DOWN COME A LEG
NOTE: This text was
recopied directly from a typewritten copy in the archives
of the Blue Ridge Institute. James Taylor Adams
(1892-1954) kept typed copies of the oral folktales he
and others collected during the last thirty years of his
life, while he lived in Wise County, VA. The
original transcript of this tale is somewhat difficult to
read (especially in distinguishing "come" and
"came, for example), but it seems to be complete.
One spelling correction has been inserted in square
brackets. See AppLit's notes on other "Hainted House" tales.
One time a stranger was goin' through
the country, come to a house and saked [asked?] to stay
the night. The man told him he didn't have any place to
put him there, but said he had another house down the
road he could stay in. Said it was ha'nted and nobody
'uld live in it.
Well, the stranger talked
the man into given' him ten dollars if he could stay all
night in that ha'nted house.
So the stranger-man went
on down there and built him up a fire, and he was settin'
there gettin' warm when down the chimney come a man's
leg. He got it and laid it on the floor. He sit there a
few minutes more and down came another leg. He got it and
laid it out on the floor beside the first leg. After a
while down come a man's body. He laid it with the two
legs. Directly down came an arm. He put it one side the
body. Then it wan't long till down come the other arm. He
got it and put it on the other side.
Then he sit there and waited and
waited and there didn't nothing come down.
So he went and hollered up
"Send me down a head,
And I'll have me a
Down dropped the head.
He put on the head,
It raised up. The man
"Now tell me what you
So the ha'nt told him,
"If you take my body
and bury it you can have all the money I got hid
So the man said he would,
and the ha'nt says to him, says,
"You'll find six
hundred dollars under the hearth there in a little tin
trunk. Just prize the hearth-rock up and you can find
it." Says, "And if you take that money without
buryin' me, you better watch out, or I'll ha'nt you till
the end of your days."
So the man told him, Sure,
he'd bury him right now.
Then the ha'nt laid back
down and the man gathered him up and buried him right
So then he prized up the
hearth-rock and got the six hundred dollars. And next
morning he went back up to that other house and got his
ten dollars off that feller.
And the ha'nt never was
seen there no more.
Replaced Copy Made by the Blue Ridge Institute to Replace
This page created 9/07/02 by Tina L.
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