Monday, October 30, 2017

Theresa Travels to Lewisburg, WV

Angel of Death?
When Aaron asked me if I wanted to come with him to Lewisburg  over Labor Day weekend to pick up some computer/vintage gaming stuff he had bought, of course I said YES! I love Lewisburg. Named the Coolest Small Town in America in 2011, Lewisburg is one of West Virginia's most historic (and HAUNTED!) places. We packed Luke up, made the 2 hour drive, and made a day of it.

Close-up
After picking up Aaron's purchase, we started our tour of the town. We began with a trip to the Old Stone Church Cemetery. The entire cemetery is so full of history and stories, and its a beautiful memorial to the citizens of Lewisburg who have long been gone. However, we were there to see one stone in particular---that of the Lewisburg Angel of Death.

As the story goes, shortly after young Maud Matthews passed away, a beautiful stone angel statue was erected over her grave. Two of Maud's young female relations kissed the angel's cheeks in memory of their fallen friend...and then quickly died themselves afterward. Legend states that the statue is cursed and that anyone foolish enough to kiss the cheek of the angel will meet a similar fate as the two girls and will be dead within a year.

I'm a little superstitious, so I decided not to test fate. Others had, though! Upon closer look at the statue, both cheeks are very smooth and worn down. There also appeared to be a little hint of lipstick still visible!

After visiting the Old Stone Church Cemetery, we took the short drive up the hill to visit the Confederate Cemetery. This is another beautiful location, and a very unique one. Confederate dead from the Battle of Lewisburg and Droop Mountain are interred here in a mass earthen grave in the shape of a giant cross. We were sad to see that a historical sign had been defaced, but the site was otherwise pretty well taken care of. I was surprised at how interested my then 7-year-old son was in this location. He even requested that my boyfriend film him giving a small historical talk for his YouTube channel.
Confederate Cemetery
To round out our trip, we also made a quick stop at the haunted General Lewis Inn. We were hoping to grab some lunch there, but we were too late for lunch and too early for the dinner service, so we had to settle for some outside photos. After that, we decided to drive down to the Greenbrier to take a look around....but we got a little distracted by a side trip! We made an unplanned stop in at Organ Cave and took their awesome Civil War tour. I did ask our tour guide if there were any hauntings associated with the cave, especially given its use during the war, but he denied it. The family that owns the cave is extremely religious, so I'm not sure they would have admitted to any paranormal activity even if there had been reports. Still, we had a great time and learned a lot. We eventually did make it to the Greenbrier, but unfortunately we ran into ANOTHER food situation. We were going to eat at the Greenbrier, but the only restaurants that were open at that time had a dress code----and after that extensive cave tour, I had mud and dirt smeared down my side and nothing to change into. Luke and Aaron weren't much cleaner...so we had to settle for a few outside photographs and dinner at Applebee's.

Summer 2009
By this point, we were all pretty tired, but we needed to make one more stop. Since we were in the area, we HAD to pay our respects to West Virginia's most famous ghost girl, Zona Hester Shue, otherwise known as the Greenbrier Ghost.

Summer 2017
Zona is buried in the Soule Baptist Church Cemetery in the nearby town of Sam Black Church. This was the first time I had been to visit Zona since I was pregnant with Luke. He and I 'recreated' the photo I had taken eight years earlier when I stood behind Zona's grave to conceal my very large pregnant belly! It was a really cool experience to share with my son, and I'm glad Aaron got to be there as well. I've never really written much about Zona on here since her story has been covered so extensively elsewhere, but she's always held a special place in my heart. Seeing her final resting place being well cared for and still receiving visitors was a great end to a great day.

*If you'd like to see more photos from our Lewisburg trip, please join me over at Theresa's Haunted History Facebook page and look for the Lewisburg album under Photos. And if you'd like to hear more of Theresa's adventures, subscribe to the blog! Thanks!*



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