The Ghost of Bill Sketoe

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The Ghost of Bill Sketoe

On December 3, 1864, by the Choctawhatchee River Bridge, Bill Sketoe was hanged as a traitor to the Confederacy. Sketoe had been the pastor of the Methodist Church, and was completely innocent of the accusations. The six vigilantes who took it upon themselves to hang him encountered some difficulty in the process. The branch of the oak tree that they chose bent so far as to allow Sketoe's toes to touch the ground. As the men dug a hole underneath his feet, he died a slow, strangling death. Sketoe haunted all of the men after he died, and one by one they came to violent ends. What remains today, next to the new concrete bridge, is the very hole the men had dug. Locals claim that if you fill the shallow depression, it will be dug out the next morning. It seems the ghost of Bill Sketoe does not rest in peace.
- Ann Volkwein

Bill Sketoe had come back from the war, after hiring a replacement as was allowed by law, to tend to his wife who was gravely ill. It was a travesty and the tale of Bill Sketoe's hole is well known in Alabama folklore. Newton, Alabama, is only about ten miles from my house, so I am going to go and get some pictures and place them here on SUCU.
I am starting this thread for a reason. As lore has it, if anyone catches a glimpse of ol, Bill Sketoe's ghost during the daylight hours they will meet a violent death just as the members of the Home Guard did.

Just in case.
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 4-12-2006

WooHoo! You need to go out there, with a camea on tripod and fill that darn hole in. Then hide and watch what happens :)

Good luck with the ghost hunting :)

It would make a great article with some pics.
By netchicken: posted on 4-12-2006

Ok, I am back from the trip. I didn't see Bill's ghost, or if I did, I didn't notice seeing it. There was some violence done to me at Walmart, wehre I stopped on the way home. There was some violent scratching of the eyes, as if someone was trying to put my eyes out. Actually, it was me. I turned down the dessert aisle to grab a key lime pie and saw a family of extremely, EXTREMELY obese people perusing the junk food.

Anyway, back to the topc at hand, Bill Sketoe and the hole that won't stay filled.
I drove down to the river where the occurance was to have taken place, the Choctawhatchee river.

I parked my car and began searching the area for anything that would indicate Bill Sketoe's hole being around the bridge as I read it was on the internet. I found absolutely no clues as to where the site would be. I read somewhere it was fenced in now but I saw no fenced in areas, either. I did find thed usual crap that is usually found under bridges in country where teens like to hang out and drink a few cold ones, but no hole and no ghost.
I also saw that the highway department has placed those large rocks all around the bridge, and if the hole is under there I kind of doubt ol' Bill's broom is strong enough to sweep them out of the way!

Still, I figured that if anyone would have a clue about places in and around Newton it's be the Newton Police, so I drove up the hill and to town. I located the police department but there was nobody there. I guess the folks are put on the honor system on Sunday afternoons. The only person in the area that I saw was an old man coming out of a small laundry mat but I could see that he was already having an in depth conversation with - himself. I learned a long time ago that tehre is no question worth asking to someone who is already discussing important things in such manner, so I drove on down and away from town, figuring to try again another day.
We'll get to the bottom of this hole one day, I promise.
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 4-12-2006

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