Horror seeps from this creepy art poster of a headless Victorian statue. A truly disturbing image, this black and white poster will add a terrifying touch to your dorm room, Halloween decorations, Gothic home decor, or other dark aesthetic. Photographed in Asheville’s Riverside Cemetery.
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Marking the grave of Fannie Jackson Reynolds (1889-1913), this statue stands in Riverside Cemetery in Asheville, North Carolina.
Fannie was only 24 years old when she died of typhoid fever, leaving behind two children and her husband, Robert Reynolds (who later became a U.S. Senator).
Reynolds bought the statue from the tombstone shop of W.O. Wolfe, father of famed author Thomas Wolfe. (Thomas Wolfe characterized his father as W.O. Gant in his novel Look Homeward, Angel.)
When and how the statue lost its head and left hand are unclear, though it must have been after 1949. A story that November in the Asheville Citizen-Times remarks on the statue's “striking facial and figure resemblance” to two of Wolfe’s angel statues.
It's possible that the statue was damaged naturally, perhaps by tree limbs falling during a storm. Riverside Cemetery had fallen into disrepair by the late 1940s, remaining neglected until the city bought it in 1952 and began restoration efforts.
Internet rumors say the head hasn’t been seen since the 1950s and that the statue was decapitated by vandals. This could be, as cemeteries are popular targets for vandalism.
My search for vandalism at Riverside Cemetery didn't turn up any news items in the 1950s, though. I did find an article that mentioned someone damaging 30 tombstones there in 1989. (Asheville Citizen-Times article, 1997.)
That seems as likely an explanation, especially given that there’s another headless statue in Riverside. (See Desecration 2.)