READ Creepy Stories and Urban Legends from West Virginia  

Jacob Shelton
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West Virginia is an isolated state, surrounded by deep forests, mountains, and miles of uninhabited land. Known for its grittiness and, sadly, for its poverty, creepy stories from West Virginia are all inspired by the feeling of what could have been. The poor Appalachian people who populate the state play an important part in these West Virginia urban legends

West Virginia has an odd assortment of cryptids, possible alien sightings, and a lot of Civil War ghosts. These creepy stories from West Virginia are exactly what you want to hear late at night as you drive through its desolate highways. 

The Mothman Does West Virginia

The Mothman Does West Virginia is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Creepy Stories and Urban Legends from West Virginia
Photo: theparadigmshifter/flickr/CC-BY-NC 2.0

The Mothman is a cryptid that was spotted up and down the East Coast throughout the '60s, and was said to be a harbinger of death where ever it appeared. But the first appearance of the Mothman dates to 1966 in Clendenin, WV. First it appeared to two young married couples outside of a TNT plant, and was described as being "shaped like a man, but bigger, maybe six or seven feet tall. And it had big wings folded against its back." The Mothman was allegedly seen later that evening by a building contractor who described the creature as having eyes like "bicycle reflectors." 

Between 1966 and 1967 more than 100 people had Mothman sightings, many of which began to tie into run ins with men in black, and people who were believed to be government spooks. In 1967 the Silver Bridge that connected Point Pleasant, WV, and Gallipolis, OH, collapsed during rush hour traffic, killing 46 people. Author John Keel wrote in his book The Mothman Prophecies (which was later made into a movie of the same name) that the collapse of the bridge was caused by Mothman. 

The Greenbrier Ghost

The Greenbrier Ghost is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Creepy Stories and Urban Legends from West Virginia
Photo: Public Domain/Wikipedia

How many ghosts do you know that helped solve a murder case? Elva Zona Heaster's alleged ghost did just that, reportedly helping to solve her own murder in 1897. Heaster married Erasmus Stribbling Trout Shue in 1896, and after a year of wedded bliss, she mysteriously died. Despite the local custom in Greenbrier County, WV, of letting the ladies of the town clean and dress Heaster's corpse, Shue handled all of it. Rumors began to spread that he probably killed Heaster, but no one could prove it. No one except Heaster, who began to appear nightly at the side of her mother's bed to explain how she'd been murdered by her husband. Heaster's mother took some of the information to the local prosecutor, who then helped dig up the body and prove Heaster had indeed been murdered by her husband. 

The Grey Flats Ghost

The Grey Flats Ghost is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Creepy Stories and Urban Legends from West Virginia
Photo: the-last-angel111/Tumblr

While walking along the Grey Flats Trail near Beckley, WV, a group of friends encountered what can only be referred to as a shadow person. The figure appeared to be wearing the long coat and a wide brimmed hat combo that so many shadow people seem to find fashionable, and when the group encountered the figure it rose up out of their view. One of the friends had an allergic reaction to the creature so the friends got out of there as quickly as they could. 

The Bowyer House of Winfield

The Bowyer House of Winfield is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Creepy Stories and Urban Legends from West Virginia
Photo: theresashauntedhistoryofthetri-state/blogspot

Paranormal investigators who are local to Winfield, WV, have many stories about the Bowyer House, built by Captain John Bowyer in 1841. Shortly after he passed away the house sat empty for multiple generations. The house is now being turned into a B&B, but everyone who has been inside reports a general feeling of unease, and some people have even reported seeing a headless horseman roaming the premises.