Haunted chicken houses and such

Published 8:15 am Wednesday, October 18, 2023

By Harold Brummett
Denmark Star Route

Whenever I travel, I like to pick up local newspapers. There is no better way to tell what is going on in a community than a local paper. When working disasters with FEMA a local paper was my secret weapon to know who is who and what is going on – at least on the surface. 

The rest of the stories would be either between the lines or at the local coffee shop. 

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Traveling through Wayne County I stopped for a break at a little convenience store and when leaving noticed The Wayne County News.  Two stories caused me to spend a dollar for a copy, one was (and by far the most intriguing) a haunted chicken house. 

My imagination ran wild with visions of a bloody Col. Sanders wielding a cleaver, or perhaps headless leghorn hens wandering about. The story was really about the local volunteer fire department having a fundraiser with typical scary costumes and scenes. 

The second story was about The Asylum Hill Project where, according to the article between 1855 and 1935 it was the site of the Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum. 

The article indicated that the University of Mississippi Medical Center had a tract of land that contained, according to ground radar survey by the University of Mississippi Center of Archaeological Research and the Cobb institute of Archaeology and Mississippi State University between 5 and 7 thousand graves. Mainly unmarked, unknown and forgotten people.

Other articles included deaths, births, marriages and the church calendar. The fine arts club photo was in there along with the sheriff’s department teaching flag etiquette. Wonderful, good information that would pass unnoticed except for the local paper. 

There was an opinion piece about fighting to save local journalism written by Wyatt Emmerich. 

Not sure who Mr. Emmerich is, as his name did not appear on the Masthead of The Wayne County News but the article was very informative and interesting. Mr. Emmerich told of going to Washington D.C. and meeting with legislators and senators on the issue. 

Local Papers are invaluable. They focus on the community and give voice to local citizens. Support local journalism. When traveling, buy a local paper, you might see something as interesting as a haunted chicken house.