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A Marshall County Poltergeist Tale

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On the outskirts of Cameron, WV sits the 
community of Loudensville (Marshall County)

Today’s vintage ghost tale comes from the 07 December 1891 edition of the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer. This newspaper article, which discusses the strange noises and reports from a wealthy Marshall County farmer and his family, can be accessed for free at the Chronicling America website! I’m especially intrigued by this tale as it seems to have some elements more commonly associated with a poltergeist-type haunting.  (Theresa’s Note: Loudensville is very close to Cameron, West Virginia…which is the current home to the Archive of the Afterlife Museum! So, the next time you’re up that way visiting this awesome museum, keep the following story in mind as well…)


Which Comes to Hand from out in Marshall County


Where Guards Have Tried Night after Night, but in Vain, to find a Clue to the Cause–Explosions, Windows Broken and Doors Rattled. The Perpetrators Bullet Proof.

Reports come from the vicinity of Loudensville, Marshall County of some strange happenings that would make a capital ghost story, but at this age of the world, ghost stories are not in it, so it is enough to relate the incidents as they were given to a reporter and let the reader form his own conclusions.

About two weeks ago strange and weird noises and reports began to annoy the family of a wealthy farmer living on the hills back of the above named town. While the family was seeking repose a loud report would be heard, as of a gun being fired off just outside the house. Search would be made all around the premises, but nothing could be found to indicate the presence of anything or anybody that could cause such a noise. About the time the family would get settled down ready to turn in again, crash would go the glass in a window, and all would be confusion again; then an outside door would be shaken as though somebody was trying to pull it from its hinges.

Not only has the family kept a close lookout, but four or five men have been kept on guard, both in moonlight and darkness, and while the strange noises and weird transactions go on as usual, nothing has yet been discovered that would throw the slightest light on the mystery. Glass will be smashed and loud reports occur “right under the nose of the guard”, as the reliable informant put it, but the closest scrutiny reveals nothing.

The family is distracted and the guards worn out and no solution of the mystery in sight. The farmer thought to catch somebody by shooting through the doors when they were shaken; so he loaded his trusty rifle and when the outside door was seized by the shakes he would bang away, sending a bullet crashing through the thin panel of the door, expecting when it was unbolted and opened to find the prostate form of his tormentor lying lifeless at his feet, but no trace of anything has been bagged in this way, although the doors have been in that manner riddled with bullets.

The matter is puzzling in the extreme, and there must be some explanation of it, but it does not appear on the surface. The farmer at whose house these things are taking place is known throughout the county, and he is wealthy and influential.

The source of the information is the most reliable and trustworthy. It is somewhat like the case of the McComas “haunted house” over in Belmont county twelve or fifteen years ago, which attracted national attention before it was discovered that a hysterical girl’s very simple tricks were at the bottom of all the seemingly mysterious manifestations. 


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