Appalachian Gothic

Tales of the paranormal from the Appalachian Mountains.

The Tall Soldier of Indian Creek

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A mysterious figure once haunted Indian Creek, in Wise County, Virginia.  The phantom stood over seven feet tall and haunted everyone who passed his grave. The phantom has long been forgotten, but his story remains as compelling as it was a century ago.

 

Origins

Union forces camped at the old Poindexter Place on Indian Creek. John Poindexter owned the land and operated a store. One of the soldiers was remarkably tall. He grew hungry one day and the rations were nearly gone. He noticed what he thought was “spignet roots,” or spikenard, nearby. This plant is a member of the ginseng family and its roots are safe to eat. Other names for this plant also include wild sarsaparilla or wild ginseng.

Unfortunately, what the solder consumed was hemlock, an incredibly poisonous plant. He died a terrible, painful death. His fellow soldiers buried him in an unmarked grave at a nearby cemetery.

 

Paranormal Activity

From that point on, anyone who passed the area would likely see the tall figure. One such meeting took place in the 1910s. A young man named Ben returned home from courting. He decided to take the shortcut by Indian Creek. He noticed movement when he passed the old Poindexter Place, but he figured someone else just passed by, too.

He heard someone behind him. Their steps crunched the dead leaves, just as his did. He approached a large tree stump and a figure just formed next to it. A tall soldier stood there dressed in white. He was taller than anyone Ben had ever met.

Ben held his pistol at his side, but decided against firing. He initially suspected one of his friends was playing a prank. He decided to outrun the trickster. He fled until he reached the border of the swamp. He thought that would be the end of the joke. As soon as he arrived, however, the soldier stood at attention. The figure beat him to the spot and showed no sign of fatigue. To make the situation more frightening, the disturbing figure approached him.

He fled to a friend’s house and told him what had happened. His friend already knew about the tall soldier, and said no one passed the Poindexter place without something happening.

 

 

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