The Case Of The Headless Horse

Did you know?

Albany is home to one of the strangest “cryptid” stories in Georgia.  There was once a man who claimed to have seen a headless white horse roaming the banks of Flint River around the fairgrounds area.  It became one of the biggest fishing stories to have ever been told in Dougherty County.  As with everything we do, we must first explore the history and what we know.  Unfortunately, we have to tell you the story first or else it won’t make sense.

The man behind the legend was a boatman named Dink Melvin.  Melvin was a fishing guide according to the Explore Georgia History (which was later covered and copied by Southern Spirit Guide).  Dink claims that he could bring anyone to the exact spot where the horse was located and show it to them.  It became a spectacle.

As the legend goes, an unidentified “newspaper correspondent” went on a fishing expedition in the area and Mr. Melvin was his guide.  Dink told the reporter all about the headless white horse and even said it tried to board his boat one night.  According to the same source cited above, the book “Mysterious Georgia ” and even Jim Miles, (who was just telling the story) this story made “headlines across the country” in July of 1888.  More specifically, July 9th 1888.  Is there any truth to the claims?  After we present what we found, we’ll let you be the judge.

Surprisingly to us, we did find a record of a Dink Melvin in the 1880 Census.  He was born around 1845.  This would put him near his mid 40s in 1888.  What is odd, however, is that there is no death record for Mr. Melvin.  Where did he go?  What exactly did he do besides “laborer” as it’s listed on the Census?  We do know he was a widower as well.  He was a white man, so this leads us to believe that he may have been poor or something along those lines to have history unfortunately forget him. (As we’ve spoken about many times here.  Sadly, history favors the wealthy and powerful).  If you know more about him, please share it with us.

As far as the reporter and the story?  Another shocker to us is that they both did actually exist.  We found a snippet of the article in Coart MagazineThere’s a little more to this story that needs to be said, however. 

Courtesy of COart Magazine

The reporter set up a time and date for Dink Melvin to bring him to the spot of the headless horse, but Dink “fell ill” and couldn’t make it.  Another time was set up, yet again, Mr. Melvin no showed him.  This means the reporter never laid eyes on the horse and could never verify the claims made by Dink, or at least as far as we know.  There’s no record of what came of it or the original newspaper article follow up. 

Another uncanny bit of information to share is that we did speak to some locals who have heard the story and claim to have seen it even as recently as the early 2010s!  Just like everything else, you be the judge!


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