In 1873, a man was convicted of murdering his wife based on the testimony of a ghost. Erasmus Shue, a West Virginian blacksmith, claimed to have discovered his wife dead at the foot of their staircase. By the time authorities arrived, he had dressed the corpse in a high-necked dress. He then cradled her head so tightly the coroner could only examine the limbs. After the funeral, during which Shue acted erratically and insisted on wrapping a scarf around the corpse’s neck, Shue’s mother-in-law claimed she was visited by the ghost of her daughter. The ghost said Shue had beaten her regularly and strangled her in a fit of rage over not making meat for dinner. The mother-in-law badgered the authorities until they agreed to exhume the body. Sure enough, there were thumb bruises and a broken neck hidden by the scarf and high-collared dress. Shue was tried for murder, and the key testimony was the mother-in-law recounting the visit from the ghost and the eerily accurate information it provided. The jury needed only an hour to find Shue guilty of murder. –Justin Kitch, Curious.com

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a murder trial that hinges on the testimony of a ghost.

Journaling Prompt: What is the strangest story you’ve ever heard about a ghost?

Art Prompt: Testimony of the ghost

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience an interesting story about unusual testimony in a court trial.

Photo Credit: Mer on Flickr

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