Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Headless Woman of Forest Hill Cemetery (Pearl Bryan) - Greencastle, Indiana

Pearl Bryan lived in the farm country of Greencastle, Indiana in the late 1800's.  Pearl was introduced to a dental student from Cincinnati named Scott Jackson by her cousin Will Woods.  Pearl and Scott would see each other when he visited Greencastle and soon a relationship ensued.  However, in mid 1895 Pearl learned that she was pregnant.  After writing to her love in Cincinnati informing him of the news, he wrote back and asked her to come to see him in January.  Pearls hopes was that he would ask her to marry him.  However, a few days later Pearl's headless body was found in an empty field in nearby Ft. Thomas, Kentucky.

Forest Hill Cemetery in Greencastle, Indiana

Pearl's remains were returned to Greencastle.  However, her parents did not want to bury her until her head was found.  Even though it was found that Scott Jackson did indeed murder Pearl along with an accomplice, her head was never found.  After her brother Fred went to Newport, Kentucky to retrieve her body from the morgue, he pleaded with Scott Jackson to tell him where his sister's head was located but he never gave in.  Even during the trial police and family members tried their best to extract the location of Pearl's head from her murderers, but the would not give in.

Pearl's snow white casket lay in state for months in a stone vault at the cemetery waiting for the head to be found.  However, after months went by the siblings of Pearl pleaded with her parents to bury her and they finally agreed and she was finally put to rest in the month of March. Hundreds of people from the surrounding area payed tribute on her funeral day. After relentless searching, her head never was found.

Forest Hill Cemetery in Greencastle, Indiana

Over the years many have visited Pearl's grave site having heard of the tragic story.  People have taken away small chips from her grave markers as mementos.  Today, there is nothing left of the marker but the base.  Some folks visiting have left pennies on her grave stone with the head face up so that Pearl will not be headless on Resurrection Day.  However, many say they have seen the ghostly apparition of a headless woman roaming the graveyard.  Others claim to have seen her with her head intact.  Whichever you choose to believe or see, rest assured that if you visit the Forest Hill Cemetery in Greencastle, Indiana and you see the ghostly image of a woman roaming the cemetery, you will know that it is Pearl Bryan.  She will certainly never be forgotten.

1 comment:

  1. Where her house was is actually located in the middle of my family property. She used to stay at her Aunt and Uncles house which is the house that I grew up in. My room was the room she used to sleep in. I lived there basically all of my childhood and never visited the grave. I finally went out there last Summer and it was a very eerie feeling.