Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Ghosts of Mossy Glen - Edgewood, Iowa

Just north of the quiet little town of Edgewood, Iowa, there is a patch of forest in the middle of Iowa farmland that holds a few mysterious legends. These are tales of three folks who's lives touched this area in some way and for some their lives ended here. One was murdered there, one committed suicide there in the Stoney Hollow and leaves a curse to those unfortunate enough to cross her path, and it is believed that the other must have spent a great deal of time those woods before she was sentenced to death.  The spirit of all three still linger in the Mossy Glen.

The spirit of a woman who took her own life in the Stoney Hollow of Mossy Glen is said to curse those who she chooses by leaving a rose in their path. 
Photo credit: © Petarpaunchev | 

The Ghost of Pearl Shine

In this patch of woods can be found the Mossy Glen, a serene, peaceful place in the middle of the woods.  In 1936, a young local woman by the name of Pearl caught the eye of farmer Dan Shine.  Taken by the much younger woman, they were married and lived happily on their farm together in central Iowa.  That is until Pearl fell for one of their farm hands and in an heinous act of attempting to acquire Dan's farm and possessions, killed him and attempted to make it look like an accident.  The authorities were not convinced and convicted Pearl and her lover. 

Ever since Pearl died, people have claimed to see her apparition roaming the Mossy Glen.  The reason for her spirit manifesting itself in the Mossy Glen is unknown.  Perhaps this is the place where her and her lover met and her spirit is drawn to it searching for eternal happiness.

The Legend of Lucinda

This wooden haven is also the home of a ghostly figure named Lucinda.  It is said that years ago, Lucinda lived in a secluded cottage in the area known as Stoney Hollow.  It was so hidden, no one really knew exactly where she lived.  They did know that she was in love with a local man.  However, the man did not return those feelings for her and married another.  Lucinda, was so devastated by this loss, she threw herself onto some rocks in the hollow and killed herself, leaving only a single rose behind as she fell to her death.

Lucinda carries her spite into the after world and attempts to bring others with her.  The legend goes that she wanders the woods of Stoney Hollow and that if you are wandering the paths late at night and whisper her name three times in a row, you see her ghostly vision appear.  Beware if you choose to do this however, because if she drops a single rose, you are doomed to die shortly after. 

When the ghost of Lucinda in the Stoney Hollow leave a rose in your path, you are doomed to die shortly after.
When the ghost of Lucinda in the Stoney Hollow leave a rose in your path, you are doomed to die shortly after.

The Phantom Peddler of Stoney Hollow

Another story associated with Mossy Glen is that of the peddler.  In the mid 1800's, a man would from time to time pass through the area selling his wares to the locals.  Legend has it that one year, folks were so desperate, that they ambushed the man near Stoney Hollow, then proceeded to murder and rob him.  It is said that they hid his body in a secluded cave in Stoney Hollow.

Over the years since, many have claimed to see the ghostly figure of the peddler strolling through Stoney Hollow as if still selling his wares.  His spirit, apparently tied to the place where he spent his last minutes of life.

The body of a 19th century peddler was believed to be hidden in a cave in the Stoney Hollow after he was robbed and murdered.  To this day his ghost haunts the Mossy Glen.
The body of a 19th century peddler was believed to be hidden in a cave in the Stoney Hollow after he was robbed and murdered.  To this day his ghost haunts the Mossy Glen.

So if you pay a visit to the Mossy Glen Preserve near Edgewood, Iowa, pay close attention to what is around.  You just may encounter one of the ghosts of Mossy Glen!


  1. I live in Edgewood and I have no knowledge of Mossy Glen or its ghost! Is this some Halloween legend, or does this ghost "live" there all the time?

    1. Those whose memories extended back to the actual Shine murder are almost all dead now, but those of us from the next generation remember our parents talking about it.

  2. I am from the Edgewood area and have read the Shine murder newspaper articles from the 30's. You have the specifics of the story incorrect. Dan Shine was murdered soon after he was married. I heard Pearl was released from prison in the mid-1980's.

  3. Pearl Hines married Dan Shine to murder him for his farm. He signed over the farm to her within days after their marriage and was killed shortly thereafter. Dan didn't appear to he playing with a full deck. His body was arranged in a closet with a shotgun and made to look like suicide. Except the murderers were too dumb to notice the bloody drag marks on the floor where the supposed suicide was hauled into position. Minnie Hines, Pearl's aunt, was the mother of 18 children and is said to be brains, or lack thereof, behind the crime. Many of her descendants still live in the Edgewood-Strawberry Point area. This was dubbed the Hillbilly Murder for nothing.