West Virginia is replete with ghost stories and haunted locations. So much so, that it is hard to weed out the plausible stories (if you believe in that kind of thing) from legends and folklore. The truth is, it doesn’t really matter. Whether it’s fact, fiction or somewhere in between, everybody loves a chilling ghost story. This one is called
. A Head and a Body
Two centuries ago, in a small community near Mount Harmony, there was a beautiful woman named Mary Fields. Many men desired Mary, but only one could win her heart. His name was Tim Dickens. Before long, the couple got married and moved into a picturesque cabin near the edge of the woods. Many men were disappointed that Mary had found a man and most did not like Dickens for winning her heart.
However, one man in particular, Jake Williams, seemed particularly upset. He was a strange fellow that most people didn’t care for and ever bothered to speak to, so when he became closed off and unsociable, nobody noticed or cared. Before long, his appearance became disheveled and his hair and beard grew out. Eventually, he was living in the woods, where he became deranged and wild, almost feral.
One day, many years later, Williams was lingering near the edge of the wood when he spied Dickens tending his crops. He was alone. A few feet behind him, in the grass, there lay a scythe. Williams snuck up to Dickens and lifted the scythe, intent on killing him. Dickens must have heard something behind him, because he turned suddenly, just in time to see this bearded madman swing the weapon at him. But Dickens managed to avoid the strike, and a struggle ensued. Eventually, Dickens managed to wrestle the weapon free of Williams grip, and swung. Williams’ severed head flew off his body and landed in the nearby well.
Horrified by what happened, Dickens dragged the headless corpse into the woods and covered it with fallen brush. Then, in order to avoid people drinking the well water, and to hide the severed head, he slaughtered one of his pigs and dumped the animal in the well. A fortnight passed, when suddenly, for no apparent reason, Dickens sold his house and packed all his possessions in his wagon. Neighbors were shocked when they saw Mary and Tom leaving their property for the last time, as Mary had aged twenty years in the two weeks since the murder occurred.
A short time later, a man named Sutler purchased the property, but soon moved out. When pressured to say why he had moved out so quickly, he had a horrifying tell to tale.
On several nights, when the moon was bright and full, a voice from outside the house would growl, "Where is my head?" In response, a voice from deep in the well, rose up, "Down here, in the well!" After a moment of silence, the growling voice spoke again. "Where?" it asked. "I cannot find the well."
This exchange would repeat until the early hours of the morning.
Terrified, Sutler moved out. Other people moved in, but none stayed very long. Eventually, the house was left abandoned and run down. Reclaimed by the woods, the structure became a dark, hollow place. Its presence lingered like a ghost, lost to the woods, like an echo of past horrors.