The William Greear House
Location: Four miles south of Coeburn in the
Date: About 1850.
Owners: William Greear and T. A. Donahue
Description: Two story frame building; two
rooms on ground floor with addition at back serving as kitchen and dining
One landing stairway
leading to second floor. Two rooms upstairs. Facing east, with entrance
door into living room. Windows re-roofed with composition roofing.
History: This house is noted for its haunted
bedstead. William Greear, the original owner, it is said, declared there
was no power higher than man. A revival was going on in the neighborhood,
and his wife, who was very
religious prayed nightly for her husband.
One night Miss Ella Hillman was visiting the Greear home and after the
family retired (the visitor sleeping with Greear's daughter in the living
room, across from Mr. and Mrs.
Greear) talk of religion turned to "knocking
spirits" and Greear told his daughter and her girl friend that he could
raise knocking spirits, and he began knocking on the wall with his fingers.
Suddenly a light appeared close up to the ceiling, moved across the room
and down at the foot of the bed in which the Greears were lying.
As the light, which had the appearance of
a small electric light bulb (but there were no electric lights then) disappeared
under the bed, the bedstead suddenly started moving across the room. For
several minutes it capered about over the room, and ceased its antics only
after Mr. Greear had got out of bed and kindled a light in the fireplace.
The next night at
ten o'clock the bed began moving again after the light first appeared,
and kept it up for an hour, when the light reappeared from under it and
disappeared through the ceiling, and the family heard it going off
toward the family burying ground as if singing softly. At one o'clock it
appeared again, and again the bed shuffled over the floor.
The third night
many neighbors had come to "hear the haunt", and it appeared at exactly
ten, and again at one. On the fourth night, four strong men, each held
a leg of the bed and tried to keep it in place, but as the light disappeared
under the bed it broke from them and moved about the room, settling down
only after the light had gone through the ceiling.
On the fifth night
Mr. Greear went to the "meeting" and asked for the prayers of the "saved".
But the "haunt" again visited the house at ten and again at one o'clock.
But on the sixth night he was converted, and a great congregation
was at the home that night to witness the antics of the haunted bedstead,
but Mrs. Greear told them that they would never hear or see that ghost
again. And sure enough it never put in an appearance again.
Source of Information: Haley Holbrook, Fletcher
Sulfridge, Newton Stallard.