This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any actual resemblance to persons or historical persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The Dukes of Hazzard characters, settings, locales, ect. are owned by other entities who have not endorsed this fic nor have they given express permission for the character's use. Author makes not claims to these characters and is not making any profit from their use.
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© Copyright: 1996-2004. Lisa Philbrick
Friends and neighbors, only in Hazzard County would Halloween
be accompanied by a real live ghost story. Umm...okay, maybe live isnt
the word we wanna use here...
But hang on to your hats and pay attention yall. Youre
about to learn a little Hazzard history.
Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane pulled his patrol car onto the dirt drive that
led to the old barn that had belonged previously to Henry Jameson.
This barn used to belong to Henry Jameson. Now ol Henry passed
on about five years ago and Boss Hogg bought the property when, after
two years, no one had bought the old farmstead. Which was a shame to
a point. It was one of the oldest farm houses and barns in Hazzard
that had been continuously in use, the barn itself dating back to the
1840s. But now, Boss wanted the barn demolished, because the
buyers he had found for the property were going to build a barn on
the other side of the property and he sent Rosco out to make sure there
wasnt anyone or anything in the barn before the bulldozers came
Rosco left his headlights on, the car facing the huge double doors of
the barn. The structure loomed large and dark in the twilight. The
bulldozers were coming in Friday, Halloween. Today was Tuesday and
Boss wanted Rosco to check the barn for squatters or anything else
before the bulldozers went in. And now was the only chance Rosco was
going to have.
Come on, Flash, he said, picking up his basset hound in his
arms. He shut the door with his foot and walked to the barn. He put
Flash down on the ground and pulled open the doors, letting the Plymouths
high beams shine in. The whole barn seemed to creak as the doors were
opened, as if disturbed from its slumber. Rosco looked down at
Flash, who got to her little feet and trotted in.
Dont go too far, darlin, Rosco said following
after her. He looked around the barn and pulled his flashlight off
his gunbelt to see in the corners where the high beams didnt
reach. He clicked the light on and shine it into the empty dusty corners
of the stalls and water troughs.
I hate to see it have to be torn down thats for sure,
Rosco said softly to himself as he looked up to the rafters. He had
pretty much concluded that the barn was empty and Bosss bulldozers
would be free to knock the old boy down. Rosco clicked his flash light
off and turned around. He saw Flash was standing infront of one of
the stalls, looking intently at something. Thebasset then suddenly
stiffened and started barking.
Flash? What in tarnation ya barkin at? Rosco walked
over to her and looked into the stall. He didnt see anything
and even turned his flash light on to look. Flash stopped barking when
the light beam went into the stall.
Flash, honey, there aint nothin in there. He
turned the light off. Flash shifted her position and started right
back in with barking again, looking straight into the stall.
Rosco looked at the basset, his eyebrows creased in question. What
in the world was she barking at? Flash usually didnt bark
at just anything. Something was clearly upsetting her, but Rosco couldnt
see anything in the stall. He got down on his knees and placed a comforting
hand on Flash and looked into the stall, trying to see whatever it
was from her view point.
Sshh, Flash, he said softly. Settle down now...
The basset ceased barking, but gave an occasional whistling whine. Rosco
still didnt see anything...but something was definitely different.
He looked up suddenly, towards the doorway where the Plymouths
high beams were staring in a blinding glare.
There was nothing there...but Rosco suddenly had the feeling that he
and Flash werent the only ones in the barn.
Maybe tearin this barn down aint such a bad idea after
all... he whispered to Flash. The basset whined and the whole
barn moaned as if being shifted by the wind. But with the doors wide
open, Rosco felt no breeze come through. Even the rafters above him
creaked under some unknown weight. Like somebody was walking across
the floor above. Rosco picked up Flash and held her close. The basset
squirmed, accompanying Roscos jittery feeling. Slowly, he got
to his feet, lifting the dog with him. The rafter creaked a few more
times and the Rosco thought he heard something. A jingling noise...very
faint. Almost like a...spur?
Lets get out of here, Flash. Aint nobody here....
Rosco started walking towards the door where the high beams of his
patrol car offered little comfort. Flashs head was near Roscos
shoulder and she could see behind him. When she started barking
again, Rosco stopped long enough to look. His heart bounced between the bottom of his stomach and his throat. There, in the
corner near the stairs that led up to the rafter was a shady image of someone. They looked at Rosco, blending with the shadows of the barn and the high beams from the patrol car, distorting themselves. Rosco couldnt force his eyes to look away and couldnt get the message to his feet to move! The shadowy person remained in the same spot, looking at Rosco. Like a fog lifting they became clear enough for Rosco to tell it was a man, that he was dressed like a 19th century cowboy complete with hat and vest. His face, however, was not completely distinguishable. And Rosco finally snapped out of his frozen state of
fear long enough to run out of the barn and to his patrol car. The ghost remained for a moment, the cowboys facial expression was sad as the Plymouths high beams disappeared and the patrol car tore away into the night. A single name was spoken in the wind and whether or not the intended recipient heard it remained to be seen...
Bo and Luke Duke were on their way back to the farm after having a round
at the Boars Nest with their friend Cooter Davenport. The topic
of conversation mostly focused on who was taking who to the Hazzard
Halloween Dance on Friday night. Bo and Luke traded jabs on whos
date didnt need a scary costume to go. Cooter had just shook
head, figuring the boys would never change.
What did you mean my date wouldnt need a mask? Bo asked
as he turned the General onto Mill Road.
If you mean what I think you meant, your date WILL need a mask!
Bo said. Luke was about to return a response when he spotted a car
coming towards them on the other road, heading towards the intersection.
The headlights were bouncing,
indicating that the car was hitting all the bumps at quite a speed.
Bo, look out--
What--? Bo managed a glanced before he slammed the Generals
brakes. Dixie played in warning to the other driver and
the car went sliding through the intersection, missing the General
which was now sideways the driver door facing the intersection. The
other cars tail lights faced the General and the Plymouth Fury
came to a stop.
