First of all, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Horror Day. Later on tonight, you will have a chance to win 1,000 BlogMad credits. Keep checking for that. Now on to tonight's first story.
Henry Adams hired American sculpture Augustus St. Gaudens to construct a memorial for his beloved wife, Marian "Clover" Adams who committed suicide after the death of her father. After four years, the piece was finished in 1891. It was never officially named, but it was mostly known as the "Adams Memorial" and later "Grief". Stories vary as to how it received that nickname.
The statue was so fascinating that a sculpture named Eduard L.A. Pausch copied it. The statue would go to be named "Black Aggie". General Felix Agnus purchased the copy in 1905 to place at his family's tomb. Then had a monument and pedestal created that would closely match the setting of the Adams Memorial in Washington. No one knows exactly why he chose this statue.
A year later, the widow of the artist Augustus St. Gaudens sent a letter to Henry Adams to inform him of the poor reproduction that had been done of "Grief" and which was now resting in Druid Ridge. There was nothing they could do legally about the theft of the design so St. Gauden's widow traveled to Baltimore to see the site for herself. She discovered a nearly identical statue, seated on a similar stone, but with the name "Agnus" inscribed on the base. She also noted that the stone was a nondescript gray color and not the pink granite of the original. The Baltimore site also did not have the bench and the rest of the stonework as the original Washington gravesite had.
After seeing the site, Mrs. St. Gaudens declared that General Angus "must be a good deal of a barbarian to copy a work of art in such a way". Agnus quickly responded and claimed to be the innocent victim of unscrupulous art dealers. The artist's widow then requested that he give up the sculpture and file suit against the art dealers. Strangely, Agnus did file suit (and won a claim of over $4500) but he refused to give up the copy of the statue.
It was shortly after Agnus died that the legend began. Those who encountered the statue after dark dubbed it "Black Aggie". It was said the spirits of the dead rose from their graves to surround the statue on certain nights. Those who returned her gaze went blind. Pregnant women who passed through her shadow (where grass never grew) would suffer miscarriages.
Local college fraternities used Black Aggie's reputation for initiation rites. Candidates for membership were ordered to spend the night in the cold embrace of the statue. The stories claimed that the local fraternity initiates had to sit on Aggie's lap and one tale purports that "she once came to life and crushed a hapless freshman in her powerful grasp."
One night, at the stroke of midnight, the cemetery watchman heard a scream in the darkness. When he reached the Angus grave, he found a young man lying dead at the foot of the statue.... he had died of fright, or so the story goes.
One morning in 1962, a watchman discovered that one of the angel's arms had been cut off during the night. The missing arm was later found in the trunk of a sheet metal worker's car, along with a saw. He told the judge that Black Aggie had cut off her own arm in a fit of grief and had given it to him. Apparently, the judge didn't believe him and the man went to jail.
Descendants of Agnus donated the statue to the Maryland Institute of Art Museum. However, the move never happened and it was later donated to the Smithsonian. Even though it was meant to be displayed there, it was placed in storage with no intentions of ever placing it on display. So, it was later donated to the National Museum of American Art where she placed in a storage room once again never to be seen again until...
In 1996, thanks to a writer named Shara Terjung, Aggie was found and can be seen at the Federal Courts building in Washington, in the rear courtyard of the Dolly Madison house.
Was the statue ever haunted? Who knows, but it has left itÂs mark in American supernatural history.
Source: Prairie Ghosts