Browsing All Posts filed under »Appalachian folklore«

Henry Ruffner’s Ghost Story (“A Screech”)

October 31, 2014 by

1

A Screech Amongst the earliest settlers in the Kanawha valley was george Alderson, who had been a man of the woods from his youth. Though not much of a scholar, yet he could read, write, and cast up accounts, which, altogether was more than the majority of his sylvan contemporaries could do. He was a […]

Ruffner’s thoughts on writing for recreation

October 31, 2014 by

0

In an article in the July, 1856 edition of the Southern Literary Messenger, Dr. Henry Ruffner wrote: A few months before Alderson’s death, my father and uncle had purchased the land on which he lived near the old salt lick above Charleston, with the view of experimenting for salt water upon it. A few months […]

When Dr. Henry Ruffner gave his “bah, humbug” to German superstitions

October 30, 2014 by

3

Since it’s Halloween Eve, I figured I would fall back on an article that I read in the past year, which was written by a Shenandoah Valley author. I’ve mentioned Henry Ruffner in this blog before, mostly because of the famous “Ruffner Pamphlet” and how it pertained to slavery in antebellum Virginia. Yet, as with all […]

Coincidence?

January 2, 2013 by

11

Off topic… sorta, but… In the last week, I’ve scored three major pieces on Ebay; at least “major” to me, personally. All three have to do with my Moore family, specifically rooted in my third great grandfather (the same one I mentioned in the blog post the other day) or his sons. The first piece […]

Folklorist in a can?

October 3, 2012 by

6

I was surfing the Web the other day and ran across a couple university pages in which Folklore is the focus of masters degrees. I have to say, it felt a bit strange to see such a thing. Even as one who holds two masters degrees, I feel as if the art of the folklorist/storyteller […]

The legend of “Wizard Clip” (Smithfield/Middleway), Jefferson County, West Virginia

October 31, 2011 by

5

Laid out ca. 1794, and better known as Smithfield or Middleway, Wizard Clip has a peculiar story, related by Confederate veteran, clerk, and author Thomas Kemp Cartmell (1838-1930), in his book, Shenandoah Valley Pioneers and their Descendants (1909)… One of the newcomers was Adam Livingston, who purchased desirable property in the vicinity of this village, […]

Early Valley historian, Samuel Kercheval (ca. 17?? – 1845), on witchcraft

October 31, 2011 by

0

From Samuel Kercheval’s A History of the Valley of Virginia (original date of publication, 1833), pages 280-281: I shall not be lengthy on this subject. The belief in Witchcraft was prevalent among the early settlers of the western country. To the witch was ascribed the tremendous power of inflicting strange and incurable diseases, particularly on […]

An execution… a ghost’s last hymn… and a curse fulfilled(?)

October 31, 2010 by

13

As I’ve mentioned several times in my postings throughout the month, October brings to mind stories of witches and ghosts, but one ghost story captures my thinking frequently throughout the month. I suppose, one can almost say that it literally “haunts” me. The story actually developed over time, with each piece of information I uncovered […]

An undertaker and his ghostly client

October 30, 2010 by

2

On two separate occasions, Page News and Courier columnist Jacob R. Seekford wrote of an account of an undertaker and his encounter with a ghost. The first mention of this was in 1930 and the second was in 1937. It is interesting to note that the story got a little better with age. The story […]