Most of you have read the works of William Faulkner, and his fictitious Yoknapatawpha County. Well, this legendary part of fiction originates from a real place in Northeast, Mississippi. Faulkner took the name from a river and a settlement that are both named Yocona. There are many legends that abound about this area, including strange sightings and other unexplained phenomena seen and heard here. However, the article you are about to read is a true account of the unexplained, and is appropriate for the Halloween Season.
It was a winter night in 1971 Mississippi, when a 16 year old boy was driving home from his girlfriend’s house near Randolph, Mississippi. This particular Sunday Night was not bitterly cold and a thin fog hung in the air like smoke from a battlefield.
The young man felt an uneasiness in his stomach as he approached the Yocona River Bottom that stretched for several miles across the landscape. There were no houses in this part of the river bottom, just woods and an occasional field. The young man didn’t know why he had this strange feeling, for he had crossed this place many times before without incident, but tonight was different. There was something in the bottoms that was just not right, and he knew he had to go this way to get home.
The car that the nervous young man was driving was a 1965 Mercury Comet Convertible, and even though the top was up, he felt very vulnerable that foggy night. The road he was traveling was dirt and gravel and the bridges were narrow wooden structures that did not have side rails. The first bridge that he approached in the bottom was the Yocona River Bridge itself. It was a short bridge because it was near the headwaters of the river, and the river at this point was no more than a wide ditch.
As the young man made his approach to the bridge, he saw the first one; it appeared as a huge red reflector on the bridge guard rail, but the he remembered there were no guard rails on this bridge. As he drove closer, the light seemed to make a 180 degree turn, and then he could see the whole form. It had changed to a soft white light that appeared to be something wearing a long glimmering robe, but he saw no face, just the form of a being that stood about as tall as a 6 foot man. Even though he could not see a face, he knew whatever this thing was, it was watching him.
There was no place to go, but drive past it, and it stood in the roadway on the right side of the entrance to the narrow bridge. “Will it reach down through the cloth top of the convertible and be upon me,” He thought. But, there was no time to think, as he pushed the gas pedal to the floor, and sped by the thing and crossed the bridge. As he crossed, he looked to his left and there in a road that led into a field, stood more of the creatures in what appeared to be a circle.
As the terrified young man sped home, he was continually wondered if one or more of the beings was there with him, just waiting for him to open his door to get out, but nothing happened for the ten mile ride to his house. When he arrived, he laid into the horn, hoping to awaken his sleeping family, but no one appeared, and as soon as the vehicle came to rest, he opened the door and charged into the dining room, falling as he reached the inside.
To his relief, he was met by his brother and an uncle, who listened to his story of what had happened. He told them he wanted them to return with him to Yocona Bottom, and try and determine what he had seen. His uncle and brother had never seen him this frightened, and agreed to go back with him. The three took shotguns and returned to the place he had seen the beings, but there was nothing out of the ordinary.
With guns in hand, the three exited the vehicle and walked in the muddy drive that led into the field. There were absolutely no footprints there but the ones they made, and an inspection of the edge of the roadway, where the boy had seen the first being, revealed no footprints.
The boy and the girl went their separate ways after this incident, with one reason being the boy’s fear of crossing the bottom at night alone. The boy grew into a man and spent many years as a police officer, dealing with many frightening situations. He later became an actor and writer, and during this time, saw nothing else that he could not explain. He wished many times that he had been older, and had stopped to find out what he had seen, but maybe it is better that he didn’t. You see, this frightened young man was me, and I might not be here to write this story if I had stopped. I will never know!
This is a true incident that happened to this writer over 40 years ago, and it is still as fresh as if it happened yesterday.