It was a nice spring evening when someone first spotted a blur out of the corner of their eye while driving home. They slowed down for a better look, but whatever it was, wasn't visible any longer in the trees. They drove on, brushing aside the memory of the event. It was nothing, they thought, until others began seeing it too.
And so it went; people drove slowly by the patch of woods on top of the hill next to the highway then turned onto the country road towards Otter Creek Cemetery to catch a glimpse of a bluish-white light running through the forest at night.
Rumors began to circulate about something strange in the woods after enough people began to share their experiences.
Some saw it, but upon stopping it would disappear into the night.
Many said it looked human, others insisted it was just a blur of light.
Teenagers were convinced it was the ghost of a boy killed while out joy riding in his father's car during a horrible thunderstorm. The hill was known to be a dangerous spot at night, so it made sense.
For the adults, it was a much older story. Back when covered wagons traveled the area, one got a wheel stuck in a ditch and flipped over, killing a young girl. She was buried in the woods before the family continued on it's journey west, thus the name of McBeth Hill made sense.
And those that didn't see it: Well, they swore the others were nuts.
It all was plausible; it even made sense.
So people began to show up, trying to catch a glimpse of the Ghost of McBeth Hill.
About a mile north of Brazil at the corner of C.R. 1100N and S.R. 59, the area known as McBeth Hill has changed dramatically over the years. There are houses scattered near the woods, the Christ Community Church was built close by it a few years ago, and traffic is on the road night and day; but no one has seen, or spoke of the ghost in over 35 years.
It seemed to have slipped away from people's memories as easily as it came to be known.
Why you might ask?
At the height of the interest in the Ghost of McBeth Hill a strange thing happened.
One night, with a bunch of onlookers gathered just off the road to catch a glimpse of the ghost, it appeared in the woods. Floating at first among the trees, the specter seemed to walk through the forest unaware that anyone was watching.
At least until the blast of a shot gun one of the onlookers had brought with him broke the silence of the night, causing everyone to scatter.
The ghost also took off with a fury through the woods and was never seen again.
Legend has it that two men were committing a hoax on the public!
"Conservation officers did chase two men through the woods wearing sheets that night," smiled an observer, who wished to remain anonymous, as she remembered the event. "But I don't think they were caught."
When asked who it was, she just smiled with a twinkle in her eye.
"There were a couple of guys people thought did it," she said. "But everyone just kinda gave up on the notion of a ghost after that."
The Ghost of McBeth Hill slipped into oblivion for everyone, with the exception of those who knew the story personally.
But today, there are a few who think something strange is still there in the woods. Stories of strange things are being whispered again, from people unaware of the legend, but they still refuse to go on record about it.
"That place just gives me the willies," shivered a shy teenager who didn't know the story of McBeth Hill's sordid past. "I just don't go that way if I don't have to."