Woman in Black Ends Mysterious Journey in Winchester

Her identity and mission are still a mystery

The journey of a woman in black robes has come to an end in Winchester, Virginia -- but her mystery continues.

Several weeks ago a woman dressed in fluttering black robes and veils became a social media phenomenon when she was spotted wandering a highway in Georgia. Initially she was little more than an eerie figure in a handful of photos, but as time went by it became apparent that the woman was on a journey.

Social media lit up in the following weeks with reports that the woman had reached Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and, finally, Virginia.

But that has now come to and end. When she arrived in Winchester Wednesday, dozens of fans were waiting for her. For her safety, police decided to escort her to an undisclosed location.

Police told News4 that she told them she intends to stay put in Winchester and that, although she intends to be a part of the community, she wants to be left alone. They also said her journey is related to faith and religion.

Reuters reported Monday that a man, Raymond Poles, had come forward claiming to be the woman's brother. He said her name was Elizabeth Poles and that she was a 54-year-old Army veteran, a widow and mother of two.

He also said that she was from Motts, Alabama, where she had been receiving treatment at a Veterans Affairs hospital after the deaths of her husband and father. Poles said that he wished she would return and resume treatment.


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But police told News4 that the woman said she was from Winchester.

Despite seeking anonymity, the woman has fans across the country. Along her journey she politely declined offers of assistance and it was her determination to cover so much ground that seemed to inspire many.

A Twitter hashtag campaign, using #WomanInBlack, was started and one Facebook user started a page where fans could track her progress.

That user explained the draw of the woman's journey on the Facebook page.

"[The page] 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."

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