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Photo courtesy of USMC-DivPA, exclusively granted to Tuppenny Dreadful

The boys from Fireteam Charlie are recovering nicely at an undisclosed infirmary location after a tough extraction in Blue Mountain by an intrepid bee person who wishes to remain anonymous. They are currently allowed visits only from survivors on Solomon Island or those with prior CDC clearance. While much of their mission could not be discussed, they were eager to talk about one particular ghostly woman who roamed the hills of the Ash Forest in Blue Mountain.

“I’d see her there every dang night,” said a young soldier from Kentucky, pointing to a shadowy figure in the photo on his phone. “She was different from those other floaters, you know? I usually don’t let them get to me, but she made me feel real sad. I won’t lie to you, hearing her made me want to cry myself. The other fellas felt it too.”

His comrades all agreed. The spectral figure of a beautiful young woman appeared every evening and wandered an area near one of the old trail lights. She wore a long black veil and could be heard to sob as she called a single name over and over.

“Wyatt,” one of the boys said. “It was Wyatt, like Wyatt Earp.” This was confirmed by the rest of the team. Who was this mysterious woman? Was Wyatt her husband lost in the mines? A child who died? After talking to Fireteam Charlie, we were as intrigued as they were to bring this story to our readers.

Some investigation into what’s left of the archives in Kingsmouth Hall revealed the identity of the poor distraught woman who walked the hills in a long black veil. Her history was indeed a tragic one.

 

 

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The only existing photograph of Elizabeth Anne Graves

 

Elizabeth Anne Morrison married her husband, John Emmett Graves, in 1877 and the couple moved to Solomon Island to live with John’s ailing mother. John worked for a local land company during the mining boom in Blue Mountain. According to the news accounts and court records from the time, a local man named Joseph Barnes was brutally murdered as he walked home from the Blue Ridge Mine on October 17, 1879. While murders were not completely unheard of in the area at the time, this one was unusual. Several eye witnesses claimed to see the killer as he passed under the newly installed gas lights on the trail. Anderson was arrested two days later when complaints were sworn to before the local magistrate.

The man accused was Wyatt Anderson, a childhood friend of John Graves who had come to work in the mines after a streak of hard luck back home. Three witnesses identified Anderson at his trial. By all accounts he sat silent as stone throughout the proceeding. He said not a single word, nor offered any witnesses in his defense. After what was termed by the visiting circuit judge as an open and shut case, Wyatt Anderson was found guilty of murder and sentenced to hang. John Emmett Graves, close friend of the convicted murderer was quoted in the local paper as being completely taken aback by Anderson’s heinous act. “He was a good man and a gentle sort who never once raised his hand to man or beast in all the years I knew him,” Graves said, “I am still in a profound state of disbelief.”

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Wyatt Anderson, pictured top row

 

In what was considered by some to be a poetic end to Mr. Anderson, he was hanged by a noose thrown over the very same light post where the witnesses claimed to see him murder Joseph Barnes. After his death the rumors of the veiled woman who walked the hills began. Elizabeth’s heartbreak came to light several months later after she was stabbed to death by her husband in a fit of jealous rage. A clearly disturbed John Graves told police the entire gruesome tale as he still held the knife in his hand, calmly drinking a glass of lemonade that Elizabeth had prepared only minutes earlier.

Graves told officers his wife confessed to him that Wyatt Anderson was with her the night of Joseph Barnes’ murder but refused to save himself with the alibi. He remained silent rather than expose the affair with his best friend’s wife. Elizabeth was so wracked with guilt that she spent every night since Wyatt was hanged searching for his ghost in the hills near Blue Ridge, hoping to be forgiven for not coming forward at his trial.

John Graves was taken into custody but moved west after a short stay in a Boston sanitarium for what was deemed a nervous condition related to the poor moral constitution of his late wife. There were some who believed that it was actually Graves who’d murdered Joseph Barnes—someone who never much liked Graves and had accused him of being a cheat on many occasions, disguised in his friend’s coat and hat. The township gossip after Elizabeth’s murder was that Graves had planned to seek his revenge from the time Elizabeth gave birth to a son who bore a strong resemblance to young Wyatt Anderson. The records make no mention of the child after Elizabeth’s death. John Graves was not seen on Solomon Island again. He was never charged with the murder of his wife whose spirit still wanders the hills near the Blue Ridge mine, forever calling out the name of the man she loved and lost.

 

Mayahuel Bailey is a new addition to the Tuppenny Dreadful staff.

@MayahuelB

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