Thursday, October 17, 2019

"Dem Things Got Me Last Night"

"Dem Things Got Me Last Night"

The night after Jones was whipped the Ku Klux went up to see if he had moved, having been ordered to do so. There were three very worthy darkies living in the neighborhood, named Stephen Taylor, William Garland and Frank Chandler. They were carried up to the grave yard by the Ku Klux, where we had left our horses. I [John Lea] walked through the grave yard, placed my hands on Will's naked shoulder and it nearly scared him to death. He shook all over.

The next day Will came by my house and Capt. Graves, my brother-in-law, asked him where he was going. Will said, "Lordy, Mars' Billy, I'm going across the creek." "What's the matter, Billy?" asked Capt. Graves. "Dem things got me last night. They were as tall as the eaves of this house. I knows they came out of the graves, for I saw them with my own eyes and one came up and put his hand on my shoulder and his hands chilled me clean through."

Source: John Green Lea 1919/1935 "Confession" to the killing of John Walter Stephens.

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