The city of Parkersburg is located
in Northwest West Virginia, right next to the Ohio River in Wood County,
across the river from Belpre, Ohio. Parkersburg is 63.7 miles north of
Charleston, West Virginia. It is home to a population ranging from 32,000
- 33,000. It encompasses 11.8 square miles.
HISTORY & DESCRIPTION
Though a smaller town, Parkersburg
has the reputation of being one of the most haunted cities, and one can
see why if one takes a look at the town's history. It has a little of
everything that has the habit of providing the conditions for hauntings
to occur; From a ruined rich family with personal tragedies, to a wild
city life style to Civil War connections, with a few other entities and
beasties thrown in for good measure!
1) Family pain and life's trials,
like everywhere else people live, was a reality to all classes of people
living in Parkersburg and the surrounding areas. The Wealthy Blennerhassett
family and the Marr family both suffered and endured death of family
members and loss of property.
2) During the Civil War years, Parkersburg had
the reputation as being a very morally loose city indeed; called "wickedest city along the Ohio River." Parkersburg during this time became an adult playground
where people and soldiers on leave went to drink, gamble and visit brothels,
living like there may be no tomorrow. Drinking, gambling and sexual
immorality often bring out the worst in human nature causing pain, distress,
personal disasters and sometimes death, which can all cause hauntings.
3) Parkersburg also was the sight
of 5 Civil War hospitals for the Confederacy, where a lot of men died.
(These are only a
sampling of the many hauntings to be found in Parkersburg, West Virginia.)
1) Quincy Hill Hauntings Parkersburg was the sight of 5 Civil War hospitals. Because of the huge
number of hurt soldiers, an overflow tent city was established to temporarily
keep ill soldiers or soldiers with minor injuries, until a bed opened
up for them at one of the other hospitals. The railroad had no way to
transport the wounded across the Ohio River, so this was their solution.
a) The tent overflow hospital was located
at Quincy Hill. Because of the fast spread of disease, Many young
men not quite ready to die expired in agony here, some of which tried
to crawl down the hill to a hospital which explains the
orbs, strange occurrences and apparitions seen here and around the area,
by nearby people who live in houses built near Quincy Hill. They also
hear the dying soldiers' cries and moans.
2) The Parkersburg Art Center sits on the former location of the Camden Theater. The theater
burned to the ground in 1928. As a lot of theaters for a variety of reasons
have resident entities, Camden Theater had some theater-loving ghosts
as well. Though the building was gone, the spirits stuck around and haunted
the land, until new buildings were built, providing new places to move
into with the living.
a) People in the Parkersburg Art Center
and in the buildings on the city block where the theater once stood
often smell hot buttered popcorn and notice heavy objects being lifted
and falling over, being picked up and dropped by unseen hands.
3) Blennerhassett Island Historical
State Park - Blennerhassett Mansion & Island -
Web Site 1 & Web Site
2 - (Pictures)
Location: 137 Juliana St. Parkersburg,
WV 26101-5331 (304) 420-4800 1-800-CALL WVA
a) Ghost of the legendary Margaret
Blennerhassett - has gladly made herself at home in the huge rebuilt
mansion, which her husband, the rich Irishman, Harman Blennerhassett,
had constructed originally in 1798 when he settled with his family on
Unfortunately for him, he met his
ruin in 1806, when he and Aaron Burr hatched a "mysterious military
enterprise," of some sort. President Jefferson accused them both
of treason and Harman Blennerhassett wound up for a little while in the
Virginia State Penn. Both men were found not guilty, but were ruined
just the same.
Because of his troubles, Margaret
Blennerhassett and Harman only lived a few years in this glorious, elegant
Palladian style mansion which had 7,000 square feet of floor space.
The main part of the mansion showcased 12 grand rooms. One of these
rooms was paneled from floor to ceiling in lustrous black walnut. Nothing
but the finest adorned the rooms, all material and furnishings coming
from London and Paris. Surrounding the mansion, its grounds were equally
impressive, with a 2 1/3 acre flower garden and two huge lawns.
While Margaret Blennerhassett loved to entertain socially and simply adored
this most impressive mansion, it must have broken her heart to have to
leave it behind most of all though because two of the couple's children,
a 6 year old daughter and a baby also died while the family lived on
the island, and were buried on the grounds.
