Just about everyone likes ghost stories, even people who don’t believe in ghosts. Tales told by a campfire, or on a stormy autumn night huddled up to a warm fire, can send chills up the spine of the most hardened skeptic. However, we hope to give you more than just a good scare. Where appropriate, we have put all of our stories in proper historical perspective for these are more than tales told to while away the evenings. They are bits and pieces of a reality that most histories don’t cover. And if you want to see for yourself, we’ve given you the directions on how to get there. We can put you right in the middle of the story, and if you’re lucky, or unlucky as the case may be, you may be able to add to the tale.
We visited every site we write about. After all, how could we guide you to a place we’ve never been? So we traveled over 7000 miles over super highways and twisted mountain roads and explored the hills and hollows from Wheeling to Wharncliffe and from Charles Town to Charleston. In our travels, we discovered that although West Virginia may be poor in material things, she has an abundant wealth of folklore and history that West Virginians are justifiably proud of. By writing A Guide to Haunted West Virginia, we hope to help preserve this valuable heritage.
So read the book and enjoy the stories. Visit the sites if you’re so inclined. The scenery is wonderful, any time of the year. You probably won’t encounter any spirits but ghosts are unpredictable things, and you never, never know just what might be waiting down in that gloomy hollow. Just what are ghosts and why do they haunt? Are they the spirits of the departed or something totally different? What are ghost lights? Poltergeists? Can ghosts haunt things as well as places? We give our opinions in the introduction.
When you look for the supernatural, sometimes you find it looking back at you.” Read about our encounter with Miss Emily, a pert little preteen that is said to haunt the Charles Washington Inn, in “The Haunted Inns of Charles Town”
Suddenly flames sprang up in the middle of the room…amidst the flames the devil appeared and said to them.’I’m waiting for all of you.” Did Old Scratch suddenly pop up in a bar near Keyser or did something else happen? Read “The Devil’s Warning” and find out.
Do the bonds of friendship between a man and his dog go beyond the grave?” Perhaps. Find out in “The Ghosts in the Valley.”
Mike was setting up for a shot of the spacious balcony when we were startled to hear someone moving around up there. Neither of us could see anyone…” Find out what happened in “Beckley’s Haunted Theater.
A place marked by tragedy was thought to be in the grip of a genius loci who delighted in tempting people to their deaths.” Is Hawks Nest State Park such a place? Read more in “The Genius Loci of Hawks Nest.”
Did Chief Cornstalk really put a curse on Point Pleasant? Does a troop of phantom cavalry haunt the battlefield at Droop Mountain? Get a different view of Mothman and the Flatwoods Monster and learn all about Screaming Jenny. Find out if things that go bump in the night might also go bump in the daytime. Take to the roads. Watch the skies. But above all, have some fun.