Tag Archives: ghost stories

Paranormal Accounts from The Shenandoah Valley of Virginia


These excerpts are taken from Supernatural Tales,The Virginia and West Virginia Mountain and Valley Folklife Series by late Shenandoah Valley author and historian John Heatwole. Mr. Heatwole interviewed many inhabitants of Brock’s Gap and wrote up a wonderful collection of stories included in his series. He said, “The Brocks Gap section of Rockingham County is rich in folklore of all kinds. It is an area in the northwest part of the county isolated by the North Mountain range.” And not far from where we live, I should add. This post is one I did several years ago and thought deserved reposting.

The following spooky stories are a great source of entertainment while snug inside next to a warm hearth, but not so much fun if you find yourself out on your own in the woods and hollows after dark.~

“Frank Caplinger lived across the road from the old Caplinger Chapel near the Criders Post Office in western Brocks Gap. In the evening Frank would sometimes hear pews scraping on the floor of the church on the other side of the road. Each time he walked over to check on things he would find the building empty with no signs that anyone had been there.

Once Frank was crossing the German River on the old suspension foot bridge; he was going to the post office on the opposite bank. As he entered the bridge he looked up and saw a strange man sitting on top of the cable frame, still and quiet. When Frank neared the other end of the bridge he looked back and the figure had vanished. It was impossible for the man to have scrambled down and run out of sight that quickly.” 

****

“Other folks remember strange lights on the mountains or in the cemeteries.  Harrison May recalled: ‘We’d see lights up in the Caplinger Cemetery every so often. When we got there to check there’d be no lights anywhere. Guess they were just spooks.’”

Moonlit Night

“When Nelson Whetzel was a young man he had an interesting experience while walking home from work one evening. In Brocks Gap in earlier times the only things to light ones way were the stars or the glow from a lamp in a neighbor’s window. 

As he walked Nelson heard a horse coming up the road behind him.  Nelson stopped for a moment, thinking, ‘Good! I’ll have someone to talk to.’ But the sound of the horse’s hooves stopped when he did. He called out, asking who was there in the pitch-black.

No answer came and Nelson began uneasily walking again, this time a little faster. The sound of the horse picked up pace to match Nelson’s. He stopped a second time and the sound of the horse ceased to be heard. Nelson started trotting and the sound horse’s hooves were heard at a trot behind him, close on his heels. He grew very frightened and began to run as fast as he could.  The galloping horse seemed to be so close, Nelson thought he felt the breath on the back of his neck.

Up ahead Nelson saw the lighted windows of the cabin belonging to George and Mat Smith. He was so terrified that he hit the Smith’s front door at full force. He knocked it down and went right through the structure, knocking down the back door as he exited. The Smiths blinked at each other in wonder and amazement. They saw no phantom horse follow Nelson through their home.

Immediately after his encounter with the doors Nelson noticed the sound of the pursuing horse was gone, however, he ran on home as fast as his feet would carry him.”

*That tale reminds me of the headless horseman from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Scary!

“The Roadcaps lived in a two-story log cabin just down the road from Gospel Hill Mennonite Church. All of the girls of the family shared a room upstairs.  One night one of the sisters, Peggy by name, went to the bedroom alone.  There she saw a woman sitting up on the iron headboard of one of the beds.

The woman didn’t say anything or move toward the frightened child, just sat there and looked at her. Peggy was rooted to the spot in fear but able to find her voice and call to her father to come to her aid.  There was something in her voice that demanded immediate attention and she heard his heavy footfall as he hurried up the stairs. As her father neared the room, the woman vanished into thin air.  Peggy never entered that room alone again.

****

The children of the Roadcap family loved to play on the banks of the little Shoemaker River near their home. Once they came running home and told their father they’d seen a woman all dressed in white walking along the opposite bank of the river from where they played. They’d never seen her before and being shy had not spoken to her but only observed her progress.

Their father listened thoughtfully and then told them they had seen the spirit of a young woman who had died years before of a broken heart. They were told they would probably see her again and that she would do them no harm. They were to behave as they had before and refrain from calling out to the spirit.

