This is the story of the events that took place on a crisp fall afternoon on October 13th, 1875 in Pelham, Alabama. There was an old lumber yard located off of the main dirt trail known as Trail 31. There was a man by the name of Billy Turner who had been working there for 13 years. On this day Billy brought his young daughter to work with him. She was a beautiful, quite, and timid girl just 9 years old. Her name was Anna Belle, and her best friend was a worn old doll. The residents of the town said that she was never seen without it. Her mother Betty, and older brother Andy were away in Tennessee visiting Betty’s very ill mother. It was late in the afternoon as the sun was starting to set and Billy was hurrying to cut the last few logs for the day. He didn’t notice that Anna Belle was nearby playing on top of a stack of lumber. She was startled by a loud noise and dropped her doll onto the logs that were to be cut. She immediately jumped down to save her doll before it went into the large wood cutter that her father was operating. As she approached the cutter she was screaming for her father to stop but he could not hear her over the noise. He looked up just as the giant blade sliced his precious Anna Belle in half. He let out a scream that was heard over 2 miles away. He jumped down and picked up the doll and wept over her lifeless remains.
When the workers arrived the next morning they found Billy hanging from the rafters clutching Anna Belle’s doll. They noticed on the wall behind him written in blood was a message that said I can not take the pain of losing my beloved Anna Belle, the urge to kill everyone in the town is too great so I am taking my own life instead.
Betty and Andy arrived back in Pelham on Friday October 15th, just in time for the funeral. They heard the news as they rode into town and immediately went to the cemetery. They got there in time to see the bodies of Billy and Anna Belle and to say their final goodbyes. The caskets were then lowered into the ground and buried in the Pelham Cemetery. During the next 12 months people in the town continued to talk about the 2 deaths. Anytime Betty and Andy were out in public they could see people pointing and whispering about them. They felt all alone knowing that the people in the town thought their family was cursed. Betty finally made the decision to move up to Tennessee so her and Andy could live in peace. She also decided it would be best if she took Billy and Anna Belle with them and have them reburied in Tennessee. She contacted the gravedigger at the Pelham cemetery and asked that he uncover Billy and Anna Belle. She asked them to exhume the bodies and get them ready for the trip to Tennessee. The next day she and Andy arrived at the cemetery with all their belongings, ready to leave town. The gravedigger was just getting started digging when she noticed that he and his helpers were very nervous and almost petrified looking. Once the coffins had finally made it out of the grave, Betty requested they be opened. She wanted to prove to the town that her beloved Billy and Anna Belle were resting inside and that her family was not cursed. However, once the caskets were opened, everyone was shocked and terrified as they stared down at the emptiness. There were no bodies in either casket and all that remained was a message that was clawed into the lid of Billy’s coffin. It read “I am coming for you all”. The gravedigger and his men took off running as fast as they could. Betty and Andy jumped on their wagons and sped away to Tennessee never to be heard from again.
Over the years there has been much talk about the Turner family. There have even been a few reports of sightings of Anna Belle and Billy. One report came from a man with Pony Express who was riding into town to deliver a package. It was about 5:00pm and he was on the outskirts of town just passing the cemetery. Out of the corner of his eye he noticed a little girl that seemed to be lost and looking for something. He tried to approach her and callout but she vanished right before him. He just thought to himself that he was tired from a long days ride and he must have been seeing things.
Another report came from a man named Tommy Wilson who worked for the railroad. He too was working late one afternoon about 6.00pm when he heard a faint sound. He noticed after a few minutes the sound continued to get louder and louder. He could now tell it was the sound of a chainsaw. All of a sudden a man ran out from the woods and onto the tracks. He was shouting Anna Belle as loud as he could and waiving this chainsaw around. Startled, Tommy Wilson mashed the gas of his railroad maintenance vehicle and it lunged forward. It went right through the image of what should have been the body of the man that was standing just feet from him. However, when he looked back there was nothing there. He stopped and looked under and all around his vehicle but nothing was there. When he returned back to his station he started to tell the folks what had happened. Then they told him the story about Billy Turner. Tommy was so scared about what he saw that he quit working for the railroad and refused to ever return to Pelham.
Through the mid 1900’s these types of sightings started to occur more frequently. It was around this time that a warehouse was built on the land where the old lumber yard had once stood. During the first year that the warehouse was open nearly every employee reported seeing, hearing or feeling some type of strange presence. Over the years the sightings of a little girl and a man started coming out. Employees were reporting overturned boxes, chairs and other items when they returned to their work stations first thing in the morning. They knew they had left their area clean when they left the night before. It finally got to the point where the staff did not feel comfortable working in the building any longer. The owner was forced to shut down. Over the years other business have tried to occupy the building but they too have experienced the same strange occurrences. According to Mary Jane Martin, she was working at the warehouse one Friday afternoon when something terrifying happened. She had brought her 7 year old daughter Lucy, to work with her that day. Although she couldn’t see her daughter she could hear her playing in the break room close by. She could hear her little girl talking and laughing but she did not think much of it. At then end of the day while they were walking out the door Mary asked her daughter if she had fun and what she was playing in the break room. Lucy told her she had a great day and that she had met a new friend. Mary knew there were no other children at work that day and thought her daughter was just making up an invisible friend. However, when Lucy started describing her friend in such great detail her mother started to get nervous. She knew that there were only a few other employees working in the building and none of them had any children. Just then she remembered she left her car keys on her desk. They turned around and went back into the building as she shouted to her coworker that she would be right back. After about 5 minutes the coworker was starting to get irritated, as she was ready to go home. It was her responsibility to make sure the building was locked and secure before she left. She finally decided to go into the building and check on Mary and Lucy and find out what was taking so long. As she entered the area next to the break room she let out a piercing scream. All she could see was blood and body parts. Just then a man stepped around the corner and looked her dead in the eye. As he started to move toward her he was holding something in his left hand and pulling a small cord with the right. Just as she figured out what he was holding she heard the deafening sound of the chainsaw.
The next morning the owner of the warehouse was the first one to arrive. When he noticed that the building was not locked he cautiously entered. When he rounded the corner he saw such unimaginable horror that until the day he died he never spoke another word. He could only look straight ahead with this empty stare in his eyes. This warehouse that everyone was so frightened off, the one that stood on the old site of the lumber yard where so much pain had been endured that day in 1813, the one that has been vacant for many years, it was known as Warehouse31.
3050 Lee Street,
Pelham, AL 35124
Just minutes from