Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Huntington's Own Urban Legend
While many people have heard these stories passed around for years, not many people are aware that Huntington, WV has its OWN version of the timeless classic occuring on Fifth Street Hill, a main thoroughfare between Huntington and Wayne County. The young girl only appears late at night, after midnight, and always when the weather is rainy and dreary. She's always waiting at the top of the hill, thumbing a ride down.
The first published account of this tale comes from an October 30th, 1942 newspaper article, in which a Black and White Cab driver tells of his eerie encounter. Around 4:30am, the driver dropped off a fare at a dance hall, and was making his way back into Huntington, when he was hailed by a young woman wearing nothing but a thin blouse and skirt, despite the chilly weather. He picked her up, and when asked about her lack of a coat, the young lady replied that she hadn't worn a coat for 9-10 years. She asked to b dropped off at the bottom of the hill, and when they arrived, the driver noticed the woman was missing from the cab.
The driver came back to the garage to complain to his supervisor about being cheated a quarter's fare...what he got was the shock of hearing that the supervisor had also known drivers from another cab company, Yellow Cab, to have had the exact same experience. In fact, one driver from that company had the experienc just a year prior.
A second newspaper article reported on the story in November of 1958, and reported that the phantom hitchhiker was still around, scaring up cab drivers, as well as bus drivers who picked her up. This particular article expanded on the backstory of the ghostly girl's existence. Apparently, a Huntington couple had taken their daughter and her fiance to Wayne to be married. All went well, but on the drive home, the rain started falling, making the road quite slick. At the area where Fifth Street meets the boulevard, right before the bridge, the car turned over, killing the new bride.
More recent interviews with the current Yellow Cab operation have resulted in drivers being familiar with the story, but no reports of anyone picking up the phantom hitchhiker. Perhaps she finally made her way home?
More information available in Joseph Plantania's Huntington Quarterly article
Update Summer 2012: While the tale of the lonely bride of 5th Street Hill is tragic enough, there is another terrible story that hails from this area, concerning a young boy who was tragically shot by a playmate. I've transcribed the article concerning the shooting HERE, and you can find out this location has had an impact on the haunted history in Theresa's new book, Haunted Huntington, Volume 1!