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. The ghost of the Grey Flats near Beckley
Hikers have long reported ghostly encounters in the woods here, according to WVghosts.com. One person claims to have seen a dark figure wearing a long coat and a broad-rimmed hat that seemed to move without walking and then disappear into the earth.
2. The soldier at St. Peters Roman Catholic Church in Harpers Ferry
According to "A Ghostly Tour of Harpers Ferry” by Shirley Dougherty, the church is haunted by a soldier who was taken there to be treated for wounds during the Civil War. The young man's wounds were perceived to be not as bad as others', so he wasn't treated at first and waited on the church yard. When finally he was carried across the threshold of the church he said "Thank God, I'm saved." Some say they have heard a voice say this same thing and a golden glow appear in the threshold of the church.
3. The ghost of John Welch at Capitol Plaza Theatre in Charleston
Supposedly haunted by John Welch and his little daughter. Welch is said to be a prankster ghost who is sometimes seen by performers in the front row of the balcony, stage left. His spirit is said to cause a foreboding feeling as people walk through the doors to the projection booth, according to Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State. Welch’s daughter died in 1840 of pneumonia.
4. The Greenbrier Ghost
Zone Heaster Shue may be the only murder victim to actively participate in the prosecution of her killer. Shue's death in 1897 was thought to be from natural causes until her ghost appeared to her mother and told her otherwise. The ghost is said to have visited her mother in a dream four weeks after the funeral. The ghost told her mother that her husband was cruel and had abused and broken her neck in a fit of rage when he thought she hadn't cooked any meat for dinner. Mary Jane Heaster persuaded the local prosecutor to reexamine the case. The body was exhumed and it was discovered that the woman's neck was indeed broken. The husband was charged and convicted of the murder and he later died in prison.
5. The ghosts at Keith Albee Theater in Huntington
There are reportedly a few ghosts at the historic theater. The most famous of them, though, is referred to as the "Lady in Red," who has been seen in a ladies' bathroom, according to Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State. People say she wears a 1940s style red fancy dress and high heeled shoes.
6. The tortured souls of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
There are several thousand documented deaths at the at the former hospital, so naturally there are plenty of ghost stories. Staff have reported hearing the sounds gurneys being pushed down the hallways, screams coming from former electro-shock areas and the ghosts of doctors going from room to room, according to the website Themosthauntedplaces.com. One of the most popular ghosts there is a little girl named Lily who was born and died in the facility. Her mother was being treated for the emotional effects of being raped repeatedly by Civil War soldiers. Lily died not long after being born. Though she died as a newborn, people report seeing her as a 3-year-old who apparently has a sweet tooth. Sometimes candy that's been left out or even kept in pockets, will go missing. People also report hearing a child giggling near her room.
7. The girl in the ruffled dress at Lake Shawnee Amusement Park.
Rides at the Princeton-area park, now abandoned, are reportedly the cause of six deaths. Those deaths include a little girl wearing a ruffled dressed who was climbing onto the circling swingset when a truck backed into its path and a boy who drowned in the park’s swimming pool, according to a report in the New York Daily News. The park’s owner reportedly said he sometimes hears the swings creak even though no one is on them. The owner told the Travel Channel: "Sometimes the seat will start to move underneath your hand until you feel cold air blowing through the seat. And when you get to the middle you feel something warm. And we believe that’s her spirit.” One person claimed to see her in a blood-covered dress.
8. The ghosts of the West Virginia Penitentiary
Reportedly haunted by lots of ghosts. One ghost is reportedly a maintenance man seen wandering around a bathroom in the basement, according to Hauntedhouses.com. In life, the maintenance man would often tell prison authorities of the wrongdoings of prisoners, until they got together and shivved him with homemade knives while he was on the toilet. Another ghost is reportedly that of prisoner Arvil Paul Adkins whose execution was botched. The guards were attempting to hang him, when the trap door beneath him fell too soon, causing to to fall on his head and become badly injured. The guards then took him back up and hung him properly.
9. Charles of the Apollo Theatre in Martinsburg
The Apollo Theater is supposedly haunted by a man named Charles who managed the hotel in the 1920s. Actors and visitors alike report smelling his cigar smoke, according to Theresa’s Haunted History of the Tri-State. One woman who lived in a nearly apartment also reported seeing the ghost outside a window smoking a cigar. She thought he was an actor in a production until he disappeared.
10. The ghost cow of Woodburn Hall
There are apparently several ghost stories that take place at West Virginia University in Morgantown. One such story is of a ghost cow. In the early days of the school, when it was still called the Agricultural College of West Virginia, a group of students heard the saying that you can lead a cow upstairs but you can't lead it back down again. They decided to try it out, according to Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State. They stole a cow and took it up the steps to the building's bell tower, where it mooed like crazy. The cow would not come back down so it actually had to be shot to death and removed in pieces. Visitors today say they hear ghostly mooing coming from the tower.