Hometown Murders & Mysteries Halloween Edition

Special Edition

 
 

The Ghost of Fishing Creek - Pulaski Park Roads.

It has been said, in years past, that folks driving up Fishing Creek hill late at night would suddenly sense someone behind them in the vehicle. When they turned to see, there would be the ghostly image of a woman riding in the backseat. Once they reached the top of the hill, she would simply get out and vanish. Folks who told the story said that her presence was benevolent, and it seemed that she only wanted a ride up the steep hill. We've heard this story a couple of different ways; the most common one is that the ghost shows up on Fishing Creek Road, the other is that she is on Pulaski Park Road. It is entirely possible that she could hitch a ride on both sides by crossing the lake – if she is, in fact, a ghost.


Here is a quote from an online source detailing another version of the story – we did not re-write or paraphrase this telling of the story, just in case the directions need to be followed precisely:


"Two car links past the last turnoff on left of the road, the road starts at a downhill grade when passing through at the reported time of 11:30 pm at a recorded speed of 15mph's looking through rearview mirror a figure of a ghostly man will appear in the back seat of your vehicle and will ride down to the end of the road of Fishing Creek Park and will remain in the vehicle until returning him back to the curve where first sited."

 

The Somerset High School Soccer Field – The Clara Morrow Field.

Around the turn of the century, a young girl named Clara Curd Morrow died from meningitis. Her father donated the soccer field property to the Somerset High School, and in turn, the field was named for his daughter. Several stories surround this 11-year-old girl’s death and her ghost. Some Somerset High School alumni have said that she can be seen wandering around near the backside of the soccer/football field where the buses used to park. Witnesses say she would motion for people to come to her, with a distressed look on her face. When someone would start moving toward her, she would disappear as mysteriously as she appeared. Through the years, rumors circulated that she didn’t die from an illness but drowned after falling in an iced-over pond while skating. The pond was supposedly behind her house, where the field is located now. Some have said that recording devices used on the field have captured the sounds of the blades on the skates clinking over the ice. Another legend has Clara Morrow was roller skating somewhere on Main Street, where she fell and succumbed to her injuries. Others speculated that she was buried somewhere on the school grounds, even though she has a gravesite in the Somerset Cemetery.

Special thanks to Rod Zimmerman for the photos of the Clara Curd Morrow (1896-1907).

 

The Old Perkins House (also known as the Richardson House).

There is a story, nearly lost to time, about the beautiful old house that sat beside what most of us today call the Carnegie building on North Main Street. The Carnegie building, recently renamed the John Sherman Cooper Community Arts Center, used to be a post office and a library. The Perkins/Richardson House, long since demolished, was a two-story white wooden structure with a front porch and a relatively small front yard adjoining Main Street. The Carnegie building’s property is on the south side of the property, with Somerset Undertaking on the north side. In one of the upstairs closets, it is said that a large red stain on the floorboards couldn’t be removed. The story goes that the house owners, at the time, hid a Confederate Civil War soldier who was avoiding capture by the Union. Unfortunately, the soldier was mortally wounded and lost a large amount of blood on the wooden floorboards of that upstairs closet where he lay hiding. After the soldier was gone, Somerset residents said that the owners would scrub the floorboards clean only for the bloodstain to return the next day. Local grade school teachers used to take their children on field trips to the house before it was torn down. Many adults – to this day – recall seeing the bloodstain. The house was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior but was tragically torn down in the middle of the night on a holiday weekend without debate or community input - one of the saddest parts of this story.

Special thanks to Rod Zimmerman for the photos of the Perkins House/Richardson House.

 

The Sloans Valley Ghost Lights.

Around this time of year, you may be able to see mysterious lights around the railroad tracks in Sloans Valley. Witnesses say the lights are most often visible in late October and early November when the weather is clear and dry. Of course, visibility would play a part in the sightings, but the time of year seems to play a more prominent role. On October 30, 1890, two trains collided in the train tunnel in Sloans Valley, killing seven people and seriously wounding dozens more.


