December 3, 2015 7:22 pm
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On January 23, 1897, 23-year-old Zona Heaster Shue died under mysterious circumstances at her home in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. Strangely, by the time a doctor arrived, Zona’s husband, Erasmus “Trout” Shue, had already moved her body from the downstairs area to the bed and dressed her.

Throughout the next few days, Trout displayed some bizarre behavior over his wife’s passing, but since the cause of death was initially believed to be heart failure, no one suspected foul play. However, weeks after Zona was laid to rest, her mother, Mary Jane Heaster, paid a visit the local prosecutor to ask for her daughter’s body to be exhumed. This decision was motivated by alleged visits from Zona’s ghost.

Mary Jane claimed that Zona’s ghost had visited her over the course of four nights and revealed that Trout was an abusive husband who had broken her neck by strangling her in a fit of rage. The authorities agreed to Mary Jane’s request to exhume her daughter. An autopsy revealed that Zona’s neck had been broken. Trout was arrested and charged with his wife’s murder, even though the evidence against him was very circumstantial. When Mary Jane was called to the witness stand at the trial, Trout’s defense attorney challenged the story about her supposed encounters with the “Greenbrier Ghost.” However, Mary Jane never wavered from her original story, and her testimony proved to be so convincing and believable that the jury could not disregard it. In the end, they would find Trout Shue guilty. He was given a life sentence at Moundsville Penitentiary, where he died three years later.

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This post was written by Nadia Vella