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Billy Westmoreland's fishing diary will not be seen tonight so that we may bring you the following special Halloween program. However Conlon folklorist fail with stories of the supernatural. Many of the stories seem to Rang weather notes of imagination. However others take on a more realistic role. For the most part. Most spirits same direction night locally while others are supernatural imports. The two accounts that we will look at
and this program have to do with supernatural imports. Ron brought the Putnam County from Mexico the other from closer to home. Crab Archer Tennessee. And a few moments will tell you a story that occurred in the eastern part of the county. However first of all we'll go to the home of Attorney Dick Mitchell. I appreciate your interest and. I think it's a very interesting story and I know that you are very interested in this type of thing and I would be glad like to go over it with you again. As you know in saying this this is the infamous drama. This is a Indian drug. It was a medicine dropper. Our shaman as used by the Indians. Now I got that drum from a Indian. It's a hard named word to pronounce. Spell it nearly better
than oncet. The L and I were in Mexico. In the. Sierra Madre Occidental to about. 18 years ago or so. And were up in the quad is now called people know what is the Copper Canyon area. It's probably the roughest mountain area in the United States. That there were no roads over there at the time we were there I don't know if there are now. There was a scenic Reuel built by the Swiss. From there to Los mulches on the Gulf a quarter is it. Has. Aged nine. Tunnels and 26 bridges a believe give you an idea of how rough that country is. But we stop there and I did a few years ago on that bit and spent the night at the one place up there in the top of the mountains it's called the Divisadero. A look in the Divisadero Veronica. A part of the Bronco your
recorder your recruit for causes this great chasm in the mountains there. And. We were spending the night there and going to go with a guide and see what we could the next day. A little background about it the Indians. Have lived there ever since the Spanish first came into that area. Their first mission in the area is now 16 hundreds. But anyway there are about 30000 of them about at that time. I don't know how many and now they were the poorest. Indians I imagine in North America. They lived in the roughest country. Give you an idea of the scope of that barranca. Copper Canyon. The entire complex is four and a half times the size of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado. Two thousand feet deeper. These are the Indians you've heard about who can run so far and so
long they run down deer they run down turkey wild turkey. And. I think it comes from the fact that these mountains they climb they live down in the bottom of the canyon. Which is tropical in the winter. In the U.S. and in the fall there in the spring they come up to the top of the mountain or they do their planning and growing their maize and so forth and climbing up and down the halls thousands and thousands of feet mountains to build the wrongs up and they can. They can run. 100 young. American on 175 miles in 24 hours. And they're noticed that all over the world they're just a little background but anyway the next morning one elder and I got a guide and had him to take us out on some of the paths. Going a little bit down into the canyons and around the room and so forth. He took us
by this kid. Of course some of them lived. As a God was taking man elders around the room and and part of the way down into the canyon complex and so forth. He took a spot a cave in which a family of Indians lived in. And now they reached a point where they love to make money off of tourists and they carve things and have carvings and if it's just in things that they like to sail. So they were showing us some of those things this family had had in their cave in their home for sale and I sort of wandered back in the back and dark part of the cave. And I saw this Indian gong. This drum here. Hanging in the dark near it dark I could hardly see it and I asked the. Guide told the guide I wanted the bad and
he dubiously sort of asked the. The Indian head of the family I assume if I would sell it to me and he says no and was very emphatic about it. The guy said and looked almost. Frightened or startled but wouldn't even consider didn't seem to be irritated that I had even seen it or tunnel it back there. But I wanted very badly and I spoke up says well I give him $5 fart. Well his wife I soon as his wife just stepped up real quick because for you Dawn picked it up also the thing is hanging on and and turn around and gave it to me and took my five dollars. Now as we were walking back. From that cave and other places we had gone that morning to the little motel we stayed at Divisadero. I was asked the guide why the man in the cave was so hesitant about selling me the drug.
He seemed almost frightened about something and God says well he was disturbed. The guide was Mexican and part he could speak of course Spanish and both very plainly. And he said. It's an unusual. What we call our medicine and Shaman's drawn. And. I said well what's extraordinary about it other than that he says well you're found out some day. And that pic may curiosity even more sources will tell me what do you know about what you know about. He says well the story about that drama is that. This shaman used it and every time there was a battle of any type that the. Indians were in his tribe he would beat that drum and they would start winning the battle. If he didn't beat the drum they would lose the battle.
And as many many many years ago and I don't know. What tribe of Indians it was that attacked a group of them that he was with. One night just before dawn. They were either Yak is or Comanches are patches one of the three most probably they were the warring and raiding type at that time. The Yankees were the closest so I guess it was probably them but it could have been the Comanches are the patches because in the far on earth for my own particular they both especially the Comanches raided deeply into the Mexico. But anyway they were being raided and this shaman was asleep or the wrong bye. And he awakened and heard the noise of the firing beginning in the raid and he jumped up real quick and grabbed up the drum and and with a drum stick he held the drum up and and started to hit it and just as he started to hit it an IRA. Hit the ground. And went right through the drum and his heart.
