Nash Road in Columbus, Mississippi, is home to the nefarious Three-Legged Lady. Put your car in park, honk three times, and brace yourself for the fastest phantom on three legs! Join the Talegaters as they interview the Lady for insight into how her horrific past became legend.
Like many rural ghost stories, the tellings by locals aren't all consistent. Some say the Three-Legged Lady of Nash Road was secretly seeing a Civil War veteran who was murdered and cast off Nash Road Bridge by the Lady's husband their fidelity was discovered. The veteran's leg was snagged on the fall down and separated from his body. Some claim that, in a fit of grief, the Lady recovered this leg, sewed it onto her own body, and haunted the church where his funeral was held following her own death.
Others tell of an even more tragic story, where the Lady of Nash Road was wife of a farmer, whose visits into town became more and more frequent to the point of suspicion. The women at her church would laugh at the Lady, knowing that she wasn't enough for her husband, which angered her greatly. The wife followed him into town one day to discover that he was indeed cheating on her. That night, she whipped up a special dinner involving some good ol' Southern fixin's and some not-so-good ol' poison, which promptly killed the husband. The people of church began to whisper about her having potentially murdered her husband after several weeks of his absence and excuses that no longer pacified. Knowing that she was on borrowed time, the Lady of Nash Road barred the exit to the church one Sunday morning during service and set the building ablaze, watching excitedly as those who so loved to gossip about her got their comeuppance. She sewed the leg of her dead husband to her body so that they could be together for eternity and is said to haunt the charred church grounds and kill any who trespass upon it.
Today, The Three-Legged Lady is still believed to haunt Nash Road and the church grounds, waiting to chase down any vehicle who summons her by cuts their lights, parks, and honks three times. Symbolically, three legs are not always perceived negatively. While many performers made a living off of having extra appendages, the flags of the Isle of Man and Sicily proudly display three legs as a sign of movement and stability.
Check out more on these topics by listening to The Talegate Podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or any other fine podcast directories; and please rate, review, and subscribe. OR simply follow the link our user-friendly website at www.thetalegatepodcast.com! Also, be sure to follow us on Instagram @thetalegatepodcast and write us with your own stories at TheTalegatePodcast@gmail.com.
Episode 9: Three-Legged Lady of
FLORIDA MAN: Howdy folks, and welcome to The Talegate!
CHEESEHEAD: For those of you just joining us, we’re on a roadtrip across America to uncover the mysteries behind tall tales, fairy tales, folktales, fishtales, & urban legends, one interview at a time.
FM: We inherited a truck from our late Granny May and discovered that the crystal hanging off the rearview mirror was more than decorative. It’s a Dowsing Pendulum leading us to the good folks behind the tales we all grew up with. With that, I’m Harrison, the Florida Man.
CH: And I’m Aaron the Cheesehead. And today we are sitting idle in the truck in the middle of the road. And not just any road, but Nash Road, in the state of Mississippi.
FM: But before we get down to business, what we drinkin’ today, Cheesehead?
CH: Actually, I’ve gone straight.
FM: Wow, really?
CH: Straight to the liquor store for some Mississippi Mud!
FM: Hell yea! I actually love Mississippi Mud.
CH: It’s a black & tan by Miss. Brewing Co. sold in 1 quart moonshine jugs.
FM: Cute lil gator on the label, too.
CH: Too bad this beer is going to be on hold for time being.
FM: That’s right. We’re sitting idle in the truck in the middle of the road. And not just any road, but Nash Road. Home of the Three-Legged lady.
CH: Like she’s an articulate tripod or just carries around a spare leg for some reason?
FM: That depends on who you ask, but we’re about to find out ourselves.
CH: Alright, so one more time:
FM: Brake the truck.
CM: By the way, we’ve been saying “the truck” an awful lot. If any listeners want to suggest a good name for the old girl just shoot us an email at email@example.com or drop a comment on our Instagram @. Alrighty then, I’ve braked the truck. What’s next?
FM: Cut the lights.
CM: Cut the lights, gotcha. And now it’s dark as absolute fuck. This place gives me the creeps.
FM: The abandoned road by an old burnt church?
CM: No, just Mississippi in general.
FM: Fair. Okay, all you gotta do now is honk three times And…
FM: You see her anywhere, Cheesehead?
