- The Phantom Train Wreck
S. E. Schlosser
- (photo from the Iredell County heritage books)
- The passengers were grumpy and heavy-eyed as they
boarded the train in Salisbury during the early morning of August 27,
1891. The train was headed to Ashville, and the riders settled into their
seats and tried to catch a few more minutes of sleep.
- Around three a.m., the passengers were suddenly
awakened by suddenly bucking and rocking of the train. The engineer fought
for control as the passenger train raced across the stone-and-brick
Bostian Bridge near Statesville, but the train suddenly derailed. The chug
and whoosh of the rushing train was replaced by the scream of metal and
the sounds of the huge train falling, falling down towards the creek bed
sixty feet below the bridge. The horrible thunder of the train as it
smashed into the stream was quickly replaced by the equally terrible sound
of trapped passengers screaming and moaning in agony as the twisted
wreckage of the train was encompassed by the waters of the creek.
Twenty-two people were killed that night in the worst train wreck in the
history of North Carolina.
- Fifty years to the day after the wreck, a woman waiting
by her stranded car near the Bostian Bridge in the early morning hours of
August 27 saw a train come rushing down the track, its head light gleaming
brightly in the darkness and the whistle blowing. As it raced across the
bridge, it suddenly derailed, screaming its way down and down sixty feet
to smash into the creek bed below. The woman was terrified. She ran toward
the wrecked train and gazed down into the creek. She could hear the
frantic cries and agonized moans of the survivors.
- At that moment, a car pulled up beside her stranded
vehicle and her husband jumped out, followed by the owner of a local store
who had come to help them fix their flat tire. She ran towards them in a
frenzy, desperate to get help down to the poor trapped passengers below.
When they heard her story, the men ran to the edge and looked down into
the creek bed. There was nothing there. The woman had seen the train wreck
of Statesville re-enacted before her eyes.
- Some people say the phantom train appears each year in
the early morning hours of August 27m and is wrecked before the eyes of
any who watch for it.
From the book