Another train wreck occurred at the Elihu Station north of the Sloans Valley tunnel when two trains collided before that fateful October day in 1890. In that accident, one man was killed; because of the Elihu tragedy, the train schedule was running hours behind. Around 3 or 4 o'clock the next morning, the Somerset Station began releasing the trains. Shortly after the trains started moving again, a freight train (No. 22) sidetracked to allow another freight train to pass. However, the engineer was unaware of a second passenger train (No. 5) heading his way. After the train passed, No. 22 pulled back onto the mainline tracks and started heading north, unaware that No. 5 was headed southbound – straight toward him.


The No. 22 freight train and the No. 5 passenger train met head-on in the Sloans Valley tunnel. The boilers on both engines exploded, and the tunnel became an inferno. Fortunately, the passenger train had not entirely entered the tunnel, which was one-sixth of a mile long, leaving three sleeper cars near the train's rear on the outside of the tunnel. All but one of the passengers were able to pour out through these three cars to reach safety, but many others were seriously injured or killed. The other six deaths appear to be train workers. By 11 o'clock that morning, 6-7 hours after the collision, the heat and smoke were still too strong to allow anyone near the tunnel.


Over the years, several people have reported seeing strange, irregular lights along the tracks around the north end of the tunnel. Some have reported hearing blood-curdling cries coming from inside. However, when anyone gets near the tunnel, the lights and sounds disappear.


Special thanks to Delania Roberts for sharing this story on Haunted History of Kentucky.

 

Ghosts Under Cundiff Square.

With all of the attention the Cundiff Square property has received during the past year or so, it is no wonder that we were able to dig up at least one haunted story about it. An anonymous reader of our blog contacted us and told us of working with her dad at a shop operated in one of the office spaces in Cundiff Square during the late 1970s-80s. She recalled that many years before the property was purchased for development, there used to be hundreds of graves on the property that were bulldozed under. The reader went on to tell us that several of the property’s occupants reported hearing strange noises that seemed to come from the floor under their feet – even during the daytime. A few business owners liked to blame restless spirits for the noises; in jest or not, we do not know. The old gravesites story seems plausible, but we could not locate maps that would confirm or debunk the claim. However, the property was purchased by C.K. Cundiff from Off-Street Parking Inc. in 1969. Mr. Cundiff faced serious drainage problems when development began, and he ended up threatening to sue Somerset in the early 1970s as a result. During his troubles, he found that the city had drained the old Jasper’s Pond by installing galvanized culverts to divert the water into two caves on Sycamore Street, which ran under Town Springs. When Cundiff brought in experts to find the problem, they determined that the water drain-off through those culverts was moving at speeds up to 15 miles per hour under the property when heavy rains came. In addition, a local living legend, Rod Zimmerman, told of an old tunnel that used to run underground from Town Springs (aka Cundiff Square) to the old jail on West Mt. Vernon Street, which is likely part of that cave system. For those who believe in ghosts, you can pick a story to believe. It could be that water running underground in the 70s-80s at 15mph was heard up top, or perhaps the land is cursed, and some of these strange noises will emerge to haunt the halls of the new university!

Special thanks to Rod Zimmerman for sharing the Town Springs image and part of this story on the Pulaski County, Kentucky Facebook page.

 

A Mysterious Ghostly Figure in the Bourbon Community - May 1924.

In May of 1924, the Somerset Journal reported a nightly disturbance in the Bourbon neighborhood. Mr. Jones, an employee of the Southern Railway in Ferguson, reported being harassed by a ghostly image each night on his way home from work. Mr. Jones said the figure would come up and stand by an old chimney and follow him for a distance of a hundred yards before finally disappearing behind an old oak tree. The chimney site was the only remains from an older house in the Bourbon community no longer standing in 1924. However, a story was told that a large sum of money was buried near the chimney site by the house's occupants before they passed; the house eventually collapsed from lack of upkeep, and no one found the money we know of.