The boys looked at the car and then climbed out of the General.
Rosco? Bo queried as he and Luke walked up to the driver
Dont you know yer supposed to yield when you come to an intersection?
Im sorry fellas, Rosco said. Both boys could hear the
distress in the Sheriffs voice. Plus the fact that he didnt
blame them for the near miss immediately told them something was wrong.
Luke pulled the door open, so the interior light of the Plymouth shone
You okay? Whatchya drivin like a bat outta hell for?
Roscos face was about as white as the paint of his cruiser. He
looked at the boys and shook his head.
Whats wrong? Has something happened?? Bo asked.
The Sheriff took a moment to pull himself together before telling his
tale. The barn on Henry Jamesons property is supposed to
be torn down on Friday. Boss wanted me to check it out to make sure
there werent any squatters or anything out there, ya
know...? He paused, which was long enough for the Dukes to jump to conclusions.
Theres something out there? Bo said. You dont
mean...a dead body??
Rosco shook his head. No. Worse! Theres ghosts out there!
The dang things haunted. I heard noises and I saw one!! Then
I heard my name as I was driving away---what are you laughing at??
Sorry, Rosco, Luke chuckled. But you gotta admit that
Halloween is Friday. You sure youre not gettin caught up
in the whole thing?
Arrrrre you kiddin me??! If Im getting caught up in
all of it then Flash here is too! Poor darlin was barking up
a storm. She saw em too! He reached and pulled the basset
on his lap, holding her.
The boys glanced at each other. They werent exactly believing of
Rosco seeing ghosts but they figured to offer something to try to make
him feel better.
Listen, ya want me and Bo to go back with ya and look around?
No way! I aint goin back there in million years! If
Boss wants the barn torn down he can send in the bulldozers tomorrow
for all I care!! Rosco suddenly didnt want to talk about
it anymore and he reached to close the door. The boys stepped back
as the patrol car was put in gear and Rosco drove around them back
onto the road that would take him back to town.
Man... Bo said. I dunno what he saw, but hes
shook up bad.
Yeah, Luke replied thoughtfully. They walked back to the
Are we gonna go look?
Nah. Not tonight. Luke climbed into the passenger window
and slid into the seat. Maybe well swing by tomorrow. I
think Rosco was just jumping at shadows. I mean, the barn hasnt
been used in what? Five, six years? You gotta admit that it was
probably kinda creepy out there, thats all. Plus with Halloween coming, I think Rosco just over reacted to something simple.
Yeah, youre probably right.
Aint I always? Luke laughed. Like, considerin
your date for Friday...
Bo glared at his cousin. Cute, Luke. REAL cute...
The General Lee headed home.
I tell you, if I was Rosco, Id have been drivin like
At the courthouse, Rosco found a bit more receptive audience for
Possumonagumbush... Enos said softly. You saw a ghost??
Rosco nodded and looked at his three deputies gathered before him in
the middle of the booking room. He was relieved that they didnt
think he was loonie...atleast, they hadnt said anything yet.
Flash saw something else too, I think...but all I saw was a ghost
in the corner.
What noises did you hear? MaryAnne asked.
It sounded like somebody was walking up in the rafter...and I heard
a jingling noise, like a spur.
What did the ghost look like? Cletus asked.
Well...like a cowboy. Rosco paused. I tell you, it
was creepy! He was prolly gonna snatch me into the beyond!
Rosco, not all ghosts are bad, MaryAnne said. Aint
ya ever heard of Casper? Khee!
This wasnt Casper! I dont know who it was, but I know
what I saw!
Boss Hogg had been sitting in his office and heard the officers in their
conversation. He now came out of the office.
Whats this about ghosts?
Rosco turned to his brother-in-law. At that barn yer gonna have
torn down on Friday. You can go ahead and do it tomorrow if ya want!
Ghosts? Rosco, have you finally lost it??
Me and Flash both saw em!
Bah! Aint no such thing as ghosts! Its probably just
some prank somebodys pullin to get in the Halloween spirit,
Boss said, the last of his statement holding sarcasm.
Aint nobody been out there for years, Cousin Boss,
Cletus said. Why would someone set up a prank, especially since
nobody knew Rosco was goin out there!
Maybe somebody dont want the barn torn down? Enos suggested.
Even as he spoke he knew that was a weak possibility.
Yeah, but who knows that Boss is having it torn down? MaryAnne
said. Like Cletus said, aint nobody been there for years.
Oh its all baloney! Boss exclaimed. Ive
got buyers for that property and the barn has to come down on Friday.
I aint lettin some silly thing like ghosts stop it.
Well, tell ya what Rosco and I will go out there early tomorrow
morning and check it out-- MaryAnne started.
I aint goin back out there!! Rosco exclaimed.
Flash barked in agreement.
MaryAnne gave her cousin a scolding look. Rosco, Ill go with
you. Well just take a look around and see whats going on,
if anything. I think we should check it out. And Im sure theres
some logical explanation to all of it. Well have an answer for
ya by tomorrow, Boss.
Boss scoffed. Aint no such thing as ghosts, he muttered
as he turned back to his office. Its just pranks.
You know, its funny that ol Boss dont believe
em. Didnt he and Rosco think they were hearin voices
out at ol Silas Hoggs place a couple years back? And that
was the Dukes pullin a shuck and jive. Some things you just cant
* * *
Early the next morning, when the sun was just starting to peek over
the horizon and the fog was still fairly thick, Rosco and MaryAnne
drove out to the barn in Roscos patrol car. The dogs accompanied
them and Flash and Bandit watched from the open windows of the cruiser
as Rosco and MaryAnne walked to the barn. MaryAnne made Rosco go in
first, more or less because she knew hed probably go running
back to the patrol car if she had gone in first.
