Category Archives: Appalachian

Old Tom

I’m finally back.

This entry is regarding a legend from Eastern Tennessee, that of “Old Tom.”

Tom was said to be a lady’s man during the roaring 1920s. During the time, even in Appalachian regions, speakeasys and bootlegging were common. Tom lived an exciting life, filled with women and drink, however, he had standards. Tom adamantly refused to ever date a married woman. Ever.

One day, Tom met his match. The beauty that turned his head also won his heart and before he knew it, he was in love with her. Her name was lost to time, but for the purpose of the story, we’ll call her Betty. Betty never told Tom she was married, she always said she was single and he never knew until it was too late. She had a jealous husband who caught them at the local lovers’ lane. He stabbed Betty as she sat in Tom’s car and dragged his body into the open, where he proceeded to skin him alive.

She fled and got help while he was focused on Tom. But, by the time help came, Tom’s body was gone. The husband was convicted ans sentenced to prison, Betty survived, but it is argued if she ever fully recovered. Now, it is believed in this same region, Tom still frequents remote “lover’s lane,” spots and turns his wrath on women as often as he can.

He’s supposed to appear normal from a distance, in original garb with an open shirt, but close up, his heart visibly beats in his chest and his body is skeletal.



Phantom Hitckhikers

Every region has it’s own particular version of this tale. It has became one of the most common urban legends, globally, today. It doesn’t matter where you go or who you speak with, everyone knows of a phantom hitchhiker.

There’s an old Bluegrass song that discussed the event decades ago.

This song is perhaps best known for the Mac Wiseman version. This song is about the infamous phantom hitchhiker. The singer picks up a girl, Mary, who is hitchhiking in the rain. He agrees to take her home. He turns to where she sits in the back seat only to find she disappeared.

He continues following the directions she gave him and arrives at an old house. He is greeted by Mary’s mother who informs him that 13 years earlier, Mary died and she has been trying to return home since then./p>

The lore surrounding a phantom hitchhiker has been reported worldwide for as long as can be recalled. If the mode of transportation was not cars, it has been wagons. For more information on this topic, here are some resources:

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