The Swamp Road Chronicles®

Footprints In The Snow



My Grandfather told me about the time he saw Swamp Road Sally. He was a no-nonsense old man and not given to trivial matters or wasting your time.  He told me the following story in all seriousness and I believe it to be true. He said he was driving his old pickup truck he owned when he was a young man in 1930.  He was traveling home to Etna, Ohio about 3 in the morning after a trip to Athens county and took a short cut through “Pigeon Swamp” on what is now called “Swamp Road”.  He said it was in January and it was bitterly cold.  There was a strong wind and the snow was blowing and drifting.  It was “nearly a whiteout” he said.


Suddenly, his right rear tire went flat.  There were no cell phones back then, and no houses near.  He had to pull to the side of the road to change the tire, despite the weather.  He was nearly done and half frozen when he noticed, coming toward him, footprints in the snow.  Footprints caused by the small, bare feet of a child he couldn’t see.  He jumped up and backed quickly away from the approaching footprints and moved to the other side of the road.  He watched as the footprints slowly passed by where he stood. The footprints stopped for a very brief moment, he said, and turned ever so slightly toward him before continuing on down the road, out of his sight in the swirling snow.


Staying on the alert for anything that might happen, he finished changing the tire and jumped into his truck and sped away, as fast as the snow would allow.


Grandpa said that as the invisible child turned toward him he felt a deep and palpable sense of loss.


The very next night his mother, my great-grandmother, passed away.  Grandpa always said that his encounter with the ghost child of Swamp Road was in some way connected to his mother’s death.


He never went down Swamp Road at night again.


(As Posted by RJ Stauffler, Berlin, Ohio 12-12-06)


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