The Somerset Journal said, "the people of Ferguson, having their curiosity aroused, formed a searching party." On May 13th, the newspaper lists the following citizens who formed the search party: Oko Cain, Dick Neikirk, Carson Gover, Alonzo Jasper, and Alvis Buster. This group of men loaded up and went to Bourbon at midnight and "took up the search." Each man reported having seen the figure rise from the chimney and travel to the old oak tree, where it disappeared into the mist. The search party returned to town the following day, reporting the sighting but offering no solution to the "mysterious mystery."

 

The Cursed Grave of Carl Pruitt - Pulaski County, Kentucky, 1938.

Twenty-one-year-old Carl Pruitt came home from work one June evening to find his wife with another man. Pruitt is said to have grabbed a chain and began strangling her, which allowed her lover to jump out of the window and leave before Pruitt could direct his anger toward him. After Pruitt's wife lay dead, Pruitt committed suicide. Pruitt and his wife were interred in separate cemeteries.


A few weeks after Pruitt was buried, visitors noticed the pattern of a chain slowly forming on Pruitt's gravestone. Then, a month or so after Pruitt's death, a group of boys riding bicycles near the cemetery stopped and began throwing stones at Pruitt's grave. The stones were said to have damaged the headstone. Not long after, one of the boys involved was riding his bicycle when it began to pick up speed, and he lost control. The bike veered off the road and hit a tree, and the sprocket chain tore loose and wrapped itself around the boy's neck, strangling him to death. An examination of the gravestone afterward found it without a mark.


A month after the boy's death, his mother was stricken with grief and took a small hand ax to the cemetery and destroyed Pruitt's gravestone. When she was finished, the gravestone lay in pieces. The day after, the boy's mother was found hanging from the family clothesline. Legends say Pruitt's tombstone was found whole and without a mark after her death.


Not too long after the clothesline death, a man and his family were passing by the cemetery in a horse-drawn buggy. It is said that the man stopped the cart, got his gun, and fired a shot, hitting the Pruitt tombstone. The shot spooked the horses, which took off a dead run, throwing the other family members clear of danger, but the man who shot the tombstone somehow became tangled in the trace chains which snapped his neck, killing him instantly.


By this time, many in the community were convinced that the tombstone was cursed. It is reported that the residents contacted the local congressman, and law enforcement was sent out to investigate. Two officers responded to the cemetery and began taking pictures of the marker and surroundings. One of the officers was said to have joked about the so-called curse and thought the investigation was a waste of time. Once the officers finished and got in the vehicle to leave, the officer who joked saw a bright light in the rearview mirror, it startled him, and he began to drive away from the scene fast. As the light got closer and closer, the officer sped up, but it kept coming hot on their tail. Finally, the car swerved off the road and crashed between two posts. The officer in the passenger seat was thrown clear of the vehicle, just like the family in the buggy, but the officer who made the jokes was found dead when the car came to a stop. A chain hanging between the two posts where the vehicle went through had wrapped around the officer's neck, killing him.


These deaths were unsettling to the residents, and one man had enough. One afternoon this man grabbed his hammer and chisel and headed out for the cemetery, telling folks he was going to be the one to prove the curse was nothing but nonsense. The neighbors near the cemetery could hear him pecking away at the gravestone that evening, but it wasn't long until they heard a blood-curdling scream. Several of the men grabbed lanterns and headed in the direction of the scream. When they arrived at the cemetery, they found the man dead on the ground with the chain used on the cemetery gate wrapped around his neck—the gravestone was unmarked.


Sources say the other bodies in the cemetery were relocated to other burial grounds and the residents moved away. Like many older sparse gravesites, it became overgrown and lost to time. Then, in 1958, the site was purchased by a strip-mining operation, and what was left of the grave and its marker was destroyed. The five deaths surrounding this story are left to mystery.


Note: the image was sent to us, but we cannot verify that it is a photo of Carl Pruitt.

 

The Legend of Soule’s Chapel.

Initially, we were only going to quote an article written about Soule's Chapel that was published in our local newspaper in October 2000. However, as good fortune would have it, Rod Zimmerman posted a thread in the Pulaski County, Kentucky Facebook group a few days ago, which included a fascinating history about the formation of the church during the 1800s.


