The Shadowy Silhouette on Stony Hollow Cliff

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The Shadowy Silhouette on Stony Hollow Cliff

Stony Hollow Cliff


Deep in the heart of the corn belt lies Burlington, Iowa.  Burlington is located in the far South Eastern side of Iowa, and serves as the county seat for Des Moines County.  Nearly three thousand residents call the townhome and eight miles north of Burlington lies the Stony Hollow Cliff.



The story starts all the way back in the 1800s.  There was a beautiful girl, Lucinda, who lived with her family in a farmhouse along Stony Hollow Road.  Like many girls, Lucinda dreamed of having a family of her own.  Coming from a wealthy family, Lucida was constantly introduced to other young men of other affluent families in the area.  None of them caught her eye, not until she met the love of her life.

Of course, just like any good romance, their love was forbidden.  When Lucinda was caught sneaking off to meet her love, her family took a closer look at who she was spending her time with.  Deciding that he was not good enough and that his reputation as a lothario was sure to bring shame on their family, they forbade Lucinda from seeing the young man again.

Instead, she sent him a message to meet her just outside the bounds of her family’s land on Stony Hollow Road and from there, the pair would run away together and elope.  Lucinda waited anxiously for the day to arrive that she would finally be able to be free from the watchful eyes and judgment of her parents, and in the arms of her sweet love.

Lucinda waited all night for the young man to appear.  As each hour ticked by, she grew more and more desperate.  Finally, when the sun could no longer be spotted.  Lucinda realized he was not coming.  There would be no fairy tale.  Destroyed at the idea of having to return to the home she thought she had escaped, Lucinda instead found herself climbing to the top of Stony Hollow Cliff, crying all the way.  When she finally reached the top, she took a deep breath before plummeting to her death at the bottom of the cliff, never knowing what happened to her love or whether her love was even returned.

(images:vork22/flickr) Stony Hollow Cliff

Stony Hollow Cliff

Unfortunately, what Lucinda didn’t know is that her love was on the way to meet her at their secret spot.  He anxiously planned how their getaway would go and how he would provide for them and start a family.  As he was doing so, his horse drawn wagon had gotten its wheel stuck in a large mud hole.  Desperate to meet her, he tried everything he could to free the wagon.  Finally giving up, he traveled the rest of the way on foot, only to be met by emptiness.

Both Lucinda and her secret love spent their rest of their lives thinking they had been abandoned by the other.  Lucinda’s shadowy silhouette is still seen standing on the edge of the cliffs.  Those brave enough to climb Stony Hill Cliff say that if you say her name three times, Lucinda will appear.  Those unlucky enough to meet her will sometimes have a yellow rose dropped at their feet.  The yellow rose is a sure sign that the brave visitor will surely die the next day.

Some report that the old farm house belonging to Lucinda’s family is long since abandoned after Lucinda cursed it.  While it remains abandoned, the furnishings inside remain untouched.  Others report troubles in the general area- radios acting funny, cars dying, hearing a loud crash, and seeing a woman covered in blood.

Megan Borchert
Megan Borchert
Lover of all things unusual, Megan is a staff attorney for the state of South Dakota. When she's not stuffed in an office writing case synopses, you can find her at home with her army of Schnauzers, snuggled up with some strong wine and a good book.

1 Comment

  1. Douglas Brown says:

    You misquoted a couple of things.

    First off, Burlington’s population is closer to 30,000, not 3,000, you’re off by about 27,000 people.

    And second, Stony Hollow and the road that’s named for it are north of town, off County Highway 99, and not, as you suggested, South of town.

    I have lived there my entire life, and grew up with the Legend of Stony Hollow.

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