On A Remote Stretch of Highway - The Phantom LumberJack

There's a stretch of desolated highway between Trail and Grand Forks, British Columbia, which at one time was the main artery connecting the two towns. Now, known as highway #3B just south of the new Highway #3.  

Since the new highway was built the old highway has become less and less used. There's a foundation of an old timber, two story log cabin on one side of the road in the bush, built when the road was just a trail, it's shell barely visable now, it so overgrown. Hard if not impossible to find. 

Before the highway became a road, it was used years ago during logging season by the lumber-jacks felling trees in the nearby mountain forests.

This is how the legend unfolded:

A new recruit from Trail had just joined a logging company, known only as Mr. J.P.L., way back in the twenties. He was the first to reach the cabin, weeks before logging season was to begin, a days journey.  One other man was supposed to arrive the next day.  He moved his things into the upstairs bedroom and got settled in.

He went to bed early, but as soon as he laid his head on the pillow his door crashed open, which he swore he had locked.  He thought he heard someone laughing, so he got up to look out over the loft and check to see, but couldn't open the door. Then it opened by itself. He stepped out of the bedroom and looked over loft but no one was there. So, he thought nothing of it and went to bed and went back to sleep, easily. 

Around midnight, he woke again hearing someone chopping wood, out in the yard. He thought it was the other logger, who must have arrived during the night. Strange, it being so late, but soon he went back to sleep. In the morning he was surprised to see half the fire wood pile all splintered and stacked in a neat pile, but couldn't find the new lumberjack. Later that day as he was walking back to the cabin he noticed the wood hadn't been splintered at all. It lay in its raw form, strewn about the yard, still needing splinting. 

Odd he thought. He must have been dreaming.

It happened again, his bed started to shake in the middle of the night and he woke up to more sounds of an axe chopping wood. He got out of bed and went to the window to look and was surprised that most of the pile had been splintered and stacked neatly, again. The chopping sound stopped after that. He went back to bed, puzzled, thinking the new comer was playing a joke on him so he went back to sleep. When he woke up in the morning the pile of wood was in its original pile, not splintered.  

That explained it, he had a lucid dream. No one was playing a joke on him.

Later that night, around 12 o'clock he was abruptly woken again, but this time by the sound of a chain saw. He looked out the window and could see the shadow of someone sawing up the wood and stacking it into a neat pile. He ran outside to see who it was. When he opened the door, the chain saw stopped. The pile of wood sat undisturbed, still needing splinting. He could smell gas, lingering in the air from the chain saw.

He quit and moved back home to Trail the next day.

To this day, people camping out in the bush near the old cabin, occasionally wake in the middle of the night to the sound of an axe chopping at a tree, or the sound and smell of a chainsaw.

That's how I heard it, true or not, one of B.C.'s most famous lumberjack legends. 

Dog Brindle

ref:  Ghost Stories - Barbara Smith
for more LumberJack Ghost Stories - Ghosts of America

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