Ghost of Mamie Thurmond
The most persistent ghost story in the region revolves around the death and controversial life of Mamie Thurman. In the roaring twenties Mamie lived the life of an unfettered flapper in the remote and conservative Appalachian town of Logan, West Virginia. She was married to a poor deputy but cavorted in local speakeasies with some of the more prominent married men in town. Her liberated sexual escapades apparently led to her brutal murder on June 21, 1932. Early the next morning her dead body was found along remote 22 Mine Road. She had been beaten, her throat was slashed from ear to ear and she’d been shot in the head twice.
After her body was found an illiterate, black handyman was charged with her murder. He worked for the prominent banker who was Mamie’s next door neighbor and landlord. However, many in town found it hard to believe that the meek, soft-spoken handyman and sometimes chauffeur was capable of such a vicious killing. It was widely rumored that Mamie was having an affair with the banker, who she also worked with. In addition, the primary evidence against the handyman was blood found in a car he often drove and was seen driving the night of Mamie’s murder. The car, however, was owned by the banker. Many thought that the handyman might have disposed of the body but not been the murderer. They suspected it was the banker or possibly his frumpy, jealous wife.
The mystery is compounded by the fact that no one knows where Mamie’s body is. Her death certificate states that she was buried at Logan Memorial Park but she isn’t there. Funeral home records show that her body was transported to Bradfordsville, Kentucky but that cemetery has no record of her interment. It is also said that a prominent businessman from Logan paid $1,000 to have her body moved to a cemetery in Chauncey. It still remains a mystery where Mamie Thurman is buried and if the man convicted of her murder was actually guilty. As a result, Mamie’s unquiet soul haunts the hills and hollows near Logan looking for justice and a place of rest.
To this day one of the rights of passage for local teenagers is to make a late night pilgrimage to the place where Mamie’s body was found. Many have seen her ghost there and it is said that if you park your car in this spot and put it in neutral the vehicle will roll up hill.
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