Coal Miner’s Ghost

Coal Miner's Ghost
A haunting night scene with a ghostly light on a mountain trail / AI Generated

My mother told me this story. It happened to her years ago (1940’s) when she lived in the coal mining region of West Virginia, and was then married to her first husband. If my own mother didn’t tell me this first-hand, I’m not sure if I’d believe it, but my mother isn’t one to spin yarns.

She had walked down the street (approx 1/4 mile) to her mother’s house for supper. When she left Granny’s house, it was dark. On the other side of the street, between Granny’s house and Mom’s house there was a mountain which had a dirt trail leading up to a house. A light caught her eye, so she watched it figuring someone was walking up the trail carrying a lantern. But when the light rose up into the trees, and then up above the trees, she thought it was rather strange, but really didn’t think too much about it.

When she got to her house, she called for her girlfriend (she lived in the apartment upstairs from Mom) to come out to see it. All of a sudden her friend started uncontrollably crying and saying that there was going to be an accident in the mines. Both her husband and my mother’s worked the night shift in the coal mines. That every time that light was seen an accident happened. Legend had it that an old coal miner used to live up on that mountain, and that he had died in an explosion in the mines. Since then, his ghost comes back to warn the men when there’s going to be another explosion. And sure enough, whenever that light was seen, there was an explosion indeed.

My mom tried to calm her friend down, and they all went in for the night. At about 2:00 am Mom was awoken by a knock at the door. It was some men from the mine who came to tell her that there was an explosion in the mine, and that her husband had been hurt (he lost two fingers in the explosion).

From that night on, Mom said she would never look up that mountain trail again. She didn’t want to see the lantern light.

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