Friday, February 24, 2012

East End Ghost

This following tale was submitted to the Winter 2011 edition of the KYOWVA Genealogical and Historical Society Newsletter.  It is dated from a July 31, 1935 newspaper, but does not tell WHAT newspaper, or whether or not this story came from HUNTINGTON, WV, as I imagine.   I'll be doing more research into this story, but until then, I HAD to share this piece as a Friday Night Funny!  (Story has been updated as of March 2012)


Something just as strange as pink elephants, formations of human beings and animals in the clouds, and the face of the man in the moon happened yesterday at the home of Mrs. S.D. Gilfillen, 812 Twenty-eight Street.

The face of a man appeared in the pillow on the bed in Mrs. Gilfillen's room.  The features of the face, the eyes, forehead, nose and mouth were outlined in the imprint which looked as if it had been made by a head resting on the pillow.

Mrs. Gilfillen said she discovered the face yesterday after she had cleaned the room and made the bed.  She had straightened the pillows and smoothed them out.  After this she went about her work in the kitchen as usual and when she returned to her room shortly afterward she discovered the face.  Her explanation was that it was some miracle or some sign.

Crowds have viewed the face since it was discovered.

The pillow in which the face appears is made of turkey feathers, and someone suggested it might be the turkey's ghost.  Another spectator inquired if someone had recently died in the bed.  Mrs. Gilfillen declared absolutely no.  She believes it is a sign.

What I find so freaking hilarious about this submission is the spectator who believes that this man shaped face belongs to the ghost of the TURKEY!  Once again, we have a tale of a...wait for it...poultrygeist!

UPDATE March 2012:  I was able to verify that this story does come from a Huntington address.  The Mrs. S.D. Gilfillen of the story is none other than Mary Ledmond Gilfillen.  I also found a somewhat tragic twist to this tale.  Less than a year after the face in the pillow sighting, the Gilfillen's lost their young son.  On May 23, 1936 Hurbert Gilfillen, aged 21 years, decided to go swimming in the Guyandotte River, right near where Special Metals is located.  Somehow, he was overcome, and drowned there in the river, his death being ruled accidental.  Was the face in the pillow just a fluke...some trick of the eye, what we'd call simulcra or even pareidolia today?  Or...was it really a sign as Mrs. Gilfillen that turned out to foretell the death of a young man way before his time? 

Hurbert's Death Certificate

Photo from Google Streetview

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