On February 29, 1704, 300 warriors from the French army along with members of the Abenaki and Mohawk tribes attacked Deerfield, Massachusetts, killing 56 and taking 112 prisoner. Eunice Williams, her husband Reverend John Williams, and five of their seven children were among those captured.
Eunice had just given birth the day before and was in no shape for a forced march into Canada. While crossing the Green River in Greenfield, Eunice collapsed. Under orders to kill anyone who couldn’t make the trip, she was killed in the river in front of her surviving family with one tomahawk blow.
Today a marker stands near the river where she was killed. It was erected in 1834, bearing the decidedly un-PC inscription “The cruel and bloodthirsty savage who took her slew her with his hatchet at one stroke. The Rev. John Williams of Deerfield, ‘The Redeemed Captive’ so wrote of his wife, Mrs Eunice Williams, who was killed at this place March 1, 1704.”
However, that is not where Eunice’s tale ends. Locals have claimed to have seen her ghost; she is said to appear to those who resemble her family. Others have claimed to have seen her spirit in the waters of the Green River below (which is now a swimming area), or by the dam just a little upstream. Legend has it that if you are driving across the bridge on a clear, moonless night, turn off your headlights, and honk your horn, the ghost of Eunice Williams will appear to you.
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