The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

Visit us on FaceBookGenerations of Memories
from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Mail Box - August, 1990

Issue: August, 1990

Dear Readers,
My name is Olyer Wagoner Turner. I am sending you a ghost story that was told to be true.

I was raised in foster home of Abigail Young, daughter of Jubal Young, widow of Armstead Young. She had a sister, Martha Young, married Billy Young. She told this ghost story many times when I was growing up. I will write it just the way she told it many years ago.

"My sons and husband found a job and rented a house in Salem, Virginia and we moved in. The first night I heard some one get out of bed in the back room and come open the middle door and the front door and went outside in the dark. After a few minutes I heard them come back and through my room and back to bed. Me and girls slept in the front room. My husband and sons in back room. We had no bathroom, no electric lights. The oil lamp was blown out when we went to bed.

So, the second night, same thing and I did not like being woke up in the night, but did not say anything until the third night, same thing.

So, next morning I said Billy there is a back door when you get up at night. And he says Why Martha, I never get up at night and we argued. I just knew it was him and not the boys. But next night I left lamp burning and when the door to my room opened I looked to see who it was and it was a snow white body with no head at all.

Well, I was so frightened I think I almost died, but we could not find another house for several weeks. So the snow white headless body passed through my room every night until we found another house. And on rainy nights, dishes would rattle in the cabinets like someone was handling them. So I inquired at the neighbors about the house and they said yes, the house has been haunted since a young man starved to death in it one rainy night and was found dead in the morning. So the snow white headless body still lived in the house."

Well, Martha Young has been dead many years and I hope this is printed for her sister Emeline Young Hall, grandchildren, the Hall, Chaney and Moran children.

Mrs. Olyer Turner
Danville, Virginia

Dear Susan Thigpen,
I can't tell you how much pleasure The Mountain Laurel brings to me and others. I pass it on for them to enjoy.

Mrs. R.J. Knott
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Dear Friends at Mountain Laurel,
Thank you so much for publishing the article about my sister Dorothy [July Issue, Banjo Picking Girl]. It was excellent. All of the stories are so good. We want to get down that way this summer. I hope we can stop by and see you. Keep the paper going.


P. Q. Black
Galion, Ohio

Dear Editor,
I am an 87 year old retired teacher having taught 35 years in Virginia and North Carolina. The April issue of The Mountain Laurel was especially interesting since I was born at Meadowview, Virginia and lived there or at Emory until 1929. I taught at Honaker, Virginia one year and here at Westfield 34 years.

When I was in grade school, we used to wait at Maiden's Store for the "bus" to take us to Greenfield school, two or three miles away. The "bus" was a two horse wagon equipped with black oil cloth covered seats on sides of the wagon. There were oilcloth curtains to protect us in bad weather.

That issue brought so many memories back. Thank you!

Mrs. F. Jessup
Westfield, North Carolina

The Mountain News Paper,
We made a trip to Virginia last week, went to Peaks of Otter. My early ancestors came from there, John Mayberry for one. It was a beautiful sight every way we looked.

I will be looking forward to the next issue.

Best Wishes,

F. Potter
Milan, Tennessee

Dear Mt. Laurel,
This little paper brings a lot of enjoyment into our lives, so I am ordering a year's subscription to both my grandsons.

I was born and raised in Smyth County, Virginia, 72 years ago. My husband, Carl, was born in Grayson County, so we enjoy reading about familiar places and people. The recipes are wonderful.

Thank you,

H. Roberts
Bedford, West Virginia

Dear Readers,
One of our readers, Virginia Wood, of Kernersville, North Carolina, wrote in and asked if anyone has the recipe for sourdough bread and starter using a scraped potato. I have a recipe, but mine doesn't call for potato. My grandmother made her own yeast by somehow adding scraped potato, but don't remember how it was done.

If any of you have this particular recipe for sourdough, using a scraped potato, please send it in and we will print it for everyone's enjoyment.

Susan Thigpen, Editor