The Truth About Creatures In The Night
Another Travel Tale:
I travelled alone to Niagara Falls and was on the Canadian side. Heard so much about it. One of the greatest tourist attractions in the world. It was my first visit at late morning. I had the usual tourist treats, and even in the 80's, it wasn't cheap. I couldn't remember how I got there but it was a hotel not too far from the Falls.
Got on a boat, Maid Of The Mist tour and watched Niagara Falls up close, pouring its heart out for everyone. But the view from the boat? All we saw was water.
And not a drop to drink
So tell me now
Oh what else can a poor fella do
But sit right down and...*
It was like walking in heavy rain. But they gave me this plastic raincoat with a hood. Blue, I remember was the colour. Or was it yellow? Then we got into the lower part of the falls (image above), got into a boat and got wet, just so we could see Niagara above us.
It was supposed to be exciting going on this boat ride. But it wasn't. And the camera got wet (we didn't have iPhones then). And it couldn't function properly.
The mist could be seen behind me. It was cold and wet even with raincoats.
I was in that area for hours, supposedly to enjoy its unique environment and listen to the ever-roaring waters. It was special. Because the last time I saw a waterfall was at Kota Tinggi. Cannot compare. Like looking at an *attap house in Malaysia at one end and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai at the other.
Had lunch alone, then tea, cakes and a simple burger for dinner.
Then it got dark. A mist fast shrouding the area. I wasn't aware of the time. As the weather was cold, I felt my heart being squeezed tight by some unseen hand... Breathless, choking.
I was in pretty bad shape, bitter cold and fearful. I looked around me. Most folks had left, with only a few young couples idling around. The presence of the frightful heavy mist encompassing the already dark woods was eerie.
In the boat under the waterfall. Tourists were soaked. I was drenched.
Don't ever get lost in the evening, in the open, in Canada. You freeze to death. And this wasn't Winnipeg. It was Ontario. Just as gripping.
Worse, I had read about a native Indian story, the Maid of the Mist legend where a young woman, in suicidal bereavement, got into a canoe and entered the waters above the falls.
I realised that it was only about 5 pm but it was totally dark and I knew I was lost in unknown territory. I walked and walked and walked, quite far now from where the Falls were. Then I realised I was walking round in circles beside a high wire fencing.
This was it I told myself. Here lie I, waiting to die. I reached the road after walking up a gradual incline, and looked around, praying for someone to help me. Nothing... but only the mist and I could hardly see three feet in front of me. I trudged on and was walking for about ten minutes with really weary legs when I heard the sound of a car behind me.
Lady in Red Chris de Burgh. Video by Kawaii Mango. Nearly 6 Million viewers.
I turned around and, although dazzled by the lights, I felt the bumper nearly touching my legs, I saw this beautiful sight; a lady inside wound down her window. She was pretty. And de Burgh's music coming from her car radio:
And when you turned to me and smiled
It took my breath away
And I have never had such a feeling
Such a feeling of complete and utter love
As I do tonight
I honestly could not remember what happened after that. From the moment I stepped into the lady's car, up to the time I spoke to the concierge, what happened in between was a blank.
The biggest surprise I got, was when I spoke to the concierge to tell my tale.
"Oh, there are haunted houses and roads near Niagara," he mentioned nonchalantly.
"Oh," he added lamely, "you'll never get lost in the woods at Niagara. There's always a lady dressed in red, in a red car, ready to pick people who are lost."
When I asked him for the time, he replied, "It's two in the morning, sir."
Even till today, I am confused.
From the film "The Tommy Steele Story" - 1957 by Lionel Bart / Michael Pratt / Tommy Steele
THE LADY IN RED (You Tube Video)
Into The Light Album - June 1986
British-Irish singer-songwriter Chris de Burgh
Images: Google ones are for illustrative purpose only. A personal collection taken at Niagara Falls shows two pictures of myself in the boat.
This story is absolutely true. I was lost at Niagara Falls, walked in the cold in heavy mist and was sent to my hotel by this mysterious lady who neither spoke nor smiled at me. What happened in between remained a mystery.
Not a spook; definitely a guardian angel.