Jit jit, Rosco said when MaryAnnes hand in his back
gave him some friendly persuasion. You dont have to push!
I aint pushing. Just git in there...
Once inside, the two cousins stood for a moment, listening and looking
around. MaryAnne couldnt help but feel a little creeped for some
reason. The barn, however, was quiet and nothing stirred. And that
alone was creepy enough.
Okay, you wanna point out where you saw what ya saw?
Well, Flash saw something in the stall here. He pointed and
even took a step toward it. She was barking like it was a full
moon. MaryAnne peered into the stall.
Then I got the feelin that me and Flash werent the
only ones in here. I heard the rafters creak and the spur...I picked
up Flash... Rosco went through the movements, as if he was picking
up the basset hound in his arms. I was about ready to run out
the door when she started barking again. I turned to look and saw him
in the corner there. He pointed towards the stairs at the other
end of the barn.
MaryAnne was quiet in thought as she looked around. Rosco remained where
he was as she started to walk towards that end of the barn. He looked
around a little and then back at his cousin as a sudden chill settled
in the old structure.
Do you suddenly get the feelin...that we aint the only
ones in here?
MaryAnne swallowed. Yeah... She paused, feeling a light breeze
come through the old planks of the wall near her. With the breeze came
a faint jingling sound....just like a spur as Rosco had heard. She
turned around to face her cousin who was already staring at her.
Hes right there...
To yer left...jit jit!! Hes lookin right at ya!!
MaryAnne bolted towards her cousin, a hair raising shot of electricity
going through her limbs. The Sheriff grabbed a hold of her and she
turned to look back at the spot where she had been. Amongst the shadows
of the wall, near the window and stairway where the morning fog was
swirling around, a dark form could been seen. The ghost looked at the
two officers cowering together in the middle of the barn. As his face
became a little clearer, Rosco and MaryAnne could tell there was something
not very nice about this ghost. His faded 19th century clothes were
dark...like that of an outlaw and his expression
seemed just as dark, if not more. In a brief moment, his face was clear enough for Rosco and MaryAnne to see him smile sinisterly and then appear to start laughing but all that could be heard was the distant squaking of crows. The man then disappeared.
Rosco and MaryAnne stood frozen for a moment. That wasnt
the same one...
Rosco managed to say before Flash and Bandit were heard barking outside.
MaryAnne lunged towards the door with Rosco following right behind
Do you believe me now?? Rosco asked when they got to the
MaryAnne nodded. I believe ya. Believe me, I believe ya!
She then looked at the dogs who were trying to see past her. She turned
around and looked.
The Sheriff was already looking. A horse and rider faded in and out of
the fog. The horse appeared to be moving towards Rosco and MaryAnne,
making itself and its rider a little clearer with each step. The rider
looked at the two cousins, his expression a pleading almost apologetic
look. Rosco and MaryAnne were sure this was not the same ghost they
had just seen in the barn a moment before. There was something different
in this mans clothes and the look he gave the two officers. The
horse stopped moving and Rosco couldnt stop himself from looking
the rider in the eye.
Inside the patrol car, the radio softly came on. Both Rosco and MaryAnne
could hear the static and hum, like it was on the AM dial instead of
FM. Voices emanated from the speakers, faintly. Different voices, patched
together to form a message for the Hazzard law officers.
...dont go...help...dont be frightened....me...
Rosco and MaryAnne were shaking now. Flash and Bandit were just as upset
in the cruiser. The horse and rider made no sudden moves, but the sun
was slowly breaking through the fog now, distorting the image.
R--Rosco...who is he?
Yer askin me?
Well, hes lookin at you!
Jit jit! I dont know!
The rider appeared to smile, amused. The smile quickly faded and his
eyes flicked towards the barn. The horse reared up and turned around.
As they disappeared into the fog, another horse and rider went in after
it. The ghosts were then gone and the sun burned brighter.
Rosco and MaryAnne were silent for several moments. The radio quietly
Did you see that? Rosco asked.
Yeah...theres two of em...
The one on the horse, was the one I saw yesterday. I didnt
see that other one before.
MaryAnne looked at the old barn and the fog around it that was becoming
thinner as the sun became brighter. Rosco, what does it all mean?
The Sheriff shook his head and turned towards the patrol car. I
dunno, he said softly.
We gotta find out who he is...or was, MaryAnne said. He needs our help for something.
* * *
No ghosts, right? Boss asked.
Rosco and MaryAnne stood before Bosss desk at the courthouse and
hesitated in response.
Uh...well...no, MaryAnne said. There is a ghost. In
What?! Dont tell me youve gone as loonie as your cousin
Boss, Im serious! There was two of em! One of them
made Roscos radio go all haywire and gave us a short message.
Oh yeah? Boss was disbelieving. Whatd he have
He said for us to not be afraid of him, Rosco said, and
that he needed our help.
Boss rolled his eyes. This is getting ridiculous. Im gonna
prove to you two that there aint no ghosts! Were gunna
go out there tonight and youll see, there aint no such
things as ghosts. Its all in your heads.
MaryAnne glanced at Rosco and shrugged.
Okay, Boss, Rosco said. You can go with MaryAnne. Ill
Rosco, MaryAnne scolded.
Ill be going with both of ya. Alright, now get out on patrol.
And dont be wastin anymore county time with this ghost
story stuff. He shooed the Sheriff and deputy out of the office.
MaryAnne glanced at the door as it closed and then looked at Rosco, who
shrugged. You know whats gonna happen when he goes out
there with us, dont you?
You mean when he goes with you. There aint gonna be no ghosts
and hes gonna think weve both gone looney.
MaryAnne gave her cousin another scolding look. I meant when we
BOTH go. And yer right, he aint gonna see no ghosts. MaryAnne
headed for the booking room doors and Rosco followed. They passed Cletus
on their way out. He was heading in to man the booking desk.
Did Cousin Boss believe ya?
No, both Cotlranes chorused.
Cletus shook his head. I didnt figure he would.
