“They See a Ghost or Something.”

On May 25, 1863, Union soldier David L. Day, of the 25th Massachusetts Volunteers, recorded a strange incident that occurred while his regiment was on a recent nighttime march:

Sometime towards midnight the boys heard the cry, “Right and Left, double quick!” They made a jump, and just then what appeared to them like a streak of greased lightning went down the line. They say it wasn’t a horse or man or anything they ever saw, and they are so filled with the marvelous and supernatural that some of them actualy think they saw some sort of phantom or ghost. What they saw was probably a frightened deer or fox, but in the lone, dark woods, and near the witching hour of midnight, with their nerves and imaginations strained to their utmost tension, expecting that any moment, almost anything might happen, it is not surprising that they could see ghosts, phantoms and witches. But it is laughable to hear them tell it.

Oh, ye of little faith! Happy Halloween…

Source: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (Milford, MA, 1884), 92.

Image credit: Wikipedia.

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