The Ghost of Berkshire

 

Through Berkshire Hollow, where hemlocks grow,

where rushing streams and rivers flow,

through meadows and the valley.

Where fox and bear and wild cats hide, In holes and dens in the mountainside,

a Curcuit-Preacher once used to ride,

and his name was Patrick Skally.

 

He was set in his ways and what was strange,

if you argued with him he would not change,

one could get nothing through to him.

 

Solemn and slow in style was he,

slender and slim as a tamarack tree,

and always ready to disagree with everyone that knew him.

 

One night, he saddled his old chestnut mare,

and headed over to Ripton where he promised to do some preaching.

Away he cantered over the hill,

past the schoolhouse at Capens mill,

the moon was down and the place was still, save the sound of a night-hawk screeching.

 

At last he came to a deep ravine,

he felt a kind of queer and mean sensation coming over him.

 

His mare began to travel slow, then gave a snort and refused to go.

The preacher chucked and hollered “whoa”, and wondered what was before him.

 

Then suddenly, he seemed to hear a haunting sound so very near, 

it scattered his senses nearly.

“Go ‘ome, go’ome,” It loudly cried,

“Go ‘ome,” re-echoed the mountainside,

“Go ‘ome,” away in the distance died – 

..and he wished he was home sincerely.

 

And then before his startled sight,

as a cloud gave way to the pale moonlight,

a figure appeared before him.

 

“Twas a roundish form with eye’s of red

that were closely spaced upon a head.

The preacher thought he was surely dead

as it seemed to move toward him

 

He lost his sermon, he dropped his book,

his hair stood up, and his saddle shook,

his nerves were as tense as wire.

 

No cry he uttered, no word he said,

but, suddenly turning the old mares head,

away and out of the woods he fled

as fast as he could for Berkshire.

 

As this story goes, this haunting was by not a ghost,

but an old horned owl sitting upon a fence post,

hooting to it’s mate across the valley.

 

And the question then for all of us who,

hear this story and wonder if it’s possibly true,

to be frightened so badly by an owl calling “whooooo”...

 

Just go to Berkshire and ask Patrick Skally !

 

*This Poem is based on “The Ghost of Goshen” by “Anonymous”

© Steve Yeager / Collective Vibe Music / ASCAP