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Halloween Countdown, Day 9

It's time for some Appalachian horror!

* If you're anywhere near Blowing Rock, North Carolina in a couple of days, you'll want to check out "Terror in the Hills: Appalachia in Horror Films and Ghost Shows in the High Country" at the Blowing Rock Museum.

* Just in case you missed it a couple of years ago, here is my husband's contribution to the countdown: "Larry's Unlucky 13 Best Boograss Songs."


So, does the head on this statue really turn around on Halloween night?


(Source.)


I suspect it doesn't, but the legend of Octavia Hatcher (1869-1891) of Pikeville, Kentucky is haunting enough without a restless monument.

Here is an excerpt from the account posted by Jessica Forsyth, the Director of Activities and Events for the Big Sandy Heritage Center, a historical museum in Pikeville, Kentucky.

"Octavia took to her bed, likely suffering from depression [after her baby son's death]. She grew ill over the next few months, slipping into a coma from which she could not be awakened. She was pronounced dead of unknown causes on May 2nd, 1891.

"That spring was unusually hot, and as embalming was not yet common practice, no time was wasted in burying Octavia. Funeral services were conducted and her body was laid to rest.

"Several days later, others began exhibiting similar symptoms to Octavia’s. The bite of a certain fly, now known as the tsetse fly, brought a sleeping sickness from which others began to awaken after a time. Hatcher and his family began to worry if Octavia might have succumbed to this illness. Her breathing had been shallow enough in her comatose state for doctors to believe she had passed, but in actuality, she had been buried alive.

"Hatcher secured an emergency exhumation and uncovered a horrific sight with the raising of the coffin. The casket Octavia had been buried in had not been airtight. She had awoken from her sleep to find herself trapped beneath the ground. In a panic, she had torn the lining on the lid of her coffin. Her nails were bloody and her face was contorted in terror, scratched in her frenzy to escape from her grave. But by this time, she really was dead."


Here are some articles about the story, ranging from the skeptical to the sensational:
* The Story of Octavia Hatcher
* Pikeville's Octavia Hatcher
* The Legend of Octavia Hatcher
* The True Story of Octavia Hatcher
* The Ghost of Octavia Hatcher

And here is a video about her ghost story.

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Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
homespunheart
Oct. 9th, 2015 11:53 am (UTC)
Love today's creepy post! I'll have to check out the Terror in the Hills video. Larry's list of Boograss Songs is a winner! I look forward to re-listening to each one, most especially Knoxville Boy! It's a haunting song. And now the story of Octavia Hatcher! Poe was correct! What a terrible death!

Edited at 2015-10-09 11:53 am (UTC)
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 9th, 2015 09:40 pm (UTC)
Woohoo! It was your mention of the boograss list that inspired this post, so I'm delighted that you enjoyed it!

Poor Octavia.
peadarog
Oct. 9th, 2015 01:23 pm (UTC)
Cool story!
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 9th, 2015 09:45 pm (UTC)
The students at the University of Pikeville have a much more effective way of creeping out the freshmen with spooky tales than we had at my school. I'm just saying.

Why does no school have The Premature Burials as its mascot? Pikeville could start a new trend.

Edited at 2015-10-09 09:46 pm (UTC)
Abbie Culbertson
Oct. 9th, 2015 10:58 pm (UTC)
I LOVED THIS! You're right, Belmont has nothing near this magnitude of creepy. :(
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 11th, 2015 10:27 pm (UTC)
Yay! So glad to hear it. Adelicia Acklen's life seems pretty calm compared to this, eh?
gilda_elise
Oct. 10th, 2015 10:51 am (UTC)
Yikes, what a thought, being buried alive. I really do hope the story isn't true!
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 11th, 2015 10:29 pm (UTC)
It is a horrifying thought, isn't it? Apparently the legend is still disputed in some circles, so perhaps Octavia had a more peaceful end after all.
febobe
Oct. 10th, 2015 09:04 pm (UTC)
This is either my favorite spooky post you've ever done, or very near it! Being Appalachian, this just delights me no end - and I did NOT know some of this material! :D Thank you so very, very much! *hugs*
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 11th, 2015 10:29 pm (UTC)
Woohoo! I'm so tickled to hear this! Thank you, my dear. :D *hugs you back*
witchcat07
Oct. 12th, 2015 12:57 am (UTC)
Regarding Octavia, it is highly possible that she was buried alive, and even possible she awoke in her coffin before the end. But even if her coffin was not airtight, there would not be much air movement six feet underground. Once she had used the oxygen available, she would die pretty quickly. So I doubt she remained alive for as much as a day underground, but perhaps just long enough to wake up and have a moment of terror before she died. Poor Octavia. :(
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 13th, 2015 01:37 pm (UTC)
but perhaps just long enough to wake up and have a moment of terror before she died. Poor Octavia. :(

Yikes! ::shudders:: Poor Octavia, indeed. :(
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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