Up in the Big Country area, near Abilene, there’s a small town named Stamford. Near that community, there’s a brushy, overgrown park on Farm to Market Road 1226, about five miles south of the town known as Buie Park. The old park harbors two well-known ghosts of the area, and the legendary spirits are known as the Hatchet Lady and May’s Mother. I’m unsure whether they simultaneously haunt the wooded park area or take turns. But according to an article by Kathy Sanders that ran in the Abilene Reporter-News on October 30, 1985, they are well known around Stamford. The Hatchet Lady’s story is, years ago, when the park was still a well-kept beautiful spot, a young woman from Stamford was engaged to be married.
Shortly before the wedding was to take place, her fiancé took her out to Buie Park, and in that remote setting, he broke the news to her that he really didn’t want to get married after all. The young woman was shocked… hurt… crushed by this disclosure. In her distraught state, she refused to accept her fiancé’s decision, and in a moment of unreasonable rage and heartbreak, she killed him with a hatchet. (No one has been able to explain how a young woman, supposedly out for a tryst, could have conveniently been supplied with such a deadly weapon!) The story goes that, hatchet in hand, the young woman’s spirit still returns to stalk the park, preying on romantic couples. I guess she figures if she couldn’t be happy, why should anyone else be? She is a vindictive spirit, apparently. The other ghost that roams Buie Park is the pathetic spirit of a broken-hearted mother. Years ago, according to the legend, a woman had a little girl, about ten years old, named May, who had been playing in the park by the riverside when she disappeared. She was never seen again. Everyone believed she drowned in the river. The grieving mother looked for her daughter until she finally lost her mind. Now dead herself, she still is said to return, wandering all over the park and crying for her lost child. Many people claim they have heard her sad and mournful cries… “May, oh May.. May… May”.