"The White Thang"
Animal or Ghost?
By: Peter J. Gossett
Feneda (Martin) Smith never saw the "white thang," but several others had seen it. According to Ottis Thomas, probably in the late 1930s, he had heard stories about the "white thang." One day, Ottis and his brother Edward were playing in a saw dust pile, where a saw mill had long been gone. They were near the south end of the glades, close to Brown’s Creek. They did not realize anything out of the ordinary for awhile, but all of a sudden, Edward screamed, "There’s ol’ white thang!" Ottis said he did not look back and took off running barefoot over the glades as fast as he could. After a couple hundred yards, he turned and looked back and saw nothing. He thinks it was an old white fox hound.
The incidents of the "white thang" occurred outside of the Lynn area of Winston County. Feneda Smith: "Old man George Norris...seen it over there in Enon graveyard, and he said it looked like a lion...you know, bushy, betwixt a dog and a lion. It was white and slick with long hair. It had a slick tail, down on the end of the tail a big ol’ bush of hair. He lent up against a tree and fell asleep. When he woke up the sun was just rising, and the "white thang" was laying right beside him, and it was looking at him. He said it didn’t offer to hurt him or nothing."
Feneda: "Nathan Thomas said he had been to Florida, and he was coming back home and had been down there to see his brother. He caught a bus from Jasper to Nauvoo. He was walking out from Nauvoo, and they lived down in Kaeiser Bottoms. He was coming across the creek and up the hill just before you start down to Kaeiser Bottoms to their house, and he heard something ‘poomp’ ‘poomp’ ‘poomp’ behind him. He looked back and [the white thang] was coming after him just a-laying down. He said he broke and run and made it to get to a hickory tree and climbed it. He sat there until betwixt 1 to 2 o’clock in the morning. That thang layed down by the tree and gnawed it. The moon was shining real bright, and sometime in the morning, it ‘vantually gave up and walked away. He could see it way down the road. He said buddy I got down and I mean I run until I got to the house."
Arthur Martin and Jessie Thomas also saw this thang. They were riding bicycles down the Enon road, when they saw it grazing like a cow on the side of the road. Although it didn’t offer to hurt them, they turned around and came back from the way they came. Hattie Edwards, Bernice Hopson, and some others were walking on this same road, when they saw the "white thang." They turned sideways and eased by it without any adventure.
There have been no reports of the "white thang" in a long time. Since few people walk through these Winston hills at night now, could it still be there? Could it be an animal? Or could it be something worse roaming the hills, watching and waiting?