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The grim legend of Black Agnes in Green Mount Cemetery

Beware! Don't sit down on the lap of Black Agnes!
Beware! Don't sit down on the lap of Black Agnes!
Courtesy of Google Images

Green Mount Cemetery in Montpelier, Vermont is known for its beautiful grounds, grand tombstones and monuments such as “Little Margaret”. But the cemetery, built in 1854, also has a dark legend—the Legend of Black Agnes.

Black Agnes is actually a large statue titled Thanaos—which means “death” in Greek. It is not black, nor is it a statue of a woman named Agnes. It is clearly a statue of a man. It is made of granite and bronze and designed by Augustus St Gaudens. It was sculpted by Karl Bitter and marks the grave of John Erastus Hubbard 1847-1899—a wealthy Montpelier businessman. The bronze, life size figure looks down in pity of the graves of the Hubbard’s below.

John E Hubbard was born in Montpelier, Vermont on October 24, 1847 and lived in the city nearly his entire life. He was in control of the extensive real estate business left to him by his father. He died on July 17, 1899 from cancer of the liver and other injuries received from a fall from a bicycle several months earlier.

Hubbard came into instant wealth when relatives left money in their wills to have a chapel built in Green Mountain Cemetery and the construction of the front gates of the cemetery—the rest to be spent on a new library in Montpelier. Hubbard never completely followed through on their wishes. It is 'said' that on the night Hubbard died, there was a terrific storm and a malevolent spirit attached to the monument.

According to folklore and legend, something bad will happen to anyone who sits in the lap of Black Agnes. Depending on the version of the story told, the unlucky person will encounter three strokes of bad luck, have an uncountable amount of bad luck, or even worse—die within seven days!

Lying down on the statue will bring certain death. Others claim that death will only come if you sit on Black Agnes during the full moon—especially the hunter’s moon in October.

One story states that three teens sat on Black Agnes during the full moon to show their bravery after being taunted by friends. They drove home safely that night and bragged how they had escaped the curse. But within a week one was in a serious car accident, on fell and broke a leg, and one drowned when his canoe capsized in the Winooski River.

Sitting on a gravestone or a funeral monument is disrespectful to the dead - should we be surprised that they retaliate? I vote to avoid the temptation of reclining on the mesmerizing statue altogether!

Green Mount Cemetery
251 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Haunted Places Examiner: Debe Branning

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