Three Wells of Amelia James

My mom used to tell my friends this story at our sleepovers, it went something like this:

In 1914, there was a small family living in the woods near here. The family was very rich. The daughter, Amelia James, was a beautiful singer and her mother was always jealous of her. When the father was called to war, they quickly began to lose money. The mother, who was very greedy and did not want to spend the money on her daughter, told her daughter to go down the hill and follow the train tracks west until she came upon three wells.

She instructed her daughter to get water from the furthest well. The girl did as she was told and walked to the tracks, followed them west and came upon the wells. As she was headed towards the wells she wondered why she should get water from the furthest one. She approached the closest well and peered inside to see perfectly clear, cold water. She walked further and came upon the middle well and peered inside and again to see perfectly clear, cold water. She continued on and finally, the girl approached the last well. When she peered in, the water was clean and cold, but it was too low for her to reach.

While she was leaning into the well to collect the water in her bucket, her mother jumped from behind a shrub and pushed her into the well. The girl did not know that her mother had run through the woods and was hiding within the brush beside the furthest well and planned to kill her daughter all along.

Several years later, two friends of mine and I were fooling around and we came across some abandoned train tracks, and we followed them west, back toward my house. After a few minutes we heard what sounded like singing very distantly. la la, la la la. As we continued it got steadily louder. We came to a huge wall of brush and suddenly the singing stopped. I suddenly realized that I had no idea where we were, only that the way home must have been through the brush. When we had managed to find a thin area and struggle through it, we saw three wells. The youngest of my friends suddenly walked toward the closest well and peered in.

She stared into the well for what seemed like forever. My other friend, who was older than I, started walking toward the middle well. I ran past her and looked at the other well, the last one. after what felt like centuries, I realized that as I was slowly walking towards the last well, I could faintly hear, la la, la la la singing very quietly. No more than a whisper.

When I was less than a foot from the well, I could smell something so foul it was nauseating, and the singing had turned to gurgling. I took one more step and looked down into the well, and the water was murky and green, with hair floating on the surface and delicately painted finger nails barely visible under the water. As I reached my hand down towards the water, just before I could reach the drowning hands, I felt myself being pulled back away from the well. My parent’s crying faces were all blurs as I was being hauled away by police officers.

Later I discovered that my friends had thrown themselves into the wells and that their screams had alerted nearby hunters, who called the police. Later, after inspecting the wells, they found that the other two wells had been completely drained, and were filled with the bones of several animals and children. The furthest well was still filled with dirty water when they drained it they found the bodies of 14 drowned girls and the long dead remains of the forgotten singer, Amelia James.

Nevaeh Nichols from Enid, Ok