When you think of the American South, images of the Texas badlands and country music lyrics may come to mind. You can also take inspiration from bluegrass tunes, national parks, college basketball and Elvis Presley songs.
The states that make up the American South have much to offer citizens and tourists, including legendary mysteries to debate the cold nights around a campfire.
10 The Gloria Colita Mobile, Alabama
In the late 1930s, Reg Michell designed and built the largest sailboat in the Caribbean. He named this wooden ship the Gloria Colita. It was 50 metres long and weighed 175 tonnes under its three impressive masts.
The Gloria Colita made its first service trip in 1939, during which it visited British Guiana and then Cuba. He continued to navigate this route for the next two years, from Cuba, where his crew loaded sugar cane, to Mobile, Alabama, where they sold it.
In Alabama, the crew loaded lumber and then returned to Cuba to sell it. On one of these well-known trips, Captain Mitchell loaded rice into British Guiana and sugar to Havana. Then he sailed to Venezuela. There it let its crew of the Bequia go and hired a Spanish crew. He and the new crew returned to Mobile with the intention of loading lumber to sell in Havana.
This is the last time anyone heard or seen Captain Mitchell and his crew. After leaving Mobile, the Gloria Colita never reached Cuba. During a search, a U.S. Coast Guard aircraft pilot spotted the vessel in the Gulf Stream. Upon investigation, it turned out that the vessel was completely abandoned.
The Gloria Colita was towed to Alabama and eventually sold as scrap metal. Despite a multitude of conspiracy theories about what might have happened to his captain and crew, their true fate remains unknown.
9 Valley Hill Lights Springfield, Kentucky
On April 6, 1995, Ann Mudd, a Sunday school teacher, visited Valley Hill in Springfield, Kentucky, with eight of her students. One of the girls, Mandy Mattingly, soon caused some commotion when she pointed at the sky and told the rest of the party that she saw strange colors around the sun. She also said she could see the sun pulse.
The teacher then allegedly saw golden colours appear on her students, and she took pictures of them. When the photos were developed, it was claimed that angels surrounded one of the girls in a photo. Meanwhile, another showed Jesus and Mary wearing veils.
One of the students also claimed that another photo reflected the name of his deceased cousin on a headstone. It is said that the students’ mothers did not believe in this story at all, but after having several visions, they changed their tone.
Although the incident was mostly described as mass hysteria and pareidolia, it was never adequately explained. People always visit Valley Hill in the hope of seeing the Virgin Mary immersed in gold or rainbow colors.
8 White Things Boone County, West Virginia
The world is full of monsters, real and imaginary. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a creature is really out of this world or if you’re confusing an ordinary animal with something monstrous.
This is the case in West Virginia, where there have been several reports of nasty-looking creatures wandering in the woods. Some people describe these animals as humanoids. Others claim that these monsters have feline, canine, even demonic features. In the mid-1990s, a wave of sightings was recorded in Boone County. The creatures have been christened “White Things” because of their long, dirty white hair.
According to some reports, the White Things had claws, smelled of sulfur and ran very fast on both their legs. Even more frighteningly, their screams (or more accurately their howls) resembled those of a woman in distress.
In 1994, a navy sailor reported seeing a white thing in the forest. He ran through the trees and then drank in a stream. That same year, two children saw a similar creature while playing in their backyard in Boone County.
In 1995, a couple crossing Boone County spotted a White Thing sitting in a ditch along the road. After the couple got out of the vehicle to get a closer look, the monster jumped and threw themselves into their car. Fortunately, the couple was able to get back in the car and leave after the beast jumped and disappeared.
Observations continued until 2015. But the exact nature of white things remains a mystery.
7 The Delta Queen New Orleans, Louisiana
The Delta Queen is an imposing rear-wheeled steamboat built in the 1920s. During World War II, the ship transported wounded soldiers to various hospitals. Later, it became a pleasure boat.
In June 1985, Myra Fruge, one of the Delta Queen employees, received a call from Cabin 109. The occupant was an elderly lady who asked for a blanket because she was very cold. Myra sent Mike Williams, the second, to help the old lady.
After Mike left for the cabin, Myra looked up to see a face looking at her from the deck. Believing it was the woman in cabin 109 who was looking for a blanket, Myra went out to help her. However, she found no one on the bridge.
At that point, Mike came back. He said cabin 109 was unoccupied. On returning with Mike, Myra saw a portrait that was on the boat from the beginning. Suddenly, Myra realized that the woman in the portrait was the same woman watching Myra from the bridge. Mary Green (some spell it “Greene”) had been in charge of the Delta Queen in 1947 at the age of 79. She died in cabin 109 two years later.
Myra and Mike fell in love and married soon after. They have always maintained that Mary Green’s spirit was the matchmaker. However, the fact that they actually met the ghost of an elderly woman, who died long ago, in 1985 remains a mystery.
6 Mystery Object Seabrook Island, South Carolina
In late 2018, a huge object ran aground on Seabrook Island in South Carolina. The object appeared to be made of concrete. But it was almost soft and soft to the touch. The Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network has been alerted. They went to investigate but could not determine what the purpose was.
A short time later, the city authorities took away the object, but not before the Marine Mammal Network uploaded a photo to their Facebook page. They hoped that someone could identify him.
Soon, theories exploded. Some claimed the object was part of a NASA rocket, while others thought it was a spacecraft. Still others had more down-to-earth explanations, in the form of a buoy or a “space junk”.
Whatever the object, it has not yet been identified.
5 Peter Dromgoole Chapel Hill, North Carolina
According to legend, after Peter Dromgoole arrived at the University of North Carolina in 1833, he quickly fell in love with Fanny, a daughter of Chapel Hill. They form a couple and begin to meet on a flat rock near a cliff. Their love seemed to be one until a third wheel of the carriage spoiled it. Peter noticed that another student, who happened to be a good friend, was making advances to Fanny.