They believed their father. There were not that many people living in those parts and the children knew them all. They promised not to disturb the apparition if they encountered her again. During their childhoods they witnessed her strolling along the river on several more occasions.~

That story reminds me of the novel, The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, which is also a very intriguing BBC mystery/thriller starring Tara Fitzgerald. I saw the film on Netflix and highly recommend it.

***If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy other related ones.

***John Heatwole’s books are at Amazon, but may only be available as used copies.

How Cancer Influenced a Ghost’s Tale by Author Juli D. Revezzo


benefitsalebannerFrom Juli: Cancer. The big C. Chances are, you’ve known someone in your circle that has had it or you know someone who knows someone who does. It’s something no one wants to think about. There are several strains of it researchers know quite a bit about—breast cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer—and many more that they don’t. Fibrolomellar type Hepatocellular carcinoma it’s called. Ever heard of it? No? I’m not surprised. It’s a rather rare form of liver cancer and only seems to affect young people and has a very high death rate. One in particular, my little brother, dealt with it for many years. He went through every damned form of chemotherapy the doctors had for him, and quite a few experimental ones. A few years ago, the cancer killed him. Yet before that day came he enjoyed all the usual pursuits for a young man. He was incredibly in love with the Lord of the Rings and roller coasters. Tried, for many years—unsuccessfully—to get me on one. One of his biggest loves was horror movies and the holidays—particularly Halloween. For a few years he even worked at a professional haunted attraction in our hometown. He loved Ghost Hunters and shows of its ilk and wanted to go on some paranormal hunting gigs, but never got around to it.

One thing I regret (other than the roller coaster thing. ;)) is that he never got to read my Antique Magic series. I think he would’ve loved (my heroine) Caitlin and her ghosts. Hence why I dedicate them to him. This year, I wanted to do something a little different than just toast his birthday, though. The Fibrolomellar Cancer Foundation is always in need of donations for funding research and so forth so with the release of the next book in the series—Drawing Down the Shades— for the next few days, I’d like to donate my Amazon royalties from the sale of the series, to the group. So if you’ve been thinking about the stories, eyeing them, wondering whether or not to give them a try, why not? The proceeds will go to the FCF and hopefully, do some good. While you, my friends, will get some great stories to pass a winter’s night. The series comprises three stories so far, with a fourth coming next summer, if all goes well. Wanna peek?

The Artist's InheritanceThe Artist’s Inheritance (Antique Magic, book 1)

The balance between good and evil can be an art… or a curse.

Trevor and Caitlin were once happy newlyweds, profiting from Trevor’s art. Until Trevor inherits his brother’s house, and with it, his part of a family curse. Now, Caitlin will stop at nothing to save her beloved husband from insanity and suicide, even if it means she must embrace her destiny and become a witch.

Caitlin’s Book of Shadows (Antique Magic, book 1.5)

Though their fame became legend, a rumor cropped up about the Fulmer family: Something terrifying stalked Caitlin and her beloved Trevor. Something the bits and pieces she left claimed she had to make sense of. When the curator of their collection finds Caitlin’s long forgotten diary, she wonders will it tell the whole tale? Will it tell why Caitlin seemed so determined to tell the difference between reality and nightmare? Why she thought her world twisted? If she really became a witch?

Perhaps the answer lies between the lines of her story, one of lessons, struggles, and hopes for each new year.

What truths will her Book of Shadows reveal?

Drawing Down the Shades - Juli D. RevezzoDrawing Down the Shades (Antique Magic, book 2)

Life is good at Starfort Collectibles until the owners, Caitlin and Trevor Fulmer, acquire a beautiful statuette with a murky past. Shortly thereafter, mysterious hauntings wreak havoc on the couple when a ghost in the attic threatens retribution. Caitlin presses her coven for help before the ghost succeeds in meting out deadly punishment—on Trevor.

The three books are available online at the following:

The Artist’s Inheritance buy links: AmazonBarnes and NobleSmashwords:  For the paperback: Createspace:

Caitlin’s Book of ShadowsAmazonB&NSmashwords:

Drawing Down the Shades: AmazonB&N: And Smashwords:

I hope you enjoy them.

