Legend Of The Lady In Black
By James Donahue
Among the eerie ghost stories springing from the "old west" is that of a hunting figure of a woman
dressed in a black silk dress who wanders the banks of the Beaver River near the town of Minesville, Utah.
It is said that this apparition walks the river bank every night. People who have seen her say they
have heard her petticoat swishing in the darkness as she passes by. Some say they are just hearing the wind in the cottonwoods
and they are only imagining the visions of the woman in a black dress in the dark of the night. Who knows the truth?
Numerous sightings of this eerie specter have been reported over the years. There have even been contemporary
sightings. The story of just who this woman is, and why she walks the river bank has been passed down by local natives for
As the story is told, the town of Minesville is located along an old trail long used by emigrants
in early traveling parties making their way west. That was before the community was founded in 1859.
This woman was among the travelers that camped there in those early years. It seems that she was traveling
alone and carrying a large quantity of gold coins and other valuables. She had been keeping this secret for much of the journey,
but was found out by others in the party just about the time the group stopped to make camp along Beaver River.
Fearing that she might be robbed, the woman slipped off in the night to bury her treasures somewhere
along the river. Shortly after her return to camp, the woman was confronted by some of the men in the group who demanded to
know about the gold and where it was hidden. When she refused to tell, she was murdered and then buried in a shallow grave,
also near the river’s edge.
Neither the woman’s body nor the treasure were ever found, but the story has lived on. This
is mostly because of the ghostly apparition of the woman in black, who successfully frightens away folks who dare to go out
searching for her gold.