Yesterday, I mentioned that I was going to be blogging much more in the coming weeks and that I had been jotting down ideas. Well, today, I am here to make it clear to you what, exactly, I will be blogging about.
Even though I am currently a resident of the state of Pennsylvania, I am a West Virginian. I was born and raised there, I have deep family roots there, and I lived there until my mid-twenties. I have no intention of ever living there again, and yet, I will still be calling myself a West Virginian when I’m gray and stooped and done with this world. The place saturated me and there’s no wringing it out.
I got to thinking about my identity as a West Virginian and how it ties into my identity as a horror writer and a horror fan. I’ve made mention to the world that I was a strange girl for being a horror fan growing up. My friends squealed and resisted watching scary movies with me. People took note of the books that I was reading and gave me wary sideways glances for them. But you know what? My weirdness was what was weird. Let me explain.
In my grade school, when we were finally given full access to all of the books in the school library, one of the first books presented to us was a collection of local paranormal lore. West Virginia is full of it. Everybody has a grandma with a haunted house. We all know someone who had a great-grandma who was an old mountain witch. We have weeping women, monsters in the woods, and spectral locomotives. Pick an episode of Supernatural and West Virginia has it. I swear, based on local lore that whole show could stay in that state and have plenty of material. Which is why my weirdness is strange. The paranormal is a part of the culture of the state of my formation. We all know it intimately.
Because of that, I’m going to share with you some of that lore in the coming weeks. These are the stories that thrilled me and so many others in our youths. It formed many a fertile imagination and kept a lot of us looking over our shoulders when a patch of thick woods was at our backs.
I hope you check in every Thursday over the summer so that I can share some of my horror heritage with you.