Born With a Veil: A True Ghost Story
A True Ghostly Tale From Northeast Georgia
One day, while gathering stories in northeast Georgia, in a town called Lavonia, I met a woman named Linda Barnes. She's a leader in her church and community, and I was hearing stories from those areas of her life when suddenly she stopped, looked at me for a long moment, and said, "You are someone I can tell this to." A change came over her, she softened from her strong leader voice into a more hushed, even reverent tone, and she opened up to me about her life, and being raised by her grandmother. Her grandmother, whom we would refer to as a midwife today, was known then as the medicine woman. Her grandmother was gifted in many ways, and Linda went on to tell me about one mysterious day when she, herself, discovered a gift she shared with her grandmother. A gift they would not speak about for many years, and only, in special circumstances, does Linda even talk of it today. I count myself privileged to have heard, and been given permission by her to tell, this true story.
I Was Born With A Veil On My Face
That's what my Grandma called it.
She's the one who raised me. She was a kind of a medicine woman. She took care of folks—black and white. I went with her all over these parts. It was on one of these visits that she told me about the veil. We were walking home, and she got ahead of me. I saw something: a lady, a real fancy dresser. My mother was a fancy dresser too, so I thought it was her walking down the road, so I ran to her and called out to her,
"Mama! Mama! Over here!"
I called out her name, but she kept going. Then my Grandma turned around.
"I'm going to meet Mama!"
"No, Fanny! Come here now."
I knew by the sound of Grandma's voice that I needed to come back. All of the sudden, the fancy dresser turned and disappeared. Grandma and I walked a long time, maybe a mile, before talking. Then she says, "Let's rest our feet here."
And I ask her, "Grandma, why wouldn't you let me go to her?"
"She isn't who you think she was. And this is not the right time of day to be walking with spirits."
"You mean she wasn't real?"
"Oh, she's very real. As real as you and me.
"She once walked and talked on this earth, like we're doing right here. But she's on the other side of the veil now. Most times, they just want to be remembered. They show themselves and that's that. Sometimes, they need to pass on some news to people on this side. But every once in a while, there's one that wants something more. That lady probably just wanted to be remembered. But I don't want you walking with a spirit when the time's not right. She shoulda known better. That's why I called you back."
I thought about this, and then asked Grandma, "How did she know I'd see her?"
And Grandma tells me, "You were born with a veil on your face. I was, too. You were born with a half veil. That means you can see things—people and ideas that used to be. I was born with a full veil. That means I see things toward the future."
And some things that I used to wonder about started making sense. "So that's how you know if someone you're helping is gonna get well or die, like you said Mrs. Jones probably isn't gonna make it."
And Grandma is quick to correct me.
"No, honey. Only God knows those things—what I see is more patterns and pictures.
"Take Mrs. Jones. If the pattern stays the same, if the weather stays damp and cold, and the cracks in her floor aren't covered, then that cough is gonna settle in her lungs. She'll be too cold to get up and move it out of her lungs, and then the pneumonia's gonna take her. Now, if that pattern changes, she's got a chance. But when we tended her, I saw her in her wedding dress. There's only two occasions a woman wears that dress- when she gets married and when she gets buried. And Mrs. Jones is already married."
"Will I see the future, too?"
"No. The half veil sees the present and the people from our past."
"Too bad. I wish I could see the future."
My grandmother hugged me. It was my signal to know she was done talking. We'd walk that road together many times over the years to come. We'd walk it for Mrs. Jones' funeral. We'd walk it after grandma delivered a set of twins, and I got to help. I've seen a lot of things going down that road, though I never saw the fancy dresser again. One of these days, I'm sure I will.
What Do You Think?
Have You Ever Seen A Spirit or Ghost?
Please share with me. I'd love to hear.
Questions & Answers
What does it mean to be born with a blue veil over the face? My sister-in-law was born with one over hers.
From the oral histories I have collected, being born with a veil means the child can see into the future, or is able to perceive things others don't see as clearly. The "veil" is that white covering, often born on children who come a little early. There are a lot of articles about this folklore and phenomenon. You could do a keyword search using "folklore" and "born with a veil."Helpful 18
This story reminds me very much of a conversation with my grandmother and I. I was born with a veil and my mom says it was removed and came back. I can see and feel that of the past, present, and certain things of the future. It's so confusing to me. Do you have any insight on my experience with psychic abilities?
I found it really interesting, as well. I collect a lot of oral histories for the stories and plays that I write, and this seems to be especially common in places in the South where I work. There are several folklore books written on it. You might want to do a keyword search on "Folklore" and "born with a veil" to get some more information.Helpful 6
Is Born With a Veil a traveling play?
The play had a limited run in Georgia. However, I have also used it in my radio show, which airs on WETS.org on the last Wednesday of the month at 8PM eastern time. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. Pieces like "Born with a Veil" are typically told in this radio show.Helpful 3