It’s not just houses and hotels that can become haunted. Streets can too. West Virginia has several roadways with tragic stories where ghosts have been seen. Drive on these at your own risk.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Childers Road in Barboursville
According to internet reports, the road is haunted by a little boy who drowned on the dead end street by riding into the river. People report seeing a little boy on a bicycle when the river floods.
2. The West Virginia Turnpike
According to Theresa’s Haunted History of the Tri-State, the entire roadway from West Virginia to Princeton has been said to be haunted. There have been reporting UFO sightings, phantom hitchhikers and strange lights. The bulk of the reported sightings have happened in a 15-mile stretch between Beckley and Mossy, according to the website. Troopers have reported picking up hitchhikers only to have them disappear from the back of the car.
3. The Hempfield Tunnel in Wheeling (now a walking path)
This former railroad tunnel was built underneath a cemetery, and the bodies were never removed, according to internet reports. The tunnel itself was also the scene of several deaths. Once a man was struck by a train while walking the tracks. Another man was robbed and beaten inside the tunnel. Witnesses claim to see the beaten man floating above where the tracks once were. The man’s hand reportedly rises to cover his face as if he is fending off his attacker.
4. The Main Street Bridge in Wheeling
The bridge was built between 1890 and 1892. A contractor fell to his death from the bridge, according to internet reports (Theresa’s Haunted History of the Tri-State). His body was never found, but people say they’ve seen his ghost on the bridge. Another ghost story had to do with a man who led a team of horses across either that bridge or the one it replaced. The man apparently spooked the horses, who trampled him to death. People say they have been approached by a man who asks them if they’ve seen the horses.
5. U.S. 50 from Bridgeport to Grafton
The blog Theresa’s Haunted History of the Tri-State reports a personal account of the highway. She said she was on the road late one night and saw a headless black figure run toward her car. As it approached she slammed on her brakes and braced for impact, but the figure disapeared. She says she later found out the spot where she had seen the figure was the scene of an accident where a car of teenagers struck a tree. One of them was decapitated.
6. Fifth Street in Huntington
According to local legend, there’s a woman that stands on the side of the road at the hill and thumbs for rides from passersby. Appearances occur mostly after midnight when it’s raining. After several minutes in the car she vanishes. The story goes that the ghost is that of a bride who had just been killed in an accident on the way home from the wedding.
7. 22 Mine Road in Holden (Logan County)
The body of Mamie Thurmond was found on this road in 1932. Her throat had been slashed and she had been shot. Her jewelry was found nearby, which meant her death wasn’t the result of a robbery. A handyman was ultimately convicted of the crime and a mystery surrounds where her final resting place is. Many people have reported seeing Mamie’s ghost on the road.
8. The Dingess Tunnel
The Dingess Tunnel was built in 1892 for the Norfolk and Western Railroad, largely by African American and Chinese immigrant workers. Legend has it that residents of Dingess, who didn't take kindly to outsiders, used to hide in the hills just outside the tunnel and shoot any dark skinned passengers aboard the train, according to internet reports. No records were kept but it’s estimated that hundreds of black and Chinese workers died. In addition to the murders, workers also died during construction, and at least two trains collided on the tracks there, causing more deaths. The tunnel has the reputation of being haunted by the souls that perished there. Visitors have reported hearing organ music and hearing a voice say “hi," according to Theresa’s Haunted History of the Tri-State. One person even claims to have gotten a picture of a little ghost girl standing in the tunnel.
9. Grasslick Road in Ripley
Grasslick Road was the scene of the murders of the Pfost-Greene family. John Morgan killed them with an axe to steal $100 that the family received for selling a horse. He killed two of the family members and injured another, but the woman was able to call for help. The execution of John Morgan was the last public hanging in West Virginia.
10. Macedonia Road in Upshur County
This road has been the scene of several deaths and according to reports, people seem to sense a strange vibe while driving on an S curve in the road and under a railroad bridge there. (Note: This is a picture of the Upshur County courthouse, not actually of the road itself).
Have you ever seen or heard anything strange while you’ve driven or walked on these roads? Let me know in the comments!