And he fell without beating the ground. They lost the battle. But his. Tribesmen found him afterwards lying there with a drum on his chest. Now this hole you see right here. That is. Crudely but firmly sold up. With animal skin. There's the arrow hole. And God said that this I don't know whether you can see it or not. Circle around here. Is what they considered roughly the shape of a heart. They repaired that wrong. And someone has asked me Well why doesn't the back side. Have an era. Where the air went through it. Well it's very simple. There was so much blood on it
that it it raw did and they had to replace that with animal skin. It's all made with animal skin. Except the light would like leaving some type of tropical wood from the bottom of the Canyons I magine around it. And that's about all he would tell me. So well and I got home and I hung the drum up here with my other stuff. And forgot about it or it temporarily and some time after that it was several months after that. I'm sure the best actor for this time. Early one morning it just turned out to be just before dawn. I heard a noise and then usual type of noise. My bedroom upstairs to the far side of the house. And. I got up to see what it was and as I got the head of the stairs
to tell that it was coming from this room I was just sounded like a drum beat and slowly crept down the hallway toward the rocket. Just like that. Oh well I thought maybe that someone was pulling a prank on me. Maybe had slipped in the back door and around here. So I slipped up to the door in the dark and before I reached my hand around and turned the light on everything stop. Run stop completely mono as I looked and came in the drum was perfectly still nothing moving at all. Just that. Well I wonder what world I still said Well surely somebody is pulling a joke on me. I look around but I didn't even check the door I was so upset on a way to the
door to the garage he could come into the back door there. He could come in too. But anyway I did think I could cure it one way. So I just took this drumstick out and took it up stairs with me and I put it under my pillow. And went back to bed. Now I can't say I went right to sleep. No hope. A long way from there but I finally did go to sleep with a tear. Well. I want on the next day about business so forth and. It was on my mind. Wondered about it was going to ask my son about it neighbor about and so forth. But the next night I went to bed him up just before dawn. Here again there and awakened. Just like that. I reached under my pillow
and my drumstick was on the mother who was lying there under my pillow. Well I was shook up then. Believe it or not I was shook up. I got up and I got him a pistol and flashlight and I came swooping back down real quiet the whole of the time a drum of the boom. So instead of coming right into this door here as I did and turned the light on I turned one through the little hall the world around me and the kids right around. And as I got around they're still going the noise was going and I got just a word that I could see the draw the ground was throbbing and it was like a wild ride on it was dropping reddish look. I don't really remember it was really
blood red but I got the feeling of being that it was like blood blood red the blue room and just the problem by itself but I noticed a large crowd on it and I looked and saw the hormone just before sitting through my kitchen window. This door had been open all the time and had been open all the time and that was shining directly on this and around on this picture of the hard heart. Is there a flash my flashlight up at stop. Turn the kitchen light on it start all stopped and everything. Well I really wanted in a quandary this This shook me up. But as much as I had been shook up in a long time. What I do. And I thought well it's very simple. The man had warned me that I can handle a little bit of trouble. Just to do this.
I just turned the grandma around with a heart to the wall and it is never beat again that I've heard. I'm not going to test it in a full moon in September but if you or you want to come out and tasted some time a garage as a bedroom add up stairs. Location that eastern Putnam County just north of what was once known as the village just standing St. shortly after the Civil War was over. General John Thomas Wilder a union Calvary officer from Indiana came into the Tennessee region to invest one of his investments occurred at Rockwood Tennessee in terms of iron foundry. Kara Wilder would often go across the continent and search of sources of coal. It was on one of these trips when General Wilder came into the small village of standing stone and met a young man and his son a young man and son had been mining coal in this region for years for their own purpose. But they had
agreed that they would indeed carry coal to rock wood for the purpose of the iron foundry. It was on one of these trips that the young man and his son went by the old Crab Orchard. This was a famous stop by on the way up the Walton road from east to west in the early eighteen hundreds. It was on one such visit that they met a young girl and invited her to come back to Stanning St. to live with them. And they had the girl they had she came the standing stone and only a few months after she had she disappeared. It was shortly after the disappearance that the apparition of an older woman began to appear to certain members of families in the region. Several interesting stories have been handed down over the years. One has it that three man out while on hunting one afternoon had gone down to a creek they had found several wallets and began to fill their bag as they were found in the bag. The man heard a scream going up and down the crate. One of them realising that it was
