The Greenbriar Ghost

Zona Heaster Shue was found dead in her home of Greenbrier County, West Virginia on January 23, 1897. At first, it seemed like a simple accident. After some more investigation, things got creepy…

Zona lived with her husband, Erasmus. One day, while her husband was working at the blacksmith shop, Zona was found dead at the end of the staircase in their home by an errand boy of Erasmus’.

Andy Jones found her with her body stretched out, feet together, and one hand on her abdomen. Her head was turned to him, her eyes open and staring. He knew that she was dead the second he saw her eyes.

During the funeral service, Zona’s widower was extremely manic. He was either grief-stricken or stuck with energy. He did not let people near her body. He ended up tying a scarf around her neck because “It was her favorite.”

Many guests noticed her head was bobbing back and forth whenever the casket was moved around.

Her mother prayed and prayed for an answer from her dead daughter. She was convinced Erasmus did it. Finally, she got her wish… Zona came to her as a spirit, saying that he broke her neck.

She called for an autopsy with a different doctor. The evidence was shocking. A report on March 9 stated, “The discovery was made that the neck was broken and the windpipe mashed. On the throat were the marks of fingers indicating that she had been choken [sic]. The neck was dislocated between the first and second vertebrae. The ligaments were torn and ruptured. The windpipe had been crushed at a point in front of the neck.”

He was tried and proven guilty. Zona’s mother’s claimed of seeing her spirit is what really helped the jury, in a bizarre twist of events. They said that her unwavering description of Zona and her consistent story was plenty of proof, along with his ex-wives reports of his intense domestic abuse.

Her mother died in September of 1916 without ever recanting her story of her daughters spirit.

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