Highlands Murder Mystery



It’s hard to tell sometimes what makes the news, and how much research goes into the accuracy of stories. Or how imagination can make the news.


There was the time in 1905 when the newspapers reported on a Highlands Murder Mystery. The subhead explained that a pedestrian had found a grave in the words .


The story went like this.

A horse owned by B. Maxson, a Highlands liveryman, got loose in the stable one night and in trying to get out, got stuck in a narrow doorway. The horse, in trying to free itself, was so severely injured he had to be put down. The horse was then led into the woods nearby, shot, and buried where it fell.

The blood on the ground and the fresh mound of earth was the cause of considerable excitement by anyone walking through the woods.

Around 3 a.m the day after the horse was shot, several people living on Miller and Fourth streets were awakened from slumber by strange noises which sounded like a series of screams as though someone was in distress.

A.G. Johnson heard the screams and he hastily dressed and went all over the town but found nothing unusual.

The next day, a man from town walking through the woods saw the fresh mound of earth and blood and imagined at once that murder had been done. He told of his find and it was at once concluded that when the grave was opened a murder would explain the cause of the cry heard the night before.

Several men armed with shovels started at once for the grave and began to remove the earth. Before they had removed much, William Heath heard of the digging party and went to the woods, had a good laugh on the party and told the story of the horse.

There was no further investigation and no reports or information on who had been screaming the night previous, nor what had caused the screaming.

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