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Friday Fright Bite: The Grocery Store Ghost

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Photo by Gordon Dix

Happy Friday! I thought this week, we’d shake things up a bit: instead of a Friday Funny, we’re going to do a Friday Fright Bite! A Fright Bite is just a short lil’ blog post about a known haunted location that I just can’t find a whole lot of information on. While I can’t find enough history and background to really flesh out a normal blog post, I still think these locations are worth sharing. One such location is the Food Lion in Summersville, WV!


So, according to the Shadowlands Haunted Places Index, this modern grocery store, located in the northern part of the city at 1005 N. Industrial Drive, is haunted by a little girl who the staff have named Sally. Sally is believed to be about eight years old and she’s pretty mischievous. Witnesses say Sally likes to throw items off store shelves, but she DOES put them back where they belong. And, like many living little girls, Sally can have the occasional temper tantrum. When she’s angry, she’s been known to pick up wooden crates and smash them to the ground. 

From the perspective of a paranormal researcher, this actually sounds pretty terrifying. Moving objects around at all, especially throwing around heavy wooden crates and breaking them, requires a LOT of energy, and many ghosts just don’t seem to be able to sustain that kind of energy. When you get into heavy objects being moved with any type of force, you’re usually looking at a poltergeist situation (in this case, I’m referring to a living agent subconsciously causing the activity through RSPK–recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis) or…if you believe in that sort of thing…perhaps something NON-human mimicking a little girl. 

To really understand the situation, we’d have to discover who Sally is. The Shadowlands Index notes that after researching the situation, the management team was told by the previous property owners that Sally had been buried under the store’s current location. Frustratingly, that’s about all the information I can find. I saw the original post on Shadowlands YEARS ago, and no one has really published any additional or updated information that I’ve been able to find. Further, I haven’t been able to really substantiate a history for the location.


From what I’ve found on the Nicholas County Assessor’s website, the property was purchased in August of 1992, and construction of the Food Lion Grocery Store was completed the following year, in 1993. By research standards, that’s pretty new, so I would assume there WAS something at one time on the property. Nicholas County doesn’t have many records digitized, but I did do a cursory search on tDar website, which led me down a wild goose chase, resulting in the conclusion that it is POSSIBLE a small family burial plot could have been located in the area of the store. Small cemeteries, some containing less than a handful of burials, being moved to make room for modern shopping centers is more common than one would like to think, and even though I couldn’t find a death record for a Sally/Sallie/Sara/Sarah which matched the description does not mean she didn’t exist. 

One side of me wants to write this particular ‘haunting’ off as a simple misidentification that grew into a legend with each re-telling, but part of me desperately wants to find SOMETHING of historic significance to definitively prove or disprove the little grocery store ghost girl. If you’re from the area and have had an experience or even some inside knowledge on the Haunted Food Lion of Summersville, please let me know down in the comments, or join me over on Theresa’s Haunted History of the Tri-State Facebook for discussions on all things spooky. 


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