In the 1950’s I often went to my relative’s in Wirt County to visit on the week-ends. The procedure was to drop them a post-card early in the week saying I would take the Greyhound bus to the stop where they picked me up.
I did exactly that one week or so before Thanksgiving in the early 50’s. When the bus dropped me off, it was almost dark, and there were no familiar faces waiting for me.
I just thought I would walk towards the direction I knew they would be driving, as I knew the road well.
I passed all the houses I knew families, and it got darker and darker, no sign of my aunt or uncle.
As I got farther and farther into the “holler” I heard something start following me, off to the right. When I stopped to listen, it stopped. I began to get a little scared.
I kept trekking and started singing every song I knew because I was now trying to stay in the middle of the dirt road and just get to my relative’s house.
I came to the old West house and decided to stop and ask for help. Well, Mrs. West nearly had a heart attack when she opened her door to my knock.
She drug me inside and said “lord, child, what are you doing out here at this time of night?” I explained why I was there and insisted I was walking the rest of the way down the “holler” and all I wanted was a flash-light.
Against her better judgment, she gave me an old, rickety flashlight and I set off again. The minute I got back on the dirt road, so did whatever was following me. It kept to the right side of the road again.
I made it to my Aunt’s house and every dog they owned came bounding out to bark at me, and whatever was following me bounded up the side of the holler.
I never got so much fussing at in my life from my relatives and eventually my mother in Parkersburg. I was told there were all kinds of wildlife out there and it could have been a wildcat or a bear and ate me!
Turns out my Aunt never received my card saying I was coming that week-end. Also, that week-end visit turned into the Thanksgiving blizzard of the century in WV! We were snow-bound for several days!
I don’t know what followed me, but, it scared a little 11 year old girl and gave my family something to talk about for a very long time!
In 1994 I visited that part of Wirt County and remembered the long trek I took that night and thought about what might have been following me. Who knows? I don’t.