CH: Sure don’t. It’s like literally pitch black out here. Should I honk a 4th time?
[As soon as the horn honks, a sudden and loud beating comes from the truck roof, scaring the shit out of FM/CH]
FM: Go go go!
[Truck sounds; yell frightened obscenities]
CH: She’s racing after us!
FM: How the heck is she able to keep up with the truck?
CH: Probably with the added boost of her third leg? Hell if I know.
LADY: Aw man, not another one.
CH: Hang on a darn-tootin’ minute. I think she finally stopped.
FM: Yea, she’s just kinda lookin at us from what I can tell in the rearview. Stop the truck. Reckon it’s our cue to get out and meet the lady.
CH: I’ll grab the Mud.
FM: Howdy, ma’am.
LADY: Hey, how y’all doin?!
CH: Golly, where’s all her teeth?
FM: Prolly meth.
CH: What is it with you Southerners and everything being about meth?
FM: Cheaper than coke, I reckon.
LADY: Oh, I just love Coke.
CH: Well, that answers that.
LADY: You know, the bubbly drank.
FM: See? She ain’t mean the drug.
LADY: The one infused with cocaine, just so we’re clear. Gots them medicinal properties.
CH: Ah, so like Coca-Cola, gatcha.
LADY: Co-Cola, sure. Pepsi, Moxie, Sasparilla, Dr. Pepper…
CH: Wait, you specifically said, “Coke.” Now you’re just naming every soda?
FM: In fairness, it’s a Southern thing.
CH: Wait, seriously? You don’t just say pop or soda we referring to carbonated softdrinks?
FM: Nah, mostly call all them drinks Coke down here.
CH: What if you actually want a Coke though?
FM: Co-Cola. With peanuts in the bottle, if you wanna get fancy.
CH: Fancy? Peanuts in your Coke bottles? Now I’m just confused.
LADY: Confused about what?!
CH/FM: [Gasps, as we almost forgot she is there]
CH: The peanut thing. In fact, the South seems to do all kinds of strange things to peanuts. Dropping them in their pop bottles. Boiling them. Heck, at this point I wouldn’t be surprised you folk straight up ground them to dust and snorted the peanuts.
LADY: Overrated, if you ask me.
CH: Really, Florida Man??
FM: I mean, ain’t speaking from experience or nothin’ but...Anyway, care to chat with us over a beer or two, miss?
LADY: Oh, bless your heart. Would, but I can’t leave Nash Road, you see? My spirit is bound to it, and I chased y’all plum ‘cross the border there into the next street over. Any chance of y’all backin’ up a’ways for me?
FM: Reckon that all depends whether or not you plan on killin’ us.
LADY: Heavens to Betsy, young man. I am a woman of God. I wouldn’t hurt a fly... unless that fly happens to be my NO GOOD, CHEATIN’, OATH-BREAKIN’, SONABITCH HUSBAND OFF RUNNIN’ ‘ROUND WITH THAT COOCHIE-PEDDLING JEZEBEL!
FM: Yikes. I’m a husband, but sure weren’t your hand I took.
CH: And I don’t even think we know anybody named Jezebel.
FM: Alright, miss. Just hold tight, we’ll uh...we’ll back up for ya.
[truck doors shut, backing up]
CH: [Whisper] We will?
FM: We gots to get the interview don’t we?
CH: No. No we don’t. This podcast is entirely recreational.
FM: Aw, we’re gonna be fine.
CH: Where have I heard you say that before?
LADY: [Jarringly] Heard what?
FM: Sorry, keep forgetting you can phase in and out like that.
CH: Oh, heard nothing at all. We’ve just backed up for you. Hey, Florida Man, mind fishing out the silver platters to place our heads on while we’re at it?
LADY: Mighty kind of you gentlemen to join me even after I chased you all that way.
CH: No problem. We love being scared out of our gourds while driving through the incessant blackness of night in… in...where even are we?
FM: Columbus, Mississippi. I think.
LADY: No place better.
CH: Pretty sure anywhere outside of Mississippi is better, but I digress.
LADY: Columbus Mississippi ain’t a town to scoff at. It happens to be part of The Golden triangle which consists of Columbus, of course, Westpoint, and Starkville.
