The Cocks Crowed

T. Gilley was a showman of epic proportions. He was flashy, gaudy, and no matter how many claimed to hate him, he drew a crowd every Saturday morning.

T. Gilley held illegal cock fights outside the West Hill Cemetery in Bristol. Despite the fact that they were breaking the law, men of all ages tended to sneak away during this period just to watch. It was believed that even deputies stopped to take a peek and that is how he escaped the wrath of the law.

For years, he operated a successful attraction amid locals. Rumor had it that he made a great deal of money from his gambling.

Yet, in his elder years, Gilley died penniless. Donations were taken just to pay for a casket and a tombstone.

The few who kept in touch with him through the years attended his funeral. They were all mortified when, as Gilley’s casket was lowering, there came a sound. A chorus of thousands of roosters crowed as the coffin entered the grave. There were no farms near the cemetery at that time. The attendees swore the noise was coming from inside the grave itself. It became known that animals Gilley killed were the very ones to sing at his funeral.

This legend hails from rural Southwestern Virginia.

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