Saturday, November 16, 2019

On the Trail of a Ghost

I love a good West Virginia ghost story!  This vintage tale comes from the December 2, 1913 edition of the Fairmont West Virginian newspaper and is a good reminder that not everything is what it seems...

Party of First Warders Make Search of White Rock

A real ghost is believed to exist by residents living in the vicinity of White Rock about four or five miles from this city.  Residents of that section report that frequently after the shadows of night fall, a ghost resembling a woman carrying an infant child and crying aloud, is seen in that vicinity and has caused a few of the fearful minded to stick close to their homes and firesides and has been the cause of careful investigation on the part of the less fearful. 

The fact that the ghost had been seen, was circulated in this city and caused a squad of brave minded parties, who had from infancy desired to see a real ghost, to band together last evening and explore that region in hopes of finding said ghost.

Consequently a band of 25 or 30 citizens of the First Ward, employees of the Monongah Glass plant and others started on the quest last night.  The trip was made overland through the mud and clay to the spot the ghost was said to frequent.

As the party neared the haunted spot, what appeared to be a ghost hove into view. Careful investigation disclosed and abandoned old white lime kiln near which a dummy had been strung across the road.

Sorely disappointed over the fact that the ghost had proved a fallacy, the party, tired, muddy, and foot sore limped back into town, with their desire to see a ghost unsatisfied and much the worse for their harrowing experience.

While the local party was thoroughly satisfied that no ghost exists a number of the citizens of that place still hail from Missouri and refuse to accept the theory and be comforted, but are still watching for the nightly appearance of the ghost. 

Theresa's Note:  This newspaper article can be found on the Library of Congress' Chronicling America site. I personally found it interesting that employees from the Monongah Glass plant in Fairmont, WV were cited as making up a portion of the search party!  From what sources I could find, it seems as if the Monongah Glass plant was only in operation from 1904 to 1933...and it was known for using child labor.  The photo below, from WV History on View, shows some of the child workers at the Fairmont plant.  Could some of these young boys have been hunting ghosts that night in 1913?

Child workers at Monongah Glass-WV History on View 

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