Caitlins book of shadows v6_2smallFrom Beth: I’m sure we will and thanks, Juli. I’m so sorry about your brother. What a great thing to dedicate these stories to him and donate to the cancer fund.

For more on Juli visit her website: http://julidrevezzo.com/

Blog: http://julidrevezzo.com/blog

Like her on FacebookGoogle+:

At Good ReadsManic ReadersPintrestShelfariStoryfinds: Tumblr: Follow her on twitter: @julidrevezzo

Supernatural Tales from Back in the Gap


These excerpts are taken from Supernatural Tales,The Virginia and West Virginia Mountain and Valley Folklife Series by late Shenandoah Valley author and historian John Heatwole. Mr. Heatwole interviewed many inhabitants of Brock’s Gap and wrote up a wonderful collection of stories included in his series. He said, “The Brocks Gap section of Rockingham County is rich in folklore of all kinds. It is an area in the northwest part of the county isolated by the North Mountain range.”

The following spooky stories are a great source of entertainment while snug inside next to a warm hearth, but not so much fun if you find yourself out on your own in the woods and hollows after dark.~

“Frank Caplinger lived across the road from the old Caplinger Chapel near the Criders Post Office in western Brocks Gap. In the evening Frank would sometimes hear pews scraping on the floor of the church on the other side of the road. Each time he walked over to check on things he would find the building empty with no signs that anyone had been there.

Once Frank was crossing the German River on the old suspension foot bridge; he was going to the post office on the opposite bank. As he entered the bridge he looked up and saw a strange man sitting on top of the cable frame, still and quiet. When Frank neared the other end of the bridge he looked back and the figure had vanished. It was impossible for the man to have scrambled down and run out of sight that quickly.” 

****

“Other folks remember strange lights on the mountains or in the cemeteries.  Harrison May recalled: ‘We’d see lights up in the Caplinger Cemetery every so often. When we got there to check there’d be no lights anywhere. Guess they were just spooks.’”

****

Moonlit Night

“When Nelson Whetzel was a young man he had an interesting experience while walking home from work one evening. In Brocks Gap in earlier times the only things to light ones way were the stars or the glow from a lamp in a neighbor’s window. 

As he walked Nelson heard a horse coming up the road behind him.  Nelson stopped for a moment, thinking, ‘Good! I’ll have someone to talk to.’ But the sound of the horse’s hooves stopped when he did. He called out, asking who was there in the pitch-black.

No answer came and Nelson began uneasily walking again, this time a little faster. The sound of the horse picked up pace to match Nelson’s. He stopped a second time and the sound of the horse ceased to be heard. Nelson started trotting and the sound horse’s hooves were heard at a trot behind him, close on his heels. He grew very frightened and began to run as fast as he could.  The galloping horse seemed to be so close, Nelson thought he felt the breath on the back of his neck.

Up ahead Nelson saw the lighted windows of the cabin belonging to George and Mat Smith. He was so terrified that he hit the Smith’s front door at full force. He knocked it down and went right through the structure, knocking down the back door as he exited. The Smiths blinked at each other in wonder and amazement. They saw no phantom horse follow Nelson through their home.

Immediately after his encounter with the doors Nelson noticed the sound of the pursuing horse was gone, however, he ran on home as fast as his feet would carry him.”

****

*That tale reminds me of the headless horseman from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Scary!

“The Roadcaps lived in a two-story log cabin just down the road from Gospel Hill Mennonite Church. All of the girls of the family shared a room upstairs.  One night one of the sisters, Peggy by name, went to the bedroom alone.  There she saw a woman sitting up on the iron headboard of one of the beds.

The woman didn’t say anything or move toward the frightened child, just sat there and looked at her. Peggy was rooted to the spot in fear but able to find her voice and call to her father to come to her aid.  There was something in her voice that demanded immediate attention and she heard his heavy footfall as he hurried up the stairs. As her father neared the room, the woman vanished into thin air.  Peggy never entered that room alone again.

****

The children of the Roadcap family loved to play on the banks of the little Shoemaker River near their home. Once they came running home and told their father they’d seen a woman all dressed in white walking along the opposite bank of the river from where they played. They’d never seen her before and being shy had not spoken to her but only observed her progress.

