I have lived in this small former mining community for all of my life. At one time, this was actually a very large and very busy little town. There were numerous businesses, a large school, a company store where you could get anything you could imagine, even a movie theater. It is hard to believe that they even found room for all of this in such a small place, but ask anyone who has been here for a while; they did it! Once the mines shut down, many of the residents left to find work elsewhere. With them, went the businesses, heritage, and many of the stories that could possibly explain some of the strange things that have happened here.
One story in particular that thoroughly freaks me out happens to be one that happened to me. When I was around 3 years old, I can clearly remember this little girl who lived just down the road from me. Her name was Beth. She was very petite with long sandy blond hair and freckles, and close to the same age as me. I remember playing on the swing set in my yard with her and playing with my dolls, but she would never come in my house with me. I don’t remember playing with her a lot, but I very clearly remember everything about the last day she came up just as though it happened yesterday.
We were playing in my yard, on the swings just like always. I had just had a birthday, so I had a lot of new toys to play with and I wanted to show them to my friend. I asked her to come inside to see them since I wasn’t allowed to bring any of them outside. She didn’t want to. I begged, but to no avail.
Her mother came walking up the road soon after. She was a small built woman, with her long red hair piled up neatly on her head. She was wearing a mid-calf yellow dress. When she got to the driveway, she started to call to Beth, telling her “We have to leave, come on now! It’s time to go, now tell your friend goodbye and get down the road!” That was the last I ever heard of Beth or any of her family. I have asked my Great-Grandmother and my Grandfather many times if they remember her, but neither of them even heard of the little girl or her mom. I finally asked my mother who lives in another state and has for most of my life if she remembers me talking about Beth when I was a little girl. Her face went pale. She asked “are you talking about the little girl with really long hair and freckles” I was so happy to hear that I wasn’t crazy, that I really did have a friend named Beth…boy was I wrong…
Mom told me that she remembers her because she knew her too and has the same story that I do. Only, she played with Beth when she was a little girl too. She did some research though to find out just who this elusive little girl was.
Apparently Beth lived here long ago with her parents. Her dad was a miner here. Long before my family moved to the community, they all got very sick with some kind of virus that eventually took the lives of the whole family. Perhaps Beth was too young and innocent to realize what happened, she just wanted a friend to play on the swings with her and found two generations of us.