With having travelled less in the last few years, sometimes it’s easier to just stay in our own area to enjoy things. My town may be fairly small compared to others out there, but there is no lack of haunted locations here. In fact, Huntington, West Virginia seems be right in the middle of many other very haunted Appalachian towns and cities. When you can't travel hundreds of miles away to visit a new place, then why not look in your own backyard for some local haunted history?
Today I am reviving my Haunted Travels posts and I am starting in my own backyard, my town of Huntington, West Virginia.
Huntington, West Virginia sits on the banks of the Ohio River, it was founded by railroad magnate, Collis P. Huntington in 1871. Huntington has abundant history and many locations that are purported to be haunted. Spend a day or two in this little town and you can explore lots of amazing places and you may just get a glimpse of the supernatural side of this city.
Keith Albee Theater –
The Keith Albee may have a long history in theater performances, but it also has a darker side that everyone may not know about. At least two men have died on this property and there have been reports of a female ghost, a Lady in Red, who has been spotted inside the building. Theater patrons have also discussed feeling uneasy in the women’s restroom in the basement.
To learn more about the theater you can visit the website for further information.
Dr. Grimes Dental Office –
Central City -
Central City is located within Huntington’s west end neighborhood and is known as the “Antiques Capitol of the Tri-State”. Here you can shop or browse through many of the antique shops or grab a bite to eat at one of the old diners. Most of these buildings date back to the early 1900’s when Central City was established and became a prosperous manufacturing town. Our paranormal group has spoken with many the shop owners and many have confirmed that they have encountered strange and unusual occurrences within their shops they could not explain.
Ritter Park Historic District –
The park once had a small man-made lake, however after a child died from drowning in the lake it was drained. Today the park’s playground sits on the edge of the old drained lake. Cabell County’s first and only public execution took place in the area that is now Ritter Park. A man was hanged for the murder of a Barboursville teenager in 1892. There was a reported crowd of five thousand people who gathered to witness the execution. Sitting at what is probably the highest point of Ritter Park just above the amphitheater area is a hill called Gobbler’s Knob. In early times there was a Native American burial mound located here, but much like the other burial mounds that were scattered throughout Huntington, this mound was leveled to build a road. If you take the walking path at Ritter Park and head toward the 5th Street bridge, you will come to the sight of Huntington’s notorious hitchhiker ghost – The Ghost of 5th Street Hill. Several versions of this story exist but a young woman was killed in a car accident on her way to get married, the accident happened at the bottom of the hill and many believe that her ghost has been hailing local cabs for many years, but she will always disappear before she reaches her destination.
Historic Guyandotte -
Today you can take a walking tour of Main Street and Richmond Street where homes and buildings dating back to 1810s through the early 1900s still stand. The old cemetery has graves dating back to the early 1800’s and includes reinterred remains of Revolutionary War veterans too. Many the old homes on Main Street are haunted by ghosts from the past 200 years. Our group offers guided ghost tours of this area in the fall, and there is an annual re-enactment of the Civil War raid on Guyandotte every November.
Spring Hill Cemetery -
Huntington’s largest cemetery was established in 1871. Many of Huntington’s prominent families are buried here and many others were re-interred to Spring Hill from other smaller cemeteries. Several Civil War Generals and US Congressmen are buried here. The names you see throughout this cemetery are names that remain on our public buildings and even our streets.
Spring Hill also holds a very important memorial to our city, the Marshall University Plane Crash Memorial stone sits at the top of the hill which overlooks the city and Marshall University. The plane carrying 75 team members, coaches and fans crashed in November of 1970, there were no survivors. Many were buried at Spring Hill. The movie “We Are Marshall” was filmed in parts of Huntington, and Spring Hill and the memorial were featured in the movie. This tragedy has left a lasting mark on our community.
While there are not specific accounts of ghost stories associated with the cemetery, the deep history,beauty and peacefulness of this location is worth stopping by for a drive or even a walk-though.
Camden Park –
Camden Park is a small amusement park located in Huntington. A park opened in 1902 that was used as a picnic area for passengers who were traveling the rail line or on the riverboats. The first ride was the carousel added in 1903 and over the years more rides and attractions were added.
One unique feature of Camden Park is that an Adena Indian Mound is located on its grounds, it can be seen while visiting the park. While the great majority of the burial mounds in Huntington were leveled to build the city streets, this is the only one I am aware of that still is standing within Huntington area. There have been reports over the years of the park being haunted, possibly by the spirits of the Native Americans who buried their people there.
So, if you are visiting the area, or even live in town and are looking for some haunted attractions or beautiful cemeteries to visit, Huntington has an abundance of both. This list of haunted and historic locations could be longer but most of these locations are open and accessible in some form or fashion. Enjoy the town, stop for a bite to eat a one of our local restaurants and go explore the mysterious side of Huntington you may not knew exists!