"...we should pass over all biographies of 'the good and the great,' while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows."
~Edgar Allan Poe

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Newspaper Clipping of the Day

Via Newspapers.com

Phantom stagecoaches are always fun (especially when they generate manic headlines.)  The “San Bernardino News,” December 7, 1914:

Have you seen the phantom coach that dashes madly, silently, down the steep, rugged mountain trail near Pilot Rock? It is a weird story, this. It deals with the apparently supernatural. Possibly it isn't that at all, maybe it is simply some peculiar, unanswerable vision that floats in nonchalance down tho gloomy mountain trail when the shadows of night are appearing. 

The first report of the vision that has all the ear marks of a specter, was brought to San Bernardino by Driver Herfert, of the San Bernardino Mountain Auto Stage line, who declares that on at least three different trips he has seen the weird thing.

Only yesterday, when approaching the famous Pilot Rock on his return trip to this city with his big mountain auto stage, Driver Herfert again saw the uncanny performance of the phantom stage.

A great bulk, it suddenly appeared in the crooked mountain trail hardly fifty yards in advance of Herfert's big car. For a moment it remained motionless, only the lines of the body of the stage being clearly seen. A second later it began to move rapidly, its momentum increased, and it moved on and on like an Ignis-fatuus, the fluorescent, will-o'-the-wisp of the desert. As the strange vehicle took the turns in the trail, Herfert could more clearly make out its lines. It was drawn by six galloping steeds, that roared and plunged with a terrific madness.  The coach sped like a rocket down the mountain side.

Having before caught a glimpse of the stage, Driver Herfert determined to follow it yesterday with as much speed as possible. And, when he caught sight of it, crammed in as much speed as he could consistently without wrecking his car on the heavy car on the grade. But he was no match for the vision. It seemed to travel with almost lightning speed and finally disappeared, silhouetted against the gray mountain slopes. 

Driver Herfert declares that the first time he saw the strange apparition he heard many shots fired, whereupon he sped toward the stage, believing that a holdup was in progress. But neither on this occasion was he able to get close to it. It vanished as it came, like an unearthly thing that came from nowhere and went back with the same uncanny similarity. "Seemed to bore right into the mountain side," said Driver Herfert.

The apparition always appears near Pilot Rock, according to the driver, and each time at practically the same time, when twilight is nearing. "I can't make out for the life of me," said the driver, "what the blamed thing is. The first time I saw it I thought it was some immigrants traveling through the mountain. But the thing wasn't a wagon or anything like they use nowadays. It looked like the pictures of the old stage coaches.

"The coach was almost a black thing; there was nothing white about It at all except that when it was tearing down the road so fast, I thought I saw something white leave it as though a woman had jumped. But when I reached the place there was nothing to be found. 

"It simply gets me and I can't for the life of me figure out what anyone would want to play jokes for. It makes me awfully creepy and I dread to make the trip back alone."


  1. I am left speechless maybe I ahd the speech scared out of me, who knows, not I

  2. It sounds like it might be a mirage of some sort, but a repetitive mirage...?


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