CH: The Golden Triangle? Isn’t that the artifact thingy from The Legend of Zelda?
FM: Nah, that’s the Tri-force you’re thinkin’ ‘bout.
CH: Well, excuuuuUUuse me, Princess.
LADY: Got a funny story ‘bout Columbus, if you gentlemen care to hear it.
CH: I’ll take something funny over being chased by toothless spirits anyday.
LADY: I still got teeth!
FM: You do?
LADY: Sure I do [opens mouth and talks like she's at the dentist] Gots three of ‘em back there somewhere.
FM: Matches the number of legs you got, for that matter.
CH: Jesus, Mary, Joseph. About that funny story?
FM: Oh yea, tell us more ‘bout that.
LADY: Right. Y’all are in for a treat. So the land you sit in, Columbus, has a fascinating history. Was once even named after a vile rodent.
CH: Can’t imagine why.
LADY: “Possum Town” because we gots so many of ‘em. This town was formerly named Columbus, Alabama.
FM: Wait, Alabama?
CH: Possum Town?!
LADY: Told you boy’s it was funny, didn’t I? And yea, this charmin’ little town here was known by the Choctaw as “Possum Town.” Settlers took a likin’ to the name and it’s still a beloved nickname to this day.
CH: Probably because it’s filled with people like you. Folks who would rather play dead than stay dead.
FM: [Scold] Cheesehead. You said this was part of Alabama?
LADY: For a time it was thought to be. Things weren’t so sophisticated here back then.
CH: Back them?
LADY: Columbus was only founded in 1819, while Mississippi itself only gained statehood two years earlier in 1817. The territory was new. Honest mistake.
FM: Thinkin’ on it, a place called Possum Town being accidentally mapped into Alabama is kinda funny.
CH: Yah, it is funny. I’ll give you that.
LADY: Town also served as a hospital during the Civil War when lives were lost here by the thousands.
CH: Decidedly less funny.
FM: Welp, ‘nuff about the town, interesting’ as that all is. When did you arrive in Columbus, Miss… Uh….Lady of… just what is your name, mind me askin’?
LADY: It’s Lady.
FM: Right, Lady of Nash Road, I get it. But like, your given name.
LADY: Like I’m tellin’ ya, it’s “Lady.” The name my momma gave me at birth.
CH: Ah, as in “Lady” like in the beloved 1955 Walt Disney animated classic, Lady and the Tramp.
LADY: Oh, there was Tramp, alright. That horse-faced hussey done slept with my husband!
FM: No, no, Tramp is the boy dog in the cartoon. Lady is the girl dog.
LADY: Ah, a bitch.
FM: Well yea, technically. A cocker spaniel.
LADY: Just like the mangey flea-bitten cocker-lovin’ bitch done stole my husband!
FM: No. Nope. Very different Lady.
CH: Not to pry, but I can’t help but notice from your numerous psychotic outbreaks that your husband cheated on you with another woman. First off, I am terribly sorry to hear that. Secondly, have you considered therapy?
LADY: Saw a therapist.
LADY: Told me to exercise more to improve my mental health. Obviously. What you think I’ve been racing down this road for all these years for?
FM: Oh shit, you mean you deliberately chase people down Nash Road as a coping mechanism?
LADY: Exactly as the doctor ordered.
FM: And how’s that workin’ out for you?
LADY: Welp, as you see here, I’m sharp as a tack and fit as a fiddle, so it’s gotta be helpin’ me someway.
CH: Sharp as a tack, huh?
LADY: Excuse me?
CH: Ah geez, was that out loud? I gotta work on that. Anyway, we did a little research before coming here for some insight behind the infamous Three-Legged Lady of Nash Road.
FM: And we found that Nash Road is just a Hogan Street and Hall Avenue shy of the NWO.
CH: What is that? A wrestling joke?
FM: Yeeea, Brother.
LADY: The world needs more bright young men like you gentlemen. All learned and what not. If men like y’all were around back in my days, I may have married you instead of the man who ran out on me with that rooker-stenched, two-timin’ tart.
CH: Cripes, Lady. You’re turning red!
LADY: Am I now? Ah shoot. Give me a minute.
[Running/clomp sound fading out]
FM: Jumpin’ Jesus, did our guest just sprint off down the road like someone set her britches were on fire?
