The Story of the Green Lady Cemetery An inspiration behind OF THE TREES by E.M. Fitch

Tucked away down a dirt road in a small Connecticut town is the cemetery all the locals call: The Green Lady Cemetery.

Most of the headstones are crumbling bits, the names worn off, the dates lost long ago.

Some can still be read. Most are no more than limestone stubs poking up through the grass.

Among the few gravestones that remain intact, one is notably absent. Our legend's headstone had been stolen years ago. Though a replica was put in place after the original theft in the 1970's, since then it has also gone missing.

The headstone belongs to the grave of Elisabeth Palmiter.

In the 1800's, Elisabeth Palmiter, age 30, died from drowning in a nearby swamp. She was buried in the local cemetery. She is the mysterious Green Lady and this is her legend.

In the late 18th century, a group of 20 families migrated from Rhode Island to Connecticut to establish a local Seventh Day Baptist Church. A parcel of land was dedicated to the group for use as a burial ground by a church benefactor.

The families suffered hardships. Between the years 1810 and 1820, many accidental deaths plagued the small group.

One man fell from a ladder while repairing his home, another died in a collapsed well. One died as the result a tree branch collapsing on top of him, while another woman was accidentally hanged while trying to repair a lamp in her home.

But it is Elisabeth Palmiter who became legend.

One night, Elisabeth's husband, Benjamin, had traveled into town. It grew late, and it had started to snow. It wasn't long before a snowstorm had descended on their silent corner of the woods. Worried for her husband, Elisabeth left the safety of their home, and went out to search for him.

It was Elisabeth who wouldn't make it home alive.

Her body was found after the snowstorm. She had drowned in a swamp near their cabin.

Some believed that Elisabeth had accidentally fallen in the swamp and died a tragic death.

Others believed that her husband had killed her. They say he found her in time. They say instead of helping his drowning wife out of the swamp, he stood over her, holding his lantern aloft, and watched while she sank below the muck.

Others refuse to believe this of Benjamin. They say the lantern light that haunts the cemetery is his ghost still out searching for his lost wife.

Their cabin supposedly still stands in the woods near Elisabeth's final resting place. Some have reported seeing her presence hovering in the windows.

But mostly, it's the Green Lady sightings that form the legend. On still nights, you can see her. Elisabeth comes back to her final resting place, a beautiful blur of green mist that solidifies into the form of a young woman. She hovers about her grave, smiles if she sees you, and dissipates as quickly as she formed.

So is the lantern light seen at the edge of the cemetery Benjamin? Searching for his lost wife? Or does his ghostly figure hover menacingly in the woods, watching her demise over and over for all of eternity?

Is the Green Lady really Elisabeth? Back to smile at her well-wishers? Or is she watching, too? Perhaps taunting the husband who never rescued her. Perhaps come back while he was still living to haunt him into insanity?

Or... could it be something else?

Could some other malicious force stalk those woods at night?

Something unseen, something quiet, something belonging of the earth and of the trees...

That's what I think. That's whose story I told. The story of the creatures in the forest, those who lure with fairy lights and weighted whispers...

The creatures OF THE TREES.

Of The Trees is available now for pre-order. Inspired by the ghost story of the Green Lady, the dark undercurrents of the poetry of W.B. Yeats, and my own high school mis-adventures.

I hope you'll join me in the woods.

Releasing February 28th, 2016


Created with images by frankieleon - "One Horse Power" • Karen Roe - "Anglesey Abbey (NT) 02-02-2013" • TranceMist - "18th Century Cabin" • Sacheverelle - "18th Century Gown with Fly Fringe" • Pexels - "cold dark forest" • D Haisell - "IMG-20130223-00719" • michael pollak - "lantern." • Jerry Jarvis - "the woods" • - "Tree roots" • Sweetie187 - "scary"

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