Don’t Try This at Home
By Jeffrey Bishop
Sad news from the region where Scurry Tails originates: According to reports from those who were there, a group of youths parked their car on a railroad crossing to play a game called “Ghost Train” — and three of them were tragically killed when the car didn’t start up again and not everyone could get out in time to avoid the crash. Our prayers and deepest condolences go out to the families and friends of the Poplar Bluff, Mo., youths.
You can read the St. Louis Post-Dispatch account of the story here: Two Missouri girls playing ‘Ghost Train’ game die when train hits Jeep.
According to lore re-told many times around campfires and by candlelight, the ghosts of people previously killed at a railway crossing are supposed to come back to save the endangered living. While this sort of thing can be expected to happen in stories like those that appear on this site or in books like Jo-Anne Christensen’s “Campfire Ghost Stories” (see Children of the Tracks for a version of the story that may have inspired the tragic game), it didn’t happen in Missouri. It probably won’t happen for you if you try it, either.
This news story presents a sad cautionary tale for those among the living who would toy with the supernatural, whether by playing “Bloody Mary” in the school bathroom, giving a Ouija board a whirl or playing ghost train on a country back road. The lesson is that one shouldn’t toy with real magic or the mystical. As Saul learned long ago when he visited the Witch of Endor (1 Samuel 28:7-19), at best, the supernatural can be indifferent and fickle to the affairs of the living. Don’t tempt those on the other side with your fate, and don’t count on them to protect you from yourself.
We hope that you continue to seek good stories, from all genres, but if you read something cool but out-of-this-world crazy, don’t try it at home.