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Welcome to the Culture news directory at West Virginia Explorer. Follow along as we explore the diverse cultures that have come to define the West Virginia experience.

West Virginia ghost linked to Country music's "Big Bad John"

Company houses and backyard gardens climb the hillsides at Grant Town in northern West Virginia.
GRANT TOWN, W.Va. — If you've ever had the opportunity to descend into a West Virginia coal mine, you might have come away with...

Historians find evidence of famous visitor at W.Va. tavern

William Clark documented his stay at the Halfway House in a diary.
ANSTED, W.Va. — Historians investigating the history of a landmark tavern in southern West Virginia have uncovered evidence that explorer William Clark, of the...

Tale of lost "Moon Man" lives on in remote Braxton County...

The Moon Man claimed his ancestors had come from the moon and had been forced to remain on Earth after a meteor knocked the moon out of its orbit.
CENTRALIA, W.Va. — The ghost town of Centralia, with no more than a dozen houses and a country store, might seem one of the...

Spring ramp festivals in West Virginia expected to enjoy boom

A mess of ramps cooks during the annual ramp dinner at Helvetia, West Virginia.
BEAVER, W.Va. — Spring ramp festivals in West Virginia could see a leap in attendance in 2023, according to the publisher of one of...

Tale of historic tragedy haunts the hills of Putnam County

Dave Sibray searches cliffs for clues regarding a tragedy that killed two West Virginia hunters in the late 1800s.
LIBERTY, W.Va.—Eighteenmile Creek wanders quietly through the hill country of northern Putnam County, revealing not in the least any potential for tragedy along its...

Then there was the time West Virginia had four governors

West Virginia Governor's Mansion at Charleston, WV, Kanawha County, Metro Valley Region
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Too much government? As complex as politics in West Virginia, or any other state, might seem today, there was a time...

Tales of 'Turkey Witches' weren't uncommon in early West Virginia

A wary wild turkey peers across a field in West Virginia.
It wasn't all that long ago that country folk in West Virginia might tell tales of a turkey witch. Of all the forms a...

Christmas in Ripley to feature new city-owned Starcher Mansion

The Toys-for-Tots Train steams through the streets of Ripley during its annual Christmas parade.
RIPLEY, W.Va. — A community known for its events—including the state's premiere arts-and-crafts festival—the City of Ripley is ushering in the Christmas season with...

West Virginia uniquely tied to Thanksgiving Day celebration

Union soldier Larkin Goldsmith Mead holds a Thanksgiving turkey at Camp Griffin, Virginia, c. 1861.
The anniversary of the first Thanksgiving was not nationally celebrated until 1863, when Abraham Lincoln declared a day of "thanksgiving and praise" to be...

'Old Woman Run' at Sutton bears a unique name origin

A fog settles in the vale of Granny Creek, as seen from Old Woman Run in Braxton County near Sutton, West Virginia.
SUTTON, W.Va. — Sharp-eyed travelers visiting the historic district in downtown Sutton may observe that two streams tumble out of the hills to join...

Could clerk's body remain in watery grave beneath Ohio River?

Could the remains of a ship's clerk linger in the dark beneath the mighty Ohio River?
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Could the body of an unfortunate ship's clerk lie buried in a murky vault beneath the Ohio River? If the full...

Witches perceived as threat to settlers in what's now W.Va.

An evergreen forest in West Virginia.
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — For pioneer families in western Virginia, life was difficult enough without talk of "witches." Any interruption in the business of avoiding...

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