• AP Magazine

    An alternative way to explore and explain the mysteries of our world. "Published since 1985, online since 2001."

  • 1
Classic Mysteries—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, January 2015

The Little Girl Ghosts of Fayetteville, Tennessee

by: Brent Raynes

In April 2010, I met a charming woman named Peggy, a resident of Fayetteville, Tennessee, who had a fascinating “little girl ghost” type story to share. “She lives in a pre-Civil War house and has been having old fashioned tea parties,” Mark Kelso, a respiratory therapist at the local hospital told me. Peggy had begun having the tea parties on Good Friday in 2005, with her two granddaughters in from Chicago in attendance. Forty-four people were there for the first tea party. This became an annual event. “We had the mothers, the grandmothers, and the kids,” Peggy told me. “We all dressed with hats and long dresses and the kids all dressed up.”

But that first tea party was when the “little girl” was seen. “I didn’t know the kid and most of the kids I knew,” Peggy continued. “She loved the tea. She ordered tea three or four times. She would say, ‘We need another pot of tea over here please.’ She was probably 7 or 8, but she had a very strong voice and everybody who has talked about it remembers that her voice kind of sounded like an older child.” After the party was over, Peggy realized that no one had signed the register she had provided. Being family and close friends, she began writing down names. “So then I started calling (around), ‘Who brought the little girl?” Nobody knew the little girl. After I realized that nobody knew her I started gathering pictures.” Everyone who had taken pictures brought them to Peggy to look over. “So we got all of these pictures together and there was a place where she was sitting, where she was standing. She didn’t show up in any picture,” Peggy stated. “I’ve seen the pictures,” Mark Kelso noted. “You can see where three little girls would have been sitting at a picnic table with their glasses of juice and their plates of cookies and where she would have been sitting in the middle there is nobody there. The plate is there, the cup is there.”

“She was dressed really cute in a dress that was probably from the 60’s,” Peggy explained. “A little red hat, a little white dress with red flowers and red sleeves in her dress [see illustration], and I noticed because she was so cute. But we did not see her come there and we did not see her leave, and nobody would have brought a child that age and just dropped them off at a party.”

Peggy tried to find out if anyone learned anything about the mystery girl’s identity from conversation with her. “She talked if spoken to,” Peggy said. “Like she ordered tea and my sister said that she took her over to the table and asked her what she wanted to eat and she kind of pointed to things. So we asked the kids if she talked and one little girl said, ‘No, she wouldn’t talk to us. She sat at our table and she ate with us. We asked her name and she wouldn’t tell us her name.’”

“She [Peggy] told me this story when I had her husband as a patient in the hospital,” Mark Kelso told me. “We took a break together in the cafeteria. It kind of rang a bell because about five years earlier we had had a policeman down the street from her that had turned a tractor over on himself and had reported seeing a little girl angel come to him and tell him not to worry, that he would be okay.” Mark knew the two nurses who had attended to him, both married to policemen, and he felt that they would remember the incident. He located them and asked them about the story. “I asked the nurses, ‘Do you all remember that policeman that had that tractor turn over on him? And claimed had the little girl angel came to him?’” Mark asked. “They said, ‘Oh yeah, we remember that. Remember it like it was yesterday. Don’t forget that.’ I said, ‘Did he describe the little girl?’ (They) said was a little girl, looked like she was about 5 years old, in a blue dress with pink flowers on it.”

“Where this occurred was like down in a hollow,” Mark added. “I lived in a house that was at the top of the ridge of the hollow and maybe about half a mile over. When we first moved in our house there were no houses anywhere around us even though it was a subdivision. There were no houses within six lots from us in any direction. We had to wait like three weeks to just get a telephone line run to our house.”

“I would walk down to the end of our hallway and smell perfume, and my wife has never used perfume in her life. We had a two-year-old daughter at the time, who obviously wasn’t wearing perfume, and I would go into the master bathroom and as I walked through the end of the bedroom I would feel this cold spot…and I could hear voices coming through the ductwork to the point our house dog would cock his head looking at the ductwork. I didn’t say anything about it to my wife at the time because I had moved her up here from Birmingham, AL. She had a little trouble getting used to the rural life and we were having to fight off snakes. All I needed to do was throw a spirit in the house and we’d probably be moving.”

“So I didn’t say a word to her about it. It was probably a good 20 years before it ever came up and we were sitting in Shoney’s one night – I think we were talking about spirits or something – and she comes out with, ‘Did you ever see that little girl in our house up there.’ I go, ‘What are you talking about?’ She said, ‘I’d go down to the end of the hallway and smell perfume and couldn’t figure out where in the world Amber [daughter] was getting in the perfume. Then I’d feel a cold spot in our bedroom and then go to the master bathroom and hear voices in the ductwork.’ She would wash her hair in the kitchen sink and we had a hallway that ended across the dining room – but you could see it from the kitchen sink – and she said, ‘Out of the corner of my eye I saw this little girl standing in the hallway with a blue dress and pink flowers on it, and I thought Amber doesn’t have any outfit like that, and when I called for her – I called Amber’s name, she answered me and she was out on the patio. She said, ‘I immediately turned toward the end of the hallway and there was nothing there and never saw the little girl again.’ She knew nothing about the previous stories about the cop or the lady with the tea parties.”

“When I was in high school the movie The Exorcist came out and I went to the Presbyterian church here….[they] had a very small youth group and we merged our youth group in with the Episcopal church and that movie had come out and I went to see it and one Sunday evening we were having a combined youth meeting and I was the first one there and the Episcopal priest was there. I asked him, ‘Do you believe in exorcism?’ He said, ‘Yes, we actually practice it.’ I said, ‘Well have you yourself ever done it?’ He said, ‘Yeah, actually I performed an exorcism about six months ago on a love seat in a house here in town. He wouldn’t obviously tell me who the family was or anything but they had a spirit attached to this love seat and it would go up and down the steps – it was a young girl dressed in antebellum wear. She would go up and down the steps of the house. She would sit in the love seat. And she would walk into the kitchen and watch the lady of the house cook dinner. The kids grew up with it and didn’t think anything about it. Didn’t bother them a bit. Parents hadn’t done anything because it never gave them any trouble. But they were getting where they were having trouble keeping babysitters. So they asked him to come over and perform an exorcism and so he performed an exorcism on the chair and so forth. I was on the paper staff at our high school. We had one period every day where would meet paper staff and work on the paper and stuff, and one of the girls in there was talking about how much money she had been making babysitting for this family, but all of a sudden she wasn’t getting the business she used to get because she was having to share with everybody else in town now. I said, ‘Well why is that?’ and she said, ‘Well they had a ghost and it would go up and down the stairs and sit on this love seat and I don’t know what happened but the ghost isn’t there anymore.’ Of course, I found out then who the family was and so forth, but I thought this was really ironic. I get this story from this Episcopal priest – of course, I never repeated it to anybody – and then two weeks later I would hear another side of it from her. And this was in a modern house. This was not in an old house.”

Sunday, March 03, 2024