Gosnell Cabin hainted with groans, kick sounds

Published 3:24 pm Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The old cabin that Gresham Callahan first inhabited and the Gosnell family lived in for three generations fell into limited use and disrepair for a number of years on Camp Old Indian grounds.

Used only as a secret meeting place for the Order of the Arrow, an honor camping group, the cabin was always locked up and shutters nailed shut to prevent vandalism between the infrequent meetings of the secret group.

This fact alone created buzz among scouts and scoutmasters as they camped in shelters near the mysterious old structure.

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A number of accidents and tragedies had befallen members of the Gosnell family in the old cabin over the years. Luther, the last family member to live in the cabin, had an epileptic fit near the fireplace, while alone. The &bsp;

spasms caused his legs to go into the fire.

He was not found for three days and died of gangrene in the old Greenville General Hospital.

Local folk and scouters begin to tell others about Luther. Before long, some began hearing groans and kicking sounds coming from the old cabin. They said it was his spirit reliving his agony and kicking to get his legs out of the fire.

When a new Scout Executive of the Blue Ridge Council, Lawrence L. Stanley, arrived years later, he heard details of the Gosnell cabins hainting.

He included the cabin when relating other ghost stories to campers around mid-week campfires. Little did he know that soon&bsp; he would have an opportunity to experience the mysterious sounds first hand.

When builders were constructing a new, large stone and frame lodge for the camp before opening for the summer, Mr. Stanley would come up from his Greenville office on Friday to inspect and discuss progress then stay overnight in the directors cottage for their Saturday morning work.

On a particular Friday, builders informed him that, since a number of workers would be attending a masons meeting, no work would be done on Saturday. While they were talking, a group of scouts arrived and Mr. Stanley told them to camp in one of the shelters near the old Gosnell cabin.

After the scouters left for the camp site, the head mason remarked that the old cabin was hainted. Other workers agreed that ghosts had been seen and heard around it.

Deciding not to stay at the directors cottage that night, Mr. Stanley told the scouters he was returning to Greenville and that they would have the entire place to themselves.

On Monday morning, the scoutmaster of the troop showed up in Mr. Stanleys office to tell him the group did not stay at camp on Friday night. At about eight oclock they were frightened by a strange groaning like a man in agony and a banging sound like a man kicking a wall. The sounds were coming from the cabin.

The scouts were too excited to get any sleep, so the decision was made to return home.

The following Friday, Mr. Stanley kept a close eye on all the workmen to determine if any of them showed any indications that they might have returned to the camp and scared the scouts for a lark. He discovered none.

That evening, after all the workmen had gone home, Mr. Stanley waited for twilight. He put on a dark jacket and cap and found his flashlight. Then, he locked the directors cottage door with the lights still on and quietly slipped out the back door into the darkness.

The cabin was about one hundred yards away through woods. He slowly made his way up a familiar path and stopped about twenty feet from the cabin. He crouched down with his flashlight ready to see if the ghost would walk that evening. His wait was short. As a slight breeze stirred the leaves ofthe trees overhead, he suddenly heard a spine-chilling groaning sound, followed by a sharp bang. The sounds repeated, and then, yet again.

Through an opening in the bushes, he carefully aimed his flashlights beam up the cabin wall from the ground to the roof top. He expected to see an owl, which can make strange noises on occasion. But he saw nothing.&bsp; The noises repeated. Whatever was making them was not deterred by the light.

He began moving the beam from side to side along the cabin wall instead of up and down. Suddenly, he was surprised to see a nailed shutter, hung on an old fashioned wooden hinge, slowly swing open, followed by a terrible groaning sound. When wide open, the shutter slammed shut with a bang, then with a longer, drawn-out groaning, opened again! Even though he related this finding to scouts at many campfires through intervening&bsp; years, new campers especially could, seemingly, still hear old Luther groaning and kicking as long as the cabin remained on camp property.