Did the ghost of George Washington help preserve the union? Is the Wyoming County Courthouse haunted?
David “Bugs”Stover entertained folks with ghost stories—with a story about the Polk Gap Monster thrown in for good measure—last Friday evening at Gilliland Park in Oceana
It was the tip off event for Civil War Days.
Conditions were right for scary stuff.It was twilight as Stover began to share the tales he has collected over the years, and fog was hanging across the hills.
Stover says his interest in ghost stories began in his childhood, when he would sit on his grandmother’s porch at Pierpoint and listen to the tales told by his great uncles.
His memories of those stories are vague, he says, but by the 1970s he was preserving the stories he heard.
He first told stories at Twin Falls when one of his former teachers, Dora Lewis, was a naturalist there.
“I have to have at last two sources for a story (before I use it),” Stover commented.
Sometimes, Stover himself is a source.
He says he and other naturalists were gathered at Droop Mountain in the 1990s and saw an encampment with tents and human figures. When the naturalists walked toward it, it faded away.
Stover, who is serving his second term as the county’s circuit clerk, is also convinced the courthouse is haunted.The most likely candidate for the haunting, he says is Virgil Cook, a circuit who died at the courthouse in mysterious circumstances in 1935.
In one recent incident, Stover related that he and a co-worker heard someone banging on the vault door in the circuit clerk’s office.
They assumed they had accidentally closed the vault while an attorney was doing research inside.
They opened the vault and did a search—but found nothing.
Stover was a lifeguard at the Twin Falls pool in the 1970s when he and a group of friends decided to have a night swim. “I would have been fired if I had been caught” he recalled.
A girl who was part of the swim was yanked straight down in the pool.
Thinking it was a someone pulling a prank, Stover used his ability to hold his breather under water for long period. He returned to the pool and went under the water.
“I see a guy holding her by the foot,” Stover remembered.
When Stover swam toward the figure, it “swam straight through the bottom of the pool We jumped out of there screaming.”
Roscoe Goode, a man in his 90s, told Stover later that a figure of a man had been seen in a swimming holeat Twin Falls.
“I asked him to take me to the place,” Stover said. “He said, ‘Oh, I can’t, that’s where the pool is now.”
John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.
Photo: David “Bugs” Stover tells ghost stories at Gilliland Park in Oceana on Friday night.