Mysterious 'Woman in Black' making way through multiple states

Lady on foot claims to be on 'Bible mission'

CINCINNATI - After seeing a woman dressed in a long black robe and carrying black luggage roaming America's highways, some want to know her purpose.

The woman has been seen in Virginia, and last week, she was in Tennessee. In recent days she has been spotted in various parts of Kentucky and at least two cities in southwest Ohio.

Commentators on social media claimed to have seen her Thursday in Hillsboro.

"A black woman dressed completely in black and carrying black bags was walking east on U.S. Route 50 early Thursday afternoon just west of Hillsboro," writes Jeff Gilliland of the Times-Gazette.

The newspaper spotted her around noon near Ohio Valley Truss a couple miles west of Hillsboro. At least three other people were stopped in the company’s driveway, hoping the woman might say something.

Each of them left disappointed.

"But when she was asked why she was walking and where she was going she did not answer, did not acknowledge that she was being spoken to, and just kept looking at the ground immediately in front her and walking with her hands folded under her chin," the Times-Gazette article reads.

On Friday morning, several people took to Twitter to announce they had watched her stroll through Chillicothe.

No one is certain of her identity, though police reports have her listed as Elizabeth Poles, 56, of Motts, Alabama. That is information she has given authorities.

In a YouTube video that was shot in Wise County, Virginia, the woman is at a strip mall and surrounded by a group of people. She is talking about Jesus.

​The video was posted to YouTube on June 3.

According to a story in The Herald-News in Dayton, Tennessee, Rhea County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy John Argo said she has not been a threat “to anyone or herself.” 

Argo told the newspaper the woman said she was originally from an “Islamic nation" and formerly worked at the Pentagon. But law enforcement officials doubted the information.

Poles has told others she is on a Bible mission and was headed to Winchester, Virginia.

To help solve the mystery of the Woman in Black, a Facebook page (and related Wordpress blog) has been created to both track her travels and document her mission -- whatever it ends of being.

"Have you seen the mysterious woman/women in black drifting through your area? We want to know! Where is she headed? What's her mission?"

The creator of the fan page, which had nearly 7,000 'likes' as of Friday afternoon, asks those who come in contact with her to be respectful.

This page was not created as a means to harass, stalk, endanger, or belittle this woman. It was created in hopes of reminding people to open their hearts and become a little less judgmental and more willing to lend a hand to those in need. If you meet this woman, please, offer her a drink, a meal, whatever it may be you feel she needs. Be hospitable. Be kind. And try to remember to carry those qualities not only to this mysterious woman, but to everyone.

By Sunday, she was reported as being out of state. She was spotted in Parkersburg, West Virginia.

Have you spotted the mystery woman? If so, send photos to

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