Back in the early 1900’s, a family lived in a small house at the top of a hill that overlooked the old wood bridge, which crosses Cedar Creek at the base of the hill. The curvy road passes through a wooded area just beyond the bridge, and on most nights has a bit of fog lying in the low places. The family consisted of the hard-working farmer father, the mother, and their only child, a son. When WWI broke out, the son proudly signed up to fight for his country, much to his mother’s dismay. She kept a lantern in the window that overlooks the old wooden bridge burning all night, every night, waiting for her son to return.
Unfortunately that was never to be, as the son was killed in a fierce battle in Europe. His body was never identified, and was, therefore never returned to the parents. The grief stricken mother refused to believe her son was dead, and continued placing the burning lantern in the window every night. After the war ended and her son still didn't returned home, reality started sinking in, and the mother slowly fell into poorer and poorer health.
Eventually the mother did die. The father seemed to be taking his loses in stride, and kept busy trying to run the farm by himself. He kept the lantern burning in the window each night as a tribute to his dead wife and son. During the summer after his wife’s death, he began building a fence along the road at the base of the hill. He started at the creek, and eventually built the fence all the way across the edge of his property. The fence was a split rail style, with sticks and branches forming different shapes and designs between the two rails. Everyone just assumed he was making the fence look nice, but that wasn’t all he was doing as he painstakingly nailed each branch into place….
On a quiet, foggy night, just after the fence was finished, the father walked down to the old wood bridge, tied a rope to the railing, slipped his head into a noose, and stepped off, into glory. In going through his house after the suicide, a note was found that simply said, “Read the fence.” But try as they could, no one was able to decipher the hidden coded message in the design of the fence. To this day, the fence still holds its secret message from a grieving father. And even though the house has stood unoccupied since the family’s deaths, on particularly dark, foggy nights, you can still see the lantern burning in the window of the weathered old house, and sometimes you can even hear the old man’s screams coming from under the bridge.
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