The Wild Woman of Alabama
I’m from Alabama, as regular readers know (and a fact which many a stereotypical Alabamian has lamented) and I’m a chronicler of Folklore specializing in the grim, the dark, the spooky. Yet I had never before heard of the Wild Woman of Marengo County, Alabama. Maybe this is because she hasn’t put in an appearance in over a century, at least not one that has been documented.
Check out the news reports of the time: “Marengo County, Alabama, is all on a stir on account of a wild woman that recently appeared in the woods and hills of that neighborhood to a party of huntsmen. She is a medium sized [sic] woman, fair, and quite naked, with the exception of mockasins. [sic] She runs with great velocity, leaping on all fours over every impediment like an antelope…An editor who was one of the hunting party, who also saw her, says she was accompanied by a large ram, of remarkable whiteness, by whose wool she held on when running up the hills and springing over rocks. The ram appeared very much attached to this wild and singular creature, and protects her…”
The newspaper reports even provided an origin story for the Wild Woman: “It appears, that some fifteen years ago, a little girl, daughter of a French woman residing on the banks of the Tombigbee River, was lost, as well as a pet lamb of hers. They were never after heard of, so that many supposed the little girl and her lamb had been drowned. The question now is, can this wild woman of Marengo county [sic] be the same? It is highly probably [sic]; but how has she existed fifteen years in the woods, away from all intercourse in the world is a mistery. [sic].” And there is a conclusion: “[She] was apprehended by a party of huntsmen a few days since, among the ‘Mossy Hills,’ six miles north of Linden, after an exciting chase of two days. This has created a great excitement among the b’hoys [sic], the right of the property being protested…” Who got to keep her, in other words.
In addition to desperately needing a qualified editor, accounts such as this one are notorious for being unreliable. Reporters back then would often make up stories purely for entertainment purposes. With no way to prove any of the claims made in those reports, we will likely never know if there was any hint of truth in the story of the Wild Woman.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763
MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!