Guest Cynthia D’Alba Shares a Hair-Raising Cowboy Ghost Story!

Thanks so much to the Ladies of Wild and Wicked Cowboys Blog for hosting me today. I’m thrilled to be here. I’ve been a fan of the site since the day I discovered it…not to mention I’m a fangirl of so many of the regular bloggers here.

Since today is Halloween, I thought you might enjoy a personal short story.

I was born and raised in a large city without a horse to be seen for miles, but I love cowboys and the cowboy lifestyle mystique. Being a city girl who’d never petted a horse, much less ridden one, didn’t detour me from talking a couple of my girlfriends into a quick one day visit at a dude ranch during a trip to Texas to visit family. Our stay ended up being a little shorter than I’d expected.  

I’m embarrassed to admit that my friends and I fit the stereotypical description of women who are always late and today was no exception. Our tardy departure wasn’t my fault. I swear! Okay, not totally my fault. I was ready to hit the road only twenty minutes off schedule, but Carol hadn’t finished packing when I went to pick her up, so we lost thirty more minutes. Sandy was all packed when we arrived at her house, but she was trying to tame her hair with a flatiron. Her curly hair was winning. After stopping to get gas and a snack, the three of us set off for The Ghost Horse Ranch only ninety minutes behind schedule.

Mind you, we were on an arbitrary schedule of our own making, so arriving a tad late to the ranch would be no big deal. Plus we had all day Saturday to spend at the ranch before moving on. We hadn’t, however, factored in the major road construction or the flat tire that surely came from that highway construction detour. Looking back, I suppose we should have telephoned and let our hosts, Dick and Pam Johanson, know we were delayed, but we kept thinking we’d make up the time somewhere along the way.

By the time we pulled into the gravel drive and under the Ghost Horse Ranch archway, it was almost midnight, eight hours later than our expected arrival. The lights were off in the big house but a full October moon lit the area making it clear that no one was stirring or awaiting us. In the pastures around us, the white horses the ranch was famous for breeding shone in the silvery moonlight.

In my car, we were hotly debating whether we should wake the Johansons or just go to a hotel that expected travelers to arrive at all hours of the night.

Suddenly Sandy held up her hand. “Quiet. Listen.”

The crunch of gravel under horse hooves echoed in the silence of the night. The metal jingle of spurs had goosebumps popping up on my arms. A man, sitting tall in the saddle, was riding down the drive toward my car. Chap-covered legs hugged the body of his pale steed. Even though it wasn’t cold, I could have sworn I saw fog in the air from his breathing. I swallowed hard, not sure if we should be scared of the stranger or relieved that someone might be coming to our rescue.

“Ladies.” He touched the brim of his hat. “I’m Silas. Welcome to the ranch.”

Carol and Sandy tittered. I, of course, maintained a mature composure…for about sixty seconds.

“Sorry we’re late,” I said.

“Not a problem. I don’t keep regular hours anyway. If you’ll follow me, I’ll take you up to the bunkhouse.”

He turned the ghostly stallion and headed back the way he had come. We followed up the drive, and I confess, gossiped about how good he looked. If he was this gorgeous at night, I could imagine how good he would look in the bright sun tomorrow.

We stopped outside a weather-worn building and stepped from the car.

“In here, ladies,” Silas said, his deep voice sending shivers down my spine. “There are six beds here, but you three beauties are the only guests tonight. Pick any bed and get some sleep. Breakfast is at the big house at seven.” He tipped his hat and stepped outside.

We took just a minute to glance around then I went outside to thank Silas for his help but he was nowhere to be seen. Shrugging off his disappearance, I went back in and the three of us hit the sack.

I don’t sleep well in strange beds so I tossed and turned. More than once I got up and looked outside to see the silhouette of a man astride his horse seemingly watching the bunkhouse. A couple of times I thought I heard Silas’s boot heels on the wooden porch, but when I looked through the window, no one was there.

The next morning we headed up to the main house. When we walked into the foyer, the couple looked surprised to see us.

“Good morning,” the woman said. “I’m Pam Johanson.” She nodded to the tall man beside her who bore a striking resemblance to Silas. “This is my husband Dick. Are you the D’Alba party?”

“We are,” I said. “I’m sorry we were so late getting here last night. I guess Silas forgot to tell you we made it in about midnight.”

The couple exchanged glances. “Silas met you when you arrived?” Dick asked.
“You’re sure?”

“That’s what he said his name was. He was so nice to stay up all night and keep a look-out. You’re lucky to have such a dedicated ranch hand.”

“Silas?” Dick asked again. “Can you describe him?”

I did and the couple exchanged glances once more. Then Dick said, “Wait here a minute. I’ll be right back.”

In a minute, he was back with an old tintype photo. He handed it to me. “Is this the man you saw?”

I looked at the picture. “That’s him, right?” I said, showing the picture to my friends who agreed.

The couple smiled. “Silas Johanson was my great-great-grandfather,” Dick said. “He’s been dead for seventy-five years.”

The three of us pushed tighter together. “Dead? Silas was a ghost?”

The couple nodded. “He shows up from time to time when he thinks he’s needed.”

Sandy jerked my hand. “Um, we’re late. We need to get on the road.”

Carol grabbed my other hand. “Right. We have to go.”

They dragged me out the door and we ran for the car. As we drove down the gravel drive and exited the Ghost Horse Ranch, I could have sworn I heard the drumming of horse hooves following us.

I haven’t been back to a dude ranch since.

Silas wants to know what your Halloween plans are. Tell him and one lucky commenter will win Delilah Devlin’s Undeniable, a story of vampires, cowboys and werewolves. Perfect for tonight, right?

