|George Buster Singleton|
(For decades, local historian and paranormal investigator George “Buster” Singleton published a weekly newspaper column called “Somewhere in Time.” The column below, which was titled “Listen to the voices that speak in the night” was originally published in the Nov. 1, 1990 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)
There are many strange happenings that I have encountered during my sojourn in Monroe County.
I have spent many occasions braving the cold nights and suffering through many surprise rainstorms. I know that no one made me expose myself to the harshness of the elements. I have had the living daylights frightened out of me during some of my ventures throughout the area. But, all in all, I have enjoyed every minute.
There are those who say that one is not too bright when one brings on hardships such as I have experienced. But those times have been exciting, and the fond memories have made it worthwhile.
Just a short time ago, I was told about a place where abnormal things were happening. As has happened many times, I promised that I would not disclose the exact location because this individual didn’t want anyone going across his property and littering and wrecking the area. So I agreed to keep the immediate area a kind of secret until such time this landowner saw fit to disclose it.
I was shown the area and the easiest way to get into it from the highway. I always like to become familiar with the terrain. (I tell everyone this is so I won’t hurt myself if I decide to do some serious running.) I was told by the landowner that the unusual happenings would probably begin shortly after sundown. So, a few evenings back, the right time presented itself and I was on my way.
After riding my trail bike almost to the spot that I had been shown, I turned it around and headed it out toward the highway. Slowly, I made my way down the trail. I had planned to pick out a secure place where I could hear and see.
The dark shadows of the evening were slowly creeping across the few open spots among the timbers. I thought of myself as being early for the gathering of the supernatural. But I was jolted to my senses to hear voices talking rapidly as I started to sit on the ground.
No one to be seen
I looked all around me, expecting to see a group that had gathered here to play a trick on me or try to scare me out of my wits. The thought passed through my mind that I had been set up for a big, funny joke. But there was no one to be seen. I listened closely as the talking continued. Strange, I didn’t recognize any of the words; they were of an unfamiliar language. The sounds were short, as though many of the words were just grunts. I continued to listen, hoping to recognize something or anything.
I stared into the gathering darkness, hoping to see a movement or anything that might be familiar that I could associate it with the voices. The voices floated across the opening, as though a quarrel of sorts was about to take place. Then the voices grew quiet, as a lone, heavy voice seemed to take control of the group or gathering. This voice continued to speak for about two or three minutes. Then all was quiet. I looked at my watch; the time was 8:10 p.m. The stillness seemed to reach out and touch me as I sat very still. The hairs on my neck stood up against my shirt collar.
I began to listen for the usual night sounds of the woods. There were none, not even the sound of a leaf dropping from a tree. This was highly unusual, I thought. I would have welcomed the sound of a worrisome armadillo, but the stillness continued to creep over the area.
Just one voice
Ten minutes passed, then 20. I was about to ease myself up the path and to my transportation. As I rose to one knee, I was aware that the talking had started again. I eased myself down to the ground. The talking was again in that strange tongue. I listened ever so closely; this time the lone, heavy voice continued to speak. There were no other voices.
The talking lasted this time for about three minutes. I wished more than ever that I could make out even a single word, but to no avail. I searched my memory for something that I might could compare the words with. I had traveled through many of the Indian reservations throughout the Southwest; I had spent quite some time with some of these people, but none of their languages were similar to what I had just witnessed.
As I sat in deep thought, trying to compare that which I had heard with something that I could identify with, I became aware of all the night sounds. Off to my right, a large owl hooted; over in front of me, the call was answered. As the night sounds grew and the rustle of the fallen leaves began to stir in the night breezes. I knew that the time had come for me to depart this place and leave yet another mystery to ride the night winds of the unknown and the supernatural.
As I rode toward home and a warm bed, I knew that I would return. Who knows? Next time, things may be different. Next trip, they may just be speaking my language.
(Singleton, the author of the 1991 book “Of Foxfire and Phantom Soldiers,” passed away at the age of 79 on July 19, 2007. A longtime resident of Monroeville, he was born on Dec. 14, 1927 in Marengo County and served as the administrator of the Monrsoeville National Guard unit from 1964 to 1987. He is buried in Pineville Cemetery in Monroeville. The column above and all of Singleton’s other columns are available to the public through the microfilm records at the Monroe County Public Library in Monroeville. Singleton’s columns are presented here each week for research and scholarship purposes and as part of an effort to keep his work and memory alive.)