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