Here we venture with him onto the path of the Lady of the Lake excerpted from Chapter 8.....
Our new abode, which was destined to be our home for almost two years, was a pleasant third-floor apartment at a gated complex that was situated practically on the shores of Dallas’s White Rock Lake, a picturesque and tree-shrouded area that was tucked away only a few miles outside of the city’s downtown. But just like everywhere we seemed to go,
Constructed in 1911 as Dallas’s first reservoir, White Rock Lake has 9 1/2 miles of shoreline, thick trees, a path for walkers and cyclists, and is home to an estimated 33 types of mammals, including squirrels, rabbits, skunks, raccoons, possums, bobcats, red foxes, and minks, and no less than 54 varieties of reptiles, among which are rattlesnakes, turtles, a whole variety of lizards, and horned toads. Salamanders and frogs also abound, along with an incredible 217 species of bird, including swans, pelicans, sea gulls, loons, and all manner of ducks.
As I got to know some of the elderly locals, a number of whom had been there since the 1930s, I learned that the tale of the Lady of the
“Please, please take me home,” she begged. The doctor drove quickly to her destination, and as he pulled up before the shuttered house, he said: “Here we are.” Then he turned around. Yep, you guessed it: The back seat was empty, except for a small puddle of lake water dripping down onto the floorboard. He thought for a moment then rang insistently on the house bell. Finally the door was opened by a gray-haired man.
“I can’t tell you what an amazing thing has happened,” began the doctor, breathlessly. “A young girl gave me this address. I drove her here and…” “Yes, yes, I know,” the man wearily interrupted. “This has happened several other Saturday evenings in the past month. That young girl, sir, was my daughter. She was killed in a boating accident on
Needless to say, this was a tale I was very pleased to get my teeth into. And like a lot of such tales, there were many rumors but very few facts. The late writer and researcher Ed Syers said:
“In the 1920s, an excursion boat operated on the lake. One warm summer night, perfect for a moonlit ride, a young couple attended a formal party on the boat. An argument between the lovers ensued—possibly alcohol-induced—and the woman left the boat, jumped into her date’s car, and sped off into the dark night. The poorly maintained road around the lake twisted and turned, and the distraught woman lost control of the car where Lawther Road runs into Garland Road. The car careened into the lake and she drowned.”
This was particularly interesting to me as our apartment complex was on
“One of the scariest reports of the ghost appeared in a 1987 Dallas Times Herald article by Lorraine Iannello. Iannello interviewed a mother and daughter, Phyllis Thompson and Sue Ann Ashman, who had a frightening encounter with the female phantom. The two were sitting on one of the boat docks at night when they spotted a white object floating in the lake. The women heard a blood-curdling scream and saw the white object roll over onto its back. The object turned out to be a body; it stared at the horror-stricken women through big, hollow sockets where the eyes should have been. Then, just as quickly, the terrifying sight disappeared.”
After we moved to White Rock, I was interviewed by a local magazine that specifically served
As I listened, Craig told me a macabre tale about the fateful night he sat on the far side of the lake in 1971. It was a summer’s evening and he had been fishing for a while, with considerable success, when he was overcome by an all-encompassing feeling of dread, and saw something slowly begin to haul itself out of the water about 20 feet in front of him. To his horror, he could see that it was a woman—or perhaps some insane soul’s monstrous and diabolical idea of what a woman should look like would be a better description.
Craig told me that the woman was dressed in dark rags, had long black hair, deathly white skin, and her soulless eyes were utterly jet-black. Dirty water dripped from her mud-encrusted locks, and she moved slowly toward him with a maniacal grin on her face. Her slow, jerky fashion reminded Craig of the relentless flesh-eating zombies that were featured in George A. Romero’s classic movie Night of the Living Dead. The creature—it may have looked human, said Craig, but a creature is all it really was—continued to move toward him in faltering steps, its arms outstretched, while it issued a dark and sinister moan and pointed an elongated finger in his direction. This was enough to convince Craig to grab his rod and gear, and hit the road, which he duly did.
On the following day, and after the shock had worn off, Craig tentatively revisited the site of his unearthly encounter. The woman was gone. And despite the fact that Craig continued to fish that same area for several more years, he never saw the horrific specter again. But there were far stranger things than weird, wet women afoot at White Rock.