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Myths and Legends of WV

Do you believe?!

Atlas Obscura

Emma Mitchem, Staff Writer

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Are you a fan of Urban Legends? What if I told you we have some of our own here in “The Mountain State”? If you haven’t heard of any of these legends, be prepared because some of them are very eerie and close to home.

The first legend is the most popular, the Mothman. The story begins in the city of Point Pleasant in the year 1966. Reports of a seven feet tall winged creature that has glowing eyes and very big wingspan of ten to fifteen feet. Eyewitnesses reported that this creature has chased their car at a speed of 100 mph. Around this time, people have reported being stalked by a man named Indrid Cold. He is believed to be some sort of humanoid and can communicate telepathically according to the witnesses. Many choose to believe that they are somehow connected. People also speculate that the Mothman has to do with the Silver Bridge Collapse on December 15, 1967.

This spooky legend takes place in Harpers Ferry, Screaming Jenny. It’s about a young woman named Jenny who lives by herself and is poor. On one of the nights when she would be able to eat, a spark caught on her skirt and set her ablaze. In a panic, she threw her soup on her skirt which only made it worse. That night she ran through the town screaming for help, but it was too late and pretty much the whole town was asleep. She ran onto a train track trying to put out the flames. She almost got hit by a train, but the captain stopped the train frightened by the sight of Jenny’s burnt corpse. Some say that on the anniversary of her death, you can be met by a fiery apparition.

The next legend takes place on September 12, 1952 in the town of Flatwood, located in Braxton County. Three boys were playing outside when a flying object crashed in a neighbors farmland. They told their mom who panicked and called for the authorities to help them investigate. At the crash site they can’t see anything, their dog runs back to them with its’ tail between its’ legs. They find the source of their dogs fright, a seven feet tall creature. The witnesses described the creatures as having a black body, an ace of spade shaped head, exoskeleton, and long arms with claws. They also reported some sulfuric aroma that stung their eyes and burned their noses. This creature is known as the Flatwoods Monster and no one has a logical explanation for it.

Let’s change gears and talk about a legend that’s close to home, and school. The Grey Flats Ghost is known to haunt the Grey Flats Trail in our very own city of Beckley. Not much is known about this ghost, but according to the witnesses it’s a very strange apparition. The witnesses describe it to be human-like and adorned in a long coat and broad brimmed hat. They’ve recalled that it didn’t walk like a human, that it kind of floated. It has also be reported to disappear into the earth. One of the witnesses told the authorities that it made their friend very sick, to the point they had to leave the site immediately. It is speculated that the ghost is that of a man who was killed around the area. I’m sure if you ask someone significantly older that you, they’ll tell you all about it.

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Myths and Legends of WV