Hey, y’all, and welcome to Southern Macabre! I’m Aeryn and I am so glad you’re joining me for Paranormal Wednesday. I’ve got a remarkable story for y’all today, a nice blend of spooky and a bit sad.
Today we’re visiting a small city in eastern Mississippi called Columbus. About 23,000 people call this place home, including Airmen and women at Columbus Air Force Base. I talked about this area in two missing person episodes, but I never told y’all about the area. Since this is going to be a shorter episode, I would like to do that now.
The first time my husband and I visited Columbus we were amazed by the rich culture here. When you go down Main Street towards Highway 82 you will see a brightly colored Victorian house that really stands out. It is the Tennessee Williams House Museum & Welcome Center. For those who don’t know, Tennessee Williams was a playwright born in Columbus who is famous for a Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The house was where he lived with his grandparents, mother, and siblings when it was the rectory for Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church. It was moved a tenth of a mile away when the church began discussing tearing it down to build an addition.
Near the church and museum, you will find Catfish Alley, where locals Bukka White and Big Joe Williams played the blues. Columbus has a highlight position on the Mississippi Blues Trail, a map of all the places in the state that attributed to the most important root source of modern popular music. Look up Columbus, Mississippi Blues to hear Bukka White sing about the city.
The first public college for women in the United States was founded here in 1884 as The Industrial Institute and College. Today it is known as Mississippi University for Women, or affectionately as The W. There are twenty-three buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places at this picturesque university that is surrounded by some of the most beautiful historic homes I have ever seen.
Finally, did you know that Memorial Day traces its roots back to Columbus, Mississippi? It’s true! To Friendship Cemetery which was founded in 1849. Down here, people come from all over for Decoration Day, when they decorate the headstones of loved ones and ancestors then eat lunch together. This started in 1866 and eventually became Memorial Day in the United States, the day we honor our military servicemen and women who passed on.
Let’s physically go back to Tennessee William’s House and Museum. To get to today’s story we’re going to head northwest for two and a half miles to Nash Road. Oh, and it needs to be dark, preferably after midnight.
Nash Road is outside the city limits, away from streetlights and other vehicles. The road twists and turns past rows of trees, making it dangerous if the conditions aren’t right. Or if you meet someone coming towards you.
You’re either going to want to stop at the cemetery or the gate, different tales have different instructions, but with the same results. Once you get there, put your car in park and honk your horn three times. If it worked, you will hear someone knock on the roof of your car three times. That is the Three-Legged Lady. Now she’s going to chase you while she bangs her body against your car, trying to push you off the road until you reach the end.
Now, you may be wondering who would want to do this. Teenagers, people new to the area, and people who have been drinking.
You’re also hopefully wondering who she is, where did she come from, and why the heck does she have three legs! I’m glad you asked cause I’m going to tell you the legends now.
The first theory is that her beloved was unfaithful, so she murdered him, and she cut off one of his legs and sewed it to her own body. You know, so he would always be with her. It was in the 1800s, so she covered up what she had done with her skirts. Well, the people in town found out and they weren’t happy. When they confronted her, she became enraged. That Sunday, while they sat in church, she set it on fire. The second story is the saddest. She was a mother searching for her daughter who was brutally murdered on Nash Road. The dismembered leg is all she could find so she wanders up and down the lonely, desolate road looking for the rest of her daughter’s remains.
The next story is that she was running a three-legged race with her brother when they were hit by a car. She chases you away and tries to push you off the road to keep you from hitting them.
Another story is that she was married and cheated on her husband back during the Civil War with a visiting soldier. He found out and was so angry that he murdered her lover right there on Nash Road and drug him. As he was dragging the man’s body over the bridge, one of his legs got caught and was ripped off. Before his funeral, she found her lover’s leg and she sewed it to her own body and went insane. Then she burned the church to the ground.
These are the last two tales. She was born with a rare defect where her organs grew outside of her body, so the doctor tied them together so that they looked like an extra leg. She was tormented by people in the area so one Sunday morning, she set their church on fire killing many of them.
The final story says that she was conjured by a satanic cult that was meeting in the old church before it burned down.
There really used to be a church on Nash Road, just called Antioch Church, but it burned down long ago. All that remains is the steps leading to nowhere in the middle of these woods. That small cemetery I mentioned out there has also been tied to the Three-Legged Lady legends. For instance, the people who died in the church fire are buried there along with the Three-Legged Lady herself.
Many who have seen her say it appears that she actually has three legs attached to her body – not that she’s carrying the third one. Also, the third leg is rotting. Usually, my husband is the scaredy cat, but I honestly don’t want to see this woman myself.
While researching this story, I also read another account on Nash Road. A woman, her daughter, and her daughter’s husband drove out there after midnight hoping to see the Three-Legged Lady. Her son-in-law turned off the lights and got out of the car when she noticed her daughter staring at something straight ahead.
When she looked, there was a man standing there holding hands with a small boy and carrying an axe. The boy’s head was covered in blood and the man had blood on him as well. He was walking towards their car and that’s when they realized they could see through him. They started screaming, as I would have. Her son-in-law noticed the man, got back in the car, and sped away.
While researching this story, I had a creepy experience. I’m not saying it was a ghost or anything, but I can’t explain it and neither could the family tech expert. I have a gaming computer and 1Gbps internet service so I can stream anything I want. I was watching an eight-minute video about this story and all of a sudden, my web browser froze halfway through. It has never happened before on any device since we got the new internet last year.
Well, I guess I’m done scaring all of you today. If you enjoyed hearing about the Three-Legged Lady, please leave a five-star review on Apple Podcasts or Goodpods and follow where you listen. Also, make sure you come back on Friday when I’ll be telling y’all about a true southern crime. I hope y’all have a wonderful safe week. God bless, y’all!