There is something aboutHaunted Island that no boy ever truly knows until they are within twenty yards of its coastline at midnight on any given trip. On this trip the Marion Boys Club was making its way to the rickety pier in the center of the island as darkness draped them fully by the approaching tree line. Each boy’s eyes became almost twice their normal size and their mouths became dry. All the speculation about this midnight excursion was over and now they were about to experienceHauntedIslandfor the first time.
As we docked the boys apprehension grew. They climbed out of the boat, one at a time, and mounted the small hill that led to a path. In single file, for that is all that pathway would allow, we walked until we came to a clearing and there it was- The Haunted House surrounded by huge pine trees. The boy’s eyes scanned each and every inch of that house as we approached it slowly. Just then a loon cried out and the boys drew very close to me.
I told them the story of how this island came to be made known as being haunted. Of the couple that once lived there and of the time the husband left the wife for food. She could not swim a lick and when he came back he could not find any trace of her whatsoever. Authorities checked the lake and could not find her at all.
The legend is that she still walks the island every night searching for her husband and periodically cries out in anguish for him. I asked the boys if they wanted to spend the night within the house and to a boy they all shook their heads “no” in unison. This is the trip where once that story was told that a piece of cardboard sailed out one of the window frames being carried by the wind. The boys scattered faster than a speeding bullet.
The Haunted Island and house is something that the boys would never forget as that is always the single most important time for any of them on any trip. It is widely talked about once home and kids anticipate that part of the trip north more than anything else. That is, until they are within twenty yards of the island at midnight.