WNC Scary Stories: Jovial ghost rocks out in a hearse

HITCHIN' A RIDE: David Allen Voyles' son, Charon, poses next to the haunted hearse. Photo courtesy of Voyles

Editor’s note: For Halloween, we asked our readers to share the scariest things they’ve experienced in our area. Readers came through with shivery accounts of mysterious occurrences, including this one below.

When I was leading tours for our family-owned business Dark Ride Tours a few years ago, I didn’t really have many firsthand experiences with ghosts. But when we were renovating the 1972 Cadillac hearse we used to transport guests, I was told by someone I consider spiritually sensitive that our hearse was indeed haunted.

She said when she first saw our hearse there had been the ghost of a large jovial man sitting in the corner of the L-shaped seat we had installed in the back. “And for some reason,” she said, “I’m hearing Creedence Clearwater [Revival]. And maybe Allman Brothers?”

We had bought the hearse from the brother of the deceased owner who had used the hearse to host parties; he DJ’d his music from a sound system that he had set up in the hearse (which would make an impressive DJ booth, I must admit.) His music of choice? Yep, ’70s Southern rock!

My psychic friend assured me that the ghost was very happy about what we were doing with the hearse and that he would probably be joining us for tours.

I never sensed ghosts in the hearse personally, but I did have a spirit-sensitive guest once become very agitated after we had driven by the haunted theater at UNC Asheville (that’s another story). The guest said that there was a spirit with us in the hearse. She claimed that it was female, possibly a relative of one of the other guests, so it wasn’t the previous owner of the hearse. Eventually, my guest calmed down (or maybe the ghost did), and she allowed me to continue with my story. It took me a minute to focus and remember where I was in my spiel.

I still have the hearse — it’s sitting in our driveway — although we don’t take it out anymore. There’s no telling what we’ll find inside when we take the cover off it when we host our Halloween party soon. Or maybe I should say, no telling who we’ll find.

 — David Allen Voyles, Swannanoa


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