Tales of roadside ghosts account for many of the most popular West Virginia ghost stories, and it's easy to see why: Even the most fearless motorist can be inspired to be watchful on a country road at night.
The notion also plays out through the Mountain State's popular website for the paranormal West Virginia Ghosts, which since 1999 has been publishing first-hand tales of the supernatural submitted by site visitors.
According to the publisher and paranormal investigator Jonathan Moore, five of the 10 most popular stories published on the website regard roadside ghosts.
Tales of Roadside Ghosts in W.Va.
Of more than 500 tales of other-worldly encounters at West Virginia Ghosts, roadside encounters account for the lion's share of stories.
Hurricane Creek Apparitions
Read Story: Two teens on Hurricane Creek Road encounter a ghostly woman and child
Haunted 22 Mine Road
Phantom of Cherry Creek Dip
Read Story: Ghostly car rides at night through Cherry Creek Dip in Shady Springs
The Ghost of Ohley Hollow
Read Story: An newspaper delivery man meets with an angry entity in the wee hours
Moore says interest in haunting in West Virginia continues to grow, and has been since the early part of the century.
"Talk of hauntings in West Virginia picked up around 2004. Before that, folks would talk about hauntings, but their discussions were under the radar, so to speak. Television began to bring talk of ghosts into the mainstream, and soon afterward West Virginia was making the news regularly."
More than 1,500 users visit WVGhosts daily, contributing to the growing compendium of almost 500 stories of ghosts and other paranormal phenomena collected, Moore said.
Moore said he expects interest in the paranormal in West Virginia to increase, largely as a result of normal market trends, including increased interest in the state as a result of its accessibility and a longing for tales of home among displaced West Virginians.
"I think as more West Virginians leave to find employment beyond the mountains we'll continue to see more Web searches for all-things-West-Virginian and of news of home," Moore says.
"I also think we'll see interest grow as the population of the eastern U.S. discovers us. The interest in West Virginia overall seems to be growing. Paranormal sites such as the penitentiary at Moundsville and asylum at Weston are only the tip of the iceberg."
Share your stories with WVGhosts.com
Do you have a supernatural encounter you'd like to share? WVGhosts.com provides a free forum in which anyone can submit a story of their real-life meet-and-greet with the paranormal.