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2. The Cussing Cover

Another one of our favorite Smoky Mountain ghost stories comes from The Granny Curse and Other Ghosts and Legends from East Tennessee, a 1999 book by Janet Barnett and Randy Russell. In the story “The Cussing Cover”, Barnett and Russell tell the shocking tale of Mavis and Basil Estep. paranormal,paranormal,paranormal

Long before the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Basil and Mavis lived in a two-room cabin in Cades Cove. The Esteps enjoyed their simple life in the valley, but Mavis suffered from an unconventional fear: she was petrified of being struck by lightning. Mavis was born during a thunderstorm, so he held the superstitious belief that she was destined to be killed by a bolt of lightning. Due to her phobia, Mavis never allowed Basil to buy a metal bed for their home.

In the end, it wasn’t a thunderstorm that would claim Mavis’s life, but rather a persistent illness. When she was on her deathbed, Mavis made Basil promise her two things: 1.) that he would never sell any of her beloved handmade quilts and 2.) that he would never place any of her quilts on a metal bed. Basil swore that he would follow Mavis’s wishes and she passed away soon after. paranormal,paranormal,paranormal

A number of months after Mavis’s death, Basil married Trulie Jane Lawson, a much younger woman who also lived in the cove. Before long, Basil and his new wife were sleeping on a metal bed, because Trulie Jane was too large for Mavis’s old wooden frame. On one frosty night, Trulie asked Basil if they could sleep with one of Mavis’s beautiful quilts, and he acquiesced. Trulie chose a quilt that Mavis had called the “Cussing Cover” because the pattern contained a piece of a shirt that Basil had worn during their first marital spat.

Later that evening, Trulie Jane was awoken by a tremendous flash of light that burst into the cabin and knocked her right onto the floor. The room filled with smoke and a burning smell permeated the air. When all of the smoke cleared away, Trulie found that Basil had been charred to a crisp and the metal bed was completely disintegrated. Strangely enough, the Cussing Cover was in perfect condition and there was no other damage to the cabin.

Legend has it that the Cussing Cover was eventually sold to a collector in the Smokies. So, if you ever come across a quilt with a piece of red flannel in it at a shop in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, don’t buy it!

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