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

 

Origins

Union forces camped out at the old Poindexter Place on Indian Creek. John Poindexter owned the land and operated a store. One of the soldiers was remarkably tall. The tall soldier grew hungry one day and the rations were nearly gone. He noticed what he believed to be “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, the solder ate a great deal of hemlock, an incredibly poisonous plant. He died a terrible and painful death. His fellow soldiers buried him in an unmarked grave at a nearby cemetery.

 

Paranormal Activity

From that point on, anyone who passed that area was apt to see the tall, ghostly figure. One such meeting took place in the 1910s. A young man named Ben came home after courting. He just wanted to take the short cut up Indian Creek. When he passed the old Poindexter Place, he noticed movement. He figured someone else just passed by, too.

He then heard someone walking behind him. They crunched the dead leaves with each step, just as he did. He approached a large tree stump and a figure seemed to just form 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 just 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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This story appears in Appalachian Curiosities.

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