Their father listened thoughtfully and then told them they had seen the spirit of a young woman who had died years before of a broken heart. They were told they would probably see her again and that she would do them no harm. They were to behave as they had before and refrain from calling out to the spirit.

They believed their father. There were not that many people living in those parts and the children knew them all. They promised not to disturb the apparition if they encountered her again. During their childhoods they witnessed her strolling along the river on several more occasions.~

That story reminds me of the novel, The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, which was a very intriguing BBC mystery/thriller starring Tara Fitzgerald. I saw the film on Netflix and highly recommend it.

***If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy the one I wrote entitled:

The Poltergeist in our Old Farm House

***John Heatwole’s books are at Amazon, but may only be available as used copies.

 

“Spirits & Salutations”–Get your spook on right here!


This Halloween I’m delighted to have the entertaining and gifted Virginia Campbell share some spooky tales and tasty recipes with us.

Take it away, Virginia.~

I am very, very lucky to have wonderful memories of Halloween from my childhood. We lived in a big house with a large foyer. Every Halloween, my wonderful Gran would prepare an amazing array of treats, good eats, hot cocoa and apple cider. All the kids in the neighborhood called her “Gran”, and they knew to come to my house for extra-special Halloween goodies. They could also rest at our house for a while before resuming their trick or treating.

Gran would even buy boxes of apples from the grocer, wash and dry those apples until they shined, and then line them back up in their trays. I can still see the hallway table filled with rows of shiny bright red apples! I come from a candy-loving family, so Halloween was prime time. Back in those days, you trick or treated with a big, brown paper grocery bag, which usually got filled at least a couple of times. You had to make a pit stop back home, unload, and then hit the Halloween treat trail once again!

One of my most memorable Halloweens will forever be known as “Night of the Bear”. This is a true story, part of the local history of my little railroad home town. Mom took me trick or treating that night, and we were almost done, just about two blocks from home, when we saw a very realistic looking bear-costumed trick or treater. That’s right, bear. Big, full-sized bear. Furry and growly. Mom even waved and said: “Great costume!”

We reached our front door a few minutes later, and my frantic Gran grabbed us and pulled us inside. “Thank God, you’re all right!” said Gran. “There’s a bear loose in town, and it’s been sighted in our neighborhood!”. Well, I was excited! Not Mom! She turned white as a sheet ghost and slumped to the floor. That was Mom’s last year to go trick or treating. I was a good kid, though–I still shared my candy with her each year!

A Vampire’s soul mate….

Ages of Love, by Virginia Campbell

Some time ago, fifty years past,
I met you, and you took my heart.
I stand beside you now,
As you take your last breath.
Though I have lived many centuries,
These years lived with you,
Yet without you, are all that is real.
I gave you a choice, life eternal or life apart.
You thought to let me go, but I was never far.
I danced with you at your wedding.
Rejoiced at the birth of your child.
Shared your sorrow as war took your son.
I watched as silver touched your hair, and
Your face became soft and lined.
He never deserved you, the man who shared your life.
You are my love, my heart and soul.
My forever wife.
I will not leave you now that your heart no longer beats.
I could not bear to never more look into your eyes.
I will hold your hand and await my own end.
The curtain is drawn, and the light filters in.
This is the final sunrise.~

My favorite Werewolf movie (and my Mom’s too) is the damned and doomed Leon from the 1961 British film “The Curse of the Werewolf“, Oliver Reed (Burnt Offerings, The Three Musketeers) is powerfully compelling as Leon, a young man destined to be a werewolf due to the evil circumstances of his birth. If you are a true Were fan, you must see this film. Awesome! The wonderfully imaginative and sensual paranormal romances from today’s creative authors shine a whole new light on Weres–more than just moonlight! Poor Leon deserves a second chance at happiness–a re-write with bite ; )

A lot of myths and tall tales started with a little nugget of truth and embellished it until it became a legend. Paranormal fiction is intriguing because it takes our fascination with fearsome things to a whole new level! Many of us have had unexplainable “supernatural” events in our lives, which leaves the door open for our imaginations.

