WNC Scary Stories: The mysterious coffin

DISAPPEARING ACT: West Asheville resident Conda Painter shares an unusual tale about a disappearing coffin. Photo by iStock

Editor’s note: For Halloween, we asked our readers to share the scariest things they’ve experienced in our area. Readers came through with shivery accounts of mysterious occurrences, including this one.

by Conda Painter

Even though West Asheville’s neighborhood isn’t known as a haunted destination, it definitely has one unexplained story.

Nevada Avenue is a quiet little street, lined with early 1900s cottage-style homes. In the late 1970s, our neighbors used to have a thing called “porch story night.” During one of these events, a neighbor in her late 80s shared a story with me. I was only a kid.  She told a tale of an old cemetery from the 1800s, allegedly located somewhere in our neighborhood. She wasn’t sure of the location. She thought perhaps it was just a rumor.

Fast-forward many years later, one of our neighbors was installing a ham radio at his home. It was a beautiful summer day, perfect for getting something accomplished in the backyard. Excitement built as the neighbor pushed the pole deeper into the ground. Suddenly, the pole wouldn’t go any farther. With each push, there was an echo.

The neighbor decided to take a break and go inside his house. While pushing on his back door, he suddenly realized that it wouldn’t open enough to allow him inside. He looked through the door’s small window. In total shock, he noticed a large coffin blocking the door. He thought to himself, “I must be totally losing my mind.”

He quickly ran around to the front of his home. By the time he got to his front door and looked inside, the coffin had vanished.


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