Rod's entry tells us that the Soule's Chapel church replaced an old log church house named Gragg's Chapel. The log structure was bought in 1857 by John P. Ridings, who took the old building down piece by piece and used the logs to build a barn nearby. That same year, Ridings, John Richardson, and a few other men saw the construction of the new Soule's Chapel church house completed. John Richardson and his wife's graves appear to be front and center of the cemetery, which seems to signify their importance in the community.


Soule's Chapel had a rather large membership of more than 200 shortly after it was built. However, political divisions over Civil War alliances split the congregation. Union sympathizers left and formed the Bradley's Chapel Northern Methodist Church. Those supporting the South, or who did not wish to leave, continued to worship at Soule's Chapel, officially called Soules Chapel Southern Methodist Church.


Over the years, the congregation slowly began dropping off until the church was abandoned and fell into disrepair. It wasn't long after that the ghost stories started to make the rounds all over the county.


The legend surrounding Soule's Chapel says that blood would appear on the gravestones and graves a few days after someone was buried in the cemetery. The blood would eventually fade, but if one were to visit Soule's Chapel late at night, some of the graves would give off a glow, supposedly from the decedent's blood. Not only that, but venomous snakes also slithered around, guarding the cemetery against trespassers.


Many have reported seeing remnants of satanic sacrifices and ritual paraphernalia. For example, it was said that a pentagram was burnt into the floor of the old church house before it burned down, and there was a painting on the outside of a door that read, "Nemos Omens lives here."


One of the stories we've heard says that if you place a tape recorder on the graves and play it back, ghostly noises can be heard, and if you are lucky (or unlucky), you may be able to listen to ghosts having a conversation.

A Facebook group called, Haunted History of Kentucky has a few communication threads open where people have shared their photos and experiences. If you are interested in this particular legend, we encourage you to read more on the Haunted History of Kentucky Facebook group's page as well as the Pulaski County, Kentucky Facebook group.

When we visited the old church foundation and cemetery, many of the gravestones had been knocked off their foundation, and graffiti had been spray-painted on the trees, some of the stone markers, and the headstones. We also found evidence of someone attempting to burn an old log in a sinkhole over one of the gravesites.

 

HAUNTINGS CLOSE TO HOME


Wilson Ridge Hill Ghost Bride – Liberty, KY.

"A woman in a flowing white bridal gown has been seen wandering and peeking from behind the trees many times over the years. She never makes a sound, but some have come close to her, and it's said that she wears a veil to cover her face. No one knows who she may be; however, there is a graveyard and a church at the bottom of the hill ... most certainly her final resting place. She is simply called, 'The Bride.'"

 

Green-Eyed Monster Killed - Stanford Interior Journal 1924.

“For six or seven years, people living along the knobs all the way from Moreland in Lincoln County to Mitchellsburg in Boyle County have at times declared they saw the green-eyed monster roaming around at night, killing sheep and pigs and in a few instances young calves. While hunting rabbits yesterday afternoon about four miles west of Junction City, Ward Edwards, a brave trapper from Parksville, encountered an immense gray animal, the sight of which terrified him. It gave him a lazy look, and its eyes flashed green. He took a shot at it, and the animal dashed toward him as he fired the second shot into its body. He jumped aside as the dazed varmint attempted to grab him. It went a little farther and began chewing on a post, doubtless thinking it was chewing on the hard-boiled hunter who had shot it to death. It proved to be a wolf, and hunters and people generally soon hurried to the scene. While playing out on his farm, a little son of William DeLong ran home late one evening last week, greatly frightened and declaring he had seen the green-eyed monster that had often terrified the people along the knob section. Only recently, the wolf ventured into the plains.”

 

The Barren Fork Witch – Whitley City, KY.

