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A Great American Haunting: Dark Hollow Cemetery

Updated on October 1, 2009

Dark Hollow Cemetery

The Dark Hollow Mistress

This is a little piece of East Tennessee folklore. No one can say whether or not these events happened, but every legend starts with a piece of truth.

Located in Roan Mountain, Tennessee, just west of Asheville, NC, lies the Dark Hollow Cemetery. For years many people have reported seeing, hearing, and feeling a presence late at night. Could it be the ghost of Delinda trying to evade an angry mob or is it something else?

Legend states that in the early 1900s a woman by the name of Delinda had several affairs with married men across the area. She wasn't really an attractive woman, but that didn't stop the men from coming around. Delinda fell very ill, as did her gentlemen callers, and a local pastor told the wives of these men that this had to stop. The wives took matters into their own hands and formed a mob and were heading to Delinda's home to possibly hurt her, if not worse, but Delinda escaped without harm while the angry wives felt that they had scared her enough to cause her to not come around again. Oddly enough that was the last time anyone seen her alive. Another odd piece of the legend is that her favorite lover, a married man named Janken's, was murdered with a gun shot wound to the chest.

Was this an angry wife taking her aggression out on her husband, suicide, or possibly Delinda sending a message to the wives that it was a mistake to show up at her home? No one will never really know as there are holes that cannot be filled without anyone from the area really willing to open up about the stories that they heard growing up.

It is said that Delinda's home was tore down and became what is Dark Hollow Cemetary today. This would make sense considering many people have reported seeing someone running through the cemetery in a hurry and disappearing before they reach the wooded area behind the cemetery. Is this Delinda making her escape? Perhaps. One young couple was walking home one night after their car broke down on Dark Hollow Road. As they walked past the cemetary they both heard fast and heavy footsteps and the woman felt something brush against her shoulder as the footsteps faded into the night.

This is the most common story and most consistent that I've heard. Although I've heard many variations of the story over the last decade, one almost being along the lines of Bloody Mary. Which story could possibly be true? I guess nobody will ever know. This story is on my list to further investigate and I will post updates once I find something.


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    Alannah 8 years ago

    Do you know the exact day she died..?? I'm doing research for school and need some informatin on when she died and what year?

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    mrskritter 8 years ago

    Great Job on the story ,I have been to this Cemetary a few times with friends ,we have seen a women running across the graveyard ,a ghost dog and a small child playing,the last time we went we didn't see anything but when I checked the video there was a strange sound almost like the ticking of a clock.

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    DVargas 9 years ago

    You're welcome for the info. My grandfather was born in 1912 and from what I can piece together, he said he was a boy of about 12 - 14 when he first saw Victoria. She came to Roan Mountain on the back of a wagon and never mentioned where she came from or her family. My grandfather said that she was extremely beautiful, her hair was silvery blonde, and she had bright blue eyes. He said she had good clothing, like she came from a wealthy family. He said she was young, probably about 17 - 18. He said his older brother liked her very much, he was about 16 at the time, but she wouldn't show him the time of day.

    There was a police investigation about her disappearance, lives were threatened, people were hushed. Most of the people that were directly involved are probably dead by now, but their children may know what happened or who ultimately planned her murder. They had considered her a witch of some sort. The police department (I'm assuming Carter County) had relatives of the people in that area. I'm sure if you could research the courthouse as that is public record in the 30's you will probably find some record on her, how much I wouldn't know, but there has to be something. I've pondered it myself.

    You might want to look up a group called the Seven Devils as well. Again, I had family involved in that altercation as well. I guess we were a stubborn group of people. I long ago left Roan Mountain and moved to Washington DC for a while and just recently moved back to Jonesborough, the cultural affluences did me some good.

    Happy information hunting!

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    Joey Parsons 9 years ago

    Hello Dvargas, thanks for the comment and shedding new light on the investigation. Although the hundreds of stories that have been told to me have referred to her as Delinda and that she was very unattractive could be a small cover up made by the angry wives to erase her from the history books. Thanks again for the information as it gives me another direction to go in to find answers. If she is buried inside a church, I now believe it to be St Thomas Apiscople church, considering a blond haired aparition wandering around the church on occasion.

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    dvargas76 9 years ago

    Just letting you know, her name was not Delinda, it was Victoria Carter, she was blonde haired, beautiful, and blue eyed. My grandfather and uncle knew her very well. It was a large group of the Roan Mountain women that led to her demise. Victoria was killed, tarred and feathered, and stuffed in a hollow tree on that cemetary. Several days later after fearing that the police would locate the body, the same women trekked back and moved her body to the boards under a church located in the area. The basement doors and windows were bricked/rocked up. I personally believe that is where her body is still located. There are some still alive that can be questioned, but may not have had direct involvement and they would never admit to everything that happened or relinquish the direct people involved. This community is close knit, they fight amongst each other, but when backed against a wall, they will become clannish and fight for each other.

    Victoria was "supposedly" having affairs, she had taken up odd jobs in the women's homes and their husbands found her attractive. Her virtue became questioned when the men came up with VD "sexually transmitted diseases."

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    Merle Ann Johnson 9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

    Makes one wonder though...she may be searching for her true love.. trying to prove herself...not knowing what happened to him..oh dear...thanks for the interesting story will look for the next one...G-Ma :o) hugs

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    Joey Parsons 9 years ago

    Thank you Veronica! Not one of my best efforts, but it's difficult to come up with a decent story when you have to dig through so many different versions. I litterally have seven different stories about this legend and they all kind of led me in a circle scratching my head. I promise to do the foot work myself and try to research it deeper. There's a 94 year old woman in the area that agreed to be interviewed. She says her father was one of the men that visited Delinda often. Hopefully I can find out the story behind the legend for you and anyone else who reads this series.

  • Veronica Bright profile image

    Veronica Bright 9 years ago from Nebraska

    Excellent! I love these stories!