Peter became extremely jealous and didn’t know how to handle the situation. He tried to avoid his friend, but he was only interested in Peter’s boredom. One day, as they met on a narrow path to campus, the rival hit Peter on the shoulder, dropping Peter’s hat to the ground. After a heated discussion, the rival provoked a duel with Peter.
In the end, Peter was shot by his rival. The man panicked. Along with two of his acolytes, the former rival placed Peter’s lifeless body on the flat rock that was destined for Peter and Fanny’s towers. The men then dug a shallow grave and buried Peter in haste.
Peter’s remains were never found. It is said that Fanny waited at the rock for many afternoons. But she only saw the red-brown spots on the rock itself and never knew the fate that had happened to her lover.
This tale inspired the Order of Gimghoul, a secret society for students. It has a logo with a gargoyle and a castle in the woods. In fact, the story seems to be a legend intended to spice up the true story.
The real Peter Dromgoole disappeared from Chapel Hill under mysterious circumstances. It was discovered that he owed money to at least one person and that he had failed his exams.
He was never seen again.
4 Lawton Werewolf Lawton, Oklahoma
On February 27, 1971, Donald Childs, 35, looks ahead, terrified, clutching his chest. He was having a heart attack while watching a horrible creature rummage through his front garden in Lawton, Oklahoma. The creature looked like a humanoid canine figure and drank water from Donald’s basin.
Fortunately, Donald survived the heart attack and was discharged from the hospital after two days. He then reported to the police what he had seen: a humanoid monster, with hair on his face, who was wearing several layers of clothing.
Soon, more reports followed. People called the police in panic, claiming to have seen the creature running along the roads and perching on the railings of the apartments. The creature, now called “Lawton’s werewolf,” also ran to Fort Sill. There, a group of men met her.
Theories on the observations included people dressed in furry suits as a hoax. Some people don’t believe it, as one report claims that the creature survived a 5-meter jump from an apartment building. Others think the creature could be more of a Bigfoot than a werewolf. In any case, the mystery remains.
3 Jacob’s Well Wimberley, Texas
Jacob’s Well is an artesian spring that springs from a natural underground reservoir and has been revered by Native Americans for at least 1,000 years. The source’s mouth is about 4 metres wide and the water inside is 10 metres deep.
Jacob’s well is said to have four chambers and the first one has a depth of 9 meters. The second has a depth of 24 meters. However, the third and fourth rooms remain a mystery to most people, as only very experienced divers have seen them. The cave systems of The Jacob’s Well also remain a mystery to scientists.
This encouraged people to try to explore the source. So far, nine divers have lost their lives after diving into Jacob’s Well to uncover its mysteries. Don Dibble, owner of a local dive shop, took out the remains of Jacob’s Well.
He also tried to deter people from jumping in by building a grid of rebar and concrete and covering the entrance to the third chamber. Only six months later, the grid was dismantled. On a plastic slate, someone left a note to Don: “You can’t stop us from entering”.
It remains to be seen why Jacob’s well exerts such an attraction on people, prompting them to throw themselves into it while knowing its dangers.
2 Old House Woods Diggs, Virginia
Haven Beach Road moves away from Diggs towards a 50-acre area of woods and marshland known as Old House Woods. The forest has a rich history, including that of the creepy variety. It dates back to the 1700s, when soldiers and pirates took refuge among the thick greens.
Inside Old House Woods was Frannie Knight’s house. She had a reputation for repeatedly igniting and then extinguishing the fire on her own. Eventually, the house burned to the ground. The cause of the fires remains unexplained.
In 1929, a man named Jesse Hudgins reported that he was walking in the forest when a group of men with incandescent lanterns approached him. When they approached, Hudgins saw that they were skeletons wearing ancient armor. Hudgins also claimed that one of the skeletons had threatened him with a sword.
Another visitor was unlucky when his car broke down in the woods of the Old House. He also claimed to have been approached by a skeleton in armor. The skeleton asked him if the road was the King’s Highway and told him that he had lost his boat. The visitor got on his heels and fled.
Many other unexplained events took place in these woods, including floating lights, spectral figures appearing and disappearing, and faint sounds of cannon fire in the distance. This is what made the old house wood one of the most haunted forests in America.
1 The Bell Witch Adams, Tennessee
In 1804, John Bell moved his family to Adams, Tennessee, and settled on 300 acres of land. They lived happily and peacefully there for 13 years before the unrest began. It all started as an old haunting, with doors slamming, strange sounds coming from inside the walls of their house and chains rattling in the distance.
Then a weird animal, something between a rabbit and a dog, appeared in Bell Square. Suddenly, paranormal activity raised the activity level several notches. John’s daughter paid the price for this quirk, with invisible hands that slapped and pinched her until she turned black and blue.
After the formation of a committee to investigate the Bells’ house, the entity revealed its name to them: Kate Batts.
It’s obvious that Kate was a neighbor of the Bells. She felt animosity towards John Bell and his family as a result of business transactions gone wrong. Kate “swore” to torment John and his family. In 1820, John was poisoned, allegedly by Kate (who was then also known as the “Witch of the Bells”).
The story of the “Bell Witch” is arguably the most well-known paranormal mystery in the American South. In 2015, a Clairvoyant from Mississippi claimed she knew the truth about the murder of the Witch Bell. She claimed that Betsy Bell, John’s youngest daughter, had appeared to him and told him that John had been poisoned by a slave.
We may never know if John Bell was actually poisoned by a slave or murdered by a disembodied ghost.
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