He wants to come with us tonight, to prove to us that there aint
MaryAnne said. Which means we probably wont be seeing any
ghosts tonight, just because thats how our luck goes.
Well, Cletus gave a shrug and continued on to the booking
room. Maybe the ghosts will be on your side and theyll
MaryAnne chuckled as Cletus disappeared into the booking room. Thatd
be nice. She and Rosco then headed out of the courthouse.
Theres gotta be a way to figure out who that ghost is,
Rosco said. And what he needs our help with. The two cousins
paused on the sidewalk near their patrol cars.
What do you know about that barn? MaryAnne asked.
Rosco thought a moment. Well, its one of the oldest standing
barns in Hazzard. Been around since the1840s I think.
Who owned it last? Before Boss bought it?
Henry Jameson. He passed on five years ago.
Did he ever say anything about thinkin it was haunted?
Rosco shook his head. Not that I recall.
No deep dark stories about someone havin been murdered or
comittin suicide or anything in that barn?
He shook his head again. Nope.
Hmm...well, I guess were just gonna have to ask Mr. Ghost
ourselves next time we see him.
You can ask him.
MaryAnne rolled her eyes. You aint really afraid of going
back out there again are you?
You better believe I am! he said, nodding vigorously.
MaryAnne drew in a deep breath. Rosco, we gotta find out whats
goin on. We owe it to this ghost, whoever he is, and to ourselves
Whoever he was....
MaryAnne paused. It was the second time she had done that, referring
the ghost in the present tense. Was...
Now, as yall know, there aint nothin more powerful
than Duke curiosity. Bo and Luke actually did go to check out that
Boss Hoggs white Cadillac turned down the dirt drive leading to
Uh oh...need I remind you about Duke luck as well?
YOU DUKES!! Boss exclaimed before the Caddy had come to a
stop. Bo and Luke had just started to come out of the barn when the
white car pulled in and they looked at Boss, surprised.
Boss scrambled out of his car and quickly came around the front of it.
You Dukes! Its you who are pullin pranks! Always
tryin to ruin my business dealings! And not only that, youve
been playing tricks on Rosco and MaryAnne, makin em think
theyre seein ghosts!
What? Whoa, wait a minute Boss, it aint us! Bo exclaimed.
Yeah, what would we have to gain from makin Rosco and MaryAnne
think theyre seein ghosts? Luke asked.
Spite! Youre doin it just for spite!
Luke shook his head. You got it wrong, Boss. Look, we saw Rosco
driving like a shot last night away from here. We dont know what
he saw, but he was shook up pretty bad. He didnt even blame us
for the near collision we had!
Thats right, Bo added. Were just out here
to check it out is all.
Ha! Youre here to see if your pranks are still gunna work
for when me and Rosco and MaryAnne come out here tonight. Well you
can just knock it off, cuz it aint! Now I think you owe
poor Rosco and MaryAnne an apology. And me too!
Both of the boys rolled their eyes. Boss, it aint us!
Luke grabbed Boss by the arm. Look, you can come inside and look
around yourself. Me and Bo will follow you. If you find one trick or
prank set up, then well admit to the whole thing.
Boss shoved his cigar into his mouth and marched into the barn with Bo
and Luke following. They watched the man in the white suit look in
the corners, the stalls, under fallen planks, around walls and kick
up enough dust to settle in spots on his jacket. They then followed
Boss outside to the back of the barn, where he looked and searched
but didnt find anything. Not one gizmo. Not one trick.
Boss turned to the boys, who now looked expectant of an apology. Also,
Luke said. Me and Bo were at the Boars Nest last night
and theres tons of folks thatll testify to that.
Boss knew he was whipped. But the expression on his face didnt
necessarily hold apology. It was troubled. If Rosco and MaryAnne did
Aint no tricks...?
The boys shook their heads. No tricks, Boss, Bo said.
The heavier set mans posture was less defensive now. His eyes wandered
off to the side as he stood in thought. He rolled his cigar between
his thumb and index finger. He then snapped out of it and looked at
Alright, alright so maybe you Dukes aint pullin tricks.
But somebody is! Rosco and MaryAnne both think theyre seein
ghosts in this place at night. If it aint you two...how do you
explain what it is?
The boys looked like they were about to answer when they stopped and
looked at each other. How do you explain it?
Well, maybe its just a Coltrane thing.
Later that evening, Boss accompanied Rosco and MaryAnne to the
barn. Believe it or not, ol Boss was now kinda leery to go. And
it took some creative persuadin from MaryAnne to get them to
go with her.
You two are two peas in a pod you know that? MaryAnne said
with a shake of her head. She stood with her hands on her hips next
to her patrol car. Bandit added an affirmative bark.
Well, you know, Boss started. Maybe it aint something
we should be foolin around with. I mean...how do you know that
ghost wont hurt ya or something?
MaryAnne rolled her eyes. Ok, you two scaredy cats can stay here.
Bandit and I will go out to the barn. She turned and gave Bandit
a tug on his leash for him to follow her around the patrol car.
Jit jit! Now ya done it, Boss...
Rosco, youre the one who was seeing ghosts to begin with!
Boss shot back. MaryAnne, wait a minute... Boss hurried
around the patrol car with Rosco following.
Now you cant go out there by yourself--
SOMEBODYs gotta find out whats going on, MaryAnne
said. Maybe Bo and Luke will come with me....
Ah! You dont need them Dukes to go with ya! Boss exclaimed.
Would you two rather come with me?
They paused, just long enough for MaryAnne to jump at it.
Yeah, thats what I thought. Listen, aint nothin
gonna happen to me. Ive got Bandit with me, Ill be fine.
She opened the door and let the dog into the car and started to get
Now wait a minute! Rosco said. As yer commanding officer,
Im orderin you not to go to that barn!
MaryAnne looked at her watch. Sorry, Rosco. I went off duty three
minutes ago. She started the car, put it in gear and let it roll
forward a bit.
