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  • Writer's pictureMountain State Mysteries

MURDERED: ELVA ZONA HEASTER SHUE - BETTER KNOWN AS THE GREENBRIER GHOST


THE GREENBRIER GHOST IS THE GIVEN NAME GIVEN TO THE GHOST OF ELVA ZONA HEASTER SHUE, WHO WAS MURDERED IN 1897 IN GREENBRIER COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA. THE CASE IN NOTABLE BECAUSE IT IS BELIEVED TO BE THE ONLY CASE IN WHICH THE TESTIMONY OF A GHOST WAS ISED TO CONVIECT SOMEONE OF MURDER.


ELVA ZONA HEASTER SHUE WAS A YOUNG WOMAN WHO HAD MARRIED A LOCAL BLACKSMITH NAMED ERASMIS STRIBBLING TROUT SHUE. SHORTLY AFTER THE MARRIAGE, ELVA WAS FOUND DEAD IN HER HOME. HOWEVER, THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO CONVICT HIM.


ACCORDING TO LEGEND, ELVA'S GHOST BEGAN TO VISIT HER MOTHER MARY JANE HEASTER, AND TOLD HER THAT ERASMIS HAD KILLED HER BY BREAKING HER NECK. MARY JANE TOOK THIS INFORMATION TO THE AUTHROITIES, WHO EXHUMED ELVA'S BODY AND FOUND EVIDENCE OF A BROKEN NECK. ERAMIS WAS SUBSEQUENTLY ARRESTED AND CONVICTED OF ELVA'S MURDER.


WHILE THE STORY OF THE GREENBRIER GHOST IS WIDELY KNOWN AND HAS BECOME PART OF WEST VIRGINIA FOLKLORE, IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT THERE IS SOME DEBATE ABOUT THE VERACITY OF THE GHOST'S TESTIMONY. SOME HAVE SUGGESTED THAT MARY JAME MAY HAVE SIMPLY BEEN LOOKING FOR A WAY TO GET ERAMIS CONVICTED, AND THAT THE GHOST STORY WAS CONVENIENT WAY TO DO SO. NONETHELESS, THE CASE REMAINS AN INTRIGUING AND UNSUAL PART OF WEST VIRGINIA HISTORY.


TO HEAR THE FULL STORY, LISTEN TO OUR NEWEST EPISODE NOW!




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