There is a tale of a witch buried in an old cemetery on Barren Road in McCreary County. Barren Road is part of Barren Fork, located off Highway 27, behind the Ranger’s station in the north-central part of the county. The cemetery where the witch is supposedly buried is in the woods near an old homestead. The locals say the house was owned by a young woman named Anna, who died at only 28 years old and left the home vacant. It has been told that the witch buried in the nearby cemetery would visit Anna’s old empty house, sometimes leaving the doors unlocked and other times locking it up tight so no one could enter. In recent years, Anna’s gravestone has been vandalized, and a shelter erected over her grave had been torn down, likely by the same vandals. Having been several times to the horse camp at Barren Fork to run the loop during the day (alone), I can say it does have an eerie feeling, but no witches or ghosts were ever spotted.

 

Cumberland Falls State Park – Honeybee, KY

"Back in the early 1950s, a bride & Groom came to Cumberland Falls State Park for their honeymoon but, their celebration turned fatal soon after. They were at the falls area when they decided to tour the park. As they hiked down through the park trails, they came to one of the overlooks, facing back toward the falls, where the view of the falls was a perfect place for a photoshoot. After standing and waiting for that perfect last view, the Bride then stood atop one of the pillars to have her picture taken. As the Groom started to take the picture, she screamed his name for the last time as she fell 73 feet to her death. This overlook is now what they call 'Lovers Leap. ' An apparition of a floating woman motioning you to come to her has been reported. A Ranger patrolling the park was heading to the Falls Area when a woman dressed in a wedding gown walked right out in front of him, hitting his car. When he realized he had hit this woman, he stopped his vehicle and began to check on the woman, but there was no one to be found. To this day, he feels this was the Bride who died on that fateful summer night."

 

White Hall Richmond, Kentucky

“Cassius Clay’s historic home, built in 1798 by his father, is said to be haunted by Clay himself, his wife, and his son. Witnesses to the hauntings have described moving candle lights, footsteps and other unexplained sounds and even smells, and violin and piano music. Apparitions of the three ghosts have been seen as well. The state historic site is open for tours at some times during the year.”

 

STRANGE OBJECTS IN THE SKY


Flying Saucers Reported In County - Wednesday, July 30th, 1952.

“Regardless of whether they are observation balloons or interplanetary visitors, ‘flying saucers’ are seen in Kentucky. There has been much speculation as to what these strange objects in the sky can be, but that they are there can no longer be denied. There have been reports of these ‘saucers’ flying at great speed over Pulaski County during the past week [July 30, 1952]. On Saturday afternoon, three youths reported to this office [The Commonwealth Newspaper] that they had seen two round, silver objects flying south at great speed. The lads were positive that these were the flying saucers they had heard so much about. A Pulaski County woman reported this week that she, too, had spotted a strange object in the sky flying at great speed. Mr. and Mrs. Glen Wyrick and their son, Owen, saw a ‘flying saucer’ Thursday afternoon at 4:35 as they were fishing on Lake Cumberland. The object looked like a large silver ball moving rapidly through the sky. Some time ago, a man and his wife in this county told this reporter that they had been looking out the window of their home late one evening and were astounded to see an object which looked like a huge blue ball of light approaching through the skies from the west. The object trailed a soft glow of blue light and was traveling at great speed. The light then stopped over a nearby structure and hovered there for several seconds. Then it suddenly darted upward in a perpendicular path, veered to the south, and disappeared in a short period. They made no official report of this occurrence because they were afraid to believe their own eyes.” (..)

 

Object in the Sky Past Four Days Still Unknown - October 21, 1959.

“If you have seen people scanning the western horizon early in the afternoons this week [October 21, 1959] with binoculars up to their eyes, they were not bird watchers – they were looking at a dull metal-appearing object in the sky. Kenneth Chestnut, a partner in Perry & Chestnut Radio & Television Sales and Service, first spotted the object about noon Sunday while looking through a pair of binoculars for a low-flying jet plane. He watched the strange object for more than an hour until it finally disappeared. By Monday noon, the word had gotten around town, and by noon today, there were quite a few spotters all over town and out into the county. James Slaughter, the owner of Cumberland Studio, is attempting to set up a rig to get a picture of the crescent-shaped object. Today the object appeared in the southwest at about 1 o’clock and was visible for almost an hour. It appeared whiter today, and it also seemed smaller. Identification – all purely by guess so far – has ranged from a Russian satellite to a planet. Books on astronomy and astrology are getting a workout, anyway.”

