- Grant Recipient
Legends & Lore®
- Co Rd 484, Kinston, AL 36453, USA
- 31.2086921, -86.1422212
Town of Kinston
SOUNDS OF A FIDDLE AND
TAPPING FEET CAN BE HEARD
NEAR THE GRAVE OF
GRANCER HARRISON, BURIED IN
HIS DANCING SHOES IN 1860.
ALABAMA FOLKLIFE ASSOCIATION
WILLIAM G. POMEROY FOUNDATION 2021
If you find yourself in the Harrison Cemetery in Kinston, Alabama, you might hear the rollicking fiddle and passionate dancing of William “Grancer” Harrison, also known as The Dancing Ghost of Grancer Harrison or Grancer the Dancer.
Th owner of a large cotton planation located just outside of Kinston on the banks of the Pea River, Grancer had prospered in his trade. He enjoyed hosting social occasions like cookouts and horse races and, most of all, Saturday dances where he would play his fiddle and get down late into the night. He loved dancing so much that he had a hall built for that exclusive purpose. At these legendary dance parties, Grancer always wore a particular pair of custom-made dancing shoes.
Upon his death, Grancer’s will instructed he be dressed in his dance shoes and laid to rest on a feather bed in a large brick tomb within earshot of his dance hall, where he could take in the merriment even if he could no longer participate. The dances continued for some time, as Grancer had wished, but without his leadership and his passion, the dances soon ended and the dance hall crumbled and deteriorated.
But Grancer, it seems, has carried on a one-man jamboree. For generations, South Alabamians have told tales of a mysterious chill in the air and sounds of fiddling and tapping coming from the cemetery, especially on Saturday nights. Others tell of a man’s impassioned voice backed by a fiddle calling out square dances. Even death could not squelch Grancer’s zeal for a lively shindig.