Amery Harlan hated his wife. He hated her nagging and her constant push for him to be something he wasn’t. He’d became enamored by Martha Mills and she had returned his favor. Amery didn’t want a divorce, though. He didn’t want to be bothered with the formalities and legal mumbo-jumbo. He didn’t want to waste money on attorneys or other costs of a divorce.

He devised a plan to get rid of the problem. He would kill his wife. He thought it was smart to pick a day when she was visiting neighbors. She always complained when someone would listen. She walked in the house and he was waiting for her. He shot her.

His plan seemed perfect. The police didn’t suspect anything after talking with the neighbors. She’d been depressed for sometime. Harlan’s story seemed concrete. He’d been working on the tractor and heard a gunshot, he ran to the house, and found his beloved wife laying there.

His acting was good for none of the detectives questioned him or his motives. He finally was rid of his wife and could focus on Martha. The only people had to worry about convincing was the authorities. The neighbors suspected foul play, but the authorities wouldn’t listen. The case was ruled a suicide and quickly closed.

The union of husband and mistress was not the storybook ending they wished for. His wife wouldn’t stay dead. He couldn’t stay in one spot for too long because something “cold and dark” was coming for him.

Amery spent the rest of his life running. He moved from place to place and couldn’t hold on to jobs for long.

He lost Martha along the way, just like his wife, only it was by her choosing. She found new love with a local plant manager. She knew what Amery had done, but evidently, she wasn’t being followed.

Amery continued to run. He only found peace moments before death. He finally admitted that something was following him. Something cold and dark had followed him to his deathbed.

This legend hails from rural Southwestern Virginia.

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