In October, when the days start getting shorter and darkness overtakes the land, people’s minds sometimes plays tricks on them and they think they see things that may not necessarily be what they think they are.
Such is the case, I believe, of the Mulberry Black Thing. If you’ve lived around Williamsburg, Jellico or Corbin, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the creature which is rumored to have lived in the Mulberry area off Highway 92 East in Whitley County.
Legend has it that the Mulberry Black Thing is a witch who can transform or shape shift her body into other living creatures, such as a panther, a deer, a bear, etc., and the creatures are always black. The witch roams the area in Mulberry looking for people to see if they have good or evil in their hearts and then she deals with each person accordingly.
The stories heard from all who have crossed paths with the Mulberry Black Thing seems to start out the same. The air supposedly gets really still and dense, and then a chill runs up the person’s spine, and then they see a black creature. The stories vary from there.
One case I heard was of two hunters who were in the woods late at night. The hunters had evil in their hearts, and they crossed paths with the witch shape of the Mulberry Black Thing. The witch then shape shifted into a black bear right before their eyes and mauled them on the spot. (I don’t know how those details were told after they were dead, but that’s the story as it was told to me.)
There are rumors of cars stalling in the middle of the road in Mulberry, and some sort of black animal, such as a panther, jumping onto the hood of the stalled car. Seeing the people in the car had good in their hearts, the creature then jumped off and ran into the forest.
I have heard of people seeing red glowing eyes peering through the trees, heard rustling of leaves, and then something unseen could be heard running through the woods, etc.
I grew up almost straight across the river from where the Mulberry Black thing is supposed to have lived. My whole life I heard of it, and many times I remember sitting quietly, with big eyes and ears listening intently to what the elders and older teens had to say about it. The tales always varied, but still were pretty intriguing and scary. Living so close to where it lived, you would think I would have ran across it at some point, but I have never once saw the thing. Thank goodness.
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Speaking of glowing eyes, I recall a story that was told to me about a teenage boy who was riding in a car with his friend on Highway 92 East and they had a horrible wreck. Unfortunately, the driver immediately expired from his injuries.
The teen who survived the wreck said prior to the wreck, the driver was all of a sudden upset and told his friend that there was something in the back seat that had glowing red eyes. Then the driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed. As far as I know, neither the driver nor the passenger was on drugs or drinking.
That one still gives me the shivers every time I think of that story.
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Did you know that Cumberland Falls was rumored to be haunted by a bride? The story goes that in the 1950s, a young couple came to our beautiful “Niagara of the South,” to enjoy their honeymoon. The groom, wanting to get a nice photo of his bride still in her wedding gown with the falls in the background, found an overlook that would be the perfect place. The happily dancing bride inched a bit too close to the edge of the cliff, and sadly fell to her untimely death. Her ghost has been reportedly seen running out in front of tourist vehicles on a large curve located near to the falls, and when tourists stop to look for her, she disappears into vaper. Also, it’s rumored she has been seen floating out of the Cumberland River near the falls on nights when the moonbow is at its peak.
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In the early 80s a few of us teens gathered together to go view a glowing grave, which is located on Highway 11 just off Highway 92 East. I think the reason the grave glowed was because the headlights of the vehicles reflected on the tombstone as we rounded the curve. Nevertheless, it was scary fodder which fed our curious minds and made us wonder all the more about the unknown.
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