The Greenbriar Ghost
Elva Zona Heaster Shue was married to a man named Erasmus Trout Shue in 1886. Shortly after, a young boy found Zona’ body on the floor of the house. A doctor was called, but couldn’t investigate her death because Erasmus had moved the body and redressed her in her best dress. He also wouldn’t let the body go and clung to her sobbing and wailing like a child. The doctor said that Zona died of an “everlasting faint” and left well enough alone.
Zona’s mother, Mary Heaster, wasn’t happy to leave well enough alone. She prayed for God to help her avenge her daughter’s death. God did help her. He sent Zona’s ghost. Zona came to her mother at night and described in detail how her husband had been violent and abusive and how he had killed her in the heat of one of his blind furies when she had failed to prepare the dinner he wanted. Zona told her mother that he had broken her neck. Mrs. Heaster urged the prosecutor to investigate based on the information her daughter had given her. Zona’s body was exhumed and autopsy revealed that Zona had died of a broken neck. Shue was convicted and imprisoned for life. The ghost’s testimony was used as evidence in court.
So in this case, the movies are right. Ghosts can come back and work with the living to convict their murderer. I wish there were more cases like this. People might be more reluctant to beat their wives if they knew that their wives would come back for them in the afterlife.
On a side note, Zona's sad story has become so popular it is now being made into a musical.