Stories, tales, lies, musings and daily life in the mountains of central Appalachia. Dedicated to the education of the American public on the unique culture of Appalachia.
Monday, October 6, 2008
The old farmhouse where we used to live. Alice Veach's house was built like this.
Stories of supernatural beings and witches abound in the hills of Pendleton County. One of them that sticks with me is that of a witch named Alice Veach. People told of how she could make sewing needles dance around in the middle of a frying pan just by saying some words over them, and how she could make people sick, or even kill livestock, just by looking at them a certain way.
My grandmaw told of how one time ole Alice Veach came by her house when my aunt Barb was a little girl and Alice looked in the window at her. Barb immediately started to cry, and she cried for three days solid. My grandmaw, knowing that Barb had to have been witched, went to an old woman in the area who was known to help fight the powers of evil spells. The old woman immediately recognized the signs of an evil spell and confirmed my grandmaw’s suspicions that Barb had been witched. The old woman took Barb in her arms and whispered a few words in her ear, reputed as being something from the Bible, and then handed her back to grandmaw. The old woman told grandmaw that whoever had put this hex on Barb would come down deathly sick within three days. Sure enough, three days later Alice Veach lay on her deathbed.
The story continued when a preacher was called upon to come and pray with Alice Veach. Alice was by then laid up in an upstairs bedroom of her house. When the preacher came to the house, the family was grateful that he had come and, of course, invited him in. He then proceeded upstairs to see Alice. When he opened the bedroom door, Alice sat straight up in the bed and looked at him square in the eye and told him to get out, she didn’t want to hear any of his lies.
The preacher immediately recognized that Alice was possessed by a demon so he started praying out loud. Upon hearing this, they say Alice started to scream and holler and carry on, and when the praying continued, by this time the preacher was screaming out his prayer, Alice Veach let out a loud moan and rolled over and died. At once the entire house began to shake violently, and everyone thought the house was going to fly apart, and many of the family ran outside to escape what seemed like sure death. Then the preacher hollered, “Open a window and let the spirit out before she tears the house apart.” They did and after a couple of minutes the house quieted down and all was still.
People say even to this day, you can’t stay in that house, it is still haunted by Alice Veach. It now sits vacant down in a side holler out in the middle of nowhere. I remember when we were teenagers, my brother Jason and I walked down in the holler where the house sits. We were walking our dogs and had them on leashes. About the time we got within site of the house, both dogs took to carrying on and trying to run back up out of the holler, but since they were on leashes they were held there by me and Jason. We kept walking closer to the house, and you know how dogs will usually walk ahead of you, well this time, the dogs were trying to run back the way we had came. It was so bad, the dogs sat down to where Jason and I were practically dragging them.
When we finally got to the porch of the house,the dogs took to whining and moaning, and me and Jason felt something all around us that was just oppressive, kind of like an unnatural pressure bearing down on us. We kind of got afraid and started to leave, but we soon found that every step we took seemed like a hundred steps. We thought we were never going to get out of that holler. If it hadn’t been for the dogs pulling us out of the holler, I’m convinced we’d be there still. That was my first and last trip to the haunted house of Alice Veach.