First and foremost, let me say that I have never really been a believer in the supernatural. It's not that I don't think that there's more to life than what we can physically see, it's just that I've never really had a ghostly encounter and I'm just like most ordinary people, going about my business, paying bills, trying to make ends meet and so forth. That was until Hurricane Katrina.
I'm a Military Policeman in the Air Force Reserves in Texas. We were activated in August of 2005 at the behest of our governor to help the battered state of Louisiana. Part of our job was to patrol the streets of New Orleans with food, water, and what little medication we had left to offer the citizens of New Orleans. We were also there to offer transportation to those who wished to leave but were stuck without a means to travel. Contrary to what the then Mayor Ray Nagen stated on TV and Radio, we were not there to harass black people. We were volunteers who were trying to help fellow Americans.
That being said, I remember one evening we were patrolling near the ninth ward (not a very nice place, even before the hurricane hit.) My Squad and I were walking in the middle of the street yelling out that we were Military Police, we had food, water, and a way out if anyone needed assistance. I could see every house had been boarded up (to keep looters out) and many people spraypainted slogans on the front and sides of their homes. "YOU LOOT, I SHOOT" and "YOU LOOT, YOU DIE" were the ones that stuck out most in my mind. Slowly, some people did emerge from their homes and asked for water, food, and medicine. We gave them whatever we had and asked them if they needed to be evacuated. Many refused to leave their homes for fear of losing what little they had left.
Anyway, I noticed that all the houses on this one particular block had been boarded up, save one. It was a typical southern plantation style home which looked like it had been built around the time of the Civil War. A small figure of a little girl caught my eye as I looked up at the second floor. I smiled and waved at her mainly to let her know that I was there to help and that she had nothing to fear. She seemed to smile and wave back from what I could tell. I called out to her to get her mommy or daddy but she just stood there staring at me. It was then that a kind of cold shiver ran up my spine. I really couldn't understand why. It was my Cop Sense kicking in. Two tours in Iraq and over 20 years as a Sheriff's Deputy had developed this. So when it went off, I paid attention.
Just then, a elderly man on a bike rode up on us asking if we could help evacuate his family of seven out of New Orleans. I told him we'd be happy to help him out and I asked him if he knew anything about the little girl and her family living in the old plantation home. He looked at me kind of puzzled and asked, "What girl?" I turned around and pointed to the second floor window but she was gone. I told him that I had just seen a little girl at the window and she waved to me. His eyes widened a little and he just smiled and said, "So, you've seen her too, eh? He put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Son, there ain't nobody been livin in that house for over 100 years!"
I started to protest but he just shook his head, laughed and walked away. As he was leaving I could've sworn I heard him say, "Some things about New Orleans are better left unsaid."