Day 181: Ozark Ghost Tales: Ghost Animals



“In Stoddard county, Missouri, near Bloomfield, stood the ruin of an old house, so dilapidated that there was not much left save the big stone chimney. There was a neighborhood story that gold and silver were buried somewhere about the place. People who tried to dig for the treasure were all driven away by pigs dozens of wild pigs which came squealing and dashing back and forth over the site of the old building. They were ghost pigs, not affected by stones or bullets. One man fired repeatedly with a shotgun at very close range, but the animals paid no attention. The general impression was that the phantom swine were somehow stationed there to drive off treasure hunters.

“A very similar story used to be told in the vicinity of Jane, Missouri, near the Missouri-Arkansas line. In this case the pigs were said to be guarding the place where a murdered woman was buried many years ago. The woman had some valuable jewelry concealed on her person, and it is said that her own half-wild pigs prevented the murderer from exhuming the body and getting the valuables which he overlooked at the time of the killing. This all happened long ago, of course; the pigs which guard the spot nowadays are not living animals, but ghost pigs.

“The children near Southwest City, Missouri, a few years ago, were afraid to go near an old slaughterhouse. The story is that the place was full of ghost cattle, some of them headless. A prominent citizen told me that he himself had seen the shadowy figures of ‘little bulls’ with great spreading horns, often seven feet from tip to tip. He mentioned this as showing that the cattle ghosts somehow derived from pioneer days, as there have been no long-horned cattle in the Ozarks for many years.”

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