Alabama · Executions

The Hole That Won’t Stay Filled

December 3, 1864
Newton, Alabama
Methodist minister Bill Sketoe is hanged for betraying the Confederacy, and begins a local ghost story

Sketoe had either deserting the Confederate Army or had aided pro-Union renegades (or possibly something else entirely) and was lynched for his betrayal. Because of his large frame, he bent the branch in which he was hanging from. To accommodate his height and prevent his feet from touching ground, a hole was dug beneath his feet so he could slowly strangle to death. According to local legend, the hole dug to facilitate his execution refused to stay filled for 125 years; when anyone attempted to fill the hole in, it would mysteriously empty itself, keeping its previous dimensions. However, the hole was washed away during a flood in 1990.

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