In the small town in Alabama, a big thing is haunting the streets after the town’s children. 

Children should be home before dark, there is no telling what hides in the shadows, emerging after the sun sets. But the people of Abbeville in the south of Alabama, they have a pretty good idea. The city has seen many tragedies, the hardship of the settlers, the surrendering of the creek nation to them, all the way up to the segregation times. Also, at the start of the 1900s, an arsonist burned down all of Abbeville, and this is also at the time when the legend of Huggin Molly took form. 

The Lady in Black

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“…..On a cold, dark, rainy night…..so bitterly cold, damp, and dark…..when even street lights won’t burn, and the striking of a match refuses to yield the tiniest flame….on nights like this, Huggin’ Molly comes out of her lair and roams the streets of Abbeville to see whom she can find.”

So begins one account of the story the people of Abbeville have told each other since the early 1900s. The legend has it that a tall figure, around seven feet tall, started walking the street, looking for victims. She was dressed in all black with a wide brim hat, wandering through the night in the disguise of the shadows. Once she found a victim, she attacked, hugging the person, screaming loudly into their ears. 

The Many Legends

Who she is supposed to have been is up for debate. In some accounts, she lost her own child, making her go after the local children, in other accounts, she was murdered. Perhaps she was a professor at what used to be Alabama Agriculture School, only trying to keep the students safe by getting them off the streets at night. Or perhaps it wasn’t a ghost at all, but someone or something, getting dressed up specifically for this?

In any case, the people of Abbeville haven’t been too concerned by the legend. Because this is the thing, she never harmed anyone, but so many children grew up to tell tales of what they believed must have been Huggin Molly chasing them. 

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References

11 Best Scary Ghost Stories – True Scary Stories for Halloween

The Legend of Molly | hugginmollys

The witch legend behind Alabama eatery Huggin’ Molly’s

Abbeville Ghosts « Chattahoochee Heritage

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