CANVAS, W.Va. — Mountainous and often remote, West Virginia may enjoy more than its fair share of strange stories. Still, the tale of the woman whose feet never touched the ground is undoubtedly among the most remarkable.
This tale comes from the highlands along the Gauley River in central West Virginia. Though the matter has never been settled, the "Ward Road" to which the anonymous author refers would seem to be that which wanders through the farmlands north of WV-39 between Richwood and Summersville.
Unlike many of the ghost stories we share in our coverage of lore and legend at West Virginia Explorer Magazine, this story does not appear to have been handed down through generations but seems altogether unique. Yet, there's nothing like a good ghost story. We've repeated the story here as it appears at West Virginia Ghosts, where it was first published in 2007.
The Woman Whose Feet Never Touched The Ground
My family, who grew up on Ward Road, has experienced this series of encounters. Growing up, going to my grandmother’s house was an every-evening thing. I would hear my mother and her siblings talk about things they experienced growing up beside the woman whose feet never touched the ground.
The first story that I heard is one that I will never forget. My uncle would not believe in the supernatural, so hearing the experience from his lips is, I know, factual.
My grandfather owned many acres that crossed with the woman whose feet never touched the ground, and my uncle would usually cut through her yard coming and going from school. Not believing the stories his sisters told him, he never thought anything would happen to make him change his mind.
One day, the woman decided to grace my uncle with her presence. A chill ran up and down his spine as he crossed the landmark that separated my grandfather’s land and her own.
He turned to look over his shoulder to double-check that nothing was behind him when, sure enough, he finally saw the woman whose feet never touched the ground. He stated that she was 'hovering' across the grass, and behind her stood a table up on one leg, dancing.
The encounters do not stop there. My mother and her younger sister would also use the woman’s land to cut through to go to a relative’s house. A fence circled the woman’s land, a portion of which was broken down, and that is where my mother and aunt would cross.
One day, they were returning home from visiting my great aunt. As my mother was crossing the broken part of the fence, they heard a cackle, pausing them both in their tracks. As they looked back, once again, the woman whose feet never touched the ground graced them with her presence.
My aunt then unpaused and hurried my mother across the fence, pushing her out of her way. They both ran home.
When they finally got home, out of breath, they “babbled,” as my grandfather puts it, about the woman whose feet never touched the ground. From then on, my mother and aunt found another shortcut.
About a week later, my mother and other sister were walking the main road. There was an old black Chevy truck that would sit in front of the house that was haunted by the woman whose feet never touched the ground. My mother stated that she had a gut feeling that the old woman was near, so she tried to get my aunt to walk up to the truck with her, but she would not. As my mother looked over the backside of the truck, the old woman was lying down in the bed.
My mother tried calling my aunt to the truck, but when there was no reply, my mother looked over her shoulder to find my aunt already running up the road. She ran after her, and they both went home.
Later that evening, my mother went back down the road to see if she could see the woman whose feet never touched the ground. Once again, my mother noticed her in the bed of the truck. This time she was standing. My mother said she was standing over a cauldron, stirring and murmuring something. She could not make anything out of it. My mother stated that when the old woman looked at her, she had an awful appearance. So awful, she could not describe it.
Time passed. The old house burnt down in the mid-'90s, and the woman whose feet never touched the ground was never seen again.
Strange tales of 'Turkey Witches' weren't uncommon in early W.Va.
Not long ago, country folk in West Virginia might tell tales of a turkey witch. Of all the forms a witch could take, that of a wild turkey was the most feared, especially among the farms at the edge of the deep forests where turkeys are most at home. READ THE FULL STORY HERE.
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