“Death Curve” Based on True Story

Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Unsplash

A reader recently commented on this story, saying, “My family is from Cambridge and I went to school there. Odd that I never heard this story until I saw it on shadowlands. I always assumed it was just a story someone made up until now.”

Many people have heard the stories of the ghost at the curve in Timber Ridge Road, but most people are unaware of the details about what happened there. Like a generational game of phone tag, each retelling of the tale altered the details until the fact that a woman murdered her children became the only kernel of truth. But let me assure you, this horrible story was all too real.

On the morning of Saturday September 30, 1905, while her husband labored in a neighboring field, Julia Markham, to quote the Cambridge Chronicle, “committed one of the most dastardly deeds that has ever occurred in Henry County.” At around 11 o’clock, Julia sent her two eldest children to a nearby spring to retrieve water. While they were gone, she took an ax and swung it at the heads of her five youngest, killing them instantly. When her eldest returned, she dealt with them the same way. One can only imagine the horror of the scene inside that house. Julia had carefully planned the massacre and intended to commit suicide afterward, but the knife that she used to cut her throat was too dull. Reeling from the wound, she laid her children out on a bed, side by side, and doused them with coal oil.

What happened next? Read Here


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