Thursday, January 09, 2014

Thursday Thirteen

1. This morning I saw a star shining low in the west that I had not noticed before. It brought to mind a time when I was young and I watched a bright light zoom across the sky, change directions, seemingly move forward and back, and then vanish.

2. UFOs are not uncommon and in the 1970s there were whispers that one of the more rural localities had a secret government installation where testing on various aircraft were performed. I never did know if it was true.

3. In the 1990s, we learned that the Greenbrier Hotel, which is about an hour's drive or so away, held a secret bunker from which the government had planned to operate in the event of an attack on Washington D.C. I have often wondered if that big secret and the aforementioned secret might have been connected.

4. Another local legend is the Beale Treasure. Supposedly in 1817 a band of Virginians left St. Louis in search of treasures in the west, and returned with boxes overflowing with gold and silver. These were buried in our neck of the woods and ciphers with clues left with a fellow in Lynchburg. My husband's many-great grandfather reportedly rode into town with saddlebags full of gold about that time and bought a bunch of land. There has been some speculation that perhaps he was a member of the Beale Treasure group.

5. Another legend says that there is a bunch of silver coins buried in southwestern Virginia, probably Danville. The money was the treasury of the Confederate States that went missing when the Union soldiers took Richmond.

6. Another local legend tells of a thief who escaped the jail in Fincastle and hid his money up in the mountains in an abandoned mine in the Stone Coal Gap area.

7. My grandfather saw ghosts on his family's farm here in the county when he was younger. He said he saw a bloodied man running across the field toward his house. The man vanished into mist.

8. I saw ghosts in the middle of the afternoon once - there were several Native Americans standing in a field along the side of a road and a bedraggled white man was walking toward them. Shook me up good.

9. We aren't supposed to have cougars in this area anymore - they were supposedly all killed out - but legends persist of sightings. I saw a black panther once myself and they aren't supposed to be in this area, either. One night when I was very young, we heard panthers screaming. They sound like a woman in distress. I remember clinging to my mother while we all stood outside and listened. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has denied their existence for years, but I note on their website now that they list unconfirmed sightings.

10. Another time I was sitting in a supervisors meeting in a neighboring county and a Confederate soldier suddenly walked down the aisle, saluted, and turned and walked away. He was a ghost, too. It was a late meeting - around 10 p.m. - and we were in the county courthouse, which had been burned and hacked up a bit during the Civil War.

11. My father once showed me pictures that a relative in West Virginia drew of aliens that visited her house. They were humanoid but had strange eyes. The pictures were drawn long before Area 51 came about - like in the 1880s or something.

12. Another local legend is the Mad Gasser of Botetourt County. In 1933, someone apparently snuck into people's homes in the area and set off a sick-smelling gas that sickened people. My great-aunt remembered the attacks, one of which occurred near the aforementioned farm where my grandfather saw a ghost. She was quoted in a book that was written about the incident.

13. So what are your local legends and stories? Have you seen a ghost? A UFO? Ever been spooked?

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here. I've been playing for a while and this is my 327th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.


  1. I like the legend about the hidden silver and gold. If I'm lucky enough to get to visit, I'll bring my shovel. :)

  2. Good to learn these local legends that I have never heard before. Maybe there is a gene for seeing ghosts and your family has it (or a tendency like ESP). Where the ghosts concrete-like or more like a vision/dream? I can't say I've seen a ghost I have had astral projection!

  3. Wow, that's awesome! I love these little tidbits of interest from peoples' lives. Really nifty post!

    Hm. I was once saved from being crushed by a mantel by an angel. I actually saw a body, wings, etc. The mantel, instead of falling down onto me, flew across the room. It weighed a good 150 lb. There were people in the other room, and when they rushed in to see what happened, they couldn't believe it!

    My Mama recently visited me in a dream. It was like no one else could see her in my dream, but she was very concrete to me. It was special, and not something that happens to me often in dreamworld.

  4. We have cougars in Nottoway County. Many people have seen them and even have pictures of them. I saw one cross the road a little over a mile from my house. Of course, the officials will not admit their existence. We are also being invaded by wild pigs. One was killed nearby recently and supposedly Fort Pickett has quite a few.

    Virginia has lots of ghosts and legends. They are all very interesting.

  5. So far as I know, there aren't any local legends about UFOs around here. We do have entirely too many missile silos, which made as a prime target in the cold war even when there aren't enough people to otherwise attract attention. We see strange lights in the skies all the time. I mostly just shrug and pretend they are satellites.

  6. Loved reading about your local legends. The Greenbriar Hotel was featured in an episode of Cities of the Underworld, a program I used to love on History Channel. I've since thought it would be an interesting place to visit. I had a vision once at an historical site in Norway. For a few brief moments I was transported back, could actually see the inhabitants of an Iron Age farm, see what they saw, hear the lowing of cattle and people talking around me. One of the coolest and creepiest experiences ever. Knowing my Norwegian heritage, my host father said I must have an ancestral connection to the place.

  7. Numbers seven and eight just sent chills up my spine. I don't believe we have any local legends where I live, but you have some really cool ones. :) Happy Thursday.

  8. i think it's kelly Kentucky, but they have been written up in Reader;s Digest unsolved mysteries for a visit from aliens decades ago where they shot shotguns at them. also, hopkinsville ky is the hometown of the deceased psychic edger cayce. and my aunt has had some experiences or two with the paranormal.
    For myself i believe in the Almighty, the Holy Spirit and angels.

  9. Yes to seeing a light just as you describe, just a very bright light. When the sun was going down, the light came up and around the cloud bank. It then came a little closer to us, and hung there, dancing right and left. Then we heard jets being scrammed from a nearby base, and the light wobbled a little and took off at a tremendous speed toward the east county mountains. DH and I have never seen anything like it since. The acceleration did not create a sonic boom, and there was no sound of any engine until the jets took off, turned, and headed our way. The experience was completely spellbinding! DH and I also had experiences with at least two ghosts, moving things around - scaring the bejeebers out of the cats- and moving books on shelves. I believe people when they say they've seen ghosts because there is no logical explanation for the things we saw, either.

  10. Hello Country Dew, How very interesting! We have some local legends, but they don't beat the tales you spin. I'm in different state....haven't seen any apparitions recently unless you count the meds i was on in the hospital. (I'm fine now; they were just very strong!) Um, i can't comment on your blog since the typepad box, never works for blogger. (name/url does work, but that's not a choice here), so when you see "S" at the top of the comment box, here, that is an old dead link. To read my TT, please visit Gel at Looking forward to a fellow DC area person although if you're on a farm, you sound farther out than me.

  11. Very interesting post. Seeing ghosts would sure shake me up too. We don't have any local legends like this.


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