Wednesday, January 07, 2015

The Lott Family Curse

Blog contributor David Hoes referenced a post of interest from the Arcadia, Fl - Ghosts, Haunts, Paranormal & Folklore Facebook page. Check it out...there are a few intriguing posts on there:

Several people have messaged me with versions of a tale about the Coker Cemetery and the three dead Lott babies. Thanks to Marcus, Leslie, and Brien. Although the details varied, all of you had the same basic story.

In the years following the "War to End All Wars," a husband and wife named Lott settled on a cracker spread in the pine woods west of the river. Times were hard, and they didn't have much.

One day, according to the story, a traveling tradesman pulled into the Lott's clearing with his mule drawn wagon, looking for work. Some say he was a tinker - a jack of all trades who repaired household items. Most say he was Gypsy - a wanderer who fixed pots and pans, sold notions and potions, peddled patent medicines, doctored live stock, and hustled a little white lightning by the mason jar.

The Lotts had the fellow do some work for them. But when the time came to settle up, the poor family had no money to pay the traveler. Instead, they claimed the work was no good and declared they wouldn't pay. Things got ugly. Heated words were exchanged, and finally the husband seized his double barrel shotgun off the porch. Cocking both hammer locks loudly, he pointed the muzzles at the workman and told him to 'Get the Hell out or I'll kill you.'

The cheated tinker had no choice but to climb up into his wagon, unpaid. As he snapped the reins he looked at the Lotts on their porch - Mr. Lott looking grim with his shotgun and Mrs. Lott swollen and pregnant and anxious.

The tinker bitterly hollered out "Damn the both of you! The plagues of Egypt on you! Your issue will die - all of them." And he left in a cloud of dust.

The pregnant wife was more upset by the tinker's curse than her husband. She grew more anxious as her due date grew closer, but to her immense relief, her daughter came and she was just fine. A healthy and happy little girl.

Until just before her first birthday. Then, for no apparent reason, she withered and died. Their doctor couldn't explain it. He couldn't help it. He couldn't stop it.

Then a second girl came - and died at a year old. Then the third girl came - and died at a year old.

The terrible series of events devastated the family. Rumors about the curse began to circulate. The family packed up and left, leaving behind only three plain little headstones in the Coker Cemetery. Their simple, tragic names and dates are the only remaining clues to the story.

Some people believe that the three little girls' spirits linger at the cemetery, and that the girls sympathize with all who labor under bad luck. People still go to the cemetery from time to time and leave offerings on the little girls' headstones for good luck. Pennies (heads up), trinkets, flowers.

I didn't see any offerings when I was there. But the three graves were the best tended in the graveyard.

NOTE: The Coker Cemetery register lists the three Lott graves:

*Lott, Nellie Ray - 09 May 1920 - 01 Apr 1921 - At Rest
*Lott, Freida Mae - 15 Mar 1924 - 09 July 1925 - At Rest
*Lott, Mary Lucile - 03 Dec 1916 - 30 Nov 1917 - At Rest

Coker Cemetery was established in 1881 - located in Limestone, Hardee Co, Florida.

From Arcadia ~ located off of CR 661 (update: 661 turns into 663 as you enter Hardee Co), turn right on Jim Williams Rd. (dirt road), go about 3 miles and turn left on Warren Rd. just after the sharp curve. A large fenced gate on left, enter orange grove and go 24 rows in, turn right and go until entering a clearing. The cemetery is located in this clearing. This cemetery is on private property, however the owner allows visitors as long as there is no abuse done to the grove or cemetery. Also, you are required to close the gate when entering and exiting. -

Spooky Florida: Tales Of Hauntings, Strange Happenings, And Other Local Lore

Ghosthunting Florida (America's Haunted Road Trip)

Florida's Ghostly Legends And Haunted Folklore: Volume One: South And Central Florida

Ghosts of Florida's Gulf Coast

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