Joshua P. Warren features the story on his Speaking of Strange radio show with witnesses. For more, see the Jan. 29, 2011 podcast, by clicking HERE.

The Suicide Ghost in OUR Building

On Sunday, January 23, 2011, Museum staffer Cat Wilson encountered a full-bodied apparition in our Theater. He was a tall, dark form, present for only seconds, and Cat actually bumped into him. Alone, she was understandably frightened, and quickly left in a rattled state.

Less than three hours later, Museum historian Vance Pollock, completely unaware of Cat's encounter, made a startling discovery:

A Buncombe County Sheriff (and former Chief of Police), named John Lyerly, shot himself to death inside our building on Wednesday, January 23, 1924--EXACTLY 87 years before Cat's sighting. According to newspaper reports, Lyerly, a man who participated in many hangings, who had actually beaten people to death with his club, was depressed over the death of his wife five months before.

Of all the ghostly energy in our Museum's old jail and gallows structure, the dark spirit of Sheriff John Lyerly is perhaps the strongest.

Here is a photo of Lyerly:

In a version of Thomas Wolfe's classic novel, Look Homeward, Angel (published as his original title, O Lost!), Wolfe described his encounter with Sheriff Lyerly (whom he called Bill Lyerly in this draft) when Wolfe (called Eugene here) was a toddler. "Asheville" is called "Altamont." This unflattering portrait may help you understand why some people are frightened inside our Museum building, and why our psychomanteum sessions can be so intense:


Copyright 2011 by Shadowbox Enterprises, LLC