Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Wine Cellars in Dunbar, WV

Last summer, I spent a weekend with my brother Matthew and sister-in-law Shirley in Charleston, WV. While there, we went on the search for many of the local places I had heard contained ghosts or unexplained phenomena.
One of the places we sought out was the Wine Cellars Park in Dunbar, WV. I had heard a faint whisper of a ghost story from that area, so we went to check it out. First of all, this is not an easy park to find. Maybe with a GPS it would have been easier, but we were following Yahoo! Maps directions. After a while, we found the park, situated up a holler across from the city of Dunbar- you literally had to drive under the interstate to get there. We found the sign:
But it took us a while to realize that the actual Wine Cellars are on the opposite side of the road from the sign. We walked way up into the park looking for them, but it wasn't until we turned around that we noticed the giant stone wine cellars.

It didn't look too spooky at first. Mind you, I'm always skeptical about places being haunted - but the closer you get to the Wine Cellars, the more you realize how much the atmosphere changes.
The wine cellars were built, as far as I could gather from the few resources I could find, prior to the US Civil War. I'm not sure about the history of them - so please if you know anything at all fill me in. From what I understand they were used as jails or camps during the war, then abandoned years later after the wine production stopped.

Whatever the history, the mood of the cellars is nearly like that of a cemetery at midnight - and we were there at about 2pm in the middle of a hot summer day. My brother was the first to pick up on the "vibe" from the far left cellar, which is where it got interesting.
A running thing we do is to stand in doorways or entrances of places we've heard are haunted, then ask the ghost to stand between us. I'm on the left, Matthew is on the right. If you look closely at this picture, the white fog between us had to come from somewhere. It was clear as a bell in the cellar.
More and more misty photos showed up on the digital camera the longer we were there. In the far left cellar, especially, was a lot of activity. At one point I was in the doorway, and I noticed a tiny orb of light floating in the air, rotating in place just beyond my right index finger. As I reached out for it, my brother and Shirley let out a gasp - apparently they had thought I was reaching for a black shadowy figure in the mist. But what they saw as a black figure, I saw as a floating orb of light. We've still yet to figure that one out.

Whatever the case may be, we left the Wine Cellar Park and its environs with the feeling that there is definitely something dwelling within. I have my own ideas of what it might be- and I'm happy to say that I have experienced another bit of West Virginia's Spectral Heritage. For more information on the program, visit