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- It was July 13, 2010, and it was my thirteenth night at Saddlewood, an equestrian sleepover camp in Peterborough. Saddlewood has two large barns and four main paddocks that house 150 horses, and its numerous riding trails snake through acres of field and forest. My first year at Saddlewood, I learned the legend of the horse ghost named Legermist. All the campers were gathered around a small campfire at nine in the evening, when the camp counselors told us the story. Legermist was a white horse, which was said to have died tragically at Saddlewood. According to the legend, Legermist was the favorite horse of the camp owner’s daughter, Heather, who was only six years old at the time. One stormy night, Heather had a dream that Legermist was struck by lighting and died. She woke up in the middle of the night and ran to tell her mother what she had dreamed up, but her mother thought it was just a foolish nightmare. Heather’s mother told her to go back to sleep. Early the next morning, Heather and her mother checked on the horses and came upon the lifeless body of Legermist, he had been struck by lightning. Heather was devastated and did not speak to anyone for three days. The counselor told us that Legermist still roams Saddlewood on stormy nights, warning campers and horses to beware during a storm. At first, I did not believe that silly story but everything changed on the night of the thirteenth.
The night of the thirteenth was hot and muggy. My friend Sophia and I were unable to sleep in the heat, so we decided to go outside to take a walk and visit the horses in the paddocks. Sophia was scared to go at first, because it was dark, but I convinced her to go and we took our flashlights. Sophia had her own horse named Indigo, and we went to feed her carrots. While we were walking outside, we heard a clap of thunder and suddenly large drops of rain were pelting us. We decided to take refuge in the barn until the rain abated. Sophia decided to give part of the carrot she had brought for Indigo to another horse called Archie. Just as we approached Archie, I suddenly heard a horse galloping behind me, and it sounded really close. All of a sudden, I saw a white flash of light fly past me. Terrified, I grabbed Sophia’s arm. The size of Sophia’s eyes told me that she too had seen the mysterious light. Together we ran all the way back to the cabin screaming. It had finally stopped raining by the time we reached the cabin, and there were mud muddles all around us. As I was shining my flashlight, I noticed a hoof print on the wet ground. Although this may not seem so strange in a horse ranch, no horses can reach the cabin area. We went into the cabin to wake our friend, Abbie, to tell her about our frightening encounter with the horse ghost. We wanted Abbie to see the hoof print and so we slipped back out into the night to show it her. The hoof print had mysteriously disappeared. I could see from Abbie’s face that she did not believe Sophia or me about the flash of light, the storm, the hoof or seeing Legermist.
I did not sleep at all that night, lying awake and trying to rationalize what had happened in the barn. Even though I did not figure out what took place on July 13, I now believe in the legend of the horse ghost.