The Legend of
Generations of Abbeville children have listened wide-eyed to their parents tell the story of Huggin’ Molly. They have hurried home on nights lit only by the moon’s glow, certain they saw something in the shadows, afraid she would be around the next corner.
The versions of who Huggin’ Molly actually was vary. But one frequent description depicts her as a giant of a woman, maybe 7 feet tall and as big around as a bale of cotton.
Some say her ghost still walks the streets of Abbeville late in the night, sweeping her black skirt as she goes. If she happens upon you, she chases you down, gives you a huge hug and screams in your ear.
Jimmy Rane, an Abbeville native and lifelong resident, grew up hearing the legend of Huggin’ Molly. For him and his friends, she was as real as the trees that rustled in the wind at night.
“Anybody who grew up in Abbeville grew up knowing the legend of Huggin’ Molly,” Jimmy says. “If your mother or dad didn’t want you to be out after dark, they’d tell you Huggin’ Molly would get you. And you believed it, too.”
One night, Jimmy and his good friend Tommy Murphy heard the story from Tommy’s dad. He told them he knew Huggin’ Molly was real because she had sprung from the shadows and hugged him one night. They were convinced it had to be true.
To this day, hearts beat faster as the moon rises in the sky over Abbeville. Huggin’ Molly, dressed all in black, could show up at any time.