Historical records matching Mary Stockum
About Mary Stockum
The story begins in Tuscarawas Township, part of Coshocton County, in the late 1800's. Christopher Stockum and his wife Mary Ann lived together on a large farm. Together they raised nine children. Due to the stress of running a farm and raising 9 children, one of which was mentally handicapped, Mary's husband, Christopher, murdered their second child. But that is not what set Mary off. What did was when the townspeople hung her husband for the crime.
An enraged Mary vowed revenge and soon after one-by-one her remaining eight children began dying, apparently of fever from an unknown illness. The townspeople grew weary and fearful of Mary suspecting witchcraft must be involved. After the fifth child died, the town fathers had had enough and Mary was arrested. She was tried for witchcraft and murder and found guilty of both. She was burned at the stake as a witch and buried in the Stockum Cemetery with the rest of her family.
Even after death, Mary sought revenge from beyond the grave. The remaining children did not seem to be getting better. In fact they were now all with fever and getting worse. After the sixth child died, the executioners dug up Mary's burned body, cut off her head and buried it at an unknown location somewhere in the woods near the cemetery. This was to ensure that the body and head would never meet again and Mary's witchcraft would be at an end. After this was completed, no more of Mary's children perished. The three remaining Stockum children recovered and moved away never to be heard from again. Although some locals say that they fled the county out of fear that their mother would eventually come for them.
It is said that Headless Mary still haunts Stockum Cemetery and the surrounding woods in search of her head and her remaining children. There have been numerous reports from hunters and other locals of hearing a voice in the woods where Mary's head was buried trying to lure them deeper into the darkness. Locals and travelers have also reported seeing a headless body roaming the area around the cemetery in search of something or someone never to rest again until Mary gets her revenge.