I have lived in the same house for over 30 years. My mother and I owned the house together. She passed away several years ago. I have had many paranormal experiences in my home, both before and after my mother passed away.

The first strange experience was glancing over at a living room window late one night and seeing the “Scream” face looking in! I rushed to the door and turned on the front porch light, and not a “soul” was about! Another time, on Halloween night, I heard distinct footsteps on the wooden floor of the upstairs hallway. My mother and I were both downstairs and no other “human” was in the house. On another night, I went upstairs to my room without turning on the stairway light. When I got to the doorway of my room, a large misty shape moved from the area of the doorway and went across the room and out the window. Some of the occurrences happened in full daylight.

One bright Sunday morning, I had overslept, which for me is a rare occurrence. A voice from the doorway of my room said: “Are you getting up?” I looked over through sleep-filled eyes and saw the blurred image of a large friendly blonde woman dressed in red and royal blue. I answered, and then realized it wasn’t my mother! The “woman” was twice the size of my mother (who was actually downstairs in the kitchen).

Since my mother passed away, I have noticed unusual scents in the house. I have smelled my grandfather’s pipe tobacco, my grandmother’s lily of the valley perfume, and my mother’s fingernail polish remover. All of these people are deceased, and none of those items are in the house! The time that I was the most afraid was when I came home to find my house almost in a vacuum state. There seemed to be no air, no sound, and no smell of any kind in the house. My cats were in hiding. I don’t know what had been in the house, but it had some kind of mojo! I still live in my “spooky house” : )

Here’s an even stranger true fact: I lost my job in 11/2009, and I was unemployed for over a year. During that time everything in the house settled, and there was not one strange occurrence. I stayed at home 99% of the time, working on my computer, reading, entertaining my cats, and making bread. I think “the house” was glad to have me at home. I’ve been back at work for a while now, and so far, so good!!!

I’d love to hear your Halloween memories, haunted house tales, ghost stories, and your experiences with those strange supernatural things that give you goose bumps and raise the hair on the back of your neck.

Come, dearie, do tell all…..

Some sweets, good eats, and tantalizing treats!

Warmer Chowder

8 slices bacon, chopped, 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut in bite-size pieces, salt & pepper to taste,  1 large red sweet bell pepper, chopped, 1 large sweet onion, chopped, 1 to 2 fresh jalapeño peppers, finely chopped, 4 cloves garlic, minced, 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, 2 large Yukon gold potatoes, chopped, 2 cups fresh sweet corn kernels, 1-1/2 cups whipping cream, 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, 2 bay leaves, jalapeño slices, shredded Monterey Jack or mild Cheddar cheese, sourdough croutons

In a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven cook bacon until crisp. Remove with spoon; set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon drippings in pan. Add chicken to pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Stir over medium-high heat until chicken is no longer pink; remove. Add sweet pepper and onion to pan. Cook and stir until tender. Add jalapeños and garlic; cook and stir 3 minutes. Stir in flour. Cook and stir 1 minute. Add broth and potatoes. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cook, uncovered, 10 minutes or just until potatoes are tender; stirring occasionally. Stir in chicken, corn, cream, cayenne, and bay leaves. Simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes; stir occasionally. Discard bay leaves. Top with jalapeño slices, shredded cheese, and croutons, if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Chili & Cornbread Casserole

1 pound lean ground beef, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with Mexican seasoning, 2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, 1 cup thick, medium-hot chunky-style salsa, 1 8 1/2-ounce box corn-bread mix, 1 egg, 1/3 cup milk, 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack or mild Cheddar cheese.

Heat oven to 400F. In a large skillet, over medium heat, brown the ground beef, breaking it up with a spoon, until no trace of pink remains. Spoon off and discard any grease. Add the chili powder beans, tomatoes, and salsa and simmer for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the corn bread mix, egg, and milk, then stir in the cheese. Lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray a 13in x 9in baking dish. Pour the chili mixture into the baking dish, distributing evenly. Spread the corn bread batter evenly over the top. Bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Ginger-Peachy Pear Crisp

