Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Anne Mitchell's Curse and Haunting

Before John Bell Hood was a general on the Confederate side during the Civil War in America, he fell in love with a lovely black-haired beauty by the name of Anne Mitchell. 

She was known as the “belle of Central Kentucky.” She had a sweet and kind disposition, and she had her pick of the eligible bows in the area. In her late teens, she met John Bell Hood who was attending West Point and was home on furlough.

John Bell Hood
Hood courted Anne, and the two fell passionately in love. Their favorite place to meet in the evenings was in the garden of the Hood home. This garden is where Anne’s ghost is seen today. 

Another suitor for Anne’s hand, a Mr. Anderson, approached the Mitchell family promising if he were allowed to marry Anne, he would build an elegant home for them both, near the Mitchell family home. 

Anne’s father preferred Mr. Anderson because unlike Hood, he had a great deal of wealth.

John returned to West Point, and Anne’s family began to pressure her incessantly to marry Mr. Anderson. Anne gave in but made one request, she wanted to write John a private letter and send it to West Point. 

In this letter she poured her heart out to the young cadet, she told him she “would love him forever” and would only walk “the garden path” with him in this world or the next. 

She informed him she was being forced to marry another. John, upon receipt of this letter, left school and rushed home.

Hood managed to get Anne a note requesting she meet him a couple of nights later, at the garden gate. He assured her he would have a horse waiting for her, so they could ride fast, and get married before her family discovered her absence. 

Unfortunately, one of the Mitchell family slaves discovered Anne was gone after she left to meet John. 

Anne’s father and brothers reached the garden just as John was putting her on a horse. She was forced to return home.

Her father locked her in her bedroom. She could see the Hood garden from her window. 

She was kept in confinement until the day of her wedding. Her view of the garden was her last contact, with the man she loved. 

After the marriage, Anne refused to move from the Mitchell household, so Mr. Anderson moved in with her. Her new husband provided her with material wealth, and affection, but she never stopped loving John, and she never forgave the punishment she felt her family had inflicted upon her. 

When she found she was pregnant, she became moody and depressed. After the birth of her son, she refused everyone admittance to her rooms, including her husband. She stopped talking altogether.

When she finally spoke months later, she cursed, "all who had any part in making me marry when my heart will always belong to John Bell Hood."

That same afternoon a storm blew in, a lightning bolt struck the corner of the Mitchell house, and part of the brick wall caved in. 

Anne, one of her brothers--who had forced her home, and the slave girl who had sounded the alarm were all killed.

As the years past, people believed that Anne followed through on her curse. She haunted her family and their descendants. 

Family members affected by this curse included her father, her son, and then his sons. All died violent, tragic deaths. 

Her son, Corwin Anderson, died of shock after seeing his oldest son, English Anderson assault and kill his younger brother.

English Anderson, later killed a man in a knife fight and beat a young man, who worked on his farm, to death. The other farmworkers then stoned Corwin to death.

Her curse appears to have lasted for many years, as recent as the 1940s, one of her great-grandsons, Jason Anderson, committed suicide. 

As for the two men who loved her—her husbands’ second wife died, and after this, there is no record of him. 

As for her true love, John Bell Hood, he appeared not to escape the curse. He lost one of his legs in the Civil War, and his career as a general ended in disgrace.

But regardless of her unhappy ending and her curse, people who have witnessed her ghost, wandering in the garden of the old Hood house, state despite being “shaken up” by the encounter, they never felt threatened or frightened. 

In fact, many who have felt or seen her in the garden, state she is a quiet, gentle presence.

Mitchell family Kentucky homestead.

Her ghost is also seen wandering around the old Mitchell family homestead.

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