There were two carriage houses out back at Aspen Grove; a large one and a little one. A renter in the little cottage was inside one evening when he glanced over at the window near the driveway. Outside, he saw a man leaning and looking in.
At least, he thought it was a man. He was all in dark clothing and hooded.
The college man jumped from his seat and rushed outside, all of about 4’ away. There was no one there, but in the cloudy nightlight he saw a dark figure headed out into the field where our family boarded horses.
The fast-running tenant caught up to the fencing where he saw the horses agitated and moving about and then in the distance he saw the flash of our white Tennessee Walker, Lucifer (named for his disposition and not his color), with a dark figure riding atop of him.
Darting through the milling horses, he gave chase to the man who appeared to be all in black from head to toe and sporting a black hood, as well. (Later, when his senses came to him, he reported that perhaps it wasn’t a hood, but that the entire figure was completely black as if ink-soaked, like a shadow without a body to project it).
When he got to the bottom of the field near the tree line of the forest when the rider atop of the horse disappeared. Simply vanished without launching himself off the horse.
The tenant got closer and stroked the horse to feel his coat was cool. Lucifer didn’t feel as if someone had been atop of him riding. The horse was calm now and not leaping about as he was when the rider was atop of him. There were no signs of a man anywhere. No sign that he had actually climbed off the horse. The college man was perhaps only a couple yards from the horse when the figure had evaporated.
Shaking his head and confused, he went back to his cottage. Later, he relayed the story and was reassured that several times over the years people in the cottages and the main house had seen someone riding the horses at night. The particular cottage that the tenant was renting was an original slave cottage and it was assumed that the figure might have been a slave attempting an escape. None of the explanations could be verified, but it satisfied the need for an explanation.
It wasn’t the last time he saw the man looking into his window and heading towards the field of horses, but it was the last time he pursued him.