Holes Wiki
Kissin' Kate Barlow (Katherine Barlow)
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Vital statistics
Title Katherine Barlow (Kissin' Kate Barlow)
Actor Patricia Arquette
Family Sam - Boyfriend (Deceased)
Gender Female
Race American
Status Deceased
Cause of Death Bit by Yellow Spotted Lizard
Location Green Lake (Location Of Death)
Gallery Kissin' Kate_Barlow (Katherine Barlow) Gallery
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Kate Dead.png
Kate being bitten by a Yellow-Spotted-Lizard and then dying.
"You, your children and your children's children will dig for the next one hundred years, and you will never find it.''"
―Katherine Barlow.

Miss Katherine Barlow, (1882-1924), also known as Kissin' Kate Barlow, was a former teacher, turned outlaw at Green Lake, Texas.

Katherine Barlow


Miss Katherine was born in Green Lake, Texas, in 1882. She became Green Lake's elementary and adult school teacher as a young woman, with the children and the men she taught loving her and her lessons. During this time, Barlow would also make the town's best spiced peaches, which made her develop a friendship with the black skinned onion farmer named Sam. They would often exchange a jar of spiced peaches for a bag of onions, respectively. One day, when Sam went to go deliver some onions to her, he noticed the leaking roof of the schoolhouse. He told her that he would fix it for her in exchange for three jars of her spiced peaches. Every time he fixed one thing, Miss Katherine would find another thing for him to fix, because she liked his company. This made them develop a relationship together, and they discovered mutual affection. One day, she and Sam were discovered kissing each other, which was not allowed in the town at the time, due to the racism in the South. Sam was going to be hung for this crime, so Barlow tried to reason with the drunk sheriff. He did nothing to appease the situation, and even asked her to kiss him in exchange for her boyfriend Sam's life (In the film, he didn't make the exchange for Sam's life offer), which she refused. In the book, Miss Katherine insisted that he go across the lake, leaving Mary Lou behind. Katherine came with him and Trout shot him, Katherine was rescued unwillingly. In the movie, however, Sam was coming back from the onion field across the lake and Katherine was on the shore watching him. Katherine witnessed him being shot, and was so mournful and mad at his death, that the next day, she shot the sheriff and giving him the kiss he had asked for, leaving a red lipstick mark.

Louis Sachar stated in an interview that Kate Barlow is his favorite character from Holes.


Barlow became an infamous outlaw after Sam's death in 1904, killing multiple men and leaving a kiss on their cheek. She robbed numerous banks in Texas and several individuals including Stanley Yelnats IV (Caveman)'s ancestor, Stanley Yelnats I, but she didn't kill him, she left him in the desert to die. She became incredibly rich with the fruits of her labor, then she buried the money somewhere in the present-day Camp Green Lake.


Kate Barlow returns to the lake and was sitting against Sam's boat, Mary Lou, when Charles "Trout" Walker and Linda Walker (One of Katherine's former students) came up and threatened to kill her. Kate replied, "Go ahead and kill me, Trout, but I sure hope you like to dig, 'cause you're going to be digging for a long time. It's a big, vast wasteland out there. You, your children, and your children's children will dig for the next hundred years, and you will never find it." A yellow spotted lizard suddenly darts out from inside the upturned boat. Trout and Linda both try to shoot it but miss. She then grabs the yellow-spotted lizard, prompting it to bite her. Barlow died at the age of 42, while laughing at the couple, telling them to "Start digging" as the secret of the treasure's location died with her.

Killed By

Katherine when she was a school teacher

Kate as an outlaw

Campers Caveman (Stanley Yelnats IV)Zero (Hector Zeroni)Squid (Alan)Armpit (Theodore Johnson)X-Ray (Rex Washburn)JoseTwitch (Brian)Barfbag (Louis)Zigzag (Ricky)
Camp Green Lake Staff The Warden (Louise Walker)Mr. Sir (Marion Sevillo)Mr. Pendanski (Mom)
Early Green Lake Kissin' Kate Barlow (Katherine Barlow)SamCharles "Trout" Walker