Saturday, January 24, 2009

Judge Reddick's Grave


Photobucket
From Matt's Metalworks

Beaver County's Old Judge Reddick loved his horses. He often bragged that his steeds could beat the best anyone else owned. His braggadocio eventually reached the ears of Satan, who took up the challenge – gold if the Judge won, John Reddick's soul if old Scratch won. Reddick couldn't resist the dare, and the race was on.

They met at midnight, and every time the Judge's horse pulled ahead, the Devil's mount blew fire on it. Guess who won? When Reddick was ready to give up the ghost and was nearing Satan's service, he made a strange request of his family.

He wanted buried squarely between the Pennsylvania and Virginia border (The West Virginia Panhandle, which reaches north to the Ohio River, was then still part of the Old Dominion).

That's when the lawyer in Judge Reddick came through. When Satan came callin' for his soul, the Judge demanded extradition papers. After all, where he was heading was well out of the state, right?

When the Devil got the Pennsylvania papers, Reddick rolled over to to the Virginia side of his crypt. When he came with Virginia papers, the Judge rolled over to Pennsylvania. This went on until the statute of limitations ran out on Satan's contract.

Did it really happen that way? Well, when you cross over, go ask the Judge. He did exist, serving on the bench from 1804-1830 while living on his Hanover Township farm. His tomb still sits alone on PA route 168, resting a few hundred yards west of Kendall, on the Pennsylvania – West Virginia state border by Raccoon State Park.

(The tomb is a few hundred yards south of the road leading west from Kendall, on Pa. 168. It's made of cut sandstone and is about 4-10' square, on a hill a short distance from the Swearingen burial ground.)

And it ends up that Judge Reddick really did outsmart Ol' Scratch. When surveyors came around to verify the new West Virginia – Pennsylvania line, they found out that Reddick was actually buried 10 feet inside the PA line. His soul was Satan's for the taking all along, proper papers or not.

Geez, you'd think with all the lawyers collected in Satan's realm, he would have been better served. Good help is so hard to find, even in the fiery pits. But hey, now we know there's at least one barrister whose soul wasn't claimed by ol' Nick. Judge Reddick may have lost the race, but he won the eternal marathon.

2 comments:

Kimberly said...

Hello,
My name is Kimberly Mitchell and I am the founder of Ghosting 12 Paranormal Investigations and Historical Research. My crew and I are doing a Ghost Walk for a Civil War Reenactment in June of 2012 and I would love to add Judge Reddick's story to our tour. I am looking for his actual tomb, if it still exists. Where is it? I have the location narrowed down to somewhere around Kings Creek Cemetery, I think. Could you give me any idea where it is?
Thank you!
Kindest Regards,
Kimberly Mitchell

Anonymous said...

The tomb is on private property is and is NOT open for tours.