Sunday, October 23, 2005

Haunted Pocahontas County: Droop Mountain Battlefield, Part 2

Droop Mountain Battlefield Park Lookout Tower

Here's the entry for Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park.

Location: Droop Mountain Battlefield
Status: Not Confirmed (?)
Address: Rt 219
City: Hillsboro
County: Pocahontas County
State: WV

West Virginia's last significant Civil War battle occurred on November 6, 1863. Union troops pinned the Confederates, who had concentrated their army on the ridge crest, in place by attacking from the right, left, and rear. This action drove the Confederates from the summit. This 285-acre park includes interpretive exhibits, Confederate earthworks, a small museum containing artifacts from the battle, lookout tower, picnic area, hiking trails, and children play areas. Droop is considered the oldest state park in West Virginia and is 4 miles south of Hillsboro. Here in the park stands an old replica of a cannon. Sometimes, on certain nights, you can see the spirit of a soldier perched on top of it smoking a cigarette.

Another West Virginia ghost Web site quotes this paragraph, (without attribution or a link, tsk, tsk), and adds this personal observation:

There are many stories of paranormal activity here, like a soldier that sits on the replica cannon smoking a cigarette, but I can tell you from personal experience that this can be an extremely frightening place at night. As a side note, a few years ago a WV State Trooper killed himself in the lookout tower at sunset, and it is said that sometimes you can still see him up in the tower looking out over the valley at sunset but by the time you can get up the steps he is gone.

I guess, from the poor punctuation, spelling, and grammar elsewhere on this page, that it is the work of children. Certainly, the inaccuracy of this account has a kids' campfire quality. (If you're adults, learn to proofread!) There was a suicide in the area by a law enforcement official in the last few years, but not in the tower, and not in the park.

I run or walk in the park several times a week, and the things that frighten me most have been bears and tourists. However, I did get a little spooked one October morning when I was out before the fog had lifted, and men in Union uniforms burst out of the woods along a little footpath. I knew the reenactment of the battle was scheduled for that afternoon, but it was strangely disturbing. Later that afternoon, I could hear the cannon fire close by my house. It brought home how terrible the war was for the people who lived here then.


Anonymous said...

Me, my husband, and some of our friends went up there on Nov. 5 and camped out that night. I can tell you from EVP's, and Pictures that this place is in fact haunted. On one EVP you can hear a mans voice say "kill everything, that's combat". I know that most people wouldn't believe it, but its true. There are many strange things that happened that night.

Rebecca Clayton said...

Thanks for stopping by! I heard from the park superintendent that there were "ghost hunters" there that weekend. I'd love to hear more about your experiences. Mike said some people were also looking for "Bigfoot." Would that be the yayho the Hammons family talked about? This was the first I'd ever heard mention about a yayho on Droop Mountain.