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Ghostly Image Appears on Window Pane in Fayette County

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1880 Victorian Woman By Fresh Grave
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One night in December of 1904, Mrs. C.T. Rodgers, who lived at the head of Keeney’s Creek in Fayette County, WV had a dream. She dreamed that her deceased sister came to her, asking for help. This sister had a daughter (Mrs. Rodgers’ niece) who apparently had been led astray, and was not living a very moral life, according to the deceased. She begged Mrs. Rodgers to speak with the girl, and convince her to change her ways. To this, Mrs. Rodgers replied that it would be useless; the girl would not listen to her. So, the deceased then asked Mrs. Rodgers to simply pray for the misguided youth instead. 

The next morning, Mrs. Rodgers was mulling over the dream in her head as she prepared breakfast. But as the smoke from the stove began to curl oddly about, she felt something weird was definitely going on. As the smoke drifted toward the window, an image began to take form on the glass pane. At first, Mrs. Rodgers just thought it was the cold, morning frost, but the image soon took on the unmistakable likeness of a blonde haired woman in a blue dress, standing aside an open grave. Different accounts of the tale claim that the image was like that of a photograph, while others say it was more like the artwork of French artist, Gustave Dore, who specialized in woodcuts. Either way, it was a clear image of a woman beside a grave, just standing there.  However, despite the implied link between this ghostly image and the previous night’s dream, the woman did not appear to be either the sister OR the wayward niece.

Mrs. Rodgers, not wanting to bother her husband with such matters, tried to quickly scrub the image off the pane, but it wouldn’t budge. It was there to stay. Mr. Rodgers must not have been a particularly observant husband, because Mrs. Rodgers didn’t say a word, and he never noticed the freaky image that was now permanently part of his kitchen window. That lasted all of two weeks before Mrs. Rodgers finally said something to him. After that, things kind of got out of control. Neighbor by neighbor learned of the eerie image and before long, the whole county knew. By the time different newspapers throughout the state had picked up the story in March of 1905, it was estimated that at least 2000 people had traipsed to the small Fayette County community to see the woman in blue. Among the sightseers was the Hon. J. Alfred Taylor, a politician who would later serve in Congress. A glass worker with years of experience who claimed to have never seen anything like this before, was also in attendance, along with some scientists who brought a microscope. But, just like trying to wipe the image away produced no effect, oddly, neither did the microscope. It was reported that for whatever reason, the image of the woman by the grave refused to get any bigger under the lens. 

No one ever did discover the identity of the mysterious woman in the image, nor whose grave she stood watching. And, I never did find out exactly what became of the image—whether it ever faded away, or even if the house still stands. But, one thing I DID learn was that the wayward niece whose deceased mother was so concerned about….well, after seeing the image in the window pane for herself, she vowed to change her ways and live a moral life once and for all. So, whether or not the image actually WAS linked to Mrs. Rodgers’ dream doesn’t really matter; the deceased woman’s plea was answered. 


The Weekly Register (Point Pleasant, WV). 8 March 1905. Page 3

The Independent-Herald (Hinton, WV). 16 March 1905. Page 2


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