supernatural and nice to look at the other one and play it up for him leaving the wallets behind. However was down on them intended together one which obviously hadn't heard no sound at all. One of the most fascinating stories to come out of the sighting of the little one occurred by Uncle Frank. Frank first saw the little woman when he was only a boy of eight years ago he said that he was sleeping one night in the old living room watching the glowing embers as the fire began to die out. When all of a sudden the little warm one appeared in front of the fireplace as a little woman approached and he covered his head with the covers. I wanted to look up again thank you and it might be his imagination but I only had to look up again to see her appearing in his eyes. In the 1950s It's the only time we've ever known the little woman to leave the area going out of state. We're told if you went to Dayton Ohio and visited Uncle Frank where he had asked actually asked her what can I do to rid myself of your honing. We're told that the little woman told him to go to
Tennessee to the point where she would maybe take several dollars that had been collected bury them on a specific area and she would indeed set him free. Frank did and they just as the little woman had told him he came to Tennessee he buried his seven dollars underneath the rocks where she was actually standing and pointing and then he went back to that know how where he died in 1958. One of the seven dollars had to do with the operation. Since a little girl was Blay but managed to have been killed out of what pilots believe that she had on her person at the time of day a silver dollar us some seem to think that money. Was a ghost and if that's the case perhaps a little operation was taken her silver dollars. Because Uncle Frank was known to have been a collector of sever dollars. Another reason we perhaps relay that she was taken $7 is simply because we have individuals that have said that she would enter homes through doors that were locked. And go in and out of
searching for something on the old dressers in the living room. We have one situation where she actually entered a home one night while two young girls were sleeping in the living room. One of them awakened only to see her moving around in the living room and then without hurting anyone or saying anything are making any noise. She actually stepped through the door and disappeared into the night. The little girl scared went running to her grandmother and told her why she had seen the grandmother told her to go back to bed. That quote The little woman will not hurt you. That peroration of the little woman was also determined to be a warning of unfortunate events to come. I want to Cajun a small girl was walking down the road and along parallel in her on a embankment was the ghost of the little woman when the little girl went home she told her mother why she had saying and the mother had told her. She said this is a sign that something bad will happen tonight. That night the grandmother passed away. Another sighting involved a grandmother and her
granddaughter as they sat on the front porch of their home. They saw the old woman coming up the road. She had stepped sideways went up the embankment and walked into a cornfield. It had been right in the night before so the grandmother and granddaughter went on down to the cornfield to see what the old lady was doing when they got down there they found no tracks at all and it was at that moment the grandmother realized that they had saying the apparition of the little woman standing stone. Some say the little girl simply disappeared after moving to stand in stone while others hold that she was murdered while gathering wood at the wood pile her body taken into the fireplace and unsuccessfully burned where the body was later removed and thrown in the old mine shaft directly behind me. There was something very strange going on around the old mine shaft because the miners that work nearby would often tell of the screams that would emanate from the mines. Even the mules working nearby would refuse to go into the mine
shaft and as the screams would come out the meals would break and try to run off. There was one miner who said that he was approaching the mine shaft. Getting ready to walk in one evening when all of a sudden a scream came from the mines. A jinglin sound came out of the mines and he looked up. He could actually envision the jangling going over his head and as he followed the sound with his ears and as it landed in a tree nearby. He never could understand what the jangling had to do with the scream but nevertheless he would not go in the mines and work that evening. One might wonder why a teenage girl being precipitate a ghost in the form of no woman. We don't know why the only thing we do know is that shortly after the disappearance of the little girl they all woman's operation began to walk the heels of the standing stone region. As to where the little woman is today we don't know. Perhaps the events in the
Upper Cumberland Camera
Episode Number
Halloween Special
Producing Organization
Contributing Organization
WCTE (Cookeville, Tennessee)
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Episode Description
This Halloween special features two segments about local folklore. In the first segment, "The Medicine Drum," local resident Dick Mitchell describes his encounter with a haunted Indian drum. In the second segment, "The Old Woman of Standing Stone," host Dick Mitchell recounts alleged appearances of the ghost of an old woman in Standing Stone. The episode includes dramatic reenactments.
Other Description
Upper Cumberland Camera is a magazine featuring segments highlighting local Tennessee communities and culture.
Created Date
Asset type
Local Communities
Copyright 1990 WCTE-TV Cookeville
Media type
Moving Image
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Host: Walker, Opless
Interviewee: Mitchell, Dick
Producer: Walker, Opless
Producing Organization: WCTE
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: ma/ucc722/91 (WCTE)
Format: U-matic
Generation: Master
Duration: 00:24:05
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Chicago: “Upper Cumberland Camera; 722; Halloween Special,” 1991-06-17, WCTE, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed January 22, 2022,
MLA: “Upper Cumberland Camera; 722; Halloween Special.” 1991-06-17. WCTE, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. January 22, 2022. <>.
APA: Upper Cumberland Camera; 722; Halloween Special. Boston, MA: WCTE, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from