The Legend of Blackbird Hill


The legend of Blackbird Hill.

On the Omaha Indian Reservation in Decatur, Nebraska is a hill that looks out onto the Missouri River. When you reach the top of the hill, there is a mound of dirt that stands almost forty-five feet high. This is the place where the Omaha Indian Chief Blackbird is buried. It stands so high because he was buried sitting upright on his horse. The hill is known to be very haunted and people have been gathering here for centuries on October 17 to visit the ghost that revisits this place every day on the same year. Some may believe that is the ghost of Chief Blackbird, given that it is his burial place. However, it is not the Chief but the ghost of a young girl that comes back to haunt the place every year.

In the early 1840s a couple had fallen deeply in love. The boy finished his education and then wanted to set out to travel the world before he returned and married the girl. The two were engaged when he left for his journey and the girl waited for his return. She waited for many years and was saddened as another year would pass with still no sign of her betrothed. She finally came to the conclusion that he died somewhere along his way and married another man. After they were married, the two moved out West and finally came to stay on Blackbird Hill.

It was on October 17, 1849 that she was outside one day and was shocked to see her former fiancÚ strolling along the path leading up to her home from the Missouri River. He had not known that this was her home and he too was shocked.

She ran to him, thrilled that he was alive, and told him that she had always loved him in her heart. She had only married another man because she had thought he was dead. He then began the story of his travels. He had been travelling for a short time when his ship became part of a wreckage that he managed to survive. He started back for America but it took him five years to make the journey home. His final arrival back home brought little good news. He found out that his mother had died and that his fiancÚ had married someone else and had gone out west. Determined to find her, he joined a wagon train that was headed for California. Along the way, he continued to search for his love.

When he reached the west coast, he was extremely discouraged and saddened that he was unable to find her. He decided to make the trip home by travelling along the Missouri River. He only found her because he was interested in what lay at the end of the winding path that began at the bottom of Blackbird Hill.

The girl said that when her husband came back home, she was going to tell him that she was ending their marriage. The girl and her former fiancÚ could then leave the next morning together. The boy hid in the woods near the house so she could have this discussion with her husband. When the husband came back home and heard what his wife was telling him, he at first became very sad and begged her to stay with him. However, she refused and this made him angry. He picked up his hunting knife and began to attack her. Becoming aghast at what he had done, the husband bent down and picked up his wife, who was bleeding profusely. He ran outside with her in his arms and jumped off the cliff at the top of the hill to the Missouri River below.

The young man ran out of the woods just in time to hear the young woman’s screams as she fell to her death. Stricken by grief, the young man began to walk around aimlessly. A group of Omaha Indians found him half-starved and delirious. He was unable to talk and they took him back to their reservation until he was well enough to travel again.

There is still no plant-life that will grow on the path that leads from the house to the edge of the cliff. And people gather at the site every year on October 17 to hear the woman’s screams of terror. Throughout the years, dozens of people have claimed to have heard her screams.

The Legend of Blackbird Hill

The Legend of Blackbird Hill

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