|Mullens Athletic Field|
Google Street View
25 October 1973
|Mullens Athletic Field|
Google Street View
25 October 1973
How many West Virginia monsters can you spot down at the Holler General? Heehee, I love this graphic, which was created back in 2021 by Huntington artist, Jimbo Valentine. Not only is it a cool representation of some of West Virginia's most beloved cryptids, as a paranormal investigator working in this state, it hits home!
For years now, it seems like Dollar General stores have been taking over the state. I swear, it does not matter how far away from the rest of civilization you are, you're bound to run into a Dollar General Store out in the middle of nowhere. And these things seem to pop up overnight!
Some of our investigation locations have been pretty...rural...and I kid you not, there might not be a gas station or grocery store for miles away, but we've always been able to find a Dollar General within 5-10 minutes of where we are. Therefore, a lot of last minute batteries, snacks and energy drinks have been purchased on the way to multiple paranormal investigation locations at various Dollar Generals throughout the state. And, not gonna lie...I've seen some stuff AT the Dollar General itself that's been more odd and/or disturbing than what was found during the actual investigation.
Anyway, you can find Jimbo's website at Amalgam Unlimited. He also goes by the InstaGram handle, amalgam_unlimited. Check him out, as he has lots of cool art for sale, including some other WV cryptid pieces.
|Pickaway, WV (Monroe County)|
Photo from Wiki, by Antony-22
Mrs. Bland and her husband were returning to their home in Hinton from a nice little day trip to see Organ Cave in nearby Greenbrier County. About 7pm that evening, they were passing through the small community of Pickaway in Monroe County and Mrs. Bland noticed something in the sky. She described it as a big, round ball of fire with a dark thing in the center---a thing that resembled a human body. At first, her husband tried to convince her she was just seeing the evening star, but when the strange flaming ball descended straight down rapidly, he decided to pull over for a better look.
They watched this ball of fire for about 35 minutes as it circled around trees at varying speeds, seemingly governed by the wind. Not only did the speed fluctuate, but the very shape of the thing did as well, going from a perfect sphere to more oblong in shape. After awhile it just zoomed straight up and disappeared.
The following day, Mrs. Bland called the local newspaper office to report her sighting. Earlier that week, the topic of flying saucers and strange lights in the sky was once more a hot issue, as similar reports had been coming in from Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, even being spotted by Air Force personnel. However, Mrs. Bland is credited as being the first to witness this particular flap of aerial phenomenon in West Virginia.
Interestingly, the summer before when the country was collectively deciding what to make out of the news of a potential UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico, another Hinton housewife, Lee Ramsey (interestingly, who lived on the same street as Mrs. Bland a couple of blocks down) saw a group of saucer-shaped craft over her home. And the story continues...
In 1952, the UFOs returned to Hinton. In July, a group of women on Summers Street (the SAME street that Mrs. Bland and Mrs. Ramsey lived on) saw a big round spinning thing over the New River from their porch. A month later, the passengers on a bus driving through Hinton also had a weird sighting of what they described as an aluminum bathtub-shaped object in the sky near the ballpark.
I'm not sure what makes Hinton residents so inclined to see strange aerial phenomenon, or maybe just more willing to report it and publish it, but I'm happy that we have these stories preserved. My grandmother grew up just outside of Hinton, and while she tended to tell more tales of ghosts than UFOs, it makes me wonder. Her family had already moved to Beckley by 1940, however, so they missed out on these well-known post WWII UFO flaps. Also...I think I need to do a little more digging into this Summers Street phenomenon. I know that it is a main thoroughfare that runs quite a distance through town with many residences along the way. But, there's something that just sticks out to me about this "Ladies' Summers Street UFO Club." Did these ladies know each other? Did they talk about their sightings? Why in the world did so many women on Summers Street see UFOs???
|10 January 1948|
Hinton Daily News
|Miner's Hospital #3 at Fairmont ca 1912|
Source: WV History on View
You don't come across too many happy endings when it comes to Wild Man stories being reported in old newspapers. Actually, you're lucky if you come across an ending of any sort to the story, but I digress. The February 9, 1916 edition of the Martinsburg WVa Evening Journal reported some good news when it came to a local 'wild man.' Once a broken man living in a cave, John Munkers was treated at a local hospital and afterwards found gainful employment as he returned to society.
