Mrs. Snead

Last night right as I was about to go to bed (it was around midnight) I happened to see this picture of a woman named Ocey Snead. It was rather a haunting image of her. There she is laying in bed; staring at the camera, her long hair draped over the covers with a baby beside her. Now this may not sound creepy at first, but then I read the caption underneath the photo. It reads:

"Ocey, who was found dead in an East Orange, New Jersey, bathtub in November 1909, drugged and emaciated, was at the center of scandalous murder case involving her mentally unbalanced mother and a spinster aunt who starved herself to death while awaiting trial. Along with a third sister they were thought to have conspired to drug and starve Ocey to collect $32,000 in insurance money. Ocey had two children, one of whom died in infancy. (Coverage in the New York Times noted the discovery of small bones in the furnace at a building where Ocey lived -- a Brooklyn tenement dubbed "house of mystery" and "baby farm" by the neighbors.) One part of the mystery is how two photographs of Ocey, very much alive, ended up in Bain News Service collection of glass negatives at the Library of Congress. (The other photo is dated 12-21-1907). Are the family photos obtained in the course of covering the trial of the sisters? Or is there some reason GGB would have photographed Ocey well before she died? (Cue organ music.)"

Being the curious person that I am, I decided to look her up on Wikipedia. (Bad idea to be doing this so late at night...) Not wanting to spoil the story for you, I suggest you go read it for yourself. Specifically the last two sections on her death and the trial. Sooo creepy. I had to remind myself that I don't believe in ghosts and there's not some weird crazy woman in white clothes standing behind me as I turn off the lights and walk upstairs into my bedroom. Yikes!


  1. Okay, Anna, you're starting to scare me. Step awaaaay from the computer and nobody gets hurt ... !


  2. I <3 that wallpaper

    Creepy story. I refuse to read the wikipedia article though. (This comes from the girl who fast-forwarded the shower scene in Psycho.) I prefer to sleep at night I guess ; )

  3. Wow, how sad. And creepy when the story is combined with the picture. She looked rather pretty in the wikipedia images of her. :( Poor lady.

  4. so, I read everything I could track down... links at the end of the wikipedia article, googling her cousin John who was supposedly set on fire by those self-same women, etc., etc., and shared all the bizarre tidbits with Liz.... I then slept like a rock while she had dreams about burning buildings to conceal evidence... hmm....

  5. Larissa, that's hilarious! I love it. Poor Liz, though! I actually didn't have bad dreams either. Not sure what's up with that, because I was terrified by the time I went to bed!

  6. oooh... you're right--it is a rather spooky tale! I'm getting chills just reading about it--in broad daylight! ;) lol.