CH: It does appear that way.
FM: I’m gonna need another beer.
CH: I’m gonna need three if this keeps up.
[Beer bottle sounds]
[Running/clomp sound fading in; Panting]
LADY: I’m baaaack!
FM: Back like you left sumin’.
CH: Yah, her sanity.
LADY: Sanity? Shoot. I’m finer than frog’s hair!
CH: Frogs don’t have… whatever. Let’s just rip this band-aid off. Our research uncovered two variant stories of your tale. As one story goes, you were the wife of an impoverished farmer. Either trying to seek a better life for yourself or perhaps out of sheer boredom, you began an ongoing affair with a Civil War veteran you met while Columbus was still operating as a hospital town.
FM: I’m guessin’ y’all’s little fling ain’t go as planned?
CH: You’re guessin’ right. Unless their plans were meant to end in grotuetous murder. Story goes that your husband, in a fit of jealous rage, killed the vet and dragged his lifeless corpse right off the Nash Road bridge. Only, instead of dropping into the water below in one piece, the war vet got his leg snagged on the bridge supports on the way down, separating the limb from his body.
FM: Shit’s nasty.
LADY: So I’m the Jezebel in this story?
CH: Sure seems that way. According to this tale, you retrieved your lover’s leg and sewed it onto your own body before slaughtering your husband to avenge him. You apparently haunted the church where they held the venteran’s funeral.
FM: I ain’t see no house of God around here no more. Reckon it’s long gone by now.
LADY: [Sadistic giggling]
CH: Well, that’s alarming.
FM: Yea, I’m scootchin’ back on this side of the road boarder.
LADY: There used to be a church, alright.
CH: Why are you smiling like that when you say it?
LADY: Want to hear another funny story?
FM: Like Possum Town? Sure, why not. Anything to break up the tension.
LADY: Once upon a time, near this very road, there lived a poor farmer and his ever devoted wife. Despite all she done for him, he started seeing a younger girl in town in secret. Said he was just ridin’ out for supplies, but his trips into town became more and more regular. Intimacy with his wife grew cold as winter frost.
CH: Don’t I know the feelin’.
LADY: Rumors started floatin’ around town. The little hens at church would cluck amongst each other, only paying me a scrutinous eye when I’d pass ‘em. They’d get what was coming to them soon enough though.
FM: Nothing foreboding about the way you said that.
LADY: With wicked rumors on the wind, curiosity got the best of this old cat. Followed my husband into town to see for myself after claiming he just needed a run to the “General Store.”
CH: Only to find out he was telling the truth about the General Store and you both lived happily ever after?
LADY: I did find him at the general store.
CH: Ah geez, isn’t that a pleasant twist! For a second there I thought…
LADY: Because he was with that Jezebel who, in General, Stored my husband’s crooked custard-launcher right up her muff!
FM: Custard-launcher? Gotta remember that one.
CH: Oof. Dare I ask, what happened next?
LADY: I rode back home unbeknownst to my husband and whipped him a dinner fit for a king.
CH: Isn’t that lovely.
LADY: Did I say “King?” I meant, “Emperor.”
CH: Even lovelier!
LADY: More specifically, Emperor Charles VI.
CH: The loveliest!
FM: Psst, Cheesehead, Charles 6th was a Holy Roman Emperor ruling Austrian territories back in the 17/18th centuries. Died after a meal of Death Cap mushrooms.
CH: Oh. Things just got real dark.
LADY: After my man sank his teeth into my special home cookin’, I asked his forgiveness while he clawed at this throat.
FM: How’d he answer you though if his throat was swollen?
LADY: Yea, I didn’t really think that through. Anyway, as I watched the love of my life turn blue, gaspin’ like a sad shad out the creek, I whispered gently into his ear, “Til death do we part.”
CH: Ah geez, Lady! You are like straight out of a horror story.
LADY: Horror story? This is a tender tale of love, not horror. Of unadulterated devotion. Of a woman bound by her oath to the heavens to keep faith in her family, and never to part.
CH: You did part though. You literally forced him to depart.
LADY: Yea, that was my fault. Again, didn’t really think that one through.
CH: Sharp as a tack and fit a fiddle, she says.
