I have had a very eventful summer, and now I am back to tackle the next set of Urban Legends in Barren County. Over the next several entries will be the coverage of actual murders and hangings that have taken place in our county’s illustrious past. I intended to start on the earliest, and try to make my way forward to the last, but as I have updated my research for each story, I have found that a couple of places in which these events occurred actually had more than one tragedy occur there. So, I think in all fairness, I will start with the first such recorded event, and then add two more events that happened in the same area. It is amazing to me how oral legends add to the urban legend of the teenager. These events occurred in the distant past, and yet, tendrils of fear from them pervade the very air of a place, and leave questions in our minds of the paranormal.
I remember as a child going with my father to visit his cousin, George Groce, on his farm at Randolph, in what is now Metcalfe County. But back in the distant past, before the Civil War, this was part of Barren County.
George Groce was a lively man, and he and his sweet wife Edna welcomed everyone to their farm. George’s mother was born Katherine Dugard, and she was a daughter of Seth Dugard, Sr. and Mary Eliza Goode, who were my great grandparents.
The Dugards are well known for their storytelling, as I can vouch for on many of the older members of the family. George loved to carry on conversation about many and varied themes, so you never knew what you’d be getting. He was also very good with animals, and he had a pet bull that followed him around like it was a dog. I actually think that it thought it was a dog. He made a comment to me once that his animals didn’t like the woods across the road from his house. He said there was a spot just inside the woods that was always cold, no matter the weather.
As years have gone by, and all the older generation have passed on, I remember these stories told around the tables, or on the front porch as we visited on summer nights. Many a tale was noteworthy, and some of them I’ve pursued to get a sensible answer. These were no normal ghost stories and legends… No, they were very real at some point in history. And I intend to share what I know.
Demystify the mystery. Behind every ghost story, and most every urban legend, is a factual account that can lend some light to the darkness. And so my next few stories will deal with the area of the small hamlet of Randolph, Kentucky, and events that occurred there many, many years in the past, back to the very early years of Barren County, and forward through its transition to Metcalfe County, into the present day. Hope you enjoy this journey through time!
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