Friday, February 1, 2019

I LOVE Ghosts

After a long, LONG January, its finally February!  And, on Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State, that means that for the next two weeks, the blog and Facebook page will be filled with love!  With just two short weeks until Valentine's Day, I'll be cramming in as much spooky romance as possible.  

Ghost lore is full of stories of unrequited love and love that lasts beyond the grave. I hope to share as many of those stories from the tri-state as possible, as well as some additional spooky Valentine's-related goodies!  So, keep checking back here, as well as over on Theresa's Haunted History's Facebook page for new stuff every day.  And, not to get too sappy...but please remember that I love and appreciate each and every one of YOU all year long! 

This image is available for purchase as a T-shirt over on TeePublic

Friday, January 25, 2019

Copy Ghost: A Friday Funny

I don't know what it is about this image, but every time I see it, it puts a smile on my face! I hope it adds a little humor to YOUR Friday as well!  And while it's light-hearted, it does kind of reflect how I've been feeling lately, in regards to Theresa's Haunted History blog and Facebook page. I feel like I'm just posting the same ol' thing, over and over again. This blog dates back to 2011 and my original website was started in 2006, so there is actually a fair bit of content to share...but I feel like its all already been done, lol.  

I'm constantly searching for new information and new ways to keep this site fresh and relevant.  However, I also think I'll be spending quite a bit of time this year polishing up, updating, and sharing some of that older content that newer readers may not have seen yet.  But let me know---what do YOU want to see more of in 2019? Are there any specific locations or topics you'd like to see me cover?  Hop on over to my Facebook page and share your ideas! 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Book Review: West Virginia Bigfoot by Dave Spinks

Title: West Virginia Bigfoot
Author: Dave Spinks
Published: 2018 by Leprechaun Press
Amazon Order Information

Long-time readers of this blog know I cannot say no to a new book for my personal paranormal library, especially when it deals with some spooky or strange topic relevant to West Virginia!  One of my latest acquisitions is West Virginia Bigfoot, authored by local paranormal researcher and investigator, Dave Spinks!

I picked up my autographed copy last November at the Flatwoods Monster Museum's Bazaare.  The Bazaare was a really cool event where various authors, film makers, and researchers of WV ghost and monster lore came together to meet and greet with paranormal enthusiasts, share and acquire new stories, and of course, sell some merch!

Since I go to quite a few paranormal-related events throughout the Mountain State, I was familiar with Dave's work, and excited to finally pick up a copy of his new book for myself.  West Virginia Bigfoot is a slender volume, coming in at 104 pages, but it is full absolutely fascinating case studies and personal experiences with the creature we've come to know as Bigfoot.

Admittedly, my interests in the paranormal lie within the realm of ghosts, hauntings, and afterlife studies.  However, I'm becoming more and more enamored with the study of cryptozoology and its connections, however tenuous, with other 'paranormal' phenomenon. This was a great, quick read to  incorporate into my study of this area.

After a brief introduction by researcher David Weatherly, West Virginia Bigfoot starts with Dave's own experience as a youngster with a Bigfoot creature.  Collected tales from friends, family, colleagues, and others fill out the majority of the book.  These tales come from all over the state and most occurred between the 1970's and 2016, with a few historical anecdotes thrown in as support.  Also included in the book are theories as to what Bigfoot might be, why West Virginia seems to be such a great habitat for such creatures, and some locations that seem to have a high concentration of sightings.

Obviously, there's a lot of value to scientifically examining the Bigfoot phenomena and presenting theories along with the evidence to support those theories. Dave takes an objective look at the various viewpoints of Bigfoot and includes information on historical perspectives, anthropological perspectives, and religious perspectives. Research from Rosemary Ellen Guiley is even presented as an overview to the theory of Bigfoot from a 'paraphysical' perspective.  These are all integral parts of a satisfying and complete Bigfoot book...but my favorite part was the stories!

I love to hear peoples' experiences.  Real people sharing their real stories in their own words is my favorite part of this book. Each experience is documented in just the right way as to be entertaining, yet still contain enough important detail to be useful to a serious researcher.  These stories read like stories...and not necessarily dry case studies armed with just the bare facts.  Further, these tales aren't ones you're going to come across over and over again.  Many of the experiences were submitted to Dave through family and friends who have never reported or published these stories anywhere else.

West Virginia Bigfoot is obviously a labor of love, and its apparent that quite a bit of time and research has gone into producing quite a comprehensive, yet entertaining and quick read concerning one of West Virginia's many mysteries.  If you're a Bigfoot enthusiast, or a just a fan of all things strange and spooky in the Mountain State, I'd recommend adding West Virginia Bigfoot by Dave Spinks to YOUR personal library!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Frozen Ghosts

You KNOW it's cold when your poor ghost freezes solid. Somebody let that poor specter inside to warm up!  So, what's the temperature where you live?  Are your ghosts in danger of ending up like this guy?  I hope you (and your spirits) stay warm and safe all throughout the day.  Have a wonderful Friday! 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Groaning Ghost of Kingwood

It's time for another Throwback Thursday vintage newspaper article! In the late 1880s, the West Virginia town of Kingwood, located in Preston County, was under siege by a phantom!  It is rumored that several local citizens tried to engage this spirit, but refused to admit it...well, except for this local lawyer! The following piece is from the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, and is dated 28 February 1884.  The digitized article is available online through one of MY favorite websites, Chronicling America.  Just a quick side note: The article references the idea that the original story was found in the Argus.  The West Virginia Argus was a weekly publication from Kingwood, WV that ran between 1877 and 1945. After 1908, its offices were located in the basement of the historic Martin Building. 

