Nestled beside Gauley Bridge on Route 60 is the small town of Glen Ferris. Aside from the majestic Kanawha Falls recreational area, Glen Ferris is mostly known for the Glen Ferris Inn, a charming inn and restaurant that hosts guests from all over. However, many believe that Glen Ferris Inn hosts more than living guests — perhaps even guests beyond the grave.
Glen Ferris Inn is located along Route 60 near Gauley Bridge. Photo property of user “futureroads” on Google Panoramio
Glen Ferris Inn has a rich history, beginning in 1839 when local businessman Andrew Stockton opened a “common room” to host the stagecoach traffic that was common in the area. Over the years, the inn was expanded and catered to soldiers on both sides of the Civil War. Some even believe that the Inn once operated as a makeshift hospital during the war.
As host to soldiers, townspeople, and tourists for over a century, it’s no wonder that there are mysteries surrounding Glen Ferris Inn. Many people report seeing an apparition in one of its second story windows as well as unexplained footsteps and shutting doors in the guest rooms. One suggestion of these occurrences is the ghost of a Confederate officer named “The Colonel.” Whether or not The Colonel exists is something that only those who have witnessed the paranormal occurrences can attest to.
While ghost tours are not given at Glen Ferris Inn, the Inn does welcomes visitors to tour the lush grounds, enjoy a sunset beside the Kanawha River, and grab a bite to eat in their restaurant, open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For more information on the Glen Ferris Inn, visit their website.
Sara (WV Travel Queen)
Aside from Camden Park in Huntington, there are no other amusement parks in West Virginia… or are there? It’s true that there are no longer any operating theme parks aside from Camden Park, however, there is one that still draws a crowd even after its heyday is over: Lake Shawnee.
Located just outside of Princeton in the drive-by town of Kegley is a patch of land that houses a small fishing pond, an old pavilion, and if you look carefully through the leaves, an old Ferris wheel and carnival swings. These are the only remnants left of what used to be Lake Shawnee Amusement Park that operated from 1926 until 1966 and again from 1985 until 1988.
Barely visible through the trees are the old carnival swings and in the background, the Ferris wheel
A brick marker tells the tale of the Mitchell Clay Family Massacre while the carnival swings and Ferris wheel blend into the background
A view of the pond from the road. The pond is still used for fishing tournaments throughout the year.
All sorts of ghost stories surround Lake Shawnee, often stemming from the fact that the park sits on the location of the Mitchell Clay Family Massacre that occurred around 1781. Other stories have emerged including the death of a young girl in the 1950s who died in an accident on the carnival swings, a young boy who drowned in the pond, and a man who fell to his death from atop the Ferris wheel. Many ghost seekers and adventurers visit the area in hopes of connecting with spirits and solving the mysteries surrounding Lake Shawnee.
In 2005, Lake Shawnee area was featured on an episode of “Scariest Places on Earth,” which led to an influx of people in the area. Today, the property is PRIVATELY OWNED by the White family but scheduled tours are welcome (please do not venture onto the property without prior permission). The property is also host to many fishing tournaments throughout the year. For more information or to schedule a tour, visit Lake Shawnee’s Facebook page for up-to-date information.
Still want more? Check out these links for all the ghostly happenings regarding Lake Shawnee:
WV Gazette Article
Theresa’s Haunted History of the Tri-State
Visit WV Official Tourism Page
Sara (WV Travel Queen)