Haints

Haint (not to be confused with hain’t) is one of the many ways folks down south refer to spirits. Most of us agree it’s a variation on the word haunt, but no one can pinpoint when or how the word morphed to its current form. Another point of contention is:what type of spirit is a haint? Some say it’s just a regular ol’ ghost that’s up to mischief. Others say it’s an angry murder victim or a vengeful animal that was hunted down and tortured. I was taught a haint was something more than a ghost. A haint was a spirit that had never been human and needed to be appeased or it would harm any living creature in its range. Haints were usually tied to a particular place which, under the influence of the haint, became known for tragic or frightening occurrences.

There was a stretch of Highway 84 heading west toward Waco. It was arrow straight and ran smoothly up a rise above Lake Mexia. However, during my lifetime and as far back as my elders could remember, that area played host to wild and nearly unexplainable auto accidents. My elders were confident a haint was responsible. Specifically, the spirit of the Navasota river at Comanche Crossing, which had been widened to create Lake Mexia.
We traveled that stretch of Highway 84 many times, but we managed to avoid the wrath of the haint. It leaves me curious as to nature of the Navasota haint, but I fear I will never know.

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