Civil War spirits and Appalachian “haints”—both benevolent and bloodcurdling—add to the spooky appeal of historic Martinsburg, West Virginia.
The quaint streets and mountain vistas of historic Martinsburg conceal specters lurking in its deepest shadows. Situated in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, the city is home to a wide variety of ghostly characters, from the famous spirit “George” of the Apollo Theater to a lantern-toting spectral soldier at Boydville Manor. The Lady in Black haunts St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery, while the ghost of a lost girl tries faithfully to hitchhike her way to the former King’s Daughter’s Hospital. Many people believe that Confederate spy Belle Boyd continues to surveil the living who visit her former childhood home. Author and tour guide Justin Stevens spins dark tales of otherworldly Appalachian apparitions.
“For many in the Eastern Panhandle, the concept of embracing history and ghost stories is engrained in the culture . . . The historical relevance of Martinsburg has generated a plethora of stories to be told, some of which Stevens hopes to tell on his ghost tour and through his book.” —The Journal (West Virginia)