The Ghost Cow of Charleston


“I was living at 123 Bull Street when I was terribly frightened by something that nearly took all of my nerves away. The people with whom I lived told me not to go out and stay out late at night, but I thought they were selfish and jealous, and I did not pay any attention to what they said. Night after night, I went out and stayed until 12 o’clock. Then one night came when my going out was stopped without having to be told.

The house in which I lived was next to Avery Institute with a yard of beautiful shrubbery which makes it very haunted looking at night. Very seldom are people seen passing in that somewhat secluded section of Charleston at night. Night after night, I would be the only one walking along. Then, on an eventful night just as I turned to go into the side entrance to my room in the rear, under the tree which I had to walk I saw a cat which did not frighten me until it turned into a calf of about two years old.

My hair stood straight up on my head, and I became so weak that my voice was just above a whisper. Drops of perspiration fell from me. When I had recovered from the shock, I ran and the animal must have followed me. I could hear it galloping behind me as I ran home a few rods from the scene. Looking back as I almost burst down the door, the peculiar thing was no longer visible.”

Told by Mrs. S.C. Ladson, age 36, maid, 180 Queen St. Charleston, SCĀ 
Federal Writers’ Project. 1936. WPA Federal Writers’ Project Papers. USC South Caroliniana Lib., Columbia, SC.