Almost a ghost, she travels silently and swiftly throughout America’s countryside, covered in all black.
Not saying much, she journeys alone.
Almost like a new Forrest Gump.
No one knows exactly who she is, but the “Woman In Black” is thought to be an Army veteran and a bereaved mother of two.
She has been moving steadily through the Appalachians, U.S., drawing local and Internet attention everywhere. The #womaninblack has quietly gone viral online as she continues her journey. She doesn’t talk much, never accepts rides, but sometimes accepts a stranger’s help. Usually, she just keeps on walking.
At different points along her path, she’s carried a small shopping cart, a lawn chair, a rolling suitcase, a walking stick, or nothing at all.
People who have seen the Woman In Black have different opinions about her.
“Hwy 27 tried.to talk to her but she would not talk just looked at me out of the corner of her eyes and had a half smile,” wrote Drew Thomas on July 21 on Facebook.
[M]y daughter said the woman had a sparkle/glow around her,” wrote Len Ward after his teenage daughters encountered her in Chillicothe, OH.
On Facebook, 30,000 people have followed her journey thus far since “Where is the Woman in Black?” was created on July 18.
Word of her coming travels ahead of her, creating a buzz at her appearance.
“[E]veryone was down at the end of our road (it connects to Route 50) getting pictures of her and stopping to take pictures but no one ever said anything to her at that time,” reported Cynthia Karnes in Hillsboro, OH.
Her coming to town has brought absolute strangers together. Some have tried to give her money; police officers have reportedly given her rides through Tennessee, helping her travel through the state.
So, who is the Woman in Black? She has claimed to be from an Islamic nation, or to have worked for the Pentagon, to be on “a Bible mission,” and to simply have had her car stolen en route to her supposed destination of Winchester, Va.
A rumor of her telling Tennessee police that she is Elizabeth Poles, a 56-year-old resident of Motts, Alabama seems to hold truth. According to her brother, Raymond Poles, she is grieving the loss of her husband and father, and stated that she is an Army veteran who has disappeared for months, unable to handle her loss.
Whoever she really is, we don’t know for sure. Her reason for this mysterious journey is unknown. Yet despite all the Instagram gawkers, it seems like the #womaninblack is sparking kindness in the rural South.
As Facebook user Jennifer Naugle noted, “[T]this has brought many people together and that itself is a blessing.”
[Credit via H/T ITV, all photos via Facebook.com]