October in Winston-Salem brings memories of crisp mornings, piles of colorful leaves that someone will – eventually – have to rake, warm cups of hot cider to wrap cold hands around to get them warmed. What’s more fun than that and maybe roasted marshmallows over a nice evening fire and some legends to get your heart racing? It is that time of year!
Do you know the tale of The Little Red Man? As the story goes, on March 25, 1786, a local shoemaker named Andreas Kresmer was helping out at the Single Brother’s House. He and other workers were excavating very late that night in preparation for a new foundation to the structure. Unfortunately, Andreas was killed when a bank of earth fell in, trapping him.
Kresmer was very well liked in the community and was mourned by all who knew him. He was known to frequently wear a red cap. For a number of years after his untimely death, hammering noises would be heard at the House and sometimes a small man wearing a red cap would be seen running through the halls. As the story goes, his last spotting was in front of a local dignitary. Not used to such encounters, a local minister was summoned and the Little Red Man has not been seen since.
Another legend that you might have heard of is about Lydia, a young girl coming home from a dance in 1923. At an underpass now known as Lydia’s Bridge, she died in a car accident. However, travelers on that stretch of road have supposedly seen a young woman in a white gown trying to get someone to stop and give her a ride. As the legend goes, if she’s given a ride, she directs the driver to a specific address, but upon arrival, she is gone. If the driver knocks on the door of the home, the story goes that they’re told that Lydia died long ago but occasionally hitches a ride back home.
Then there’s the Blum House tale. Blum came to Salem in 1787 with his family who ran a local tavern. Blum published local newspapers and according to some, may still visit the Blum House on occasion. Some have seen doorknobs turn, heard steps in empty rooms and at least once, had a door open for no apparent reason.
Our area is rich with traditions, legends, and tales handed down from bygone days. There’s nothing like fall in the south. Breathe it in and enjoy.