The Headless Horseman of Garnettsville

A ghost town brings to life a story of a headless rider

A ghost town is now the site of one of a familiar legend, but in an unfamiliar setting. One two men stood in a duel, one never realized he lost.

Meade County is home to its fair share of ghost towns. The most famous of which is probably Oolite, but today our story takes place in Garnettsville on a night in 1871.

Like so many in the United States, near the end of the 19th century two Meade County brothers made it home from war. Like brothers do, they quarreled over their differences.

It must have been a fight that was severe, because they determined their was no other way to solve the issue than a duel. The two mounted their horses and rode to the Garnettsville Cemetery. One brother was armed with a sword and the other a revolver.  The two took positions at each end of the cemetery. Under the light of the full moon, they both gave their horses a kick and rode towards each other. 

One would think that the brother with the pistol would have the advantage, but guns did not carry the same aim that they do today. His shot missed. The other brother swung his sword in a sweeping arc,. This was the winning blow and his brother lost by a head. 

This should have been the end of this story. Two men, separated by war and difference ended their brotherhood with a sword. That was until several months later. A man was hunting near the same cemetery of the fateful duel. He heard hoof beats of galloping horses.  In the sputtering light, he saw a man ride by carrying his head in the crook of his arm. 

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