Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

It seems a pity to spoil a good ghost story, but it so happens the favorite story of my childhood was one of how my great grandfather, Lot Rogers, laid the Crying Swamp ghost. None of the neighbors would go near the place at night unless it were a matter of urgent necessity, so great grandfather decided to do something about it.

I do not know whether he took with him a Bible or a stout oak stick, but out to the Crying Swamp he went on one of the wild windy nights that the ghost seemed to favor.

He soon heard in the distance the mournful wails that had struck terror to stout hearts. Following and listening, he came at last to the ghost, two branches growing so close that in a high wind they grated together with a screaming wailing sound that, alone in the woods on a dark night, might well be taken for something supernatural.

Great grandfather also disposed of a ghost on a haunted ship. Not long out of port, the crew were terrified by wild unearthly howls and moans that seemed to come from the hold. Sailors were superstitious folk in those days, and the voyage seemed doomed to disaster from the start.

So Lot Rogers took it upon himself to find out what it was all about. His shipmates protested vainly, so they tied a rope around him to drag him back from whatever demons might lurk in the hold, and he went down, bringing to light nothing worse than a four footed stowaway, in the shape of a hungry and terrified cat.

Susan G. Amidon
Vineyard Haven