Thursday, July 12, 2007

American Hauntings - Hazel Green: The Haunted House of Seven Husbands

The official Alabama Guide Book describes one Ms. Elizabeth Gibbons-Flanigan-Jeffries-High-Brown-Routt, nee Dale, as "a fascinating lady of many marriages."  All that is known of her is that she liked horses and expensive clothes.  

And that she married six times, and all six husbands died within short order of the nuptials.

She was the beautiful daughter of Adam Dale, the first settler of DeKalb County in Tennessee, and founder of the town of Liberty.  Alexander Jeffries, soon to be her third husband, built a log cabin on an old Indian burial mound not long after their marriage... and right before he died mysteriously.  Her fourth husband, Mr. High, married her soon after -- and died soon after that.  The cabin was later replaced by the large house of Hazel Green, built by Elizabeth’s fifth husband, Absolam Brown, shortly before his death of unknown circumstances.  Though gossip flew, her next suitor, Willis Routt, was undeterred... and also died of unknown circumstances soon after they tied the knot.

In all, every husband Elizabeth ever had died of unknown circumstances very shortly after their marriage to her.  So she converted the home into a tavern for mule drovers, as it was located on the old road to Nashville.  She became embroiled in a quarrel with a neighbor, one Abner Tate, whom she persuaded her next suitor (a D.H. Bingham) to charge with murder.  In a scathing published defense, Tate alleged Mrs. Gibbons-Flanigan-Jeffries-High-Brown-Routt’s bridal chamber was "a charnal [sic] house... around whose marriage couch six grinning skeletons were already hung."

Elizabeth countersued for defamation of character, but the $50,000 suit went unanswered except by public opinion, and Elizabeth sold her house and left the state.  Adam Dale, who settled in DeKalb County in 1797, died in Hazel Green in 1851, and was presumed to have been living in his daughter’s house.  The Alabama Guide Book says he was buried in the family cemetery on the grounds, but rumor holds that surviving children moved his body to Columbia, TN after his wife died, and left the marker.

Residents insist that seven mens' hats -- those of Elizabeth’s mysteriously-departed husbands -- hang in the closet.

But Elizabeth only married six times, as far as we know...

So, to whom does the seventh hat belong?

1 comment:

  1. i live across the street from the land the house used to be on. the house is no longer standing but the graves still remain. i believe the house was burnt down but i'm not sure.

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