Thurmond, West Virginia

Paranormal Investigation

Evidence Report

September 22,2018

It was a dark and stormy night when twenty brave adventurers made the dark trek into the New River Gorge to formally investigate for the first time the Ghost Town of Thurmond, West Virginia.


We knew the stories and legends of this stop on the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad (now CSX).  The ghost train, phantom apparitions on the railroad tracks, the world’s longest running poker game, reported activity at the depo and more.  We did not know what we were going to get. We were venturing into the unknown.

Hosted by Ace Adventure Resort and local radio station 103CIR the group was lead by Lola Rizer & Chris Colin as well as a group of novice and experienced investigators. The group camped at the old town site of Erskine just across the river from Thurmond. As it became dark the group walked up river along the abandon Southside Tracks. A steady rain was falling as we walked across the Thurmond Bridge and one of our investigators (Jake) started getting hits on his EMF meter.  There were several in our group with EMF meters not everyone was receiving what may have been our first paranormal communication. And, it would not stop there.

From the Depo we started breaking into small groups to investigate around the town.

The Historical Sidewalk:

It took a bit of time for the activity to start.  I think we were all feeling each other out. Flashlight Communication was established by team member Jessica near the brick walkway honoring the history of Thurmond and more importantly Mayor Kelly.  It was short but substantial as we may have made contact with The Mayor himself.

Mankin-Cox/Goodwin-Kincaid Alleyway:

First time investigator Devin was thrilled to make contact with a spirit that actually spoke to him.  He audibly heard a voice attempting to make a K sound. Grabbing a flashlight he spent quite a bit of time talking with who he believes was a woman in the alley.

Erskine-Pugh House (The Porch)

On the hill between the post office and the General Store is a home with a gorgeous porch, this is the Erskine-Pugh House. When the first team approached and stepped onto the porch there was a loud bang that came from inside the locked structure.  According to Chris Colin with Ace Adventure Resort, “It sounded like someone was in the home and trying to hide.

Later in the evening, a team of ladies (and Jake) went on the porch.  There they established communication with an entity that they believe was a woman who worked at the post office.

(Sam has video )

Later that evening the light was on in the post office.  This structure was locked. We are trying to determine if the lights may have been on a timer.  We have doubts, it was after midnight. According to the National Park Service volunteer working at the Depot the next day there is no automated timer for lights in the post office and no way or reason the lights would have turned on at that hour.

James Humphrey Jr. House (The Train Masters home)

This home is surrounded by thick foliage.  Access to the home was taken by 2 teams.

The first team did receive a hello thru the SB11 spirit box. It was not until later when the second team went to the second floor. On the second floor team member Jessica was receiving flashlight communication in the front bedroom. All the activity seemed to be focused in this room. The SLS camera began mapping a figure was towering overtop Jessica near the front window. The figure would disappear into the closet before reappearing. This continued for 15 minutes, as Jessica demanded the spirit answer her questions.

This group left the house and later Jessica returned with Devin to investigate further. She set her cell phone up to record the session. They asked the spirit to turn on the flashlight and after a few minutes the flashlight came on then Devin felt like something was scratching at his ankles and face like a bug but no bugs were present. The flashlights continued going off and on for the next few minutes. Five minutes into this video everyone leaves.

Jessica mistakenly left her phone in the house and it was able to record until the battery died, about 2.5 hours.  

There are some interesting things of note in this footage:

Time What Happened Note
15:20 – 15:55 Light knocks like someone took a step or two in the house. *Could be animals
22:00 – 22:14 Movement/Steps Light Sounds *
23:00 – 23:50 Light talking in the distance with light steps Our group was gone from this location.
25:01 Door Shut sound light knock *
29:18 – 29:37 People Yelling There were people seen leaving Thurmond after we finished investigating at the Dun Glen. We assume these voices are from those people.
33:03 Single Piano Key Sound
33:58 – 35:30 Talking/Laughing Kids/Teenagers seen in car leaving Thurmond?
37:07 -37:45 Loud Thud follow by voices/yelling
39:39 Scream/Goats
48:47 Goat yell
50:20 – 50:50 Low Bass sounds like cello sounds
1:11:45 – 1:12:15 Voices
1:14:25 Single Tap/Knock
1:16:15 Door Opening and Shuffling Best Sounds on Tape
1:18:27 – 1:18:50 Noises/Shuffling
1:24:02 One Knock
1:25:55 Voices
1:32:35 – 1:36:05 Train
2:14:20 – 2:20:00 Train

*Some of these noises could be animals although we saw no animals inside the house during our investigation. There were goats outside the house in the backyard but those can be heard as goats, not noises coming from inside the house.

The Dun Glen Hotel Site

While at the old Dun Glen site a few team members were playing cards and offering a hand for any spirits that might want to play. We received flashlight communications noting when to bet and when to fold. We also noticed a large overhead light in the parking lot above us turning on and off. We investigated the source of this light and if it was motion activated. We debunked any evidence with the light by talking with NPS rangers who live on that property saying that particular light malfunctions all the time as we described. While investigating the light source we heard what sounded like raccoons. Chris walked up to a wooden fence with on wood piece missing allowing one to see into the fenced in area. As Chris looked in another direction while approaching the fence both team members who were with him saw a shadow figure pass behind the fence where the missing wood piece was. The second witness claimed the shadow figure continued out the side of the fence and into the woods.

Ballyhack/The Shanty Town

A small group ventured to the remains of the shantytown across the river from Thurmond.

This area was known for its red light district.  We were able to make contact with a spirit using trigger objects of poker chips, tobacco, and cards to encourage an entity to play cards with us. (They were not a very good bluffer!)  We were able to get they were a miner. It was a short but meaningful encounter. We left them some chips and cigarettes.

The Black Church

Team members walked up a rough trail to the black church which is in pretty good condition. While conducting a session with the Ghost Radio App the word church came through immediately upon turning the device on. No other notable communications happened at this location and we returned to camp at the Erskine townsite.

This first formal investigation was a great first step into this maybe not so quiet ghost town.

We plan to return to fortify our findings as well as delving more into the history of this area.

Our next adventure is scheduled for April 2019.