Being born and reared in the Appalachian region is, as with most things, a mixed bag. There is the long and well documented lack of economic opportunity. Beyond the extraction of the “black-rock” that fueled the industrial revolution, there is, and perhaps always will be, a stark absence of an economic base. This void of wealth has had a lackluster-effect on many elements of society for hundreds of years.
Lack of ports and rugged terrain, has left the region to relative isolation, both economic and cultural. While economic arrest is a hindrance to monetary wealth, the same is not necessarily true for culture richness. Isolation has afforded insulation, and preservation.
However, change is inevitable and constant; the only variable is rate of progression. The centuries of cultural insulation of Appalachia will be claimed by this truth. With the proliferation of the internet, the greatest mechanism of information exchange since Gutenburg’s press, cultural-evolution is occurring at breakneck-pace. To attempt to retard evolution is an exercise in futility. The best that can be sought is to record and persevere, some small part of what once was.
For generations, at family gatherings and reunions, after the initial “catching-up” with the goings-on each other’s life, the conversation, more often than not, would turn to stories and accounts of the out-of-the-ordinary, some personal, some passed-down through the years. It is my hope, if tradition ever waivers, the stories of my childhood that I hold so dear, may in some small part, be preserved here.
While the primary focus of the texts here will tend to be of a paranormal nature, when viewed through the cultural lens of Appalachia, “para” is often the normal.