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Ten Mile House by obiwan [Reviews - 0]

From: (BSHELBY70)
Newsgroups: alt.folklore.ghost-stories
Subject: Ghosts in Little Rock - Long
Date: 13 Nov 1997 23:59:09 GMT

Hi - have been lurking around for awhile and enjoying the ghost stories.

Last week, we had my son's wedding, and the rehearsal dinner was held at a place here in Little Rock called Ten Mile House. The house dates from about the mid 1830s and is gorgeous, but it naturally has a long and colorful history - as would anybody who'd been around for 160 or so years!

Besides being beautiful, it gives one the feeling of having stepped back in time, with its old furnishings and 50-candle chandelier. The parlors, downstairs bedrooms, and dining room are now all used as dining rooms (it's a trendy restaurant now).

During the Civil War, General Steele's Federal Army seized the house for use as military headquarters, and for holding captured Confederate soldiers. I have traced the bullet holes and carved graffiti with my own fingers, and the hair stood up on the back of my neck, thinking of those boys who fought on the 1400-acre grounds, were captured, incarcerated and died under the very roof where we stood.

One of those boys was 17-year-old David O. Dodd, who was captured in the woods behind the house, charged and convicted of spying, and ultimately hanged in early 1864. He is a great Arkansas Confederate hero, buried downtown in Mount Holly Cemetery. Most Arkansas school children learn about David O. Dodd early on, as he is revered for preferring death to treason against the Confederacy.

The springhouse where he was held during the proceedings still stands, and is used for smaller groups who come to the Ten Mile House to dine. It is naturally cooler there (hence its use to "refrigerate" food), but there is a chill in the air there that isn't really explained. It causes one to whisper, as if talking aloud might offend those who are still there. My brother, who works there, has seen the same thing happen over and over as he serves the diners in the spring house.

There is something about this house that seems to attract ghosts. There are four ghosts who frequent the place, including the ghost of David O. Dodd, who is said to float down the chimney and sit in the fireplace. This was seen more than once by a young girl who was house-bound with an ultimately fatal illness. She considered him friendly, and looked forward to his visits.

There is a little old woman who wears a long white dress, which suggests that she lived a long time ago. She rides a white mule, and has been seen rising weightlessly from the wellhouse, floating silently over the housetop. There was a one-legged miser who is said to still be looking for his money, and a previous owner claimed that she woke her husband up in the night because she heard this man's peg leg tapping on the wooden floors as he wandered the house, searching in vain for his money. There are, to this day, blood stains on the front steps which will not wash away, thought to be the blood of an early owner who was shot as he answered the door.

As the house was also used as a stage stop on the Southwest Trail to Texas, there were many, many travelers who passed through its doors. Most of these stories are legends, handed down through the years, but my 70-year-old friend was raised at the place next door and had a job cleaning the place when he was a youngster. I've known him for nearly 25 years and can safely say he's one of the most sensible men I've ever known, and he is convinced that these stories are true. My brother is a waiter there, and he has seen a ghost appear and vanish right before his eyes. He is 35 years old and as steady as they come, but he swears to have seen her.

The night of our dinner, November 6, 1997, we served the dinner and then the wedding party went to my parents' house to rehearse the wedding ceremony. Afterward, my sister, brother, husband, daughter and I all went back to clean up the house. The dinner was for 50 people, so there was a lot of cleaning up to do, and we were alone in the house. As I carried stacks of dishes to the prep room (a makeshift jail cell during Civil War times) I noticed a *horrible* odor as I passed through the door. I didn't say anything until the same thing had happened several times, and finally asked my brother, "Danny, what on EARTH is that terrible smell?" He just shrugged and said, "It's a body - they found the decomposed body of one of the prisoners, right back there. We always smell that."

I don't know about all the other tales, don't know what all those people saw or thought they saw. But that smell was very, very real. I think next time we have a dinner, we'll go to Taco Bell!

Sorry about the length, but you just can't tell a ghost story in three sentences!

Becky Young Little Rock, Arkansas

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