 

The 1976 Stanford, Kentucky Abductions-1976.

“Only six days into 1976, three women were driving home from dinner on US 27 in Stanford, Ky., when they saw what they thought was an airplane on fire falling from the sky. But the object stopped on a dime less than 100 feet from the ground beside them and, the women claim, caused the car to accelerate uncontrollably. They could see what they now described as a disc-shaped craft with revolving yellow lights that maneuvered behind them and began pulling their vehicle toward it. A blue light then filled the car, and the next thing the passengers remember was being back on the highway, driving home, but confused and noticeably hot like they had been subjected to powerful sunlamps. They had also lost about an hour and a half of time that none of them could account for. Residents of nearby counties independently reported the same UFO around the time of the alleged encounter. In the following months, skeptical investigators subjected the women to polygraphs, which they all passed. And under deep hypnosis, all three women recalled being taken aboard a UFO and subjected to a physical examination by small silent beings with large eyes and hands like ‘jagged wingtips.’ One claimed to have been placed in a glass capsule where a skin sample was taken from her chest. And one claimed that her eyes were temporarily removed from their sockets and replaced. Each had symptoms--like burns and eye inflammation--consistent with these statements.”

 

The Bluegrass Triangle UFO Blitz - 1978.

“In 1978, a flurry of UFO activity in the Fayette and Madison County area earned the region the nickname ‘The Bluegrass Triangle’. In one instance, Madison County firemen were called to put out a fire that turned out to be a glowing flying saucer UFO that they pursued for over an hour. In another encounter, a preacher and his wife claimed that a craft ‘...about ten stories high and 20 stories wide, with a zillion lights on it’ approached their car while they were on their way to church. A teenager named Terry Kirby took a Polaroid of what he says was a large, glowing saucer that descended near him while he was chopping wood. In all, over 20 reputable citizens reported similar experiences in the region during the same timeframe. And the proximity of the Blue Grass Army Depot has led many of them to speculate that it could be the source of the mysterious activity.”

 

THE ODD AND FANCIFUL


Scott County “Devil” - Thursday, September 8, 1921.

“Scott County Devil was shown during the first week of September 1921 at the Pulaski County Fair with great results. Everyone who viewed this object were well pleased and satisfied they had their money’s worth. The young man who found [illegible] Sexton was in the city on Monday and made affidavit stating that he found and dug up this curious object in the Blue Bluff Paint Rock region six miles from Helenwood, Tenn. It has an aged stone-like look, about 5 feet and 10 inches long, large head with horns, large nose, large ears, wings reaching to the ankles, and teeth showing. Its arms were long and slender being crossed with the hands resting on the body. The hands had long fingers. Large short legs, with enlarged ankles. Much talk has been heard about this object. Some people seem to think the boy made it; others feel it is some ancient idol of an early race, but all express themselves as it being worth seeing. This being true, the “Devil” tent was full most of the time while open. It is said this curiosity will be shown here later, and the boy who found it had an offer of $2000 for it. It is now the property of J.C. Pemberton, of Oneida, Tenn.”


Note: For additional information about the Devil of Scott County, visit the Big South Fork National Park Service website at www.nps.gov/biso/learn/historyculture/scottcodevil.htm.

 

Alligator Placed in Pool On Public Square -September 1932.

“An alligator 42 inches long was placed in the pool on fountain square this week (September 1932) and has attracted much attention. The alligator has been a pet at the Southern Railway shops at Ferguson for the past year, but because of his size, it was decided to transfer him to a larger pool chief of Police Robert Warren has agreed to feed the animal. Raw meat is the alligator’s most popular dish. He ate a young opossum for supper Tuesday."


 

The stories provided in the post were obtained by various sources and do not express the views and opinions of LCTI. We do not claim any of this content is real or true. This publication is provided solely for community enrichment and entertainment. We hope you enjoy!




132 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All