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West Virginia's Spectral Heritage

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stocking.jpg
Storyteller Jason Burns and the Stocking Woman in Sistersville, WV

Welcome to West Virginia's Spectral Heritage!
 
From ancient times, the art of storytelling has taught & entertained.  From campfires to hearthstones, to more modern classrooms and festivals, this art form is alive and thriving in West Virginia!
 
The West Virginia Spectral Heritage Project is part of the storytelling movement in Appalachia.  Through researching, recording, and performing, the project seeks to save West Virginia's many ghost and monster stories from disappearing, all while maintaining a high-level of research and storytelling performance. 
 
Since its inception in 2006, the WVSH has collected and researched close to 500 ghost & monster tales from the state of West Virginia.  These stories continuously astound and amaze us.  There is at least one ghost story from every county in the state contained within the chronicles. 
 
The vast amount of supernatural tales that have been collected contain nearly every possible creature and ghost type you can imagine- and some that are unimaginable!  There are witches, headless horsemen, Thunderbirds, poltergeists, vampires, werewolves, Bigfoot, water monsters, aliens, giant mountain cats, snakes of unbelievable size, giant owls, and many, many others that roam the mountains, rivers, and valleys of West Virginia. 
 
It is truly unbelievable at times, when a new story arrives at the door.  Sometimes it is as simple as a sentence like, "there's a ghost in the library", that will set off a search through archives and personal interviews.  Others lead us off into the hills and hollers, photographing and observing the allegedly haunted area.
 
It is the mission of the program to combine these stories into a historical and cultural context.  This shows how the stories evolved from earlier Native American and European storytelling, and how the stories have grown as they were ingrained into the regionalized culture of Appalachia.

It is our hope that this website will in some way continue the works of Dr. Ruth Ann Musick, Dennis Deitz, John Keel, and others who have helped preserve the strong tradition of ghost & monster stories from West Virginia.