Wait! Rosco was getting really flustered now. He even went
so far as to stand in front of the patrol car!
MaryAnne popped her head out the window. Rosco, will you get outta
Im not lettin you go out there by yourself!
Well then why dont you get in the car and come with me??
Rosco paused and glanced at Boss. The big man conceded defeat and he
Ill go, he said.
MaryAnne looked at Boss. Thank ya, Boss. I appreciate that.
She looked at her cousin. Rosco?
The Sheriffs shoulders slumped. Oh awright, he said
grudgingly. Ill go too.
MaryAnne grinned. Goody! Get in the car boys!
Wait, lemme go get Flash... Rosco jogged around the Plymouth
and went up the stairs to the courthouse.
Oh what do we need that thing for? Boss mumbled after he
climbed into the back seat. Bandit barked at him.
Ah! Dont you start with me!
* * *
The barn doors were still open when the patrol car pulled into the drive.
MaryAnne brought the car just a few feet away from the building and
put it in park. She then turned the engine off but the
headlights stayed on.
After a moment of looking at the dark barn, Rosco spoke. You aint
goin in are ya? he asked.
No. I think we should wait out here. Seein as he tried to
talk to us through the radio last time. Maybe hell try again.
Alright. Rosco actually sounded relieved.
They stared at the front of the barn for a long time, waiting for something
to happen. MaryAnne had her window rolled down, to listen for any sounds.
All they could hear were the crickets and hoot owls. The wind didnt
even move much.
Maybe they aint gonna show, Rosco said hopefully. Oh
well, guess we can go back to town.
Rosco, will you knock it off! MaryAnne hissed. She decided
not to have to listen to his cowardly act and she got out of the car.
What are you doin??
Just hush! Maybe they aint comin cuz they cant
see us. She closed the door and stood beside the front fender
of the Plymouth, looking at the barn and waiting.
Come out, come out where ever you are...
She took a step towards the barn, moving away from the cruiser. Hello?
she called cautiously. She felt like a fool to say it.
But it worked. The wind picked up and mixed in with the crickets and hoot owls was the faint jingle of a spur.
What was that? Boss whispered.
You heard it too?? Rosco asked. Like a spur?
That means theyre comin...
MaryAnne had taken a few more steps away from the patrol car, which was
making Rosco nervous. So much so, he got out of the car and called
to her not to go any further. MaryAnne stopped and glanced back at
Rosco. She didnt say anything, but she
didnt retreat back either. She watched the barn doorway.
The cowboy appeared so suddenly that both Rosco and MaryAnne blinked,
thinking they were hallucinating. But they werent. The ghost
was there and he stepped out of the barn doorway towards the patrol
Boss had noticed the change in the two cousins stance, and also that
Bandit and Flash were suddenly alert to something happening outside
of the car. Whats happening? he asked.
The ghost, Rosco said. Hes right there Boss,
cant you see him??
Boss looked at the doorway of the barn. All he saw was the open doorway,
the headlights of the patrol car shining into a corner.
No, he said finally.
The cowboy looked through the windshield of the car at Boss.
Umm...but I do have an odd feelin...
Thats cuz hes looking right at you, MaryAnne
The cowboy stopped a few feet away from the patrol car...and MaryAnne.
Rosco was fidgeting now. Even though this ghost had said to not be
afraid...what if he was lying?
MaryAnne, be careful.
The cowboy looked at Rosco, a non-threatening friendly look. MaryAnne
studied the mans face, finding his features to be oddly familiar,
but she couldnt place who he looked like.
Who are you? she asked softly. Can you tell us your
Boss jumped when Roscos radio came on. The volume was up and the
static and noise from the AM dial was a little uncomfortable on the
ears. The dial flipped, passing over broadcasts until one could be
found to speak for the ghost.
The cowboys face darkened a bit. He appeared frustrated by what
the radio gave. The dial continued to flip.
Bosss heart was racing now. Without realizing it, he was hanging on to Bandits leash. There is ghosts! Holy Hannah!!
The cowboy closed his eyes. It wasnt coming out right! He opened
them and looked at Rosco.
Uh..I do? Rosco was shaking. Uh....ames? Amos?
Umm...how many guesses do I get?
The radio dial scanned a little more and then stopped on a talk station.
....kinda like Jimmy Stewart in Its a Wonderful Life...
Jimmy Stewart...? Rosco wondered.
James! MaryAnne exclaimed.
The cowboy looked at her, so suddenly it made her jump. He was smiling
however. MaryAnne brought a hand to her chest, feeling her heart pounding.
James, she said. James...uh... Train?
The cowboy nodded at her, hoping she would figure the last name. The
radio offered nothing more he could use but he pointed at the badge
on MaryAnnes uniform. MaryAnne looked down at hers and then looked
at him and noticed the five point star on
Rosco, hes wearin a badge... she said suddenly.
The cowboy turned towards Rosco so the Sheriff could see. The radio dial
Roscos heart was pounding like crazy! He steadied his hand on the
fender of the patrol car. A badge? Did he know this ghost....?
The ghost then suddenly turned and looked off towards the clearing. The
wind picked up as he did so. He then looked at Rosco and then MaryAnne
and shook his head.
Uh oh, Rosco said. The other ones comin??
The cowboy gave a nod.
Can you tell us who he is? MaryAnne asked.
Outlaw... MaryAnne said softly. She had a million questions
now, but with the antsy movements of the ghostly lawman, she knew she
wouldnt have time for answers. The ghosts expression was
apologetic and he turned back towards the barn.
....forgive...leave... As he ran into the structure, he faded
away. But the radio dial continued to move.
Rosco and MaryAnne quickly got back into the patrol car. The wind was
blowing hard now and MaryAnne pulled the patrol car up into the yard
more to turn it around and go back down the drive. When the nose of
the car was turned around, she looked over towards the field, seeing
the outlaw rider coming towards them.
