ST. GEORGE – There is a place in south central Utah near Beaver called Greenville. It is a place of my childhood, a ghost in its own right. By day it was a magical fairyland where we were friends with the horses and we wove cattail leaves to make placemats for our picnics.
But when the sun went down and the thousands of bats nesting in our cabin roof would depart in droves seeking the night, Greenville would transform. Old and decaying shacks, remnants of a distant pioneer past, would creak and shudder in the evening breeze. Narrow lanes, that in the light were our secret gardens, would become dark and sinister full of untold horrors we would only speculate at.
It didn’t help that Greenville was known to be haunted by the ghost of a man named Winston.
The story goes that as a boy, Winston was riding on some old farm equipment with his father when he fell off and was badly mangled by the turning blades. Disfigured but alive, Winston became an outcast, a loner-living, but not really.When he eventually did die, it is said that he never left Greenville.
Stories persisted of his sightings, wandering along the lanes, haunting the terrified souls who dared use an outhouse and always seeking vengeance on those who cast him out.
As children, we went to bed with one eye and one ear always open, listening for the mournful bales of Winston as his ghost moved through the town.
The following is a poem written by my father, George Byron Stark, who heard the story of Winston long before me and who, without a doubt, has found him in the afterlife.
Who comes knocking at my door,
when it’s late at night?
The stars are out,
the moon shines brite,
and the bats have taken flight.
I see someone looking through my pane,
his face is ghostly white.
His clothes are tattered by the years,
he sleeps not day or night.
It’s Winston who lives on Winston Lane,
in a little wooden shack.
He’s been dead one hundred years,
but he calls when he comes back.
So if you hear a rock turned ore,
Don’t think it’s just a cow,
It’s Winston walking from his grave,
when the coyotes start to howl.
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