There was once a haunted house in the Big Laurel section of Wise County, Virginia.  No one lived there for any length of time, until a traveling preacher stayed one night and unraveled the mystery.

An itinerant minister needed a place to spend the night and had little money. He came upon an empty house, so he asked the neighboring owner if he could stay there. The owner conceded, but warned him that the house was empty for a reason. The restless spirits always ran the tenants out.

The preacher feared another cold night in the woods much more than any ghost. It was already evening, so he lit a fire in the fireplace and a candle for reading his bible. He studied the text for around an hour when things began to happen.

Suddenly, two cats entered the room. He paid little attention to them. The home was essentially abandoned, so there was a good chance that all types of animals had made their home there. Soon, he noticed the two animals didn’t act natural. They sat on either side of the fireplace and just stared at him for a few moments.

He kept reading and watched them out of the corner of his eye. Suddenly, the cats turned on one another. They screamed and clawed until they suddenly disappeared. The minister hoped it was over, but two dogs came into the room and did the same thing. They also disappeared after they’d fought a few minutes. Two sheep entered the room and followed the same pattern, and they vanished.

The activity didn’t stop with animals. Suddenly, the headless bodies of two little girls in Sunday dresses arose from the hearth. A headless man appeared between them. The specters tested his resolve, but he kept his eyes towards his book.

The figures disappeared, but three coffins, two small and one large, floated into the room. The minister couldn’t ignore any longer. He stood and demanded answers in the name of the Holy Trinity.

His adjuration was successful. A voice arose from the hearth and said, “I would’ve killed you if you hadn’t talked.” The spectral voice claimed to be the home’s original owner, and he had lived with his two young daughters. Two family friends turned out to be brutal men, who broke in on them. The enemies decapitated them all. They had been his closest neighbors. The men buried the bodies beneath the hearth and escaped punishment.

The spirit instructed him to go to the log rolling festival the next day, and to have officers ready. The ghost said when everyone sat down for the feast, a drop of blood would run down the faces of the two guilty men. The spirit said if the case went to trial, and the wealthy men seemed to be escaping justice, their ghosts would appear in the courtroom.

The preacher did as instructed, but still harbored doubts. He also involved the authorities, as the spirit requested. Everyone sat down to eat when several gasps came. Blood dripped down the face of two men. The picnic was out in the open. No birds had flown overhead. There was no visible origin for the blood.

The police arrested them on suspicion of murder, but the case didn’t look strong in court. Both men were wealthy and hired the finest attorneys. It seemed like they were going to get away with murder until the prosecution closed its case. Suddenly, the three ghostly figures appeared in the courtroom, a man and two girls. All of the figures appeared without their heads.

The two men were convicted and eventually executed. The hearth in the haunted house was removed and three bodies were given a proper burial. The haunting ended.

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