The house our grandmother was born in was the site of a grisly murder that resulted in the last public hanging in West Virginia history.
The murderer was John F. Morgan who took an axe and violently massacred the widow Green and her three children. The purpose of our story is not those horrible murders, but what happened after……….
After John Morgan’s execution on December 16th, 1897 the old Green house stood vacant for several years as the stories and legends about the Green house spread from town to town across Jackson County. My great grandmother Minnie and great grandfather Leander were well aware of the history of that old house before they moved in during the autumn of 1900.
They had two children Dorothy and Leonard and Minnie was pregnant with my grandma Belle. Despite the stories of the grisly murders Leander and Minnie were in a tough situation as a fire had all but destroyed their home in nearby Ravenswood, besides they felt the children were to young to understand what had happened in that house and they were both people of strong religious beliefs, and were not concerned with a few “haints” or other manifestations, however they could not have expected what they would go through in their new home.
The house had been left vacant now for nearly three years and needed a good deal of work to be made livable. The wood floor in the kitchen still had the blood stains that covered about a 10 ft area where Mrs. Green had crawled to the back door after John Morgan had attacked her. She died there on the kitchen floor. Morgan chased the three children out the back door and killed them in the back yard. A neighbor had seen Morgan leave the house and when questioned by authorities he confessed to the murders. After Morgan’s subsequent hanging the case was deemed closed and the house was left virtually the way it was the morning of the murders.
Leander and Minnie were able to make the house livable in a couple of weeks, but they could not get the blood off the kitchen floor. they scrubbed and scrubbed but the stains would fade then come back, they tried lye to no avail. They tried sanding down the floor and the stains came back….they tried painting the floor and the stains came back through the brown paint. Even the local Ripley newspaper came out and did a story on the “Bleeding Floor” … eventually Leander decided to replace the wood in the kitchen floor, but to his astonishment just a few of weeks after putting in the new floor………… the blood stains again appeared on the floor.
The strange occurrences were beginning to take their toll on Leander and Minnie as they began to hear the apparent moans of Mrs. Green and the low cries of the murdered children they decided it would be too difficult on their own children to remain in that house, so they decided that as soon as grandma Belle was born they would leave the house.
Giving up on ever being able to remove the blood stains from the kitchen floor, and figuring they would only be there another few months at the most Leander placed a thick tweed rug over the biggest part of the blood stains. In April of 1901 grandma Belle was born and that May the family had found another house and were packing up for the move when Leander made a horrifying discovery.
As he began to roll up the huge tweed rug he discovered the bottom of the rug as saturated with BLOOD. Needless to say Leander and Minnie left the rug and left the house that night. The County owned the old house and decided to destroy it rather than to continually answer questions about the Green House and the “Bleeding Floor”.
Still to this day you can hear noises and even drive by and see the old forgotten grave yard.