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On This Day… A Ghost Did What?

Written by: George Chittenden : 30 Jun 2019

It was on this day, 23rd January, back in 1897 when the body of Elva Zona Heaster was discovered at her home by a young boy who had been sent to her house on an errand. The incident took place in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. The victim’s husband dressed the corpse himself before the doctor arrived, which was unusual.

The body had bruising around the neck, but when the doctor tried to inspect it the husband became aggressive. Initially, the cause of death wasn’t considered suspicious and she was buried the very next day. Supposedly, the victim’s mother was visited by her daughter’s ghost every night for weeks, claiming she’d been murdered.

The mother, Mary Jane Heaster, visited the local prosecutor, John Alfred Preston and convinced him to exhume the body and perform a full autopsy. On inspection it was clear that Zona's neck had indeed been broken. The case went to trial and the husband was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

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