A Haunting In Wheelwright
In the light Wheelwright appears to be your typical old coal camp town, lost to the outside world and crumbling under the ever present threat of economic crisis. It is filled with people who live a simpler life for the most part and also with buildings that reflect a past that was full of great things. It's streets are usually lined with children riding bikes or tossing balls into the air. On occasion a parade even lines the streets and sirens and candy fill the air like a holiday extravaganza.
Of course this is in the light. We are not going to dwell in the light of the city, not this time around. We are going to walk in the darkness of the city night. Come with me as we visit a church where a military soldier refuses to part ways. Come sit awhile with the spirit of Joe Cable, a man gunned down by notorious outlaw Bad John Hall in a gun fight on Branham Cemetery.
As I said we will not walk in the light for this trip. This time we will explore the darker side of Wheelwright Kentucky, the side I have spent ample time walking in with my paranormal research team Dravenstar.
The Walking Orb
Where The Streets Have No Name
The city has always been known for the attractions of main street. In it's heyday main was alive and well with businesses and things to do. Now it has died down, no pun intended, but for those fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time you may find it's not so silent after all when the sun goes down.
Just across from the new city hall which at one point was a laundry mat and the Dollar General you will find a large concrete wall and a sidewalk. It seems simple enough and for the most part it is just that, a simple means to get from point A to point B. But on some nights the wind may break and give way to that alarming silence and then you will hear it. Footsteps. They sound distant at first but soon they creep up on you and then seem to pass you in a hurried hustle to get to some destination you are unaware of.
Sometimes you can feel the entity brush by as it rustles to get to some place it may never find. It is not uncommon to experience a cold deep chill when this happens and even some people have reported hearing voices talking.I myself can not claim to have heard the ghostly chatter but I will contest I have experienced the steps and the feeling of the eerie traveler parting the sidewalk for his or her nightly journey.
Some people claim this spirit belongs to a man who was gunned down just outside the old bathhouse over a debt owed to some loan sharks who came to collect on a bad night. Others say the entity is a drifter who was slain by a local bootlegger who felt the man was working for the feds trying to launder money. No one knows who the person is or was, the only thing known is they seem to navigate the area randomly with no real constant schedule. I myself have investigated with my team numerous nights and experienced the event maybe 4 or 5 times during an investigation and several times when just walking after dark.
I can say there is an eerie feeling of sadness, almost as if there is a guilt associated with this trip that is never to be completed.
2nd EVP Video
The Library Ghost
My team is one of those teams that feel that a well trained team is one that gets results so we always give our new recruits a training session in an unhaunted location so we can get them acquainted with procedure. When we brought a group of new recruits into the Wheelwright Library for a training session one night we bit off a little more than we had bargained for.
We had always had strange things happen at the library but we just assumed it was an old building and chalked it up to that. But during our training sessions we started to see some things that began to paint a much different picture than previously examined.
The first real indicator we had something paranormal in nature was a fun little experiment in which we left a computer on and asked that if anyone was with us it type us a message. Basically we were working off the EVP concept only more technically sound I suppose. We never got a message but we did see the computer turn off and back on quickly and than load the notepad program without any hesitation. This startled one member of the team to the point where he was ready to leave ASAP.
As the night progressed we would hear voices and eventually we would have a member of the team who we brought in simply because she had a history of being able to see manifestations of spirits and hear what others could not have a very odd experience. She said shew heard a conversation in a strange language. We would later sit her down and let her hear several languages and she id'ed the one she heard as polish which made little sense to us, that is until a local historian would reveal before the library was a library the building served the polish members of the community.
Before this one night was over we would capture the image of a little girl behind a new investigator, a video of a darting spirit and even the voices of several entities discussing us as we walked around. It was a shock to see that the library we had ran was in fact haunted.
To this day we are still experiencing a plethora of strange events at the library. It is not uncommon to see books knocked off shelves or even come in to find books rearranged. Computers turn on and off and we have even found the occasional chair or two overturned. It is kind of cool to work in a place that is haunted but at the same time it can get a bit odd to bring our "work" home with us.
The library proved to be one of those unexpected gold mines paranormal researchers dream of finding and we had it right under our nose and just never realized it until we decided to use it as a training ground.
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A Holy Soldier?
Wheelwright is rich with historical landmarks and of those the most common may very well be churches. One of which seems to have been something more for at least one resident who does not want to leave it. While we will not disclose this location we will say that our investigations there were very strange and in one case even I was a bit afraid of what may or may not happen.
It started with reports that groups who stayed at the church were hearing the old piano play by itself and seeing a man walk about the church. Sometimes he would be carrying a small book, others he would just be leaned against a wall in the back hallway looking lost. My first real experience with this gentleman came as a surprise. I was leading a music ministry that included a praise and worship band and we had just finished a really good practice when we heard some very peculiar noises from the back hallway.
We decided to check it out and to our surprise the lights in the hall were on. There in the back of the hallway appeared to be a shadow that kind of waved back and fourth like it was fading in and out and I moved closer to it. That was when I realized real quick I had made a big mistake. The shadow quickly pushed me to the middle of the hallway before returning back to it's spot.
To this day people still make claims that something or someone is in that church.
Where John met Jos
Bad John Hall is Wheelwright's most famous story. An outlaw to some and to others a true hero. He was known for a temper and a quick trigger finger. One of John's most famous stories takes place just below the cemetery in Branham Hollow known as branham's Cemetery. Here John was cornered by an angry mob hoping to bring him in.
This mop was led by Joe Cable, a man who had anything but love for Bad John and wanted nothing more than to see John rot behind the old iron bars of a jail cell. John had tried to jump a wooden fence and make for the hills but Joe shot the beam out from under John's hand and left him hiding behind an old building scared for his life. He had nothing to do but defend himself the only way he knew how and that meant with his trusty gun. John lept to his feet and fired one shot. That bullet hit Joe Cable under the armpit and brought him crashing to the ground deader than a Sunday morning chicken dinner at a baptist convention as my granny used to tell it. John than informed the posse he had several more bullets and was not inclined to sit there and wait for them to come obtain him.
Needless to say they left the scene. To this day strange things happen on that cemetery that defy logic, or at least logic to those who are not inclined to the ways of the paranormal. Orbs can be seen with the naked eyes and many a ghostly argument has been heard. I myself audiotaped a conversation in which a man clearly stated drop the gun Mr. Hall, it's over. It was such a rush to experience this piece of history played out years after both parties have left the mortal world. Wheelwright will always have those Bad John Hall memories but for those wanting a little taste more of his legacy Branham Cemetery might just be what they are looking for.