LADY: Anyway, I went into a fit after killing him. Had I done wrong by him and God? We couldn’t be together if he ran off with “Red-light Rhonda.” Nor could we be together if he left this world into the next. So I did the only reasonable thing left to keep us together.
FM: Think I know where this is going.
LADY: I hacked off his leg and stitched it to my hip, that way we stand together for eternity.
CH: Ah geez, so that’s how you got your third leg, there?
LADY: Exactly. The leg stayed with me, but I buried the rest of the lying bastard in the cemetery up the road a’ways.
FM: I think saw a scorched patch of land back there. Clear of foliage...reckon that’s where the church once stood?
LADY: You reckoned right. Only, the same clucking hens who were always in the know about his infidelity, who had the audacity to judge me for his misdeeds, were the first to accuse me of murder once his absense was no longer pacified by my excuses.
CH: What kind of excuses?
LADY: I’d say he was sick, but they’d ask why the doctor never saw him. I’d say he was injured by one of the draft animals, but they’d ask why I wouldn’t let them swing by for prayer. My lying came to a head when I overheard the preacher’s wife conspiring to charge me for first degree murder.
FM: Sounds like a guaranteed death sentence.
CH: For a crime you most certainly did commit. They had every right to accuse you of murder.
LADY: Couldn’t have that, so I had only one option left to me.
FM: Come clean and beg forgiveness?
LADY: Hahaha, you’re funny. No. I locked the church shut during the next Sunday service and burned them all alive. I did ask for their forgiveness from behind the smoking-billowing single exit door which I had properly bolted shut. But I don’t think they heard me. Again,
CH: Let me guess, you didn’t think it through?
LADY: Haha, nope. Silly me. One might say I was a hot mess. But not as hot a mess as them hens were burning in the churchhouse!
CH: Eeeee--oh wait, I’m not sure we should “Eey” premeditated acts of grand arson.
FM: You right, you right. Wait, I did read something ‘bout the restless spirits of church-goers said to haunt this area. If I remember correctly, same passage mentioned that the Three Legged Lady of Nash Road was said to kill anyone who trespassed on the church grounds.
LADY: Haha, busted. You gentlemen didn’t trespass there however, so you’re safe for now, hahahaha.
CH: I know you’re giggling to soften the threat, but it’s only making you sound like 110% more creepy.
FM: Well, while the spiteful spirits of churchfolk and pyro-maniacs seem to be real enough, some reports have been known to mistake innocent people for you, is that right?
LADY: Yes. As a matter of fact, it happens all the time.
FM: One such tale I heard was of a girl born with grave deformities where her organs would protrude and hang to the point of looking like a third leg. Her story ends, too, by burning the church to cinders, only, she is said to haunt the church grounds, not Nash Road as a whole.
LADY: That just sounds like some freaky embellishments of my original story.
CH: As if your story isn’t horrific enough. I read an account from a student of The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, a local high school, that the former church lot is a local party spot for teens. They claimed these rapscallions were known to play pranks along this road and nearby areas.
LADY: Ugh. Yes. Those good-for-nothing hoodlums party out here all the time. As a spirit, I can only physically endanger those who are easily spooked or believe strongly enough in the paranormal. Unfortunately, these teenagers are too inebriated to notice me running at them and were left completely unpunished.
CH: Lucky them.
LADY: The saddest mislabeled culprit behind my alleged sightings was a just a woman who happened to be lesbian. Cast from society for her sexuality, she ended up living along Nash Road for a spell. Poor thing.
FM: Poor thing, indeed. I hope she found peace before long.
CH: So, believe it or not, the symbolism of three legs stretches globally as far back as ancient Greece. One such example is the Trinacria: a tri-legged head of Medusa on the Sicilian flag.
FM: Now, while this may seem a strange choice of national mascot, Medusa was known in some myths to fight evil instead of personifying it.
CH: Correct. Then there is the matter of the three legs themselves. It was symbolic by design, representing the three promontories of Sicily: Cape Pelorus, Cape Passero, and Cape Lilibeo.
FM: The milling rotation of legs in Ancient Greece also symbolized rotations in nature, be they the cycle of seasons or even life and death.
LADY: “Life and Death,” that’s some symbolism I can get behind.
CH: Yah, we had no doubts abouts that.
