With historic homes comes historic tales. Here’s our short list of Oxford ghost stories to get you in the Halloween spirit.
If only walls could talk…
“The Bride’s House”
Built in the 1850s (on what is now Washington Ave. across from the city swimming pool) for the owner’s new bride; however, the house burned in 1942.
Not long after General James Bates Stone and his wife moved in, they encountered a ghost. Upon purchasing the home, the family had been told of strange occurrences such as:
-Strange lights shone at night by no one’s doing.
-Doors creaked open.
-Ghostly apparitions appeared in mirrors while ladies sat at their dressing tables in the bedrooms
The Stones’ own encounter came while they were hanging curtains not long after moving in. General Stone turned from the ladder to discover a man silently staring at him.
The figure asked, “Ain’t you scared to stay in this house with all the haunts?”
“No,” replied Stone.
“Well I guess you’re a lawyer and the haunts can’t harm you.”
The man strode from the room, his footsteps not making a sound.
The Stone name might sound familiar as General Stone was the father of Phil Stone- widely known as William Faulkner’s good friend and mentor.
The Thompson-Chandler House
Located on South 13th Street, the house was sold to William Thompson in 1859 and later given to his daughter Mrs. Chandler.
By 1987 Mrs. Irene Phelps Terry and her husband (Oxford Elementary’s Principal at the time) had occupied the home for a while.
Mrs. Terry wrote a book on the ghostly sightings in the house and on the property titled “Faulkner, Ghosts and Local Folk: Conversin’ at the Compson House”.
These sightings and sounds included:
-Hearing a ball bouncing in another room when no one else was home
-Hearing the wailing of a little boy
-Sightings of a lady in a long white dress on the foyer steps
-Quick sightings of a man in a white linen suit
-Sightings of 3 little ghouls or trolls playing on the back staircase
-One witness claims to have seen a half-human beast in the back and oldest part of the house
We’ve been told by one woman that grew up in Oxford she used to play in the magnolia tree on the front lawn and it always felt haunted. “Weird stuff happened when I was in those trees.”
Before Rowan Oak had a name and was owned by famous author William Faulkner, the home and property was owned by the Sheegog family. The Sheegogs occupied the house until Faulkner purchased it in 1930.
One of Faulkner’s famous ghost stories was the story of Judith Sheegog.
As the story goes, Judith fell in love with a Union soldier while they cared for him in their home.
She’d planned to run away with him. The night she was to meet the soldier, she fell to her death from the balcony on the front of the house. (Other versions of the story say she flung herself off the balcony due to her doomed romance.)
Her father buried her under one of the magnolia trees at the end of the walkway. After Judith’s death one witness said she was spotted standing at the foot of a bed in one of the upstairs bedrooms in a long white gown. They watched as Judith’s ghost walked out onto the balcony and continued out, through the cedar trees.
Judith Sheegog has been argued to have not been real- only a ghost story Faulkner told children. Some say she was real and was the only child of the Sheegogs while others believe Colonel Sheegog had 10 children and none of them were named Judith.
What do you think? Was Judith real?