Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Hunt for Mamie Thurman

We were all terrified of Mamie Thurman. She was murdered on 22 mountain in the 1930's. The story I grew up with is actually scarier than the truth. I have posted an article about her true story in my next blog. I grew up thinking that she was beheaded on top of a large rock on top of 22 mountain. No one ever found her killer.

There are stories to this day that she still roams 22 mountain looking for justice. (I have to amend that statement now because the mountain is halfway gone due to mountaintop mining now)

When I was in junior high school a friend drove a bunch of us to the top of 22 mountain on Halloween night. The plan was for us all to walk down the mountain and see what we could see. Everybody chickened out except for me. (I was a daredevil even in those days) We sat on top of the mountain arguing about walking down the mountain for about 1/2 an hour. Finally a couple of us got out and we were going to start walking when just as the van pulled out my friends started screaming for it to wait for them. They got back in the van.

I didn't.

I walked all the way down from the top of 22 mountain to the bottom - just me and a flashlight. I DID NOT SEE ANYTHING THE WHOLE WAY DOWN. I DID NOT HEAR ANYTHING THE WHOLE WAY DOWN EITHER. When I got to the bottom of the mountain my friends were waiting for me in the van (some practically in tears). They were all yammering about the scary noises they kept hearing around the van. They were very glad to see me because they were all sure that I would be murdered - but I wasn't.

We used to play a game and I have learned there is a version of it in every part of the country. You know the one. You go into the bathroom with a candle and turn all the lights out. Then you stand in front of the mirror and start chanting "Mamie Thurman show your face" over and over. Supposedly after 10 times she will appear in the mirror. I have to confess that I NEVER did have the nerve to finish that little game. We would ALWAYS run from the bathroom screaming before we got to 10.

A couple of years ago channel 3 ran a story. In it they did a demonstration. If you park your car facing downhill on 22 mountain and put it in neutral - IT WILL ROLL BACKWARDS UPHILL. Now that was strange. Their car actually did it! I am sure there is a logical explanation though (although I don't know it). It's like when you go to one of those "mystery hole" tourist attractions and everything is backwards. It's a lot of fun and doesn't make any sense. They always tell you there is a flaw in the earth's magentic field or something.

I almost forgot the scariest story of all. One time when we were driving back from a car auction one of the drivers told this story. He said he got it from the "old timers". The old timers said they would be in a dive called the Green Lantern (I can remember that bar). There was a beautiful woman with dark hair and a polka dot dress. (Mamie Thurman was wearing a polka dot dress when she was killed) They would dance and drink and then she would ask for a ride home. They would be driving down the road and the man would look over and ask where she needed to go and she would be gone - vanished into thin air!

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