was that Walter?
d n english
here is one of the many ghost stories of the area around the Hatchie River
The ghost story of the ferry at Hatchie bottom and the drowning
d n english
here is a little know Haywood Co fact:
KOKO: Located about on Highway 76 about 3 miles south of Hatchie River. It’sproximity to Lowery’s Landing at the river made it a busy area in earlier days.
Some say Koko was named for a popular brand of chewing gum.
As people were leaving Brownsville to cross the Hatchie River to go to Somerville the only way to cross was by Ferry. The Ferry was a flat bottom boat with two oarsman. Some time they would have mules on each side of the river with robes attached to pull the ferry across.
On this one day the ferry had a small wagon full of goods heading from a Brownsville merchant to one of the farms 2 miles from the river . The driver of the wagon was Walter he had worked at the mercantile delivering all around Haywood Co. for years. Walter was a beloved character around Brownsville and Haywood Co. When fall came around he would put on his Beaver hat and cowhide coat. The other thing he was known for was his crazy snorting laugh he just made people smile.
When he delivered across the river he would spend the night and return the next day . He would always tell people he was happiest around the Hatchie River and with the people of the bottoms.
One of Walter’s habits was when he got on the ferry he would unhook the horse from the wagon. He would always say if the water got rough the horse could swim. On this afternoon it was said there was an erie sound and all of sudden the water became disturbed and the wagon was flipped off the ferry. The horse swam back to the shore and headed back to Brownsville . The ferrymen were still on the rocking ferry but nobody could find Walter. They got back to shore and for some reason the wagon had been pushed on shore. Then the search began soon they were joined by men of the community.
The horse turned back up in Brownsville about the time the word reached the town about the incident. Several of the town’s men headed to the river to help look for Walter. They searched for hours finally they were able to find his hat and his coat but that was all. They went into the woods looking for signs of Walter but when they came back to retrieve the coat and hat they were gone.
Nobody had any idea why the water had acted so weird. Then the story got out it was an evil spirit in the river, the truth was Haywood Co had experienced an earthquake.
They finally gave up on finding Walter and held his funeral.
A month after the accident the sighting began . It was reported fisherman would hear Walter’s laugh and see him walking along the river bank. For the years that the ferry was in operation a ferryman would report they felt his presence on the boat. After the bridge was constructed the sightings did not stop. Even now it has been reported a fisherman would see a man walking the banks. They would go to wave but he would be seen walking toward a big tree then disappear. Then the hunters would tell stories of seeing a man walking and hear his strange laugh. They could not help but smile. When the hunters looked up the man would be walking into a tree disappearing and a face would appear in the bark of the tree. When the lumbermen came for some reason they would never touch that tree. The tree continued to grow but the face stayed put not moving.
Many say as they approached the tree they see a smiling face in the bark of tree. The story has been passed down and many have heard the laugh and visited the tree and smiled. Walter is still walking the banks of the Hatchie and then disappearing into his tree. He is happy at his home in Hatchie Bottom