Sunday, May 27, 2012

Haunted Travels: Thurmond & Whipple, West Virginia


On Saturday May 19, 2012 the HPIR team headed down to southern West Virginia for a day trip to visit a few old WV coal towns before settling in for an evening investigation at the Whipple Company Store. Our trip started with Thurmond, WV. I have visited Thurmond in the past, and I found it to be quite a nice little area. Thurmond was the town that was used as the filming location for the movie Matewan (another small southern WV coal town located in Mingo County which is also another nice day trip town.).

Today Thurmond is quite literally a ghost town, in the 2010 census the town’s population was only 5. The town has not always been this way, back when coal mining in the New River area was at its peak, Thurmond was a prosperous little town with the C&O railway running through it and a number of hotels and businesses were located in town. Up until the 1920’s the town was accessible only by train. Thurmond also had a bit of a dark past including a red light district, gambling and many disasters such as fires and floods. While I have not come across any clear ghost stories about Thurmond but there seems to be some suggestion that this ghost town may indeed have a few. Ghosts or no ghosts, this little town is worth the trip!

After a nice picnic at a shelter near the New River, we headed back out of Thurmond and made a quick stop at Glen Jean, WV. Glen Jean was another small coal mining/railroad town which at one time had many businesses but today the only building that remains is the old Bank.

Next we headed back toward Whipple and made a few stops including the old Scarboro Company Store which still stands but it abandoned. We also visited the Catholic Cemetery in Scarboro where many of the miners are buried and nearby the cemetery still stands is the old Catholic Church, although it is in very bad shape.

Our last stop and our investigation location just down the road took place at the Whipple Company Store. The store was built in 1890 and was the resource that met all of the needs of the coal miners who lived in Whipple at the time. The store today is known as the Whipple Company Store & Appalachian Heritage Museum, they offer tours from May to November including a Haunted History Tour! This building is so full of history and I highly recommend it if you are visiting the southern WV coalfields. HPIR’s investigation here has been newly listed in our top 10 list! Please check out more information about the Whipple Company Store and HPIR’s investigation of Whipple Company Store.

If you are looking to take a trip to the Coalfield of WV looking for history or some ghosts, this website is a great place to start: CoalCamp USA


Melissa
HPIR Founder

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