Her husband was abusive and beat her, Agatha Hagglethorn was afraid that he would also harm their child. Once when her infant daughter started crying, the terrified Agatha covered her mouth with her hand so as not to bring her drunken husband's wrath down on the child. When she discovered that she had inadvertently suffocated her, she took an axe and killed him with twenty strokes; afterwards she hacked off her own hand, the hand which had killed her family. Her ghost appeared over a hundred years after her death to haunt the nursery of Cook County Hospital.
In the seriesEdit
- Main article: Grave Peril
In Grave Peril, on a tip from Bob, Harry Dresden and Michael Carpenter speed to Cook County Hospital. In the nursery, the lights were out, and the nurses were all gone or asleep. Dresden spotted the ghost of Agatha Hagglethorn which he described as being pretty, "in a strained, bony sort of way," wearing a high collared shirtwaist and no-nonsense long dark skirt. Her left arm ended in a stump, and she was transparent. He confronted Hagglethorn, tried to reason with her, but she goes crazy and flees to the Nevernever. The babies all stop breathing, so Harry Dresden and Michael Carpenter follow Agatha where Michael killed her.
Examining her ghost-corpse, Dresden found that her ghost was being tormented by barbed wire wrapped around her flesh beginning at her throat, and down around her torso, and then down one leg. Dresden concluded someone had purposely done that to Hagglethorn and was doing that to the other ghosts also. It was causing her to replay the suffocation of her daughter with the children in the nursery.