New York State’s Hudson Valley is fertile ground for specters and legends of all types and lineages. Everyone knows the story of Sleepy Hollow. Not far from the Headless Horseman’s territory, in Ulster County, New York, you’ll find the small town of Accord. You’ll miss it if you drive by too quickly. Accord has one of these stories. Accord has one of these cautionary tales wrapped around a haunting event. A tale that’s meant to remind us that love is eternal, and that evil and hate are real, and both come with death not far behind.
Follow any of the winding two lane roads that run through Accord and you’ll find an eerily peaceful spot. All roads lead here. No matter which set of turns you take. Ask anyone in town and they’ll all tell you the same thing. They’ll say that all roads lead to Whitfield Cemetery.
Once you arrive you’ll find all the things that would make this a traditionally peaceful spot. Several small groups of trees are scattered about. They cast enough of a shadow to add a proper air of respectful solemnity to the surroundings. No walls nor any fence or gate encircles it. Whatever unrest exists here is free to come and go at its pleasure.
Seven hundred and fifty-seven souls call Whitfield Cemetery home. Revolutionary and Civil War veterans reside there. As do doctors, lawyers, teachers, farmers, carpenters, housewives, husbands, children and infants. Some lead exemplary lives, others not so much, and some didn’t have time enough for either. You’ll find generations of local families buried here. Whitfield Cemetery is also the place where you’ll find the corpse of Madeline Hill.
This distinguished lady was laid to rest, if you could call it that, in the lone grave at the top of the small hill on the far side of the cemetery. Everyone calls the hill Madeline Hill, but no one really remembers why. Over time everyone just came to assume that the hill itself was named after some woman. At one point there were so many different versions of her tale that everyone was confused. Or perhaps they had been misdirected by the still living will of the woman buried in the hill. Then one day, no one really knows when, the citizens of Accord all just forgot to tell each other the story anymore.
It was once widely believed that if you put your ear to the ground at Mistress Madeline’s grave you’d hear the beating of her heart down below. If you were brave enough to do it. Deadly things happen at this particular grave. The last set of citizens who whispered about that fact, are buried on the other side of this particular graveyard.
Whitfield Cemetery has had many caretakers. None of them stay very long. One of those anonymous many wanted a small souvenir of the well known resting place he cared for before he left for good. He took a hammer and chisel to her tombstone. All he wanted was a chip. No one was sure what happened next but he was found with the chisel buried in the back of his skull. The chisel wasn’t what killed him. Apparently he had been stung to death by a swarm of mosquitoes first. The chisel came after.
Father Curran drove all the way up from New York City after having heard the story of Madeline Hill. He brought a bottle of sacramental wine to forgive Madeline her sins and consecrate her resting place in order to bring her peace. But this is a place of neither rest nor peace. As he uncorked the bottle the glass shattered. Both his wrists were sliced open. He bled to death right on the spot, with his body laying six feet above the unforgiving mistress below.
The last time anyone tried to disturb her grave was in 1962 when the Felix brothers made their foolish attempt. As the shovel pierced the ground above her corpse, one brother had a massive heart attack that killed him instantly. The other brother tripped over his own feet as he ran for help. He struck his head on her tombstone, and snapped his neck. The Felix brothers had heard the tale that Madeline had been buried with a rather rare and unique bottle of spirits and that simple found fact lead to their deaths.
Stories are powerful. The ones that come with a warning are most important. The story of Madeline Hill has faded away. People have forgotten about it. This is most unfortunate. It’s rather frightening actually because stories like this one should never be forgotten.
Amazon Bestselling author Edward Medina has found another unique and frightening story to share with you. The art of making wine is the art of capturing time in a bottle. It’s about taking living elements at the glory of their being and causing their demise in the most sublime way possible. The art of making wine is the art of capturing life and death in a bottle. The Corpse of Madeline Hill is a tale of luscious wine, eternal love, brutal murder and savage revenge set in the New York State wine regions. This short story also serves as proof that the best revenge is aged revenge.
“Edward Medina is gifted beyond measure in the art of storytelling. The Corpse of Madeline Hill jumps from the pages and swarms the senses in the best revenge tale I’ve read in years. Amazing.” – Amazon Reader
“This is a beautifully sad, somewhat strange story told in prose so colorful, so vivid, you are transported to your favorite campsite where you find yourself sitting around a fire with your friends transfixed by the orator’s voice as the tale is told.” – Author, Minnie Lahongrais
The Corpse of Madeline Hill debuted in the Top Twenty-Five on the Amazon Bestseller list for Short Stories Horror and has earned 9 Amazon and Goodreads ★★★★★ reviews from readers, reviewers, authors, and bloggers. The Corpse of Madeline Hill is available on Amazon.
Edward Medina is a native New Yorker who was raised by his mother and grandmother to believe that life is an adventure best lived to the fullest. To that end he has lived his life on the edge of creative possibility.
Over time, Edward has been a radio and voice over artist. He built a significant career as a producer, director and writer for both digital media and the New York Off and Off – Off Broadway stages. He also had the honor and the privilege to work for the late great Jim Henson. He then went on to become a theme park designer. For fun, he became a steam train engineer and has been since childhood, a sometime magician. Although, at this point in his life, the magic he creates is more for the page as an author of high fantasy, dark horror, and epic steampunk adventures.
Edward Medina is proud to be a member of the Horror Writers Association and the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators.