Legend of the Headless Woman of Flat Creek


President, White County Historical Society, 1993-94

The Flat Fork of Overflow Creek crosses Yankee Road about the middle of its length. It is locally called Flat Creek. The steep banks on either side presented a serious problem for wagon travel, requiring braking to go down one side, careful action fording the creek and a steep climb to go up the opposite side. Contour grading and a bridge reduced the problems for motor traffic, but local reference to Miesen Hill in wet or icy road conditions gets respectable consideration. The story of Yankee Road would not be complete without mention of the legend of the headless woman of Flat Creek.

At Flat Creek ford, a couple driving a gray horse and a white horse to a wagon had an accident – cause not known. Foul play suspected but never proved. The man and the woman and the gray horse were killed. The woman’s body found decapitated. The head was never found. The white horse ran into the deep woods and was never caught but was seen occasionally. Several neighborhood people reported seeing the headless female ghost riding the white horse, always upstream but seen only about 3:00 – 4:00 a.m. on Friday. One older man started on a trip to Judsonia and approached the creek from the north. He could hear a woman’s song and could see a form washing her feet while the white horse stood near. Grandpa returned and took his bed. He told the family that he would not go on a trip. He never left his bed again. He was dead before the end of the week.

For many years sightings of the ghostly pair were reported, but only about the 3:00 a.m. Friday time. When a squirrel hunter finally found the carcass of the white horse the woman’s ghost was not reported again. Later versions of the story insisted that the Ku Klux Klan activities may have been the source of the sightings. Repetition of the tale to later generation kids sometimes resulted in five-mile walking detours to avoid crossing the creek at night. Oh well, one excuse is as good as another; the longer way home is better anyway. vvv



Flat Fork, Overflow Creek