When the young and beautiful Missy Mae Lively spurned her arranged marriage in favor of Billy Joe Tate, the young lovers knew they must keep their plans secret. When Missy’s brothers witnessed their forbidden union, the couple planned to runaway and elope. On the night they were to begin their new lives together, Missy snuck down to Clear Creek dressed in a delicate white dress. She’d been sewing, in secret, for months, and had planned to marry her beloved Billy while wearing it. Alas, Billy never came.
Night after night she waited beneath the tree where Billy Joe had carved their names, but Billy Joe was gone. When his body was found, Missy was inconsolable, and her mind was broken. Rumors began to circulate that Missy herself had ended Billy’s life. ‘Who could love someone as deranged as Missy Mae Lively?’
One day, Missy disappeared into the ‘cursed’ woods near her family’s farm. Locals had often claimed a witch inhabited those woods. Many parents would forbid their children from venturing there because, regardless of any ‘ghost stories,’ the woods were still dangerous. Shorty after that, tragedy after tragedy would befall the Fruitland community. Young men, women, and children would go missing near the Lively Farm, often never to be seen again. While locals knew the Livelys were involved, there was never any proof, and never any bodies. Neighbors began to report seeing a young woman in a long white dress, and the entire Lively Family now had a reputation for being evil, or cursed.