The Old Boiler Camp

Hello. I had an extremely interesting ghost story to post, but I got a warning not to post it, so maybe I'll tell that one later, unless I'm given a sign. Some spirits never rest! This one is a bit more tame. It was told to me by my uncle, who is now deceased. I am repeating what he told me; I cannot and will not attempt to prove it. It all happened before I was born.

Around 1935, two uncles on my mother's side decided to go late night fishing. They lived in Union, South Carolina at the time. There was a prime fishing spot that they had heard about along the Tyger River at a place called the Old Boiler Camp. It was pretty secluded, and very few people went there. An acquaintance had told them that they could catch a lot of fish there. It was summer around 8pm. My uncles, Hank and John, left home to walk to the fishing spot, which was about 3 miles from their home back in the country. They told their mother that they were going fishing for the night, but didn't say where. She told them to go ahead, just be careful. It was just getting dark. They were a half mile from the Tyger River, when they noticed an old man following them. He was gray-haired, had a lot of wrinkles, and was extremely short, like a dwarf. Whenever they looked back, they saw him looking at them intently, without blinking. He had a scowl on his face the entire time.

When they got a few feet from the river, the man disappeared. They thought he was just some recluse who was watching all of the land in the area. My uncles set up camp, baited their hooks, and dropped their lines in the water. Immediately, the fish started biting. Between them, they caught 10 fish in an hour. The catching was good so they decided to stay all night. Their family was typical of the Depression-era, extremely poor. They wanted to sell the fish that their family couldn't eat. They continued catching one fish after another until about 11PM. Then, suddenly, moaning started coming from a few feet away. The moans became intermingled with screams. It sounded as if many people were in extreme pain. This continued for about a half hour. Then, my uncles looked up and saw about a dozen glowing white figures moving in the trees. They pulled their lines out of the water, grabbed the buckets with the fish in them and ran.

As soon as they were a few feet from the Tyger River, the noises stopped. My uncles relaxed and started walking at a normal pace. About 5 minutes later, they heard a voice behind them. It was a clear, moonlite night. They turned and saw the dwarfish old man. He was following them again, saying "You can't have them," over and over. They started running again. The old man started chasing them. They ran the entire way home, with the old man only a few feet behind. When they got to their front door, the old man disappeared

When they got into the house, my grandmother was up waiting for them. She saw the buckets full of fish and asked where they got. They told her they caught them at the Old Boiler Camp. She ordered them to dump the fish in the woods and never to go to the Boiler Camp again. They refused and wanted to know why. My grandmother related that, sometimes in the 1800s, there had been a boiler camp along the river. At that time, the area was extremely isolated. The boiler had exploded, scalding a dozen men. They laid at the camp along the river, writhing in pain, until help arrived. When help finally arrived, all of the men had already died, after suffering in extreme pain. The owner of the camp had always been a greedy, self-centered man, and a bit deformed physically. He went to the camp after the explosion to ensure that the work was continuing. He saw the dead, scalded men and lost his mind. He died in a sanitarium years later. Anyone who went to the area after dark saw him and heard the screams of the dying men. Upon hearing this, my uncles dumped the fish and never went to the old Boiler Camp again. I tend to think that my Uncle Hank was the catalyst in the story. He was born with a veil on his face and, in accordance with legends about children born with veils, had many, many bizarre experiences in his lifetime, some of which give me the chills.