Condensed excerpt from White Rock, The Novel, Chapter 19
“We know our little lady likes to hitchhike and this is her preferred route. Let’s see if we can find her.”
Danny held the EMF device out the window.
Laura looked at him and snorted. “You really think you can find her with that, out the window?”
“Ms. Milt’n,” Danny slurred in a thick East-Texas accent, “ghost-huntin’s 15% technology and 85% luck. And I happen to be very lucky.”
A light started blinking on the EMF device.
“Woah! And it looks like I’m battin’ a thousand… Heavy spike, Sammy, right in the range! Gotta be twenty yards or less. Slow ‘er down.”
Laura leaned over and whispered to Rachel, “Do these guys really know what they’re doing?”
“Sad but true, these guys are the best.”
Danny shouted out. “Hold it! Dead cold. Nothin’.”
Samuel cursed between his teeth. “Godamnit.”
“She ain’t gonna make it that easy.” Danny was really starting to enjoy this. “It’s ok, honey, we’re friends,” he cooed. “We ain’t gonna hurt chew…”
The van was starting to get a little claustrophobic for Laura’s taste. She turned to Rachel to get her mind off her nerves.
“Do ghosts have personalities?”
“I’ve seen apparitions take on full personality traits. Playfulness, defensiveness, even spite and revenge. They seem to be totally mindful and volitional, when they want to be.”
“Kinda like people?” The women smiled at one another.
Samuel turned into a park down closer to the lake. Just as they entered the lot the EMF spiked.
The van rolled to a stop. Everyone looked out the windows simultaneously towards the center of the park. There was a single dead tree standing ominously in the clearing like a monolith shooting into the night sky with the black tree line behind it. Something was there. All the hair suddenly stood up on Laura’s neck and her whole body shivered violently.
“They’re here…” Danny said in a child’s voice.
Samuel looked around, suddenly aware that something was very different. “What the fuck?”
“Does anyone else feel that?” Rachel asked.
“I do.” Laura hugged herself.
Danny looked at one of his instruments. “The temperature just dropped 10 degrees. Instantly.”
Samuel reached for the EMF. “Gimme.”
Danny handed Samuel the unit as he jumped out of the van and slowly walked torwards the tree. He could feel something watching him from all sides. As soon as he got within 10 feet of the enormous black trunk, the EMF went wild.
“Danny, come look at this! It’s off the map!”
Laura stood next to him. She could almost see something rising from the ground with the mist. She spasmed suddenly, a current entered her body and was coursing through her like a small electric shock. Something pressed against her, caressing her. Laura wasn’t afraid; the sensation was hypnotic and sensual, almost like a lover’s touch. A faint smell of perfume filled the air. She couldn’t recognize the scent, but it was light and slightly citrus. And it was gone almost as quickly as it appeared.
Samuel looked at Laura and knew she was in contact with the entity. As soon as Danny walked up, the EMF blinked at a different frequency.
“Wait. It’s gone.” He looked around pointing the device and went slowly to the left.
The presence let Laura go. She jerked back suddenly and realized what had just happened. Samuel was looking past her.
“What is it?”
“It’s moving.” He swept the device around and grabbed the walkie from his belt with his other hand.
“Lizard-brain, do you copy? We have a massive reading here at Point B. Comeback.”
The walkie spit and chattered. “We’re on our way.”
Samuel put his hand on Laura’s shoulder.
Tears were coming from Laura’s eyes. “Yeah,” she nodded her head slowly. “She’s so sad…”
Samuel turned the device back around behind them and walked a few paces forward.
“She’s heading back towards the road.”
“Not good,” Danny said. “Power lines. We’ll lose ‘er.”
“She’s going…” Samuel was almost shaking. “Damnit, babe, we were just getting started…” He searched around a little more. Nothing.
“Man, she was right here…” He lowered the device and tried to get a clear perspective of what was happening. “What is she doing? We didn’t scare her…”
Rachel agreed, “No, we didn’t.”
“She was waiting for us…” Samuel turned to look at Laura, his brain deciphering the last few moments. She felt his gaze and slowly turned towards him. “She was waiting for you, Laura.”
Samuel kept on formulating. He motioned behind her to the van still sitting on the street. “She saw us get out of the van,” he continued, “and saw…” He was thinking. What would he do if he were the ghost? The van was open and filled with equipment. It suddenly hit him.
“She saw we didn’t have room for her…” He got suddenly excited. “She’s headed back to the lake to look for another ride!”
The legend of the White Rock Lady is the most endearing and well-documented urban legend in the Texas region. Based on a standing archetype called ‘the visiting hitchhiker’, there are many other ghost stories which mirror it across the country; sightings at Lake Crescent in Washington State, Lake Superior, Lake Ronkonkoma in Long Island, NY, and countless others. Many of the spirits are thought to be of women. What is the common factor that ties all these stories together? There are far too many accounts to simply dismiss them as the products of over-active imaginations…
The legend of the White Rock Lady has become a pop sensation of sorts within the ghost-hunter community. The Southwest Ghost Hunters Association has one take on the legend, and Dark Haunts reports on a variation of the account that shows the differences in what has been reported and, most of all, what the masses choose to believe…
While researching material for this novel I interviewed several people, including a few who agreed to share their stories with me under the condition of complete anonymity. Their accounts corroborate some of the detailed points outlined found here about the urban legend.