...I was born...six gun in my hand. Behind a gun, I make my
MaryAnne slammed the accelerator and the Plymouth tore off down the drive.
The volume on the radio went down and Rosco and Boss both turned to
look out the back window. Boss couldnt see anything, but Rosco
saw the outlaw, now perched on his stationary horse watching the car
...I shot the Sheriff... It was barely audible before
the radio quit completely.
MaryAnne made a beeline back to town.
Yall realize who the lawman ghost is dont ya?
Which might explain why Rosco and MaryAnne are the only ones who
Once they got back to town, MaryAnne was beyond determined to find
out who the lawman had been.
MaryAnne came into Bosss office with two sketch pads and a legal
pad. Boss was nipping at his private stock of shine after the experience
of hearing a radio play and no one was touching the dials. One thing
was clear, he was a believer now.
Okay, Rosco, MaryAnne said, handing her cousin one of the
sketch pads. Draw the law man as best you can. Im gonna
do the same thing. She then handed Boss the legal pad. Boss,
I want you to write down everything you heard come from that radio.
Alright... Boss put his glass down and picked up a pen. He
thought a moment and then started scribbling on the legal pad.
Rosco and MaryAnne went about their sketch.
Now the artistic ability of Rosco and MaryAnne was often overlooked.
Most folks in Hazzard didnt know that Rosco also painted. And
I aint talkin paintin a house neither.
Boss finished his writing before Rosco and MaryAnne finished their drawing.
MaryAnne finished just ahead of Rosco and she put the two pads on Bosss
desk to compare.
The drawings were nearly identical.
Rosco, dont he look familiar to you? MaryAnne asked.
A little bit...
I think I might know who it is.
MaryAnne grabbed Bosss legal pad and looked at what hed written.
He said his last name was train and at one point
he also said ice. Whats another word for ice?
Freeze...frozen...cold.. Rosco said.
Yep, cold. Put cold before train.
Cold-train-- Rosco stopped suddenly. Coltrane???
MaryAnne nodded. James Stewart Coltrane.
Them diaries, Rosco said. The ones we found after
Aunt Madeline passed on. All that Civil War stuff and everything. Great-grandma
Claudia had written about him.
Right. Said he had disappeared or something. I dunno, were
gonna have to look again.
Wait, wait, Boss said. Who was James Coltrane?
Our great-great-granddaddy, Rosco replied. He paused and
shivered. If it is him...
We got a lotta research we gotta do. Startin with them diaries. MaryAnne grabbed up the two sketch pads and the legal pad. Come on.
* * *
Rosco was sitting at the kitchen table when MaryAnne came in with two of the diaries that Victoria Claudia Bainbridge Coltrane had kept during her lifetime. MaryAnne sat down beside her cousin and flipped open one of the old books.
Lets see...I remember she mentioned it during a couple of the entries talkin about when Jacob was killed during The War.
June 12, 1864
We have not heard from Jacob for almost three weeks. Robert is worried that his younger brother has either been captured or killed. The Confederate commanders have given us no information. Rufus commented that it was just like when their father James had disappeared ten years ago. But the stories that surrounded James disappearing have haunted both Rufus and Robert. They refuse to believe that their father, who had been Sheriff for almost 8 years, could turn his back on the law and join up with the likes of Reuben Tempest. I myself find that hard to believe as well...
That other ghost must be Reuben, Rosco said. He did
have beady lookin eyes...
MaryAnne flipped the old pages, scanning the entries. She found another one...
July 8, 1864
Beluah received word today that Jacob was killed in action at Dallas on the 3rd of June, 1864. Her husband, James Stewart Coltrane disappeared the 3rd of June, 1854...
Oooh, Rosco said. Now THATS creepy!
Yeah... MaryAnne closed the diary and gently placed it down.
He musta been trying to arrest em, she said, and
ol Reuben didnt wanna go to jail.
Tried to take out James but James took him with him. And has been
fightin with him for over a hundred and thirty years out at that
MaryAnne nodded. Which means theyre both buried there still.
What are you thinkin?
What Im thinkin is we should find where hes buried
and dig him up! And bury him where he should be which is in the Coltrane
plot at the Old North Cemetery with his wife and sons!
MaryAnne, I aint diggin up no bones....
Rosco, great-grandma Claudia wrote that history had labeled James
a turncoat, that he had gone crooked. She eyed her cousin. Now
some Coltrane law men may be crooked but this one wasnt.
That sobered the Sheriff. MaryAnne then stood up to return the diaries
upstairs. She stopped and turned back to Rosco. You know, I would
think bein a descendent and all, that you would want to see history
corrected. She started up the stairs.
MaryAnne, Rosco said suddenly and jumped up from the table.
MaryAnne stopped in the stair way and looked at him.
What about that outlaw? What if he dont want us diggin up those remains? Theres no tellin what he might do to keep us away from there.
Yeah, I know... MaryAnne paused. All we need is for
James to point out where hes buried. We dig him up during the
daylight hours everything should be alright.
Rosco was still leery. He just plain did not want to go back to that
barn! However, he didnt want MaryAnne going there alone either.
Ill go with ya, he said hesitantly. But only
to determine where hes buried.
MaryAnne smiled. Thank you, Rosco. She then ran up the stairs
to return the diaries.
Now dont yall get Rosco wrong. He does want to clear
his ancestors name in history. He just dont wanna go out
to that barn again to do it!
Thursday night, Rosco and MaryAnne, with Flash and Bandit, drove out
to the barn once again. Rosco was hoping this would be the last time
they would have to at night. MaryAnne jumped out of the patrol car
and headed towards the barn.
Jit jit! MaryAnne, wait up! Rosco got out of the car and
walked to the barn after her.
James? MaryAnne said. Listen, uh, me and Rosco are
here and weve figured out most of everything. If you can come
out and answer one more question for us, I think we can help you even
The barn was still. The two officers stood in silence for a long moment,
listening and looking around with their flashlights.