1 16-ounce can  peach slices (juice-pack), drained, reserve juice, 1 16-ounce can  pear slices (juice-pack), drained, reserve juice, 1/2 cup  finely crushed gingersnaps, 1/2 cup  quick-cooking rolled oats, 3 tablespoons  brown sugar, reserved juice from fruit, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, pinch of ground ginger, 1 tablespoon real butter

Spray an  8in or 9in baking dish lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Using a large spoon, add fruit to baking dish. Alternate spoons of peaches and pears so that fruit is evenly distributed. In a small mixing, bowl stir together the gingersnaps, oats, and brown sugar. Sprinkle evenly over fruit. Bake in a 425 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through. While crisp is baking, combine fruit juice, brown sugar, and ground ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking for two minutes. Remove pan from heat and allow syrup to cool until just warm. Stir in butter. Top each serving of crisp with a scoop of rich vanilla ice cream and drizzle with syrup.

Orange-Glazed Brussels Sprouts & Carrots

2 cups  fresh Brussels sprouts or one 10-ounce package frozen Brussels sprouts, 3 medium carrots, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces, 1/3 cup orange juice, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 1 teaspoon  sugar, 1/8 teaspoon  ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon  salt

Cut Brussels sprouts in half. In a medium saucepan combine sprouts and carrots. In covered medium saucepan cook in a small amount of boiling water for 10 to 12 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain well. Return all of the vegetables to pan. In a small bowl stir together the orange juice, cornstarch, sugar, nutmeg, and salt. Add to Brussels sprouts and carrots. Cook and stir the mixture over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Serve immediately. Makes 4 side-dish servings.

Plum Easy Cake

2 cups ripe plums, unpeeled, pitted & diced, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 eggs, lightly beaten, 1 cup vanilla yogurt, 1/4 unsalted butter, melted & cooled, 3 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray and flour the bottom of either an 8 X 10 baking dish or a 9” square. Place plums in a bowl with lemon juice and set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and yogurt, whisk in melted butter. Add flour mixture to yogurt mixture. Drain off excess liquid from plums. Fold plums into batter. Pour into a baking pan and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of cane sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when tested.

Candy Bar Brownies

1 box fudge brownie mix (for 13in x 9in baking pan)
1 box of thin mints or thin chocolate bars (like Andes candies), or larger flat candy bars (like Hershey’s) broken into pieces, or miniature chocolate bars (like Hershey’s miniatures)
if desired for topping, ready-made frosting and sprinkles or crushed hard candies

Prepare brownie mix per box directions. Pour half of batter into greased and floured baking pan. Place candy pieces evenly across batter. Top with remaining batter and bake per box directions. Allow to cool before cutting into squares. If desired, top with frosting and sprinkles or crushed hard candies or peppermints. Also good for any season with candy of your choice. So easy, so good and so pretty!

*Wow, thanks so much for all of this, Virginia.

And now I will close with a last work from my talented guest.

SPELLBOUND

by Virginia Campbell

I can weave a spell, it’s true.

Never one as potent as the one cast by you.

I can make you mine with a potion or brew,

but would you love me still, if you knew?

No warlock, mage, or Merlin are you….

You caught me in a web with your eyes so blue!

Your lover’s arrow has shot me through!

My heart skips a beat as it waits for you.

At last you are here, and you hold me tight.

I breathe in your scent…something is not right!

Another’s perfume clouds the night!

Liar’s eyes…leave my sight!

Do not deny, and spare me your plight!

The mocking crow has taken flight.

Now, a bird of prey has come aright,

Seeking a blue-eyed mouse for dinner tonight!

The hunter has fed, and long since fled.

No lover’s lies left to be said.

Now comes my spell to awake the dead.

Man again, never more will you betray my bed!~

*Pics of Vampire Aidan Turner from Being Human, (because I think he’s hot) Dorian Gray, kitten on a pumpkin taken by daughter Elise, chipmunk on pumpkin taken by my mom,  various other images supplied by Virginia.

Supernatural Tales from Brocks Gap, Rockingham County, Virginia


These excerpts are taken from Supernatural Tales, The Virginia and West Virginia Mountain and Valley Folklife Series by late Shenandoah Valley author and historian John Heatwole.  Mr. Heatwole interviewed many inhabitants of Brock’s Gap and wrote up a wonderful collection of stories included in his series.

