Saturday, January 14, 2012

Dixie V. Counts at Spry Cemetery

Photo by Mona Lambert West
One of West Virginia's haunted legends that has made its rounds on the internet is the story of Dixie V. Counts and her haunting of the Spry Cemetery near Harts, in Lincoln County, located close to Dry Branch.  According to legend, Dixie is buried in this cemetery along with her stillborn infant, Charlie.  Both mother and child died in childbirth, yet their apparitions are seen regularly in the small cemetery.  Both appear to glow, along with the death dates on their tombstones, under the rays of the full moon, and Dixie is said to be seen holding small Charlie, rocking him and crying in the moonlight.

Photo by Mona Lambert West
Like much of WV's legends and lore, this is a story that does have some basis in fact, although the true story is a little different than the ones making their rounds on popular ghost sites.  Dixie Virginia Lambert Counts was the second wife of Billie Counts.  She was born on September 14, 1913 in Logan County, WV to parents Wilson P. Lambert and Lou/Lila Spry. 

In 1932, Dixie gave birth to a baby girl named Nora Louise.  Nora was born premature, at only 6.5 months gestation, and only lived for 12 hours.  However, Dixie would go on to give birth in 1938 to a baby boy, named Charles Wilson Counts.  Although not stillborn, as the legend says, Charles would not live to adulthood.

Photo by Mona Lambert West

On September 26, 1939, Dixie V. Counts died in Logan County of tuberculosis.  She was buried in the Lambert (Spry) Cemetery next to her daughter.  Little Charlie would last another two months, but he too died of tuberculosis shortly after his first birthday, on December 27, 1939.

Death Certificates for Dixie V. Counts and her two children can be found at the following link:
Find-A-Grave. All photos are from Find-a-Grave as well and were taken by Mona Lambert West.

If you choose to visit this location to check out the legends for yourself, please remember to be respectful. While the idea of glowing tombstones and apparitions of a woman and child are fascinating, at the end of the day, these legends still represent the fact that a young mother and two babies were taken from this earth too soon.


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