As one drives West on route 138 in Rhode Island, traveling from Newport to Interstate 95, one has to pass the University of Rhode Island (URI). Just past the entrance to the athletic fields there is a dirt road that exits off of RT 138 on the right hand side. This small dirt road travels about 300-500 yards, then turns left and travels about 200-300 yards, and comes back out onto RT 138. Down at the "L" formed by this old dirt road you come to 2 historic cemeteries.
The first one on the left, the second across the road on the right (they are both at the turn of the dirt road). I have forgotten their numbers, both are small and last time I saw, need some TLC. As you drive Westbound you can see all the way down the dirt road to where it turns. I know about this road and it's cemeteries because I had attended a 'ghost hunt' there with a couple of guys from my ship and some college students from URI (for them it was a 1987 Halloween "trick", but I learned about that too late.
The idiots from my ship were trying to "scare" the girls from the college into bed with them. They cracked bad jokes about the dead and one of the drunk S.O.B.'s actually pissed on one of the grave markers (I ended up taking a cab back to the base after staying at the graveyards and apologizing to those who rested there).
It was late spring in 1988, and I had orders to attend a school in Norfolk, Va. I decided to drive down (New car and the Navy was paying for room, board and mileage. So why not?). It was 2130-ish (9:30 P.M.) on a clear Friday night as I passed URI and approached this dirt road on the right. My headlights were on high, and they lit up the road, right down to the end where it turned.
I saw a misty shape down at the far end of the road. From my angle it looked to be an old fashioned horse drawn hearse. I slowed my car as I passed the entrance to this dirt road, and tried to get a better look. It still appeared to be just what I thought I'd seen, a horse drawn hearse, but made out of fog or mist.
I put on my blinker, knowing that the road I had been looking down rejoined RT 138 not too far ahead, and when it did, I turned onto it.
As I reached the point where I had to turn right, I saw what appeared to be a thick fog dissipating under the brightness of my headlights. As it did so, I made out the form of the 'upper' part of the hearse. I saw the figure of a man in a top hat holding the horses reigns. The shape of torches on either side of the front of the hearse. I could see the top portion of the hearse, all the way back to the rear, where there were two more torch shapes on the rear corners of the hearse. I took all this in as it faded away, as if being torn apart in the wind.
I stopped the car and got out and looked around. I could no longer see any mist, but I did hear the loud snort of a horse. The right side of my face got suddenly damp. As I wiped at my cheek, I got back in my car, and just sat there for a few minutes. I then said a quick thank you to "the Powers that Be", and those that rested there, for letting me see such a site.