The Swamp Road Chronicles®

"Sally Blackstone"

(Editor's Note: It is widely believed that Sally Blackstone's ghost is the spirit seen on Swamp Road known as 'Swamp Road Sally.' The ghost is described as a young girl or young woman, if you will, of about 16 years of age. Sally was 15 when she disappeared; presumably murdered by her mother.)

On Swamp Road there is an old home site where the Jacob Blackstone family home once stood. The Blackstone home was built in the traditional “Saltbox” style with a porch on the front of the home.  The Blackstones could usually be seen sitting in their rocking chairs, relaxing after the evening chores had been completed.  They were Jacob, his wife Sarah, and their three children: Isaac, Israel, and Sally.


It was common for locals to visit the old home ever since the family died over a hundred years ago. I personally visited the old house back in the fall of 1980 just six months before it finally gave in to the stresses of time and collapsed under the weight of many decades of weather and neglect.


No one knows exactly what happened, or why, but based on the evidence found at the scene, the local Sheriff determined that during the night Sarah had gone out to the woodpile and gotten an ax.  She returned to the house where she struck her sleeping husband in the head with the ax, inflicting fatal, instant and bloody death to him.  She then dragged his body out to the woodpile where she proceeded to dismember his body and stack his limbs and torso on the wood pile; stacked like cordwood. After Sarah had disposed of her husband, she proceeded to do the same frightful deeds to her three children.


After she had killed her family, Sarah either came to her senses, or perhaps while still in her deranged state, she pulled up the rope from the well and untying it from the winch and the bucket, she returned to the front of her home, and climbing on a rocking chair, she secured the rope to the porch roof beams and hanged herself directly in front of the front door of the home. It was three days before anyone in the then sparsely-populated area discovered the horror which was the Blackstone homestead, and notified the authorities.

Although the evidence suggested that she had killed and dismembered all three children, the remains of 15-year old Sally were never located. Sarah’s hanging rope remained swinging from the roof beams for many years before it came up missing. The home and land had been sold and all of the furniture was removed and no one ever lived there again.

During those years that the rope remained, local folk would often go to the Blackstone home late at night and creep up to the porch and position themselves directly beneath that horrible rope of despair and peer through the keyhole.  If you looked through the keyhole it was said that you could see all of the way through the little parlor and through the little dining room and through the small kitchen. You could see all of the way through the keyhole in the rear door of the home and see the late-night darkness behind the house; and if you listened ever so quietly, you would not see anything move but you would   hear something that you could never forget…

Now, I believe that what people would hear was simply the whispering of the breeze that soughed between the banks of the little creek that flowed gently past the Blackstone home. That same breeze sighed through the old-fashioned keyholes on the front and rear doors of that little saltbox house, making a soft, moaning sound; I believe with all of my heart  that  was what people heard, but local legend has it if you went to the Blackstone home late, late at night, and if you crept ever so quietly up to the porch and if you stopped directly beneath the remains of Sarah’s horrible hanging rope, and if you put your ear to the keyhole and listened very carefully,  you would hear something that sounded like a young girl crying softly. If it's true:

May God rest her poor tormented soul.

Submitted 12-8-1992  RLH


© Copyright 1992-2023, Randal Lenn Hall, All Rights Reserved.