Saturday, February 4, 2023

Is the Shaw House Haunted?

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The Shaw home Looks like a scary place to visit.

Here’s John Cofield’s take and John knows a thing or two about growing up in Oxford:
“It was a well known FACT that when you came down the little hill from the corner of Jefferson and the cemetery and hit the shortcut driveway on the back side on this property…that if you didn’t pedal REAL fast then you’d be gotten! Gotten by what I couldn’t tell ya, but it was life or death for the Oxford 7-to-10-years-old crowd, back in the day.”
Another eye witness, Jimmy Hall, recalls:
“In my one year in Law School in 1961, I lived there, Mrs. Shaw’s House, second floor on the right, with working fireplace in bedroom with a large four-poster canopy bed, tiffany lamp and a girl’s name (forgotten) scratched on the window pane. That marking was rumored to be from Faulkner story, ‘Unvanquished,’ of a young girl with a diamond ring, etching her name on the window pane as the Union soldiers approached the house.
I was told that the Shaw house was the third oldest home in Oxford. It was my first home after the football dormitory and I have endless life true stories from living there. Will Lewis introduced me to Mrs. Shaw. My first days there, I witnessed Mrs. Shaw chop off hundreds of chicken heads with an ax and tree stump. I also discovered in the attic a Confederate uniform and short story of a steam boat on the Mississippi River.
Verbena and lilac covered the balcony and every Sunday morning the house was consumed with opera from the kitchen radio.
Mrs. Shaw’s appearance reminded me somewhat of Gertrude Stern, strong will and intelligent. Mr. Shaw had been a Ole Miss professor and Mrs. Shaw had been a widower for a long time. God knows, she was a very kind and magnanimous lady for all of my carrying on there! I was her first boarder and I discovered and developed my free spirit there — and so much more.
If anyone would like to add to this, my email is ima.jimmy@hotmail.com. (ghost included).” -Jimmy Hall
Bob Hovious says: “Mrs. Shaw used to babysit me, but I never saw a ghost there. There used to be a big henhouse down the hill from there. For a 5-year-old, rolling eggs down the ramp to see how big they were was high-tech.
Dawn Copley adds, “Being a young military brat who only got to come to Oxford and play during the summer, I certainly was scared of this house, and I still am after all the teasing I would get from not living here permanently. They always played tricks on me! The Busby cousins on Buchanan and my brother and I were ready to rumble when we hit Oxford. Tracy, my brother , and Jeff Busby were always getting into some wild messes! Loved those days!
Courtesy of John Cofield, a hottytoddy.com writer and one of Oxford’s leading folk historians. He is the son of renowned university photographer Jack Cofield. His grandfather, “Col.” J. R. Cofield, was William Faulkner’s personal photographer and for decades was Ole Miss yearbook photographer. Cofield attended Ole Miss as well. Contact John at johnbcofield@gmail.com.

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