Saturday, January 14, 2012

Dixie V. Counts at Spry Cemetery

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.

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, she 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 be destined to live to adulthood.

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:

NOTE: There are listings for both a Spry Cemetery and a Lambert Cemetery in Lincoln County.  Dixie's death certificate states that she was buried in Dry Branch...with no other information given.  At this point, the exact location of Dixie's burial is unconfirmed, but her death certificate, as well as those of her children, unfortunately disprove the history part of her alleged haunting.  The photo above is a Theresa's Haunted History stock photo of Winfield Town Cemetery, NOT the cemetery in question.

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