I love looking through old newspaper archives, and many times, I find some really strange little gems! And while newspaper articles featuring fantastical stories can be found year round, even in our local publications, I recently noticed that quite a few were published in the month of January. January of 1914 was an especially weird month for some reason.
I won't come out and say that any of these news stories are actually 'fake news,' but I will venture to assume that January has, historically, been a slow month for reporters here in the tri-state!
1. The Mountain Octopus: The story of the Mountain Octopus appeared in local papers on January 11, 1946. A group of students in Thomas, WV, discovered several of the creatures in a local stream, and brought two back to school with them to show to staff/students. No one was ever quite sure how and why an ocean creature got (and survived) in our cold, freshwater streams of West Virginia.
2. Hungarian Woman Sought Murder Clue from Spirits: This strange story appeared in a Huntington, WV newspaper on January 23, 1914. A widow from Thurmond, WV made a stop in Huntington after traveling to Ohio to seek the services of a well-known medium. The woman was seeking information from the spirits concerning her husband's recent murder.
3. Meteor, or Bad Omen Over Huntington?: Here's another weird story from Huntington, WV that appeared in the local paper on January 13, 1914. Around that time, a meteor was seen streaking over the skies of Huntington. However, a group of kids playing near the old C&O Hospital claimed that they saw the meteor then spell out a name in fire, and then morph into the image of a woman's face in the sky!
4. Women in Hysterics as Ghost Runs Down Street: Although the account was published in a local paper on January 8, 1914, this tale actually comes from New York and is a humorous telling of how a prisoner on the loose with a sheet flung over his head terrorized some church ladies leaving a service.