The Ghost of Bill Sketoe
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member driver8
N 31° 20.580 W 085° 36.735
16R E 632012 N 3468447
Quick Description: Near the old Choctawhatchee River bridge, there is supposed to be a hole that never stays filled. It is said that the ghost of Bill Sketoe keeps the hole dug out.
Location: Alabama, United States
Date Posted: 4/8/2006 2:07:13 PM
Waymark Code: WMA2B
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member CYBret
Views: 143

Long Description:

On December 3, 1864, the Reverend Bill Sketoe, was unjustly hanged near the banks of the Choctawhatchee River in Newton, Alabama.

Sketoe was the pastor of the local Methodist church. When the Civil War began, he decided to join the Confederate Army. After a few years of fighting for the Confederacy, his wife became gravely ill. Upon hearing this news, he hired a substitute to take his place on the battlefield and headed back to Newton to be with his wife. After spending some time back at home, a local group of men, who put themselves in charge of punishing deserters, became suspicious that he was a traitor. One day, the men decided to punish Sketoe. The men ambushed him and tied a noose around his neck. With his hands and feet bound, the men beat him. Sketoe was placed into a buggy and positioned below a tree. The rope was thrown over a branch and secured. One of the men whipped the horse attached to the buggy, leaving Sketoe dangling from the branch. The hanging, however, did not go quite as planned. The branch of the oak tree bent from Sketoe’s weight and his toes touched the ground. Upon realizing he could breathe, one of the men, who was a cripple, used his crutch to dig out a hole beneath Sketoe’s feet. This allowed the noose to tighten, ending the life of Bill Sketoe. It is believed that he haunted the 6 men who all had violent deaths.

For a number of years, the townspeople realized that the hole would not stay filled. Even if they put enough dirt and brush so that there was a small mound, the hole would be dug back out by the next morning. It is believed that the ghost of Bill Sketoe keeps the hole cleaned out. At one point, two workers who were working on a bridge over the Choctawhatchee River decided to camp beneath the tree that Sketoe was hanged from. Knowing the story of the hole, they filled it up prior to setting up their tent. When the two men took down the tent the following morning, the hole had been dug up beneath them while they slept.

Look out for any holes that appear to have been recently dug out. It could be the work of the ghost of Bill Sketoe.

Type: Ghost Stories and Local Haunts

Referenced in (list books, websites and other media):
This story, and other Alabama ghost stories, can be found in "13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey", by Kathryn Windham.

Additional Coordinates: Not Listed

Website Reference: Not listed

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