Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Ghost of White Rock Lake

This story has been told in Dallas, Texas since the 1930s it is sometimes called the “Lady of White Rock Lake.” 

It is a very similar story to the traditional “vanishing hitchhiker.” story where a young woman in a party dress is given a ride. The driver typically finding something she left behind, a sweater or scarf, etc. tries to return it only to find out the young lady had died weeks or years before. 

Chicago’s Resurrection Mary, also told since the 1930s, is one version of this traditional hitchhiker story.

Woodrow Wilson High School students in East Dallas told this story in the 1930s, but it is not known if they originated it. This version of the story begins with a young couple to escape a hot July summer evening decide to drive out of the city to park along the cooler shore of White Rock Lake. 

When they switch on their headlights to leave they spot a white figure approaching. As the figure draws near to the driver’s side of their car, they see it is a young woman dressed in a sheer dress that is dripping wet.

The drenched young woman looks at them and in a faltering voice says, “Sorry to bother you but I must find a way home immediately, I was in a boat that overturned, the others are safe, but I must get home.” 

The couple offers her a ride, and she climbs into the rumble seat, stating she doesn’t want to get them wet. She gives them her address, which is in Oak Cliff on the opposite side of Dallas.

As they travel across town, the young couple becomes ill at ease. They can’t help but feel there is something odd about their passenger. As they draw near Oak Cliff, the female of the couple turns to ask for specific directions only to find that the rumble seat is empty, but is still wet.

After a brief search for the girl, the couple drives to the address the girl gave them. As they approach the front door, a man greets them with a worried look. 

They explain why they are there, and he replies in a troubled tone, “This is very strange, you are the third couple who has come to my door with this story. Three weeks ago, while sailing on White Rock Lake, my daughter was drowned.”

One version of this story that is told in Dallas gives much more specific details. 

The couple that encounters the wet young lady are the directors of the famous Neiman-Marcus store—a Mr. and Mrs. Guy Malloy. The girl is described as a beautiful blonde with an educated voice who is wearing a fancy dress that was purchased at Neiman-Marcus. This couple is cited, to make the point, that even hard-working, no-nonsense people see ghosts. 

Yet another version has a doctor returning home from a country club dance, he slows down to admire the lake and spots the young woman beckoning him for a ride. 

Each vanishing hitchhiker story has its own nuisances but they obviously are all similar.

In Dallas, some speculate that the wet young lady, whom many have seen over the years, is the spirit of Louise Ford Davis who committed suicide by drowning herself in the reservoir in July of 1935. 

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