It might be true, but it still gives me the creeps...

Here we are....a few days before Halloween and I have yet another creepy story to share. This one, however, has its roots in the truth. Beware, for it is rather disturbing, but it is very well known around Smalltownland.

Around these parts this story is simply known as, "The Carrington Simpson Murders". In July of 1838 Carrington Simpson, Jason Bell, and Pleasant Sadler killed a family of five, that included an infant. Although all three gentlemen were guilty of the crime, it is the name of Carrington Simpson that has carried this tale all these years.

A woman by the name of Lucinda White had decided to move south to Alabama to be with her brother. Lucinda had hired Carrington Simpson, with his team of oxen, to assist her in the move. Lucinda was to take her two sons, daughter-in-law, and grandson along with her as they started out at night. The daughter-in-law's father was opposed to this move and the group decided to get a head start during the night time hours. One of Lucinda's sons went ahead, on horseback, to scout the best route.

While Lucinda's son was gone, the murders commenced. Upon his return he was led to a waste house in a field where the bodies had been deposited. Lucinda's son was also killed, as was his horse. The motive for the murders was Lucinda's money and possessions.

After some time suspicion was raised when Simpson, and his cohorts, began wearing clothing from the family. A warrant for Simpson's arrest was obtained and his farm was searched. The bodies were discovered and identified. Jason Bell and Pleasant Sadler died before their sentences could be carried out. Bell was found dead in his cell, although history books state that it was a commonly held belief that Sadler smothered him. Sadler made a rope out of his bedclothes and hanged himself.

Carrington Simpson was hung on September 21, 1841. His burial site is still maintained today and actually.....Southern Fried Momma's in-laws can claim some relation to him. The fee of the executioner, James B. Montgomery has survived and reads as such:

$5.21 for the execution
$2.62 for the shroud
$6.00 for the coffin
$5.00 for the gallows
$3.00 carrying him to the execution site
$1.00 for the rope

The author, William B. Allen, wrote, "History of Kentucky", and stated rather succinctly:

"the three have passed from earth, and must appear at the bar of God, to be judged according to their deeds."


  1. ohhh... how crazy! And sad too. You and your 'Halloween' stories! ;)

  2. Ella's namesake...we're so proud of our family history! LOL. If nothing else, it will scare the bejesus outta her boyfriends.

  3. Pretty stupid to start wearing the clothes of the dead, no wonder they were caught and hung. Cool story, too bad it's true.

  4. Spooky!
    I wonder if their ghosts still roam around looking for their belongings?

  5. Big Sam Moore, Mimi's father-in-law, was fond of telling this story. He once scared the snot out of every Girl Scout in the county by spinning it out for them in the Old Courthouse just before Halloween. Thanks, Mom, for putting that together, since I've had the image of them finding the baby with the pitchfork in my head since I was about eight...

  6. wow. The heart of man is hopelessly wicked. Wearing the clothes of the people you killed is also hopelessly stupid.

  7. I think Big Sam liked to scare the crap out of kids--he came to our 3rd grade class and told about a bullfight in Mexico where a matador was gored through an eyeball. (He was there to witness the horrible death.) And as he gets to the part of the story where the bull puts an end to his tormentor, Big Sam has this HUGE pair of bull horns and he very theatrically acts out the bull's part. YIKES! I can still hear those kids (myself included) scream.

    What warm and fuzzy childhood memories we have.

  8. On another morbid note, I wonder how much this execution would cost these days?

    (I will blame Big Sam for my asking this question.)

  9. Twisted - I haven't heard about any of those ghosts roaming around, but it sure would add to the creepiness of this story.

    Constance and Airedalegirl - I wish I could have met Big Sam! He sounds like quite the character!

    Airedalegirl - I have always thought it quite odd how people in Smalltownland love to repeat/relish in this story. It is so gruesome!


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