Who is the “Woman in Black?” A female who has been dressed in black robes has grabbed the imagination of highway travelers all over the American South as she walked from Alabama to Virginia, where she showed up on Tuesday night. According to Virginia State Police, United States Army veteran Elizabeth Poles, age 56, was carrying out some sort of private mission that had to do with religion and faith and religion. She ended up arriving to unwanted fanfare in Winchester, Virginia.
Since her journey began about three weeks ago, Poles’ undertaking had become the object of enthrallment for Southerners and travelers alike that happened to catch a glimpse of the female. She was always wearing black clothing and had a black umbrella and black suitcase. She was seen walking beside the highway and through small towns in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia.
Poles also found herself a hot topic on various social media sights, much to her chagrin; she discovered that her new found nickname, the “Woman in Black” and numerous photographs had gone viral. The female had become a social media phenomenon over the past two months. A Facebook page set up in her honor and filled with discussion about her 500 mile journey was created this month. It also kept asking fans the question, “Where is the mysterious ‘Woman in Black’?”
Winchester Police Captain Doug Watson explained to the media that officers from his station were called to the area where Ms. Poles had shown up because there was a need for crowd control. Around 100 individuals had gathered where she was coming in. The Winchester police department provided the woman with shelter and food, letting her stay at an undisclosed location for the night, which was for both her own safety and also the safety of others.
Captain Watson added that Ms. Poles appeared to be in very good condition. He explained that he talked with her and that she was extremely articulate and very thankful for the help. She did state that she wished people would mind their own business. The Winchester Police Department ended up having to send out a press release that asked residents to respect the privacy of the “’Woman in Black.”
So it finally seemed that some of the enigma that surrounded the female veteran had been solved. It was also reported that Ms. Poles stated she planned on staying in the Winchester location.
It was on July 29 that Poles’ dedication Facebook page put up a post stating that everyone was concerned for Elizabeth and excited to see her finally make her way to her original destination. It ended with a plea to please leave her along during the present time when she was finishing up her trip. It asked fans not to follow or wait for her. Whether they paid attention to the plea was unknown.
Raymond Poles spoke to the media this week and explained that he was Elizabeth’s brother. He was the first to reveal she was a veteran, the mother of two children and also a widow. He added that she had been receiving medical treatment at several Veterans Affairs hospitals. Ms. Poles came from Motts, Alabama and started her long trek to Virginia back in June. Poles plans to stay in Winchester, where she was raised as a child.
The “Woman in Black”, according to Virginia State Police, is United States Army veteran Elizabeth Poles, age 56.
By Kimberly Ruble