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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Legend of Lucy Keyes

How can a four-year-old girl disappear without a trace? Robert Keyes moved his family to Princeton, Massachusetts in 1751, purchasing 200 acres of land on the South-Eastern slope of the Wachusett Mountain. Four years later on April 14th, his daughter Lucy (4) followed her sisters to Wachusett Lake for some sand. This adventure in the woods would be her last. Lucy never returned home.

The townspeople created search parties, drained the lake, but came up empty-handed. Lucy's mother, Martha scoured the woods, calling for her. Night after night, she searched the woods. Her grief overwhelmed her sanity. She died in 1786 never knowing what happened to her daughter.

There are many theories as to what happened to Lucy Keyes. There was a letter found after Martha and Robert Keyes had died. This letter was from the Keyes' neighbor Tilly Littlejohn written on his deathbed. He had a quarrel with the Keyes over property line. and resented the family's happiness. When he spotted Lucy Keyes wandering in the woods all alone, he struck her head with a rock several times. Then, concealed her body in a hollow log and went home. He joined the search party. As the townspeople thoroughly combed the woods, he feared the discovery of her body. Littlejohn retrieved her body and buried it under a fallen tree, placing stones and dead leaves over it. Then built a fire over it to conceal his crime even further. The body was never found even after the discovery of the letter. Whether any of this is true, I don't know.

Littlejohn presented the theory of Lucy being taken by Indians. Claimed he had seen some in the area to shift any suspicions off of himself. Indians took children all the time. White men traveling in Canada came across an Indian tribe who had a white girl with them. The only bit of English she knew was "Chusetts Hill". Wachusett is classified as a mountain but looks more like a hill. It was never confirmed whether the girl was Lucy or not.

Something else to consider. Lucy was four years old at the time of disappearance. A number of things could have happened to a girl that young in the woods alone. She could have been attack by wild animals. Only problem with this theory is there was no trace of her found. If she was killed by animals there would be tracks, blood, pieces of her clothing, or something left behind for someone to find.

It is believed Lucy and her mother Martha haunt on or around Wachusett Mountain. A Lifetime movie was made about this little girl called the Legend of Lucy Keyes.

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