Unfortunately, the mansion burned
to the ground in 1811 in an accidental fire. However, 165 years later
in 1973, archaeologists unearthed the mansion's foundations, and the
whole mansion has been carefully recreated for the public to see, though
work is still being done to refurbish it.
Margaret Blennerhassett must have
been insanely happy, and has moved back into her much-adored mansion.
She is very amiable with the living, as she had always loved people
b) Margaret Blennerhassett
isn't alone as the only entity
It also seems that Mary has reunited
with her two children who were buried there on the mansion's grounds. During the evening hours, the apparitions of Mary
Blennerhassett, holding her baby with the 6 year old girl by Mary's
side have been seen walking around the island.
4) The Blennerhassett Hotel - (Hotel
Location: 320 Market Street Parkersburg,
304-422-3131 * 800-262-2536
Built in 1889, by wealthy prominent
Parkersburg businessman, William Chancellor, who provided unmatched style
and elegance for his guests, in this glorious hotel that he loved. The
Blennerhassett Hotel, while still providing the very best, is also said
to be the sanctuary home to entities from the past, who wanted to stick
around a hotel which they loved during life or perhaps had an unfortunate
end on the property.
a) Has ongoing paranormal activities
and approximately five ghosts in residence, who are willing to exist
with the living. One such entity is William Chancellor himself, who
has stayed on, keeping an eye on the living, to be sure guests are treated
well, while enjoying the hotel which he truly loved. He has been seen
walking the halls, accompanied with the smell of cigar smoke.
5) Riverview Cemetery - Founded
Quite a few entities are not at rest
in this cemetery. Orbs and other strange occurrences are commonly photographed
by ghost enthusiasts. Apparition of a Sea Captain, has been spotted, bending
over his grave, and the other apparitions also walk around the cemetery.
6) The Ghost of the Silver Run
Tunnel - Web-Site
The old B&O Railroad corridor between
Grafton and Parkersburg is now a Bike trial, which goes through the Silver
Run Tunnel. Back in 1880, a young woman with raven black hair, who was
traveling to Parkersburg to get married. She disappeared from the #19
train, perhaps falling off or was thrown off, resulting in her death.
a) Throughout the years, train conductors
have seen "a beautiful woman with raven hair and long white gown, standing
in the middle of the tracks at the far end of the tunnel."
Other paranormal entities found around
a) Scottish Banshees - Web-Site & Web-Site
Originating in Scotland, these scary
looking death-fairies appear, wailing in grief to announce an impending
death. One was featured in the Disney film, DARBY O'Gill and the Little
People, which scared me silly as a child. These Irish/Scottish death fairies,
have attached themselves to Irish and Scottish clans and a few have immigrated
to West Virginia with families from Ireland and Scotland to carry on their
calling. YIKES! Some have appeared in the APPALACHIAN area as well, another
place where the Irish and Scots had immigrated to live.
Marrtown, a Scottish farming community
is in the Parkersburg area, and the Marr family, since the Civil War is
still visited by their family's Banshee fairy. She appears as an old woman,
on a white horse, wearing a death shroud and tattered clothing, her eyes
red from crying. Just after the Civil War, Thomas Marr and his family
came out of it alive, but had lost a lot of land. He went to work at a
Toll booth in Parkersburg to earn a living to feed his family. Unfortunately,
he was probably shot by a renegade ex-soldier and died. Well, guess who
paid his wife a visit? Yep, the family banshee, though she didn't stay
b) The legendary Mothman - (seen on
Mothman is an interesting beastie,
a gray creature -like man with huge wings and red eyes, originating in
Point Pleasant, WV and is drawn by negative energy, sometimes spotted
around graveyards. He has been seen in Ohio and West Virginia, has inspired
an X-Files episode, several web-sites ( 1 & 2 ) and many
books. He seems to have visited the Parkersburg area as well.
Being such a hotbed for paranormal
activity, the local Ghost Hunter's organization, conducts Ghost Tours
around the city of Parkersburg, starting from the The Blennerhassett
Hotel, lasting for 1 and 1/2 to two hours. All tours are led by local
ghost hunters, psychic mediums and paranormal authors, such as Susan Sheppard,
who has written books on ghosts haunting the city of Parkersburg.
2004 Haunted West Virginia Ghost Hunters and Spirituality Conference was held in the Parkersburg Art Center, with the theme being The "Ghosts
of the Civil War." Experts in the paranormal field were brought in
as speakers and leaders of planned ghost hunts.