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The Ghost Dog of Peach Tree

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Brindle Plott Dog
Photo by Mary Bloom

In his 1975/2008 book, Witches, Ghosts and Signs, Patrick Gainer shares an interesting story told by ‘Uncle’ Bud Workman. The story comes from Peach Tree, a small mining community in Raleigh County, West Virginia, and deals with what locals believed to be a ghostly dog.

The event takes place over a three-week span in 1880. A very large brindle-colored dog suddenly showed up in town, only being seen by the townspeople after dark. Although it was said this dog approached a local house where its very presence sent the owners’ dogs (noted as being the meanest in town) running to hide with their tails tucked between their legs, it was never know to show any aggression towards humans. Still, since no one knew where the dog had come from and why it only appeared at night, the townspeople were fairly well spooked. Most everyone avoided going out at night for fear of running into the ghost dog. 

However, some were brave enough to actually try to confront the dog. One person tried to throw rocks at it, but the rocks went right through it. A local preacher took things a step further at fired five shots at the dog from close range. The bullets didn’t touch the dog, nor did it seem bothered by this attempted murder. 

Luckily for the people of Peach Tree, sightings of the phantom canine only lasted about three weeks. Then, the dog disappeared as quickly and mysteriously as it had appeared.  Never again did the phantom dog bother the people of that small Raleigh County community. 

I find this story really interesting because when you think of ghost dogs and supernatural dogs and superstitions surrounding dogs, rarely does a brindle-colored dog appear. Generally, black dogs (especially here in Appalachia) and occasionally white dogs are the subject of such rumors. There are also some elements of this story that are reminiscent of a similar tale from nearby Wyoming County, where a ‘witch dog’ was said to frighten passersby, and was even shot at to no avail.  Anyway, I’m glad no one was hurt in this telling of the tale, including the dog.  Please see the links below for more spooky tales of phantom dogs here on Theresa’s Haunted History!

Witch of Wyoming County

Pt. Pleasant’s Phantom Black Dog


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