On 23 January in 1897 Elva Zona Heaster was found dead in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. The resulting murder trial of her husband, Erasmus Stribbling Trout Shue, is said to be the only known case in which testimony from a ghost helped convict a murderer.
Because of Shue’s obvious grief, Knapp gave the body only a cursory examination, although he did notice some bruising on her neck. When he tried to look closer, Shue reacted so violently that the physician ended the examination and he left. Initially, he listed her cause of death as “everlasting faint” and then as “childbirth”.
Shue almost got away with it, although there was talk about his odd behaviour at her burial. But the victim’s mother was convinced that he had murdered his wife and she prayed for proof. She received it in the form of a recurring dream:
Over the course of four dark nights, the spirit of Zona Shue appeared at her mother’s bedside. She would come as a bright light at first and then the apparition would take form, chilling the air in the entire room. She would awaken her mother from her sleep and explain over and over again how her husband had murdered her. Trout Shue had been abusive and cruel, she said and had attacked her in a fit of rage because he thought she had not cooked any meat for supper. He had then savagely broken her neck and to show this, the ghost turned her head completely around until she was facing backwards.
They disinterred the corpse and found that the woman’s neck had indeed been broken. Shue claimed there was not enough evidence to convict him but the ghost story convinced the jury and Shue was sentenced to life in prison.
You can read the whole story here: The Greenbrier Ghost on Dead Men Do Tell Tales.
On the 23rd of January 2010, a selection of photographs were submitted for your perusal. I think you’ll be convinced that they are a sight to behold:
These are the fine people who submitted their photographs despite a complete lack of nagging! Go see what they have to say :
We’d love to see your photos, too! Just take a picture on a Saturday and send it to SatScenes with a location.