FM: Sicily ain’t only flag which sports three-legs on it. I met two pilots from the Isle of Mann, which is part of Britain. Their flag was that of a pinwheel of muscular, armoured legs with golden spurs on the heel. I asked the meaning behind it and they told me it represented the idea of always landing on your feet, no matter the fall.
CH: That’s a nice sentiment.
FM: Beyond flags, I saw a museum in Seattle called, Jones’ Fantastic Museum, which is more a menagerie really. Features old-timey dime machines, sideshow attractions, and other such things. One of the attractions is a three-legged lady. Talked about how natural mutations like this got you the label “freak” or “fantastic.” All things people would toss a coin at during the traveling sideshows.
LADY: So you’re calling me a “freak?” Would a freak murder her own husband and conjoin his leg to her hip to be together forever while burnin’ the churchfolk alive for doubting my strength as a loving and supporting wife?
CH: To be fair, it looks like it’s your husband supporting you considering it’s his leg you’re standing on.
LADY: Oh, I can do a whole lot more than stand on it! Watch this.
FM: Wait, are those tapdance shoes?
LADY: You know it! How ‘bout this little ditty? [sings be-bob-boop while dancing]
CH: Aren't you like centuries old? How do you even know what tap dancing is?
LADY: There was a group of teens stopped at the church lot on their way to tap recital recently. Reckon their side hustle was ghost-hunting the way they talked into their devices.
FM: And they had a moment to teach you tap and donate a seemingly brand new pair of expensive tap shoes to ya?
CH: I don’t know about a “pair” of shoes. She’s wearing three of them, the third of which looks large enough to fit Wile E. Coyote.
LADY: My own feet are dainty thangs, but my husband had feet the length of a wheelbarrow and a you know what they say about foot size!
FM: BIG DEE!
LADY: Big shoes. It requires big shoes. So of course I had to borrow this one from a boy’s corpse.
CH: Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa! Corpse?
LADY: Did I not make clear that I killed anyone investigating the church house?
CH: No. Yah, did.
DAVE: Sup, guys.
FM: Wait a sec, you’re missing a shoe! Are the the ghost belongin’ to her third tap shoe?
DAVE: Huhu, yea, that’s me!
CH: And you’re just kinda hanging around the same spirit who murdered you in cold blood?
DAVE: Where else am I supposed to go? Plus, show ‘em what I taught you, Lady!
LADY: A one-, a-two, a-one, two, three, four!
[Delightful tap dancing with occasional hard clomping sound from third leg]
CH: [hesitantly] Doing a mighty fine job there.
DAVE: Told you, Lady. You’re killing it!
LADY: [Repeats eerily] Killing it.
FM: Uh, lovely tap dancing, Miss Lady. But I think it’s time Cheesehead and I tapped out as well.
CH: Yah, we got a big day tomorrow. Gotta wake up early to make the continental breakfast hours, so… yanno…
LADY: But the party’s just getting started.
CH: Florida Man, who are they?
FM: Almost definitely the spirits of all them folks she’s killed over the centuries.
LADY/DAVE: [voices in unison] Join us!
CH: Get to the truck, get to the truck.
LADY: [Screams] Whatcha doin’ on that road? Come back and join us on Nash.
FM: Over my dead body.
LADY: That was the plan, sugar.
FM/CH: [both sound rattled; get into truck]
CH: Well, that sure was something, wasn’t it?
FM: Was somethin’ alright. Lady was straight up bonkers.
CH: Yea, she was topshelf nightmare fuel. How about we lay off interviewing creepy ghosts for a spell?
FM: Agreed. By our next episode, we’ll have crossed into New Orleans, Louisiana!
CH: Great, nothing spooky at all about that.
FM: Well folks, that ‘bout wraps it up. Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow us on Instagram @TheTalegatePodcast for photos, cast info, updates and more!
CH: Be sure to tune in again in two weeks for our next episode. In the meantime, feel free to email us some eye bleach. Seriously. Pictures of your puppies, kittens, anything cute and cuddly...preferably things alive and without crassly stitched third appendages.
FM: Yep yep, and we’ll even feature your eye-bleach on our Instagram, so take pictures of your pets and the like, and get to sendin’! But for now, see ya later, Talegaters!