Monday, April 22, 2019

The Burial of Octavia Spencer

Blue Ridge Mountains
Here is a classic Appalachian ghostlore story. 

Octavia Spencer died of a mysterious illness, after giving birth in the 1890s.

Her son died within days of being born, and Octavia went into a deep depression. Her husband and family were unable to help her, so a doctor was called in.

By the time this man arrived, he found Octavio in a dream-like state, similar to a coma. Frustrated, the doctor was unable to determine what was happening.

Within hours his patient appeared to stop breathing, and the mourning husband following the hill custom quickly arranged to bury Octavia that same day--on top of the mountain.

Several days later, the doctor found himself treating several patients that exhibited the same symptoms as Octavia’s.

They all had a strange "sleeping sickness."

Their breathing turned shallow as well. But within a day they began to wake up. 

It dawned on the doctor that he had made a terrible mistake. He immediately demanded the husband arrange for Octavia’s body to be exhumed.

When her coffin was opened, it became apparent that she had died of asphyxiation.

To everyone’s horror, there were signs Octavia had struggled before her death. The wood lid of her casket was shredded with claw marks, she had tried to escape.  

In shock, the doctor and husband looked upon Octavia's face, which was frozen in a mask of terror.

Her body was then reburied in the family plot in Pikeville, Kentucky. The husband tormented with guilt had a tall stone statue placed upon her grave.

For over a century, witnesses have claimed there is unusual activity near Octavia’s grave.

Many locals have reported hearing hysterical cries at night. Others who are brave enough to stand near her grave state they heard scratching sounds.

Once a year, on the anniversary of Octavia's death, it is said, this statue rotates--turning its back on Pikeville.

1 comment:

Leona Joan said...

Poor lady. I hope her Spirit has found peace and happiness on the Other Side.