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Seven Barns

Jan, Ohio, USA

This a story I’ve heard in many versions since I was a child. The details would change but the part about the farmer having many children and seven barns and only one is left standing would stay the same.

Once there was a wealthy farmer who had seven children and seven barns. For some reason the farmer went crazy and murdered his children, one in each barn. Some people say it was because the last child was born retarded and the farmer couldn’t bear the shame. In the last barn the farmer hung himself. Eventually all the barns were torn down except the last one. They say if you go to that barn at night you can see the shadow of the farmer hanging and swinging in the wind.

When I was in high school, one of my English teachers told us her son and some friends found that barn and visited it one dark night. She said to get to the barn they had to remove a barricade in the road. When they got up to the barn something scared them - I can’t remember if it was a sound or strange light-but when they ran back to their car the barricade had been replaced but they hadn’t seen or heard anything.

In other versions, the children died from illness and when the last one died the farmer hung himself or sometimes it is the retarded son hanging or haunting the barn seeking revenge on his father.

I just wondered if there are other versions of this story out there since there are lots of old, lonely barns all over the world.

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