Haunted Hoofprints of Bath

The story of the mysterious hoof prints in Bath, N.C. goes beyond a ghost story or a haunted place. At first glance this is a morality tale about the evils of betting on the sabbath, drinking to much and disrespecting your wife. What makes this story different than most morality tales is that there is physical evidence that the following took place.

Jesse Elliot was a hard livin', hard drinkin' man who loved to race horses. He was also an obnoxious drunk who, being a large man, was intimidating as well. As it so happened on Sunday, October 13, 1813 a rider know one had seen before challenged Jesse to a race that day. Upon agreeing to a 0 wager, Jesse went home to get his horse 'fury' and head to the track.

When he got home his wife warned him of betting on the sabbath, rather than ignore her, he gave her a slap and began preparing his horse. As he rode off to the race, his wife yell at him "Jesse Elliot, I hope you go to Hell this very day!"

Jesse arrived at the track where a few of his friends had gathered to watch the race between Jesse and the dark stranger. Several of Jesse's friends thought there way something odd about the stranger. He seemed too calm to be about to race. Whatever bothered them about the stranger seemed to disappear as the race was about to start.

The race began with a jolt as both riders shot out from the starting line. It wasn't long before Jesse found himself in the lead with the stranger falling behind. With his usual overconfidence flowing, he uttered his last words. "Take me in a winner or take me to Hell". At that moment, as he went around a curve in the track, His horse reared up and dug it's hooves into the ground sending Jesse flying head first into a pine tree, killing him instantly. The dark rider rode past the dead man and disappeared, never to be seen again.

Some folks say that it was the Devil who was atop the other horse. As that was almost 200 years ago and I wasn't there I'll leave that to you to decide. What is known is that there was hair from Jesse Elliot's head buried in the tree for months after. The tree it's self turned brown and decayed on the side where Jesse made contact.

But to this day the hoof prints made in the soil by the horse can still be seen. Much like The Devils Tramping Ground, it is said that whatever debris is placed in the prints, will be removed in a short time. Locals even say that if you sprinkle food in the area, wildlife will eat every morsel except that which fell into the hoof prints.

What do you think?


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