BROOKE CO. WILD MAN IS NOW NORMAL
John Munkers the wild man of Brooke co., who had his habitat for years in a cave near Follansbee, is a sane, normal person, employed in one of the mills of Wheeling. Munkers, who for years lived the most primitive sort of life, hiding when anyone approached and practically nude, was taken in charge by the Brooke county authorities some time ago and sent to the Miner's Hospital at Fairmont to be treated. His mind was a blank, but he was carefully nursed back to physical and mental strength at the hospital.
Source: Chronicling America
|Miles Vernon Dixson's Tombstone at Spring Hill|
Photo by Find-a-Grave User, Rosa Nutt
My husband and I recently rented an apartment in Charleston's East End...which means I'm literally about a five minute drive from the city's beautiful, historic Victorian-era burial ground known as Spring Hill Cemetery. This massive, sprawling cemetery overlooking the state capitol is the final resting place for many of Charleston's most famous and accomplished citizens. It's a wonderful look at the history of the city and a snapshot of the lives of those who made it all possible.
But there's one tombstone included in the cemetery's self-guided history walk that is rather unassuming. To walk up on the small, rather plain marker amid elaborate obelisks and extravagant displays of funerary art, you might not take a second glance. However, the young man buried there has a fascinating tale to tell.
Twenty-one year old Miles Vernon Dixson of South Hills was a teller at the Kanawha Valley Bank, but his dream was to become a pilot. So, the young man enrolled in Glen Clark's flying school, which he ran from his seaplane base, located on the Kanawha River. On Saturday March 2, 1935, Dixson took one of the training sea planes out for a practice run in preparation for his upcoming licensing exam. As he was flying over the vicinity of Spring Hill Cemetery, something went wrong.
|Spring Hill Mausoleum |
Photo by Theresa Racer
Newspaper articles of the time period aren't 100% clear, but it seems as if a stunt may have went wrong, and one or both of the plane's wings were torn away from the body of the plane at about 1,800 feet up. He tried to deploy his parachute, but was unable to until he was only 200 feet high and it didn't have time to open. The plane crashed, and his body plummeted to the ground, right beside the mausoleum of Spring Hill Cemetery. His death certificate lists his cause of death as a fractured skull and crushed chest. Ironically, he was buried in Spring Hill, just a short walk from where his life actually ended.
Over the years, Spring Hill Cemetery in Charleston (like it's counterpart, Spring Hill Cemetery in Huntington) has gained a reputation for being haunted. In recent years, the debate as to why cemeteries would even BE haunted locations of note has been a hot topic among the paranormal community. That's a blog post for another day, but it's stories like this one that definitely add an interesting layer to that debate! Unfortunately, this was a really sad case where a young life was extinguished way too soon.
|Bluefield Daily Telegraph|
03 March 1935
08 May 1897
And, being the curious sort, I had to do a little more digging! Unfortunately, I was disappointed, lol. Surprisingly, I DID find some additional newspaper articles mentioning Lutie through the years, but nothing about her psychic abilities. She and her family lived on Moler Avenue, and she was a pretty good student, being mentioned in the newspaper for receiving good marks at school. Like many other young ladies of the time, she was mentioned in the social columns for attending various parties and other social gatherings. There was even a Lost and Found ad where Lutie was asking for information on the return of a coat that she had lost (which, I guess if she really still had her psychic abilities, she'd know where it was??). Finally, a newspaper article appeared in 1923 announcing that Miss Lutie Frankenberry of Martinsburg, WV had married Harry C. Beard of Harrisburg, PA and that the couple would be residing in Pennsylvania.
It's often said that children do tend to have a stronger, more open pineal gland, and therefore, will display a greater aptitude for psychic abilities, which tends to wane as they get older. Was that the case with Lutie? Was she really blessed with the gift of second sight, and if so, did she lose it, or was it something she carried with her throughout her life, but only shared with a select few?