This is one of those stories passed down through the family, told by my father. He passed away so I can't ask him to clear any details, but I'll relate it as well as I can remember. My father's family, a couple of generations back, lived in Arkansas. They were very poor and I suppose they were what you could truly call 'hillbillies'. This was told to me by my Dad and happened to my great-grandparents.
They lived in a little house, surrounded by fields out in the country. They were self-supporting and just starting out together. My Dad's Mom wasn't even thought of yet. My Great-grandparents had just climbed into bed when there was a pounding at their front door. They worried because someone knocking at the door at that hour could only mean something was wrong. Remember, this would be around the 1890's. Early to bed, early to rise, no neighbors for quite a distance and no phones.
When they got to the door Great-grandpa called out and asked who it was. There was no reply so after asking a time or two more, they waited to see what would happen. When some time went by and they didn't hear anything, they went back to bed. They were pretty isolated so didn't want to open the door to someone who could be dangerous, a hobo, I suppose you could say. They were wondering what was going on, irritated but cautious.
This happened a few more nights, after dark, when they were in bed. I'm not clear on whether it was a few nights in a row or just sporadically. Nobody answered when they asked who it was. Great-grandpa was more than a little irritated and he was worried. He placed his hunting gun near the door in case he had to use it (that was the home security system in those days), though he didn't want to hurt anyone.
After this had gone on for a while, they started worrying about other things, things that couldn't be seen. They weren't closed minded to such things, after all there are plenty of 'hillbilly' superstitions. They came up with the idea to put a sprinkling of flour on the front steps to see what happened when they had the knocks on the door. Before too long, (I'm not sure if days went by, or what), the knocking started in the evening after they were ready for bed. Great-grandpa grabbed his gun (he wasn't a fool, just prepared for anything) and yelled out, asking who was there a couple of times. When there was no answer he put his gun at the ready, in case he had to shoot, and had Great-grandma fling the door wide open. There was no one there.
Great-grandpa called out but there was nobody in sight. They looked down and saw footprints in the flour leading up to the door and then just stopping at the door. Great-grandma said a little prayer, they were scared out of their wits. As far as I heard, that was the end of things knocking on their door.
My Dad was a great story teller but I heard him recall this story many times and it never varied. He always claimed it to be true. I believe him, (he is my Dad, after all!) and I don't think he embellished too awfully much (maybe not at all!) My Dad's sister, my Aunt, also claims this to be a true story.
Thanks for reading my story. I hope you enjoyed it.