A Dizzy Ghost Story

For some weeks past Kingwood has been torn up over a spook, which it is alleged roams the streets at its own sweet will, during the witching hours when graves do yawn.

Several persons are reported as having spoken to it. But when approached on the subject they denied it.  Lately, however, a prominent lawyer has been holding interviews with the "goblin damned," and the Argus gives his story as follows:  For the past two or three weeks he has been employed at his office late at night. About a week ago he was seated at his table writing when all at once he heard a deep groan.  He listened and in about two minutes it was repeated more distinctly.  The noise seemed to emanate from something back of the office.  He went on the outside, but could see or hear nothing, nor was the noise repeated again that evening.  Since that time the same thing has been heard every evening about the same hour, 11 o'clock, and on one or two occasions, the gentleman freely acknowledged, his hair assumed a perpendicular position on his head. The most notable occasion of this kind was Friday evening.  He worked till 10:30 and then prepared himself to listen attentively, and  learn, if possible, the origin and cause of the strange and uncommon noise. Promptly at 11, the doleful, wierd, and melancholy groan was heard.  He walked to the window and looked out, but nothing was visible that could produce the noise.  He walked to his door and was just in the act of opening it, when the groan was repeated with such severity that the whole building seemed to tremble and his tables and chairs danced about the room like partners in a cotillion.  This maneuver only lasted a few seconds, and then everything was still as a graveyard.  The origin of this strange noise seems to be enveiled in an impenetrable mystery, as the gentleman is unable to give the remotest idea as to the cause.   

The photo below shows the scene from Kingwood's Main Street.  Is this the street the ghost was said to roam on its own sweet will?  And just what WAS this thing?  Was there a ghost...or was there a natural explanation for the nightly moans and groans heard by the local lawyer?  Let me know YOUR thoughts...and if you're looking for MORE spooky stories from Kingwood, check out my blog post on the haunted Kingwood Public Library.  Perhaps there is a connection to the noisy poltergeist who haunts the library and our noisy, groaning ghost of this vintage article! 

Kingwood Main Street ca. 1905 (Source: WV History on View)

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Mason County's Mysterious Skeletons

The idea that giants once roamed the Kanawha and Ohio Valleys is always a fascinating and popular topic within the mysterious history of West Virginia.  Time and time again, we hear stories of Adena burial mounds throughout the state and surrounding areas having once held the skeletal remains of a people who averaged over 7 feet in height. 

Today, the area of West Virginia where I live is still dotted with some of the larger burial mounds, such as the Criel Mound in South Charleston and the Shawnee Mound in Dunbar.  The May Moore Mound, located on private property in Mason County, WV is another large mound, but it is believed to be largely intact---never properly excavated.  What many don't realize, though, is that at one time, there were many, many more (usually much smaller) mounds throughout this area!  I've always heard stories that farmers along the Ohio River in what is now Mason County, WV would constantly come across small burial mounds in their fields, and simply plow them over.  Supporting that claim is an old newspaper article I ran across from the Niles Register (Ohio paper), dated October 20, 1821.  I haven't been able to locate a copy of the original article, but the text can be found in West Virginia Heritage: Volume One, a collection of books compiled and edited in the late 1960's by the West Virginia Heritage Foundation.  The article is as follows:

Mason County's Mysterious Skeletons
From Niles Register
October 21, 1821

From the Kenhawa Spectator.  A gentleman from Mason County, Va. has very obligingly furnished the following singular facts:  On the 19th ult. four very large skeletons were found in a field which had for twenty-four years past been cultivated in corn. They were deposited in a mound apparently very ancient.  The first was discovered by the owner of the field, having ploughed it up, which induced him to make a further examination, when three others were found.  The bones are perfectly sound, and much larger than common, and more especially the skulls, which can be very easily slipped over the largest man's head.  The upper jaw bone has one row of double teeth all round, and the under jaw two teeth only on the left side, and no sockets whatever in the rest of the bone were provided by nature for more.  Considerable quantities of broken crockery ware, with buck horns and bones, bear's bones and muscle (mussel?) shells, etc. were found with the skeletons, and the whole buried in line two feet deep.

It is hoped that the curiosity of the intelligent public may excite them to examine the skeletons, and furnish us with some interesting speculations on the subject. 

May Moore Mound. Image from Todd Bledsoe

I've seen this particular case mentioned on a few websites, mostly in passing, but haven't been able to really find any more substantial information about who the farmer was, where the property is located, and just what the heck happened to these giant skeletons with their strange double row of teeth.  However, with stories such as these, it makes me wonder why the nearby May Moore Mound was never excavated...and if it ever is, just what will we find inside?

Craving MORE Giant Skeletons in Burial Mounds stories?  Check out my post about another small mound, complete with giant skeleton found in the Central City area of Huntington, WV.  People drive over the site every day, and very few realize that the road was once blocked off by an ancient burial mound!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Winter Fun with Monsters!

Happy Friday! It is officially winter here in West Virginia, and even our out-of-this-world monsters are ready for some snowy fun! This piece is called Fun in the Snow (2011) and its by artist John Meszaros.  Check out his DeviantArt profile, NocturnalSea, for more awesome artwork. How many of these extraterrestrial visitors can you name?