He said, “The Brocks Gap section of Rockingham county is rich in folklore of all kinds. It is an area in the northwest part of the county isolated by the North Mountain range.”

The following spooky stories are a great source of entertainment while snug inside next to a warm hearth, but not so much fun if you find yourself out on your own in the woods and hollows after dark.~

“Frank Caplinger lived across the road from the old Caplinger Chapel near the Criders Post Office in western Brocks Gap.  In the evening Frank would sometimes hear pews scraping on the floor of the church on the other side of the road. Each time he walked over to check on things he would find the building empty with no signs that anyone had been there.

Once Frank was crossing the German River on the old suspension foot bridge; he was going to the post office on the opposite bank.  As he entered the bridge he looked up and saw a strange man sitting on top of the cable frame, still and quiet.  When Frank neared the other end of the bridge he looked back and the figure had vanished. It was impossible for the man to have scrambled down and run out of sight that quickly.”

****

“Other folks remember strange lights on the mountains or in the cemeteries.  Harrison May recalled: ‘We’d see lights up in the Caplinger Cemetery evey so often. When we got there to check there’d be no lights anywhere.  Guess they were just spooks.'”

****

“When Nelson Whetzel was a young man he had an interesting experience while walking home from work one evening.  In Brocks Gap in earlier times the only things to light ones way were the stars or the glow from a lamp in a neighbor’s window.

As he walked Nelson heard a horse coming up the road behind him.  Nelson stopped for a moment, thinking, ‘Good! I’ll have someone to talk to.’ But the sound of the horse’s hooves stopped when he did.  He called out, asking who was there in the pitch-black.

No answer came and Nelson began uneasily walking again, this time a little faster. The sound of the horse picked up pace to match Nelson’s.  He stopped a second time and the sound of the horse ceased to be heard.  Nelson started trotting and the sound horse’s hooves were heard at a trot behind him, close on his heels.  He grew very frightened and began to run as fast as he could.  The galloping horse seemed to be so close, Nelson thought he felt the breath on the back of his neck.

Up ahead Nelson saw the lighted windows of the cabin belonging to George and Mat Smith.   He was so terrified that he hit the Smith’s front door at full force.   He knocked it down and went right through the structure, knocking down the back door as he exited.  The Smiths blinked at each other in wonder and amazement.  They saw no phantom horse follow Nelson through their home.

Immediately after his encounter with the doors Nelson noticed the sound of the pursuing horse was gone, however, he ran on home as fast as his feet would carry him.”

****

*That tale reminds me of the headless horseman from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  Scary!

“The Roadcaps lived in a two-story log cabin just down the road from Gospel Hill Mennonite Church.  All of the girls of the family shared a room upstairs.  One night one of the sisters, Peggy by name,  went to the bedroom alone.  There she saw a woman sitting up on the iron headboard of one of the beds.

The woman didn’t say anything or move toward the frightened child, just sat there and looked at her.  Peggy was rooted to the spot in fear but able to find her voice and call to her father to come to her aid.   There was something in her voice that demanded immediate attention and she heard his heavy footfall as he hurried up the stairs.  As her father neared the room, the woman vanished into thin air.  Peggy never entered that room alone again.

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The children of the Roadcap family loved to play on the banks of the little Shoemaker River near their home.  Once they came running home and told their father they’d seen a woman all dressed in white walking along the opposite bank of the river from where they played.  They’d never seen her before and being shy had not spoken to her but only observed her progress.

Their father listened thoughtfully and then told them they had seen the spirit of a young woman who had died years before of a broken heart. They were told they would probably see her again and that she would do them no harm. They were to behave as they had before and refrain from calling out to the spirit.

They believed their father.  There were not that many people living in those parts and the children knew them all.  They promised not to disturb the apparition if they encountered her again.  During their childhoods they witnessed her strolling along the river on several more occasions.

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That story reminds me of the novel, The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, which was a very intriguing 1997 BBC mystery/thriller starring Tara Fitzgerald.   I rented the film on Netflix this summer and highly recommend it.

***If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy the one entitled:The Poltergeist in our Old Farm House