Wednesday, December 16, 2015

BUCKET LIST UPDATE No. 248: Visit the “Unfilled Hole” in Wilcox County, Ala.

Old Wilcox County Courthouse with flower bed partially
visible on the left hand side of the photo.
A few years ago, I came into possession of an interesting pamphlet, published by Alabama Front Porches, called “The Ghosts of Alabama’s Black Belt.” This pamphlet listed 16 supposedly haunted sites in Dallas County, Perry County and Wilcox County, and one of these locations caught my eye – the “Unfilled Hole” in Camden, Ala.

Not long after that, I put a trip to the “Unfilled Hole” on my “bucket list” and made plans to go there some day. On Sunday afternoon, my son and I found ourselves in Wilcox County, and we agreed to try to find the “Unfilled Hole.” We actually did find the spot, but we didn’t know it for sure until some time later.

According to the pamphlet, the “Unfilled Hole” is located “directly in front of the Camden Public Library in the Old Courthouse” and “is reputed to be the site of public hangings. Sitting under the pecan tree to the left of the building you can sometimes feel cold spots. You can also see the hole that will not stay filled.” Alabama Front Porches’ Web site,, also indicated that a metal warning post had been placed next to the “Unfilled Hole.”

My son and I arrived on Camden’s downtown square Sunday around 2 p.m. and parked on Court Street on the northwest side of the Old Wilcox County Courthouse. This old courthouse square isn’t very big, and following the directions on the pamphlet we began to look for the “Unfilled Hole.” One thing that we noticed right away is that if you’re standing on the Broad Street side of the square, facing the front of the courthouse building, there is no pecan tree to the left of the building on the front side, but there are pecan trees on the other three corners of the square.

We checked around all three of the pecan trees on the square and while we found a number of depressions, we couldn’t say for sure that we’d found the “Unfilled Hole.” There was no metal warning post to be found on the entire square, but we kept looking and covered the entire grounds thoroughly. (While looking, we did find an old, brass survey marker on the southeast side of the square, just off Claiborne Street and just down from an old-timey water fountain.)

We also took a good long look at the northwest corner of the square, where you’ll find a large, brick flower bed. This flower bed looked relatively new, and it made me wonder if maybe it was covering a spot where a pecan tree used to be. A close examination of the bricks inlaid in the ground also revealed a number of depressions, and we discussed the possibility that these bricks may have been laid over the “Unfilled Hole.”

Before leaving, we covered the entire grounds thoroughly and were either sure that one of the depressions we’d seen had to be the “Unfilled Hole” or that we’d walked over the spot where it used to be. We also took the time to snap a few pictures, read the historical markers and plaques adorning the old building and peaked through the windows at the building’s entrance.

Just to double check, when I got home, I contacted a few people that I know from Camden to see what they knew about the “Unfilled Hole.” According to them, the large pecan tree once located on the northwest corner of the square was removed about five years ago and was replaced by the brick flower bed. With that said, according to them, if you go to the brick flower bed today, you’re standing in the vicinity of the “Unfilled Hole,” which is now apparently covered with bricks.

In the end, how many of you have seen the “Unfilled Hole” in Camden? What other details do you know about it? What do you remember about it? Let us know in the comments section below.

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