Wednesday, March 2, 2011

WV Turnpike

The WV Turnpike between Princeton and Charleston is plagued with many ghostly happenings. Phantom hitchhikers, strange lights, and UFOs are just some of the things that have been reported since construction of the highway began in 1952 and when it was opened for business on November 8, 1954. 

Although the whole stretch of road is known for its haunts just as much as its known for its treacherous terrain, most of the activity seems concentrated on a 15 mile stretch between Beckley and Mossy. 

Along this area, there are numerous reports of activity, many coming from state troopers. In two separate incidents involving two different troopers, a phantom hitchhiker has been picked up, only to disappear in the back seat of the cruiser. One hitchhiker, a young man, was arrested and put into the back of the trooper's car.  When the trooper turned around, the man was gone and his handcuffs were lying on the seat.  The other hitchhiker was a little girl who also disappeared.  She was found wandering the side of the road, not talking. 
          Besides the actual road itself, the old Morton Truck Stop and Glass House restaurant (now torn     down) were reported to be haunted, as well as a highway maintenance building and offices. 

Many old family cemeteries were paved over or moved in the building of the highway, and at least 5 workers died in its construction. The highway runs along the sites of several major floods and mine disasters, not to mention countless murders, so perhaps this has something to do with the activity. Not many reports have surfaced since the highway upgraded in the 1970s, yet a few strange things have recently happened. 

My mom and I had our own phantom hitchhiker story along this road a few years back. We were visiting my grandmother in Beckley and passed a scraggly looking young man wearing dark clothing and carrying an olive green army-like sack. This was an area where there were no exits for many miles in either direction, and we never saw a broken down car or anything in the area. We both looked in the rearview mirror as we passed him, but he had mysteriously vanished. We turned around at the nearest spot in the road and went back, but we never did find him again and saw no place where he could have been, nor no cars which could have picked him up.  

For complete hauntings info, check out Dennis Dietz's The Greenbrier Ghost, or A Guide to Haunted WV by Walter Gavenda and Michael T. Shoemaker. For a history of the highway, see below: 

General Information from

Turnpike and Tunnel History

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