The Curse of the Faceless Woman

womaninblack1Lost in time, this story is told, about a woman, dark and bold.
She walks the streets on a foggy night, with a hood on her head to hide from sight.

Her story starts one summer’s eve, beside the lake an evil deed.
A thief stole her daughter’s life, and filled her soul with pain and strife.

On a moonlit night along the shore, two young lovers walked and more.
In each other’s arms that night, they talked of love and held on tight.

In the morning they were found, their hands and feet with rope were bound.
Eyes wide open a vacant stare, their souls are gone and no ones there.

The police did search for the one, an evil deed to be undone.
In vain, they search to no avail, their efforts weak, lost, and pale.

A mother’s heart broken and splayed, a debt to justice went unpaid.
She walked the streets at night alone, to make the sinners pay and atone.

She searched the shores by day and night, a vain attempt to make things right.
And then one early morning dawn, she was found her spirit gone.

On foggy night’s times untold, she walks the streets dark and bold.
She only walks the streets at night, within the fog to hide her flight.

All clad in black she walks alone, an evil soul she’ll make atone.
She walks among the star-less night, sometimes seen beneath the bright streetlight.

All children know to be aware, least they see her standing there.
They hurry home at the approach of night, sure that they would die at her sight.

So in the night if you should see, a woman in black, listen to me.
Look not at her face I say, or with your soul you shall pay.

As a child I grew up in a small town called Lakeview we lived across the road from A. E. Crookes Park on Lake Ontario. There was a creek that went through the park filled with fish where we would go fishing and catch tadpoles in the spring and summer. All summer long small children played in the swimming pool watched over by Life Guards as older kids swam in the lake, young lovers could be seen walking along the sandy beach in the summer sun. In the fall we played in the leaves and chased the fat rabbits that were stealing from our gardens all summer. In the winter we played in the snow and skated on the Ice rink erected every year by the township. Life was idyllic as we watched the sun rise over the lake and a myriad of water foul swam in the water.

womaninblack2Early one summer morning; the park was cordoned off by police, the police were tight lipped about what happened and rumours began to run like wild fire; someone died in the park. It was several days before the public was allowed back in the park and every thing returned to normal except for one lone woman dressed all in black with a veil over her face.

That summer she is seen every day in the park spending her days walking along the shore or sitting on a bench looking out over the great expanse of Lake Ontario. Each night she could be seen walking down the street as she went past the park, now closed after sundown. I could see her in the mist off the lake as I watch her from my bedroom window, silently passing in the glow of the streetlights. And then one night she did not appear beneath the lights passing the dark.

It’s the first day of fall and she is found sitting on a bench over looking the lake, still, cold, and pale. The police came and the park closed for several days as the police investigated her death. Some say she died of a broken heart others say she was taken by the ones that took her daughter, no one knows for sure.

Each morning the sun came up, the birds sang, and soon every thing returned to normal, as the park opened and the children played as time passed by the lake. That winter a big storm with waves as tall as a house washed all the sand from the beach leaving only stones and pebbles on the shore. The township brought environmentalists in to investigate the incident, they said it was caused the storm and the construction of the hydro generating plant changing the water currents along the shore. No one believed them for a minute, without proof we had no other choice but to accept our sandy beach is gone and will never return.

Every spring we went to the creek in the park with our nets to catch Smelt and White Suckers, enough to fill the freezer with fish to eat for the year. This spring the fish never came and when the township asked the Environmentalists, “Why?” Again they said it was caused by the construction of the hydro generating plant changing the water currents along the shore.

That the summer the township delivered over a hundred picnic tables and set them up for a festival in the park. The following morning when the festival organizers arrived to complete setting up for the festival they found the picnic tables stacked over a hundred feet tall. Local newspapers took pictures as a crane was used to take the tables down. People started to say the park was cursed and one of the onlookers called out, “I suppose the construction of the hydro generating plant changing the water currents along the shore caused this!”

The police blamed the incident on a local gang of teenagers playing a prank and after a time, things seemed to return to normal. Fewer people played in the park now and when people walked there they said they could feel something ominous in the park.

It’s the first day of fall and the night is cold, a fog rolled in off the lake and a lone dark figure could be seen walking the streets in the grey mists all dressed in black. I awoke to a cold chill down my spine and it felt as if every hair on my body stood on end as I looked out my bedroom window. There standing beneath the streetlight in the mist I could see her, she turned towards me as if to look at me. In the dim light it was as if she had no face behind the veil, I quickly returned to bed and hid. I couldn’t sleep and tossed beneath the covers until the morning, every time I closed my eyes all I could see is her dark figure in the mist.

In the morning I told my mother what I saw, she looked at me with a smile as if I was being silly and told me not to worry I was having a bad dream. No matter how hard I tried to convince her what I saw was real she kept telling me I was dreaming and I should forget about it. Then we heard the sirens and again the police cordoned off the park two young men were found dead in the park.

All the neighbours gathered outside to see what was happening. Tom Larock, one of our neighbours found them as he was walking his dog, they looked horrible he said as he described the two men. “They were white as the driven snow frozen in place with their eyes wide open and a look of horror on their faces as if the gates of hell opened and they looked inside.”

Tom saw many terrible things in the war, so for him to say it was a horrible sight frightened everyone as they listened to him tell of the two young men. Then my mother told the neighbours about what I saw the night before out my bedroom window and the legend of the curse of the faceless woman was born.

It’s been forty years since that day and no one walks the streets on a foggy night except a lone dark figure dressed all in black seen only in the mist beneath the streetlights.

readersubmitted

Josehf Lloyd Murchison

Photo credit: viona-art.com

You may also like...