|From the time that I was old enough to
understand anything that my parents and relatives were
saying I have heard the name of Mayhayley Lancaster; but
most of the time everybody just called her Hayley.
The first story I heard concerning her was about my grand-daddy Pyles, John William, or Willie as he was called by everybody. According to family legend he and his brother-in-law, Sam Edison, went to Hayley Lancaster to get her to tell them where General McIntosh had hidden his gold that he was supposed to have buried somewhere in Carroll County. You can read a Full detail of the story by clicking here.
Through the years I have heard numerous stories from different people about their experience with Mayhayley Lancaster. One told of his younger days when he and some other boys picked her up and drove her to town. She has a couple of bags that she got one of the boys to take into a store and place behind a counter. He said that they all believed the bags had money in them that she was having put away for her by some unknown person. There is even a movie, Murder In Coweta County, that brings Mayhayley Lancaster to life on the TV tube. Johnny Cash and Andy Griffith stars in the movie and June Carter Cash plays the part of Mayhayley Lancaster.
It wasn't until later in my life that I became acquainted with the real mysteries about Mayhayley Lancaster. One interesting factor is that she passed the Georgia Bar exam and could have been a Lawyer. I guess there was more money in being a fortune teller though.
In April of 2001, after being away from Carroll County for many years, I was able to spend several days visiting relatives and researching some family history. My tour guide on one of the days was Mr. M. T. Fuller. Mr. Fuller taught school in Carroll and Heard Counties for many years. Now at 80 + years his memory of family history is priceless. Knowing the story about my grand-daddy and Mayhayley Lancaster he made a point to show me where she is buried and the house that she had built. People from all around talked about the house that had so many chimneys. I counted about 5. He said that if you wanted to get your fortune told you had better be there early, because people came from all surrounding counties and the cars were lined up around her house. People were coming and going all day, every day. He then showed me the place where she lived before she built the big house. It was only a plot of ground that was all grown up. There was no sign of any dwelling left. He said that every where she had been people would go there and dig up the place looking for buried money.
Standing a the grave of Mayhayley Lancaster I couldn't help but wonder what she was really like. There was a slab of concrete that covered her grave. Mr. Fuller said that the members of Caney Head Methodist Church had to pour the slab to keep people from digging in her grave. Evidently people thought she might have taken her money with her to the grave. Her grave stone is not as tall as it use to be. Mr. Fuller said that it got broken after being knocked over. The inscription on the stone is kind of interesting. "For neither did his Brethren Believe in him". Kind of makes me wonder if she wanted to leave the message that somebody didn't believe in her abilities of a fortune teller.
Daddy was one of those people. He had gone with somebody else to see her. She wanted to know if he wanted his fortune read. He told her he didn't believe in all that mess and she got mad at him, cussed him out and ran him off. Daddy was always one to speak his mind.
Below you can find links to some photos I took of Caney Head Methodist Church and her grave. There are also some photos and information that Robert Bonner sent me. If anyone has any information or photos you would like to see posted here you can send any photos or stories here.