We just need to know where youre buried, MaryAnne whispered as she looked up into the rafters.
Outside the barn, the outlaw Reuben Tempest appeared near the barn doors
just long enough for Flash and Bandit to see him and to bark their
announcement. Both Rosco and MaryAnne turned their heads and MaryAnne
started out of the barn first. Suddenly she heard the doors move behind
her and close with a wooden bang.
She swung around. Rosco?!
Doh! MaryAnne, whachya close the doors for?? he asked.
I didnt! She stepped towards the doors and tried to
pull them open. The massive doors wouldnt budge.
Rosco, I cant get this door open....
Inside the barn, Rosco tried to push the door open until he saw something
out of the corner of his eye. He looked into the barn and the ghost
of Reuben Tempest stood not ten feet from the Sheriff.
Roscos heart was pounding so hard in his throat he couldnt
speak. He just stared at the ghost who gave him an evil grin in return.
Ma-Ma-MaryAnne!! Get me outta here!!
MaryAnne felt a chill go through her with Roscos words. Hang
on, Rosco! She ran to the patrol car and let the dogs out, figuring
one of them could sniff around and find another way into the barn,
and give Rosco some moral support.
Find Rosco, she told them as they jumped out of the car.
In the moonlight she could see the dogs stop by the barn door first
and bark a bit. Flash then started pawing at the door, while Bandit
headed off towards the side of the building.
MaryAnne came back beside Flash. Rosco?? Roscos whats
goin on in there??
Every time the ghost had moved, Rosco moved too, which put him away from
the door and near the stalls now.
Its Reuben, he whined. Waaaahhh, Im gunna
No, you aint! Hes just tryin to scare ya, Rosco.
Flash was whining now too.
MaryAnne ran back to the patrol car and opened the door. She grabbed
up the CB mike and was about to push the talk button when the regular
radio started making noise. She ignored it and tried to call for help.
Enos? Cletus?? This is MaryAnne, you fellas got yer ears on??
The CB responded with static. The regular radio started flipping through
stations. MaryAnne repeated her call, asking for anybody who could
hear her to reply.
MaryAnne dropped the CB mike on the seat and jumped out of the car. Thats
what you think!! she yelled, her fear building now more than
anytime before when at the barn.
By this point, Rosco was on his knees. The temperature inside the barn
had dropped considerably and Reuben seemed to be enjoying just watching
Rosco shaking on the dirt floor of the barn. Rosco had his face buried
in his hands and he was huddled over, still whimpering. Suddenly a
one foot beam fell from the rafters above and landed just a few inches
from where Rosco was crouched.
Aaaahhhh!!! Rosco jumped practically into the old stall.
He grabbed a hold of the edge of the corner of the stall and glanced
at the ghost.
But Reuben had vanished.
MaryAnne had heard the beam fall and Roscos cry. She listened and
then called to him.
No!! I want outta here, dang it!! The Sheriff closed his
eyes, not wanting to see anymore.
Outside, MaryAnne left Flash pawing at the front door to check around
the barn for another way in. She came around the corner and found nothing
along the side. When she came around to the back of the barn she stopped
suddenly when she was face to face with a ghost.
MaryAnne gasped and jumped back. She looked at the ghost and thought
for sure it was Reuben coming to get her now. But it wasnt. The
old time Coltrane law man looked at her.
James... she said, taking deep breaths in trying to get her
heart to slow down. James, we figured out what youve been
trying to tell us and we realize what happened way back then. But can
you help Rosco? Reubens in there scaring the pants off him!
The lawman nodded and even smiled at MaryAnne, a look of relief that
she and Rosco had figured out his message. He then turned and vanished
into the wooden wall of the barn. MaryAnne continued to search for
Inside the barn, Reuben reappeared when James came through the wall.
James was only a foot away from Rosco, but the present day Hazzard
Sheriff wasnt looking. He was still leaning against the wall
of the stall, gripping the edge and shaking in genuine fear.
Leave him alone....
Rosco opened his eyes and stared at the dark floor below him.
He should not have come here...
Slowly, Rosco looked up at Reuben. But the outlaw wasnt looking
at him. He was looking past him. Rosco turned his head to look and
bolted out of the stall, rolling across the floor. He stopped and looked
into the stall again.
James... he whispered.
Rosco! Rosco, ya all right?
Ill be a lot better when I get out!
Can you see James?
MaryAnne was back to the front of the bar again with Flash and Bandit
running around her. She tried pulling on the door again.
The two ghosts, meanwhile, were staring each other down, like in an old west duel. Rosco kept looking back and forth between the two wondering if he was going to get caught in the crossfire...of something. In the wind that blew through the barn he could hear the faint voices that carried.
Its over, Reuben...
Ha ha, thats what you think, Coltrane. I like the way
history labeled you a turncoat. Theres more satisfaction in that
then there was the day I shot you full of holes....
But now they know...theyve figured it out...
MaryAnne, can you hear that?
"You think Im gonna allow them to amend history...?
You better believe we are! MaryAnne exclaimed. You
may try to stop us from placing James at the final resting place where
he belongs, but that dont mean we cant make a foot note
to the history.
Jit jit! MaryAnne, dont make him mad!
Brave little girl... Reubens voice sneered in
the wind. And with those words the barn doors opened just enough for
MaryAnne to step through. She hesitated and looked in at Rosco with
her flash light. He was still sitting on the floor.
The Sheriff shook his head. Dont come in here...he might
tryin to bait ya or something so he can get the both of us.
MaryAnne stood still, debating on her next move.
Come in little girl....brave little girl...
Flash went in first, making a bee line for Rosco. Rosco took hold of
his beloved hound and held her close to protect her from the outlaw
and to comfort himself.
Are you coward little girl, like your Coltrane kin...?
