Here’s Looking at You Kid: The Face in the Court House Window Part 1: Legend

Carrollton, Alabama is a small town where nothing much happens.  There is no McDonald’s, no Walmart,and no Pub-lix.  But this tiny southern town is known world wide for one thing.  The mysterious looking face that appears on the lower glass of one of the attic windows of the local courthouse. Since 1878 the face has been a mystery to both historians, skeptics, and ghost hunters alike.

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The classic version of the story goes something like this.  The original court house was burned by the Yankee’s during the American Civil War, and was rebuilt.  Then in 1876 it mysteriously burned and arson was immediately suspected.   The sheriff arrested Henry Wells, a local man (former slave) with a very bad temper.  Word soon spread of Wells arrest.  The townsmen decided that there would be no use for a trial if the man was guilty, and made up their minds to take care of Henry their way, i e lynching.  It didn’t help that these men had been drinking.

The Sheriff fearing for Henry’s life, took him into the new courthouse (which had been rebuilt) and up to the attic.   As it started to rain, and the mob started to grow, the tempers of these men grew as well.  At some point Henry looking down at these men shouted. “I’m innocent and if you hang me I’ll haunt you forever.”   The story ends with lighting hitting the window, and Henry mysteriously dying that night, from one cause or another. According the classic tale of the story, the next day one of the members of drunken mob looked up at the window where Henry had stood and started screaming.  Others came running and confirmed that there was a face looking at them.  The face of Henry Wells!

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This story can be found in the book “13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey” by Kathryn Tucker Windham.

Next: What really happened…

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