The Woman in black

The Woman in Black: A Mysterious Figure in Roanoke’s History

Roanoke, Virginia is a city rich in history and ghost stories. One of the most well-known is that of the Woman in Black. In March 1902, she made several appearances in Roanoke after having been sighted on numerous occasions in Bristol. The apparition reportedly only made herself known to well-known married men as they walked home after hours.

According to legend, she appeared suddenly and unexpectedly to men who had stayed too long at their club, insisting they go home as quickly as possible. Sometimes she was said to hit, pummel, or knock a man down to the ground or slap him to the earth with a swish of her phantom garments as retribution for his sins. Her alleged appearances had the salutary effect of keeping married men home with their wives and families rather than going out each night.

There are many theories about her identity. Some think she was the wife of a man who was murdered on his way home. Others think her husband was unfaithful to her and she tries to keep the men honest. There are also those who believe she would flirt with the men to test their faithfulness. Either way, it has been thought that her intention is to keep other wives from having to go through the pain of losing their husbands like she did.

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