In the small town in Alabama, a big thing is haunting the streets after the town’s children. The scary apparition of Huggin Molly is still haunting the streets.

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 of what darkness that lurk in the shadows, in the streets and behind the bushes.

The small place of Abbeville has seen many tragedies throughout the years. Not only the hardship of the European settlers, the surrendering of the creek nation to them. Being a town in southern Alabama also made it hard for the black people all the way up to the segregation times.

The southern town has also experienced tragedies that left a collective trauma so hard that legend took form. One of these being after the fire. 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. 

Huggin Molly as 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 known as Huggin Molly. Who is this woman all clad in black, and why is she after the children of Abbeville?

The local legend has it that a tall figure, around seven feet tall, started walking the street, looking for victims, mostly children. She almost has this witch like status around her, although her behaviour is anything but.

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. 

This is it, as there are no stories of her actually hurting anyone. She simply hugs them, although terrifying enough. But are there any origin story to this local legend of a hugging ghost?

The Many Legends of Huggin Molly

In the small town in Alabama, a big thing is haunting the streets after the town's children. The scary apparition of Huggin Molly is still haunting the streets.
Huggin Molly: Downtown Abbeville, Alabama where Huggin Molly supposedly roams. // source

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 to make up for it and as a way of dealing with the tragedy of loosing her own child.

In other accounts of the legend, she was murdered and are trying to fulfill something. Perhaps she was killed after dark with no one to look out for her?. Perhaps she was a professor at what used to be Alabama Agriculture School as some of the variations of the legend suggests. In these versions she is 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? Somehow, this comes off as almost more frightening than a huggable ghost.

In any case, the people of Abbeville haven’t been too concerned by the legend and there are restaurants named after her, making her a part of the community and town history.

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

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The Legend of Molly | hugginmollys

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Abbeville Ghosts « Chattahoochee Heritage

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