|Wilderness Park in Lincoln, Nebraska is thought to have many spirits that haunt it's woods and trails.|
Ghosts of the Rock Island Train Disaster
In 1894, a train headed northward was crossing the trestle over Salt Creek. Something went terribly wrong and the locomotive along with a few cars tumbled off of the 40 ft long bridge to the ground below. A fire broke out and in the end, eleven people lost their lives. The real tragedy is that it was no accident. The bridge was sabotaged. The saboteur was found and convicted, but that did not change the fact that people died. Some say they still roam the area near Salt Creek in what is now Wilderness Park.
|In the late 1800s a train derailment at the bridge that crosses Salt Creek near Lincoln, Nebraska left almost a dozen dead. Many claim those lost souls still roam Wilderness Park to this day.|
Some who hike through Wilderness Park at dusk, report strange whispering noises coming from the trees. Others who have lost track of the hour and get caught by the setting sun in darkness, say they have heard the sound of heavy footsteps behind them in the area of the rail bridge. However, when they turn and look, nobody is around. Many feel that these noises are the spirits of those killed in the Rock Island rail disaster, perhaps seeking justice because the man who killed them only served 10 years of his sentence before being released on parole. A marker along the Jamaica North Trail marks the spot where the disaster occurred and these souls lost their lives.
Location: 40°44'38"N 96°42'45"W
The Witch of the Woods
In the early 1900s there was a short period where about half a dozen or so local children went missing in the Lincoln area. Many believed they ran away, but some believed that they disappeared in Wilderness Park. It wasn't until one boy went missing and his sister claimed to see him with a woman who lived in a secluded shack in the woods in what is now Wilderness Park. Locals called this woman "Witch of the Woods". Police searched the wooded areas and eventually the bodies of the children where found.
|When you are walking the trails of Wilderness Park and you run out of daylight, beware the "Witch of the Woods".|
Local police questioned the woman who lived in the shack and she only complained because the children always ran all over her property. There was no hard evidence against her, so the authorities did not make an arrest. However, once locals heard what the woman had said, they took matters into their own hands.
The "Witch of the Woods" was found one day, hanging by the neck from a tree with a chain. Many say when you walk the dark woods of Wilderness Park, you can hear the moans of the "Witch of the Woods" and occasional the rattling of chains. Some say they have actually found buried chains that have led to the tree where the woman was hanged. Be careful what you find at the end though, because they say the "Witch of the Woods" was buried there with the chains still on her. Somewhere in the woods a shrine exists that memorializes the children that lost their lives there so long ago.