The strange disappearance of novelist Barbara Newhall Follett.

At the age of 25, she walked out of her house and was never seen again.

Dani Hendrix
4 min readFeb 7, 2022


Barbara Newhall Follett was an accomplished author by the young age of twelve. She wrote four novels in her childhood and garnered quite a bit of success early on. Despite her seemingly perfect start to life, Barbara grew depressed and was extremely unhappy in her marriage later on. On December 7th, 1939, she had a fight with her husband and then walked out of her house. Her husband never tried to find her and she was never seen again.

Image of Barbara Follett hard at work. Image from Crime Reads.

Barbara’s childhood and career

Barbara was born in Hanover, New Hampshire on March 4th, 1914 to a well-known literary editor and critic, Wilson Follett, and a children’s writer Helen Follett. She had an older half-sister and a younger sister. She was homeschooled which allowed her to do the things she enjoyed like writing stories and poetry. By the age of seven, Barbara was putting her thoughts to paper and even developed her own language for a story she was working on.

Barbara wrote The Adventures of Eepersip, later titled The House Without Windows when she was eight years old in 1923. The story was about a young girl who ran away from her family to live in nature and was intended as a birthday present to her mother. The original manuscript burned in a fire and was lost, but she rewrote the story and was able to get it published with the help of her father.

The book was so successful that Barbara was regarded as a child genius by many. By the time she was fourteen, Barbara had written her second book titled The Voyage of the Norman D. This book was about her personal experience on a small boat in Nova Scotia and was nearly as popular as her first book.

While Barbara was considered to be extremely successful by the time she was fourteen, her family life was suffering. That same year, her father abandoned the family for another woman. This was extremely crushing for Barbara as she had a close connection to her father before he left.

By the age of sixteen, Barbara had written several more stories while she worked as a secretary in New York City. Some of these stories included published work like Lost



Dani Hendrix

I love writing true crime and fascinating stories about humans. You can find me on Instragram at @restless_dani if you would like to connect.