Eugenia Murray was not a kind woman. She was not a good woman. She lived life away from others and wanted it that way.

The reasons for Eugenia’s bitterness and hatred were never known. It could’ve been a spurned lover, an unfaithful spouse, or a bad childhood. Whatever the reason, it perpetually followed her.

Members of her community did not like Eugenia. However, it was as a neighbor that they respected her. She only bothered those who bothered her. It was suspected that somewhere within her body, she had a heart, but most believed it to be as black as tar.

Eugenia died and the community did not mourn. They respected the passing of life and, as such, a service was held for her. This was a period in the mountains when all came together and sat through the first night with the deceased. The dead were buried the next morning.

Eugenia was laid out in her best clothes in the middle of her living room. The small house barely fit those who came to pay their respects.

The air was thick with tension for the mourners felt something wasn’t right. Something was amiss.

Everything changed around 3 in the morning. There was no more suspicion because everyone knew something was wrong.

A thick black cloud rose from the back side of the coffin. It seemed to float up from behind and come around to Eugenia’s feet. From there it rose up taller than the coffin.

The crowd sat for a moment, in silence, stunned at the apparition manifesting before them.

The cloud continued to grow in size and began to “crawl” up the coffin. At this point, the crowd dispersed, and chaos broke out. People ran for the nearest door, pushing and trying to get out before the shadow noticed them all.

The home remained empty until daylight. A few banded together to examine the scene.

Nothing was amiss and there was no sign of the shadow that crawled across Eugenia. She was quickly buried and only a few spoke of the shadow for fear of bad luck.

This legend hails from rural Southwestern Virginia.

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