True Tale Of Terror

True Tale Of Terror
Old Cabin in the Woods / Stock Photo

I have very much enjoyed visiting your web page. The stories related are well written and, for the most part, I think, true. I would like to contribute my family’s and my own personal experience of a real life haunting. I swear before God to its truthfulness.

Ben Creek, Mingo County, West Virginia lies only a few short miles from the southwestern panhandle of the state of Virginia. The area is mountainous and rugged and not a far distance from the Hatfield and McCoy “stomping ground.” Further, this part of Mingo County is relatively isolated and one’s closest neighbors can be several miles “down the creek” or “up the mountain.”

The year was 1971 that my family and I (myself being the youngest of six siblings) moved to Mingo County, West Virginia from the Cleveland, Ohio area. Believe me, to describe this change as a culture shock is minimizing the experience. The geography was different, as well as the people, and the lifestyle generally. The poverty was incomprehensible to my eight year old eyes. My parents, being from the Mingo county area as children themselves, desired moving back to the place of their roots and to be geographically closer to their own families.

We moved into a modest and dilapidated two-story house (the second story was actually a full, unfinished attic) on Ben Creek, about 1/2 mile up the creek from our nearest neighbor, my Uncle Walker. Being short on money, my father searched for the most economical house in the area. In no time we found our house. The grass and weeds had grown up high, and with boards over the windows, the house looked ramshackled and abandoned. We had to “make do”, though.

After we moved in, we began to make the best out of our “new” home. Being only eight years old and in the third grade, classmates began commenting to me if we had seen any “ghosts” in our house. My brother (ten at the time) and I responded no we had not and we usually left it off at that. I am ashamed to admit it but, in all honesty, we thought these people were backwoods morons.

At the same time, my three sisters in junior and senior high were also beginning to get quizzed by their classmates along a similar line of questioning. It seemed everyone “on the creek” knew something about our house except us–the unsuspecting “city slickers.”

Shortly thereafter, everything changed.

It was on a warm, late-spring Sunday evening, shortly before dusk just as the sunlight was just beginning to slip behind one of the mountains. It was still light outside, only slowly growing dimmer. My father and mother and one of my sisters had gone into Matewan (about twenty miles away) to grocery shop and to stop to visit relatives in that area of the county. I, along with my brother Tim (10), sister Donna (14), and sister Debbie (16) were lounging around the living room and doing what kids do. Tim and I were playing some sort of board game on the floor, while my sisters watched television and talked. Our dog, Mitten, was chained up to the front porch. Suddenly, Mitten began barking and growling absolutely hysterically! I had rarely heard Mitten sound so, at the same time, distressed and threatened.

Initially, my brother Tim and I (being our family’s “little men”) jumped up and ran toward the opened front door thinking that either a bear or a human was going to come into the house! Just then, Tim and I leaned out of the front door with our sister Debbie right behind. Stretching our necks out the door to see what Mitten was barking at, stood a human figure standing at the corner of the house! (The way he was standing, we could only see his front half. The backside was behind the corner of the house.)

We thought at first that it was a man trying to break in on us kids knowing my father was not home. But, this was like no man we had ever seen! Still thinking it was a human man trying to get in, we yelled at him (it?) to not come in because we had a gun and would use it. (We really did have one and Debbie went to get it.) Just as Debbie got back to the door, and within full sight of Tim, Debbie, Mitten, and myself this thing moved. As it moved, we knew immediately this thing certainly was not human. It was a solid black figure, with no light reflection whatsoever reflecting off of it. It was like looking into a black hole.

The shape was reminiscent of an old style fisherman hat with full-body slicker. I will never forget how it looked. As it moved away slowly from the house it moved as one unit (that is to say, with no body motion at all) and was actually floating above the ground about one foot and had no feet. It did not make any sound as it floated down our gravel driveway and turned right as it reached the roadway. We were in shock and could not believe what we had witnessed.

My father did not believe us at all, and thought we were just making this up until my mother witnessed the very same figure coming up the driveway about one week later! As she sat in the front door one morning after a cooling rain, she said it looked like it had come up out of the ground and proceeded toward the house. She thought that it was going to come on up the stairs and onto the porch, but it proceeded up past the corner of the house instead.

And, lastly, if my mother and we children did not make a believer out of my dad, he converted to one shortly thereafter. One night as we slept, we all awoke to all hell breaking loose in the attic. It sounded like somebody had broken in through a window and was smashing furniture (we had none up there), smashing mirrors (none), and was stomping through glass for what seemed like hours.

This activity woke us all and it sounded as though whoever was up there was about to come down the stairs! That’s when my dad and eldest brother Terry (18), thinking somebody had broken in and was vandalizing the attic, armed themselves and went up the stairs. The noises stopped just as my dad was opening the attic door. Nothing had been touched. Even the cobwebs were still in the windowsills!

We still had to live in that hell house for the remaining part of the summer, though nothing quite so extraordinary occurred.

That’s my story and I swear to its authenticity. I am now a 34 year old man, occasionally fear the dark, and noises in the night make me break out in cold sweat. I used to be angry that how could anything (even a ghost) psychologically scar such a young, innocent child. I am no longer angry, but I admit that I am still traumatized by the experience (what do I do, go to a psychiatrist and tell him I saw a ghost?).

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