Greenbrier Ghost Trial Marker
Sam Black Church, West Virginia
"The Greenbrier Ghost" was Elva Zona Heaster-Shue, a local wife who was found dead in 1897. The coroner listed the cause of her death as "everlasting faint" and then as "childbirth," but Elva knew better. For four nights her ghost appeared at the foot of her mother's bed, telling her that she had in fact been strangled in a fit of rage by her blacksmith husband.
Mom, finally convinced (or just tired), went to the local prosecutor with the story. The prosecutor had Elva dug up and, sure enough, she had a broken neck and crushed windpipe. Edward (Mr. Elva) was tried, convicted, and shipped to the West Virginia State Penitentiary, where murderers of women don't expect to live long, and he didn't.
The historical marker notes that this was the "Only known case in which testimony from a ghost helped convict a murderer." We sure don't know of any others, and agree that history must have been made here. Elva is buried nearby, but the marker -- probably made in the West Virginia State Penitentiary -- is what you want to see.