Sketoe Hanging Hole

Sketoe Hanging Hole in Newton, Alabama

Newton, Alabama

STATUS: Still standing


The town of Newton, Alabama was founded in 1843. During the Civil War, it became a site for Confederate recruiting. A small-scale battle took place in the town in March, 1865. On December 3rd, 1864, local Methodist minister Bill Sketoe was hung in the northern part of town.

A hole had to be dug beneath where he was to be hung due to his great height. The locals say that the hole can never be filled, as it will empty itself of its soil. No matter how many times the hole is filled up, it somehow manages to return. In 1979, the hole became partially covered by a bride and some rocks, but it remains a local attraction.

The Sketoe Hanging Hole became semi-iconic after it was featured in Kathryn Tucker Windham’s 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey. In 2006, a monument dedicated to Sketoe was added near the site of his hanging, and a local museum displays items that have to do with the minister and his execution. While it is uncertain if Sketoe is the one filling in the hole, it is a mystery in itself, whether it is paranormal or not.

In Popular Culture

  • The Sketoe Hanging Hole was featured in 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey by Kathryn Tucker Windham.




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