house where she and I lost no time in getting her ‘water soaked’ house mates out of the truck and into her house and dry clothes. But, fate had one more surprise for us. As we were dropping the tailgate to help the girls out a waterfall came out of the truck and soaked us too. Then from out of nowhere, a brilliant spear of astral fire began to play in the field between the side of her house and the truck and although everyone saw it, not one single person would acknowledge it. To hell with anything else paranormal this night!

Five years earlier, I had experienced the exact same thing with a ‘haunted rain storm’ and survived it, but never expected I would live to see it happen again. It took place that time at the cemetery at the old Lawne’s Creek church ruins. Just outside of Surry Courthouse in Virginia.

We reached the cemetery that night and was standing around waiting for the ‘ghost light’ to emerge from its resting place. We were not to be disappointed this night for we had waited only a short time before it obliged us and came out of its grave to start its nightly jaunt through the church ruins and across the fields to Bacon’s Castle. As most of us now appeared to be directly in its line of travel, it took only a few seconds for the five of us to immediately relinquish ‘right of way’ and let whatever or whoever this creature was, pass.

No one bothered to consult with anyone else but made a bee-line for the car. Just as we reached the car and got in, it started to rain as hard as I had ever seen it rain in my life. I made one simple statement, "I think we ought to go home now" and everyone was in full agreement. I started the car and aimed it toward the main highway but just as it reached the hard surface of the highway, the rain stopped abruptly and so did I. "What the hell is going on" I asked knowing full well not to expect a reply!

I looked back at the cemetery and what a surprise! It was still raining hard where the car had been parked but that was the only place. I put the car in reverse and backed to the area where it was still raining just to see what would happen. Once again it did what it had originally done in the first place to cause me to hastily leave the area and now I was going to have to do it again. What a dummy I had been! It rained even harder on the car this second time, so without further adieu, I made a mad dash for the road and never slowed down until we were in the safety of our home. No one was able to sleep that night but they all were wise enough not to discuss what had happened. I am also fairly confident that no one ever mentioned the ordeal to anyone at any time after that either. The same thing should apply to this latest adventure with the "Haunted Rain" on the River-Shore Road!

©BNKeys, Paranormalplus.com2003

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