By: Lauren Harper
Ghost hunting is a hobby in which thousands of people take part in the United States. The thrill of possibly seeing a ghost or delving into the supernatural world inspires many people to take part in the adventure. What began as a ghost hunting escapade on August 27 quickly took a wrong turn when a train accident resulted in the death of a 29-year-old man.
Christopher Kaiser was a part of an amateur ghost hunting group that was looking for a “ghost train” on railroad tracks about two miles from Statesville, North Carolina. According to police, the Norfolk Southern train caught the group by surprise, and left them running for their lives when they realized that the train was approaching. Train operators attempted to halt the train and warn the hunters that they were coming, but stopping a train can take up to a mile of space at times. There are also no railroad crossings nearby, so the engineer was not obliged to sound his horn. Most of the group ran east away from the train and were able to escape, but some of them were not so lucky.
This left Kaiser and a woman, said to be his girlfriend, running for their lives. Kaiser stayed with her because she was not as fast, but once he realized that they were not going to make it, he pushed the woman off the side of the trestle, saving her life but ending his. He was then struck by the train and fell about a hundred feet off of the side of the tracks.”She wasn’t going to make it. He told her he loved her and pushed her off. That’s love,” Nancy Kaiser, his sister, stated. The woman, who has not been identified to protect her privacy, fell around 30 to 40 feet into the ravine, and was later airlifted to the hospital to aid the injuries she sustained from her fall.
What exactly were these ghost hunters looking for on the railroad tracks that day? Well on August 27, 1891, a train traveling from Salisbury to Asheville mysteriously went off of the bridge and crashed. The whole ghost train legend claims that a group of people walking along the railroad a year after the incident ran into a man dressed in a railroad uniform. The man, who they claim looked like Hugh K. Linkster, a baggage master aboard the train that crashed, asked them for the time and shortly after disappeared right before their eyes. Since then, many of those hoping to get a glance at the ghost train or any of its passengers have returned to the scene of the crash each year on its anniversary. On this day, people can supposedly see or hear the train crashing.
Kaiser’s girlfriend’s condition has not yet been released, but reports say that she is at home recuperating. His family continues to support the woman, and remembers the man that his sister stated was “very giving and always put everybody else ahead of himself.” Kaiser is revered as a hero, and the man will be remembered for his great kindness by many, especially his family.