The Crying Child
Over the years I have heard this story numerous times and still each time I get chills. Around 1918-1919 there was an outbreak of the flu that killed over 600,000 Americans. There was no age group with this flu, if you got it, it was almost deadly. Until a vaccine was invented it was a panic worldwide where over 5-million died. One small town was hit hard. The small town’s population was around 860, but the flu reduced it down to a population of 57! As the flu were raging through the country people were in a panic.
The small town thought they would dodge it since they were far from all the bigger towns. For months there were no sickness until one of the farmers sons that was fighting in WW1 returned home from over seas and had the virus unbeknown to him or other town folks in the area. After a week of being home he became ill and within a few days died of the flu. Before he realized he was sick he attended church on Sunday the next day after he returned as a homecoming. There was plenty of hugs, shaking hands, and kisses on the cheeks with all the well wishers not realizing the soldier was their death warrant.
Within ten days over half of the town folks was deathly sick or showing signs of the deadly flu. Within two weeks over 100 had died and the deaths rose fast. A few that wasn’t at the homecoming and didn’t come to town often had dodge the wicked disease. Within the month, all but a few was dead that lived directly in the town. The few that survived said they had the higher guardian watching over them. The remaining 57 residents were bandanas over their face while they gather up all the bodies to burn in a mass grave, what they were told to do to stop the deadly virus. As they were going door to door to get the bodies they came upon the farmhouse of the soldier who brought the deadly disease to their town.
There were three families living in the house, which was common in those days. The soldier’s sister lived there also, and she had a three-year-old that the Town Folks thought had died too. When they were getting all the bodies out of the house the three-year-old wasn’t in the house! They called together the other survivors to start a search for the toddler. Hours into the search they heard a child crying and they followed the cries until they came upon the small child. The child was clearly sick with red cheeks and coughing horribly. It was only a matter of time for it and they all knew it. No one would go near the child afraid of being exposed to the deadly disease.
They all stood their distance as the small child cried horribly and was having trouble catching its breath. One by one the Town Folks walked away from the child until the child was alone. It was an act of cowardliness on all 57 Towns Folk. You could hear the child crying from the town for two days, on the second day the cries were getting weaker and by that evening there was no cries. The next morning a few of the Town Folks went up to collect and burn the infectious body of the toddler, but it was gone. They looked all around the area and there was no trace of it anywhere! One of the searchers voiced that a wild animal probably dragged the body off into the woods after the noise of the crying stopped.
The town had put a wood wall up and carved names and dates in the wall of each deceased and the date they died. The last name was of the toddler with the date after the name. No one would speak of the child out of guilt. The next month on the date of the toddler you could hear a child crying and then that night one of the Town Folks died, the next month the child cried, and another died. This went on for 57 months, almost five years until all the survivors of the guilty Town Folks were gone.
Some new residents had moved into town during the almost five years and had witnessed the crying of the child. When the last of the 57 died, there were no more crying and no more deaths. Some say it was the child revenge, but all who has ever had a child knew it was the mother who revenged her child’s death for all the selfish Town Folks who wouldn’t help her child and left it to die alone. On the wall there was 58 names with the death date all the same time each month.