Harrisons Graveyard Kinston, Alabama
Dance Grancer dance they say; tap, tap, tap and play and before the sun begins to shine lay on your feather-bed so fine.
William “Grancer” Harrison was born in 1789 in Edgefield County, South Carolina moving to Kinston, Alabama in Coffee County. Grancer was a cotton farmer with about 2500 acres that he farmed. He lived in Kinston with his wife Nancy Justice Harrison and his ten children until his death in 1860.
He was loved dearly by his family, friends, and slaves. Grancer is a nickname William got from his slaves because he was a great dancer. Grancer had a dance hall built where they would hold dances and Grancer would clog and play his fiddle. Once Grancer passed, he was laid to rest in his large feather-bed, enclosed by Florida bricks, wearing his finest suit and his clogging shoes. After he died the dances dwindled to a stop and the dance hall was eventually torn down. But that is just half of the story.
It was rumoured Grancer was buried with riches a plenty and in 1964 vandals blew up his large vault with dynamite to no avail. No gold was present and they only accomplished sending Grancer’s remains flying. His tomb was broken into several more times because the rumours never squelched. It was said his family reburied his remains underground as late as 1996.
It has also been reported by many that if you go to Harrisons graveyard, you may some times hear fiddling and tap dancing. From my own observance, what I have found at Grancer’s is a broken tomb of bricks with a large gaping hole filled with only dirt and a creepy old abandoned building on the property complete with graffiti and dark-magic or satanic emblems on the walls, although I have been told the building has been torn down since I last visited in 1996. It is unknown if this was the old dance hall once spoken of.
Absolutely Harrison’s has a strange and eerie feel to it; but mostly the life of a good man has been overshadowed by a good ghost story. Harrison’s was featured in the book 13 Alabama Ghost Stories and Jeffrey by Kathryn Tucker Windham again focusing on the stories and escaping the accomplishments of the man. Perhaps the story is a way to keep the memory alive of Grancer, at least for his family’s sake.