WINCHESTER, Va., July 31 (UPI) -- A woman dressed in black robes has captured the imagination of highway travelers in the American South as she walked from Alabama to northern Virginia, where she arrived Tuesday night.
According to local police, 56-year-old Military veteran Elizabeth Poles was completing "a mission that has something to do with faith and religion" when she arrived to unwanted fanfare in Winchester, Va.
Since it began three weeks ago, Poles' "mission" has become a point of fascination for Southerners and travelers who spotted Poles in all black, with a black umbrella and black suitcase walking along highway shoulders and through small towns in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and Virginia.
Poles has also become a hot topic on social media, where, somewhat to her chagrin, the Woman in Black has gone viral.
"We were called to the area for crowd control last night because about 100 people gathered around that area to see this woman," Capt. Doug Watson explained to ABC News.
Winchester police provided Poles with cover and food, and sheltered her at the police station for the evening.
"She seemed to be in really good condition. I spoke with her and she was very articulate and very appreciative of our help ... She just said: "I wish people would mind their own business.'"
Poles plans to stay in Winchester, where she was raised as a child.