Tracker Pixel for Entry

White Lady Lane

by Seng Phengdouangdeth | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Culture | October 18th, 2017

Just down a dusty old road trailing west in North Dakota, on County Road 9, you’ll come upon the Tetrault Woods which you’ll have to travel through. It’s said that the road eventually becomes so narrow that you can hardly drive any further because your vehicle might be too big to fit.

It is when this road is the narrowest you’ll come across a tiny decrepit bridge, lost to the laws of time. It’s usually then that a feeling will start to creep over you, a feeling that visitors have described to be of ominous dread, melancholy, and an unsettling feeling of an unseen presence everywhere around you.

You’ve just experienced what the townspeople of Walhalla whisper about among themselves, the haunting bridge that transforms fiction into fact for an urban legend they’ve come to know as “White Lady Lane”.

This is a great example of the nature of an urban legend in that there isn’t just one concrete story that makes up the legend.

On the one hand, the story is simple. Legend tells of a young woman who became pregnant out of wedlock living under the roof of two parents who were very strict in their religious beliefs. Before long, the young girl’s parents discovered the secret that she had been keeping and forced her, against her will, to marry the man who impregnated her.

Due to the stress of her circumstances, the young woman miscarried her child soon after her wedding and was eventually overtaken with a crippling sorrow and depression as she mourned her loss. In her extremely fragile and emotional state, the girl wandered from home to find refuge in death.

In the early morning, with no bride to be found sleeping in a warm bed next to her new husband, people naturally went out in search of the newlywed. The story goes on to say that the girl was found just as the sun was rising, hanging from a rope she had tied herself, underneath the narrow bridge within the Tetrault Woods.

That’s one version of the story. Here’s another.

It has to do with a young girl, about the age of sixteen. This girl’s name was Anna Story. On a warm Midwestern day, I imagine it was probably early spring, a Syrian peddler by the name of Sam Kalil came riding through the North Dakotan countryside with a wagon full of household goods that he sold to make a living, when he came upon the small town of Leroy, N.D.

It didn’t take long for Kalil to make the acquaintance of young Anna as he ventured through the town peddling his goods, and immediately the man was in love.

Before long, Sam sought out Anna’s parents so he could ask for her hand in marriage and was met with a skeptical glance from Anna’s mother, who denied his request to marry her daughter.

Kalil bargained with Anna’s mother, showing off the contents of his wagon, and the two of them came to a deal: in a year’s time, for the trade of a wagon full of Kalil’s valuables, Sam would be allowed Anna’s hand in marriage.

When Sam finally returned to claim the prize that he’d longed for, he was surprised to find that the door of opportunity he had been offered was now closed.

In the quiet hours of the night when the Story family was asleep in their beds, Sam broke into their home making immediately for Anna’s bedroom where, when he was certain of the young girl who lay before him, he pulled out his pistol and shot her in the chest, killing her instantly.

For many, that is about where the story ends, spawning the rural legend of White Lady Lane. Rumor goes on to tell that the young girl didn’t die there in her bed, but instead wandered into the deep dark night, not ready to be dead yet. Off into the dark wilderness she strayed further, finding refuge in the calm and quiet of the Tetrault Woods where she exists today residing in her restless afterlife.

If you thought that was the end, here’s a third side to this legend that you might find interesting.

There’s an article that exists from November 10th of 1921 in the Ward County Independent, the official newspaper of Ward county and the city of Minot, North Dakota, that is titled, ‘Pembina Peddler Kills Girl and Then Attempts Suicide.’ I found it while searching for information to write about this infamous rural legend that still haunts North Dakota. It details the events of an arranged marriage gone sour and the grisly events that ensued shortly after. If you ever get the chance, you should read it.

Like me, you’ll find the haunting truth behind the hearsay and legend that is passed through time. Not every scary story you hear is a work of fiction. Some of the scariest stories we have come to know are real.

[Editor’s note: Seng is the man behind Whispers in the Night podcast]

Recently in:

FARGO – Republican optimism for enlisting Senate candidates is suffering blow after blow. Democrats have flipped eight Republican-controlled state legislative seats across the nation, from Roy Moore’s loss to former federal…

When I was a young boy of five I was lucky enough to have a black and white TV in our house. I had a lot of friends in those day because I let the whole neighborhood come over on Saturday morning to watch cartoons. I distinctly…

Wednesday, January 24, 6pmFargo Theatre, 314 Broadway NThe very first showing of “Homegrown: From Farm to Fargo,” a half-hour documentary shot, written, edited and produced by mass communication and journalism students at…

Last week I was asked to appear and speak on behalf of Matt Pausch, owner of the Oasis, before the Public Works and Safety Committee in Wahpeton. The Pausches are great people and I will never forget the time I spent at the Oasis.…

Corky had a knee replaced in late December and she has been diligently doing the physical therapy connected with the rehab. Although the operation was done in Fargo, I imagine the procedure would have cost about the same if it had…

Rhombus GuysWhile they may be known locally and throughout the region for their restaurants, which feature over thirty different pizzas, and their recent addition of a brewery in Grand Forks, Rhombus Guys also proudly pour from a…

Do you eat enough vegetables? Almost no one does. The current USDA nutrition guidelines for adults recommend 2.5 to 3 cups of vegetables to be eaten daily. Other nutrition sources indicate this number can be upwards of 6 cups of…

No one who has lived in Fargo for any length of time has to be told how bitterly cold it can get here during the winter. As much as we might complain about the cold temperatures, the biting winds, or the copious amounts of snow, we…

Now playing on Netflix Instant Watch, Voyeur is the curious story of strange bedfellows Gay Talese -- the once influential and celebrated journalist -- and Gerald Foos, a creepy peeper who spied on the guests at his hotel,…

High Plains Reader: How did the idea for Daily Trump Cartoon come to you -- what was your call to action?Peter Yuenger: It wasn't really a call to action, It was more of a New Year’s resolution to get back in the habit of drawing…

Smoke starts to seep from the sides of the stage and a rocker’s voice echoes over the crowd: “Are you ready to rock?!”You might think that you’re at a rock concert, if you weren’t seated in a black box theatre. For the…

Humor

​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

“I don’t have a tour, like, on the back of a sweatshirt,” comedian Paula Poundstone says. “I go out every weekend. This weekend I went out Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mostly it’s Friday/Saturday or Thursday through…

“What are some of your favorite bottles of whiskey?” is a question I get asked quite frequently and is often harder to answer than one might think. One of the great rewards of my profession is getting to sample some of the…

Essential oils. They are all the buzz lately. It seems everyone has heard of them or is purchasing them. Some people know how to use them; others are just interested in the wonder of their complex scents.Essential oils are as…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

By Gary Olsonolsong@moravian.edu“Kissing a man without a beard is like eating an egg without salt.”— Dutch proverb, probably written by a man.“Kissing a man with a beard is like going on a picnic. You don’t mind going…