Rawhead and Bloody Bones

This figure was once common in cautionary nursery tales, used to keep children from being naughty. If a child didn’t behave, legend said “Rawhead and Bloody Bones,” would come and take them. The legend was prevalent in the Appalachians throughout the early 1900s, however eventually faded into oblivion. While not nearly as obscure as North […]

Crow: Legend and Lore

Crows have long been feared and maligned throughout history. A distant cousin of the raven, the crow is smaller, has a smaller beak, and a distinct “caw” call. Crows are often seen as a harbinger of death and doom. Many believe it is the reason a group of crows are called a, “murder.” These birds […]

Bizarre Botany: Jimsonweed

Jimsonweed is named after Jamestown, but actually gained notoriety due to a mass poisoning in 1676. The people of Jamestown, Virginia, who were primarily soldiers, believed they were simply enjoying a fresh salad. Unfortunately, the leaves and seeds induce delirium and bring about hallucinations. Strangely enough, humans have been poisoned by the Jimsonweed in far […]

Miscellaneous Coal Mine Knowledge

Odds and ends about life in the Appalachian coal mines. In 1897, miners in Appalachian regions earned around .30 per ton. Appalachian coal fields are reported to have given work to people from 30 foreign countries. Wise County, Virginia, boasted around 4400 coke ovens in use as far back as 1908. The process sent thick […]

The Phantom Hitchhiker

The phantom hitchhiker is a familiar guest on countless American roads (not even counting the global reports). This is a growing collection of ghostly hitchhikers and the lore surrounding them. The Phantom Hitchhiker of Gap Creek, Tennessee The legend of the traveler goes back years ago on that bleak stretch of road. A man was […]

Song of the Forest Siren

There is a legend in certain Southern Appalachian forests of a sinister lady who lives in remote locations. Sure lures people, particularly men, to come and look for her with a beautiful song. When the unsuspecting individual arrives where she is, they are driven mad. Does this entity hail from Greece? Believe it or not, […]

Two Brothers

One story from the Appalachian Mountains concerns two bothers, Brahm and Beau. All through their life, they fought, as many brothers do. Brahm grew up tall and strong, but Beau didn’t inherit the same traits. While Brahm became a strapping young man, Beau remained frail and small. They continued wrestling through life, but no matter […]

Phantom Hitckhikers

Every region has it’s own particular version of this tale. It has became one of the most common urban legends, globally, today. It doesn’t matter where you go or who you speak with, everyone knows of a phantom hitchhiker. There’s an old Bluegrass song that discussed the event decades ago. This song is perhaps best […]

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