Ghost Train of Statesville

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6 years 1 month ago - 6 years 1 month ago #11 by Mat Owens
Mat Owens created the topic: Ghost Train of Statesville
Content Author: Paul Pittman, Recruitment Manager (Carolina Paranormal Society)

It needs to be made immediately clear that the idea of investigating on or near any train track is not only dangerous, it’s just not a good idea! At no point do I as a writer or any group I know of or am affiliated with endorse this type of activity and I personally strongly advises against any type of self investigation or any of the actions as described below. Again, it is not only dangerous but also illegal as documented below.

THE STORY goes that on August 27, 1891 a train headed to Salisbury, NC derailed near Statesville, falling nearly 60 feet into a stream below killing 22 passengers. It was the worst train wreck in the state of NC up to that point.

FOLKLORE: Reports continue of a train seen barreling down the tracks with the whistle screaming and headlamp glaring. “Witnesses” state that they have seen the train start across the bridge and watched it derail, falling into the water below. Reports of people screaming in terror and agony from the water below have continued to baffle people who swear they witnessed a train wreck. “Some people say the phantom train appears each year in the early morning hours of August 27th and is wrecked before the eyes of any who watch for it” (Schlosser, 1997).

THE FACTS: There was in fact a train accident that killed 20 people including the train crew on board. There were many more injured who later died of their injuries and others that never fully recovered. The cause of the accident is believed that the track separated as the train approached from a downhill grade. As the tracks separated, the train struck the bridge structure between 25 and 30 mph, sending it off the bridge and into the water below (Beitler, 2008).

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: First and foremost, it is illegal to walk or linger on or near any railroad in the state of North Carolina punishable by trespassing under Section 14-280.1. Trespassing on railroad right-of-way (NC Department of Transportation). Additionally, it is unsafe to be walking along an active railroad at any time. For example, on August 27, 2010 Christopher Kaiser of Charlotte was struck and killed by a very real Norfolk Southern train traveling on the active route when he was trying to “investigate” the ghost train. Kaiser was able to push an unidentified woman who was there with him to safety. She fell approximately 40 feet herself out of the path of the oncoming train reportedly receiving only minor injuries (Ghast, 2010).


Beitler, S. (2008, November 18). Bostian's Bridge, NC Train Disaster, Aug 1891. Retrieved April 8, 2014, from GenDisasters: Events that touched our ancestor's lives at

Ghast, P. (2010, August 28). 'Ghost train' hunter killed by train in North Carolina. Retrieved April 8, 2014, from CNN at

NC Department of Transportation. (n.d.). NCDOT: Laws and Policies. Retrieved April 8, 2014, from NC Departement of Transportation at

Schlosser, S. E. (1997). Phantom Train Wreck. Retrieved April 8, 2014, from American Folklore at:
Last Edit: 6 years 1 month ago by Mat Owens.

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