MaryAnnes eyes narrowed at that. Youre the coward,
Reuben! Youre the coward for taking pride in trying to ruin a
distinguished law mans career. Theres nothing more cowardly
than ruining someone elses life in order to hide the lack of
successes with your own! Plus you set him up to be killed didnt
you? You probably agreed to meet him out here and surrender quietly
or something, but you had some of your posse waiting in the shadows.
When the Sheriff showed up, your posse shot him. Im willing to
bet that not one bullet from your gun ever hit James. But you didnt
win, didja? her voice turned to more of growl now. James
managed to take you with him....
Despite his fear, Rosco couldnt help but smile with pride at MaryAnne.
He looked at Reuben, who was not at all amused by her speech.
Foolish little girl...
She aint no fool, Rosco said.
And I aint no coward either. She took a step towards
the entrance way and was half way through it when the big barn doors
suddenly closed, pinning her in. MaryAnne screamed in pain and dropped
her flash light. Rosco jumped to his feet to try to help her get out
of the doors and Reuben started laughing, and eerie chuckle that carried
through the wind that suddenly blew harder. Rosco pulled on the door,
trying to open it even just a little to alleviate the crush on his
cousin. Roscos fear went straight to fueling his anger. He looked
to James and then both law men looked at Reuben. In the pale moonlight
that shined into the barn, MaryAnne could see the expression on Roscos
face...and the mirror image on James.
Suddenly, all hell broke loose. Flash started barking at Rueben and outside
the barn, Bandit was barking and howling. James took two steps towards
the outlaw and both ghosts disappeared. But the wind kept blowing,
and two old boards that had come loose started to fall from the rafter
above. Even the dust of the dirt floor started to blow around, like
the beginnings of a tornado. Rosco held on to MaryAnne, who was still
pinned in the door. It lasted a couple of minutes and then suddenly
the barn doors popped open and MaryAnne fell to the ground with an
oomph. Rosco kneeled down next to her to make
sure she was ok as the wind subsided and the dust settled back down on the floor of the barn.
Ya hurt bad?
No...I dont think so... She sat up slowly as Bandit
came into the barn to investigate. Out of relief, she hugged Rosco.
What happened? she asked as she looked around the dark barn.
I aint sure...I think they were fighting... Rosco looked
A soft breeze whispered through the cracks in the wood of the wall of
the barn. James reappeared in the stall, the same stall where Flash
had barked on the first night she and Rosco were in the barn. Rosco
and MaryAnne looked at him as he pointed down to the ground his eyes
focused on Rosco.
The Sheriff swallowed. There? he asked.
James nodded. He then slipped his badge off his vest and laid it on the
ground. He stood up straight again, smiled at his descendants and slowly
faded away. But the badge remained, a marker to the lawmans unmarked
Can I open my eyes now?
Well now! MaryAnne did tell Boss shed have an answer about
what was going on before the bulldozers went in. With less then twelve
hours to spare, Rosco and MaryAnne got their answer. And got to help
their kin finally find rest. I dont know about yall, but
I think thats neat.
The next morning, with the bulldozers waiting, Rosco and MaryAnne with
Boss and even the Dukes, who heard from Enos and Cletus about the discovery
of remains, watched the work men as they dug the ground inside the
old stall. After several minutes,
one of them announced that they had hit something. Six feet down in the ground were the remains of Sleepy City Sheriff James Stewart Coltrane. Rosco and MaryAnne peered in and saw the few rib bones that showed in the dirt. A tattered piece of suede material was also unearthed and still pinned to the vest was a severely rusted five point star.
MaryAnne almost cried. Boss and Rosco both removed their hats, the Sheriff
looking especially poignant.
Its him, he said softly.
After a moment of silence, the work men reminded Boss that the proper
officials would have to be notified. Boss nodded and placed his hat
back on his head. Losing a day in tearing the barn down didnt
bother him much now.
Jamess remains were exhumed completely later that day. Upon
further investigation, the state officials found the outlaw Reuben
Tempests remains not ten feet away, near the stair way that led
up to the rafter. An odd, incomplete piece of Hazzard history was finally
filled. The chapter now had an ending.
Later that night, after trick or treating hours were over, several
folks gathered at the Boars Nest to trade scary ghost stories.
But none compared to the tale that MaryAnne told. Ol Rosco was
practically under the table the whole time.
The Sheriff and deputy were heading back to town. The lone patrol car
drove down the road where the haunted barn still stood. The bulldozers
would level it come the morning. Rosco didnt turn his head to
look, but MaryAnne did, if only as an after thought.
Holy smokes! she exclaimed. Rosco, look...
The Sheriff slowed the patrol car down a bit and looked. It appeared
that a light was on somewhere in the barn.
Lets go check it out.
NO WAY!! Rosco exclaimed. Flash barked in agreement at the same time. The patrol car kicked back dirt and tore off down the road. The taillights faded in the dark, but the light in the barn remained...
* * *
It took over a week for Rosco and MaryAnne to get everything together,
but by the following Friday, James Stewart Coltrane was finally laid
to rest beside his wife, Beluah, and with his four sons, Rufus, Elijah,
Robert and Jacob. The tombstone now
displayed his date of death as June 3rd, 1854, instead of saying he had disappeared.
MaryAnne placed the white lily flower down on the fresh earth and stood
back next to Rosco. The two cousins and officers had a moment of silence
for their great-great grandfather. And they removed their hats in honor
of the fallen law man.
After a moment they walked back to the waiting patrol car. Rosco was about to get into the car when he glanced back at the grave site.
She looked at him and then turned to look where he was gaze was focused. Even in the bright sunlight, the images could be just barely seen. After a hundred and thirty two years, James was finally reunited with his family. He looked at Rosco and MaryAnne, each one separately for a moment, his expression that of sincere appreciation. The woman beside him then took hold of his hand and they faded away. James Coltrane was no longer a ghost, trapped on earth because of the unfinished way he had died. He was now a spirit, free to finally move into the beyond....
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