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The Mummy Of Bessemer Hall: Strange Life Story Of Hazel Farris

Hazel Farris mummyHazel Farris was a beautiful woman in life. Hazel was born in Bessemer Alabama, but she was a fast-living woman and ended up in Kentucky with a hard-drinking husband by the time she was twenty-five.

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Hazel and her husband both drank heavily and they were known to exchange blows from time to time. One night, one of their fights got out of hand.

According to some sources, on August 6, 1905, the couple had an argument over Farris’ desire to purchase of a new hat. The argument led to blows and Farris ended up fatally shooting her husband who died on the floor of the living room.

Hearing gunshots, neighbors summoned the police. Upon arriving, Farris fatally shot the three responding officers as well. When a passing deputy sheriff heard the commotion, he decided to investigate.

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After gaining entry into the Farris home, the deputy tried to restrain Farrows.

During the scuffle, the deputy tripped on Farris’ husband’s body, accidentally discharging his weapon and shooting off the ring finger on Farris’ right hand in the process. Farris eventually broke free and fatally shot the deputy.

Hazel Farris
Hazel Farris, age 19

Hazel ran home to Bessemer where she managed to avoid arrest despite a reward being posted for her capture. In Bessemer, Hazel got a job and went on with life.

She then began a relationship with an unnamed man who, in some accounts, was a police officer. After they became engaged, Farris either decided to come clean about her past to her fiancé or began imbibing and drunkenly revealed to her fiancé that she was wanted for murder.

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The man immediately turned Farris in to the police because of his devotion to the law or, most likely, for the reward money.

On December 20, 1906, before she could be captured, Farris took to her room where she began (or continued) drinking heavily. She then committed suicide by drinking whiskey and arsenic.

Hazel’s corpse was taken to Adams Vermillion’s furniture store and funeral parlor. Since no one claimed Hazel’s body, Adams placed her corpse in storage.

After a few months, Adams noticed that Hazel’s body was beginning to mummify. It is believed that she began to mummify because of the combination of arsenic and alcohol she used to end her life.

Mummy of Hazel Farris
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Always one to make the best of situation, Adams began showing the modern mummy for money and eventually her body was sold.

The corpse was later loaned out to various exhibitors, including Adams’ brother in Tuscaloosa, before it came into the possession of O. C. Brooks in 1907. He featured the well-preserved remains in his traveling show for 40 years. When he died, Brooks left Farris’ corpse to his nephew, on the condition that any money raised from displaying her be donated to charity.

Brooks’ nephew used Farris corpse to raise money to build churches in Tennessee before bringing her back to Bessemer, where she became an infamous attraction at the newly formed Hall of History.

The mummy was displayed there from 1974-2004 and many believe that this is where Hazel’s ghost lives on today. After a long run, and an appearance in a National Geographic Channel documentary, the owners of Farris’ corpse had it cremated.

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There have been reports of lights going on and off in the building of “Hall of History” and strange whistling noises. Visitors have also reported feeling ill at ease at this building. Even though Hazel’s corpse has finally been laid to rest, her spirit walks on giving visitors a new nightmare to keep them up at night.

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Jake Carter

Jake Carter is a researcher and a prolific writer who has been fascinated by science and the unexplained since childhood. He is always eager to share his findings and insights with the readers of, a website he created in 2013.