Have a ghostly Halloween from Cowboy Silas

 Cynthia D’Alba writes contemporary romance about sexy cowboys and independent women and their struggle to find a happily-ever-after. On February 28, 2012, Texas Two Step, her debut novel, will be released by Samhain Publishing. Texas Two Step is about Olivia Montgomery, the woman Mitch Landry has always loved. Mitch is the one man Olivia could never forget. Olivia’s secret will shatter Mitch’s trust forever. You can find Cynthia on Twitter, Facebook, and CynthiaDAlba.com

Thans, Cynthia, for a very spooky story! Readers, please leave a comment for your chance to win Delilah Devlin’s Undeniable. Winner will be announced tomorrow!

About Randi Alexander

Writer of Erotic Romances - "Rode Hard and Put Up Satisfied"
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21 Responses to Guest Cynthia D’Alba Shares a Hair-Raising Cowboy Ghost Story!

  1. June M. says:

    My plans are to curl up with a good paranormal story and read. Exciting huh?

  2. LorettaLynn says:

    Well to start this looks like a yummy story:)
    My plans are around the kids today, I get to do the 1st grade school games “pin the nose on the pumpkin” and then out we go in the dark to do some tricker treating. Thinking about dressing up tho, still not sure:)
    elliott2668(at)yahoo (dot)com

  3. Sky Robinson says:

    That is a crazy cool story!

    I’m going trick or treating with the little ones and trying to not completely not pork out on all the candy they bring back:)

  4. Spooky story! And a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing.

    Melinda

  5. Cute ghost story and WHOA and DAMN woman, I love that cover! Happy Halloween!! (No plans, just avoid the Butterfingers for as long as possible.). xo

  6. Brandi Evans says:

    Hey girl! ;-)

    My plans for tonight are to wander the neighborhood with my little band of gypsies (8 in all) and our “green pet dragon.” Because everyone knows gypsies had pet dragons back in the day, LOL. ;-)

  7. I won’t have any trick or treaters at my house. Never do. I used to buy candy “just in case” but you know who ended up eating that!

    Thanks for coming by

  8. I love it. I would have totally stayed- I’m crazy like that. What a neat experience.

    Not many plans- we have no trick or treaters to speak of where I live- Kids are grown and so I’ll probably pop in a movie and relax.

  9. books4me says:

    What a neat story, Cynthia!!!

    Unless my daughter has decided she wants to trick or treat, we will stay at home and watch Ghost Hunters Live! If kiddies come past, we’ll give out treats but last year we only had 3 kids…all in the same family!

    Happy Halloween!

    books4me67 at ymail.com

  10. sylvie kaye says:

    Awesome story and I love your cover!! Wishing you many sales.
    Plans? There’s a Halloween party down the road and I just might pop in :)

  11. tammy ramey says:

    i would have hit the road as fast as i could, too. :)
    because my niece and i are both diabetic we don’t go out trick or treating and have not since she was little and was diagnosed. instead every year we invite all of her cousins and friends over and let them dress up (adults too) and eat pizza and watch scary movies. but first we watch Young Frankenstein, one of our all time family favorites(sooo funny). we also let the kids give the candy out and then we let them make a small batch of either cookies or popcorn balls so they don’t feel deprived and they get a small treat. it is alot of fun to see the costumes they come up with and they have fun picking out the scary movies and getting the creeps from them. of course we don’t let them get anything to wild.

    trvlagnt1t@yahoo.com

  12. Halloween isn’t what it used to be when I was growing up. We’d take pillowcases and be out until sometimes as late as eleven pm making sure we got to everyone in the neighborhood when was huge. We’d come home with candy filling the entire pillowcase. Back then when you could accept them, we would also get homemade cookies, candy and caramel apples, fruit and sometimes some coins. I remember when it hit the national news that they had started finding razor blades in apples and from then on, Mom had to check all the candy before we ate it and all the fruit and cookies had to be thrown away unless we knew the people personally. Now we never get any trick or treaters. It is a shame – Halloween used to be the best holiday.

    Great story Cynthia!
    I’d love to win.

  13. Well, I shall be sitting in my rocker on the front porch handing out the candy I don’t like to the rugrats and ankle biters that come by. Then when my grandkids get home I will try to talk them out of some of their good stuff(they can keep the nerds, sour balls and such). I don’t consider myself a “dude” but I think I might like to visit that ranch just to meet Silas.

  14. Eileen says:

    What a great scary story! I think I would have hightailed it out of there too.

  15. Maria Geraci says:

    LOL! Silas sounds like one sexy ghost:)
    Great story, Cyndi!

  16. Thanks everybody! And Brandi – everybody knows about dragons!
    Mom came by today and had candy in her car so I stole about 10 pieces JUST IN CASE…but I suspect I’ll eat 5 pieces and hubby will T OR T for 5 pieces! LOL

  17. What a great story, Cynthia. I didn’t find it scary but comforting. It’s nice to hear Silas is watching over a place he loves.

  18. Diane Sallans says:

    Just staying in to see if I get any trick or treaters – only 2 so far – I think there won’t be many because of the unexpected snow. Silas sounds like a nice ghost – thanks for the story on Halloween.

  19. Now that was a ghost story! I would have stayed since it was a cowboy ghost.

  20. Brinda says:

    I loved your story! Yesterday on the way home from work, I bought a ton of candy for trick-or-treaters. We only had two groups last night. So…now I have a ton of leftover candy. Drats.

  21. Jen B. says:

    Bummer that I missed the contest! I dressed up and handed out candy. It is always so much fun to see all of the costumes!
    jepebATverizonDOTnet

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