Ashley Bonbrake has always been drawn to the spiritual. That’s how she started Spirit of Appalachia, a ghost tour guide and paranormal team serving folks throughout southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. “I started Spirit of Appalachia this past May, but it’s always been a part of me,” she says. “I have always been able to communicate with the spiritual realm effortlessly...I knew that there was a spiritual world as a young child.”
History and Mystery
Spirit of Appalachia will be bringing a taste of local history and mystery to the region with a free, condensed version of their Hatfield-McCoy saga on Thursday, June 10th at 9pm. Ashley got the idea for the ghost walk after attending a haunted house at the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, West Virginia. “After seeing how popular touring haunted sites has become, I decided Appalachia deserved her true claim to fame,” she says. “We’re the site of so many bloody feuds and battles.”
Spirit of Appalachia has offered full-length tours on the Hatfield-McCoy Feud, as well as one on Mamie Thurman, who was murdered by a jealous man. They also plan to offer a Battle of Blair Mountain Tour, but right now, they are focused on the upcoming Hatfield-McCoy Tour.
Thursday’s tour will begin in Blackberry, Kentucky, also known as Buskirk, Kentucky. Participants can bring photography and videography equipment, as well as emf readers, dowsing rods, and other paranormal tools. “The only thing I ask is that no one attempt to bring an Ouija board, or any time of dark magick conjuring devices or tools,” Ashley notes.
Ashley believes that businesses like Spirit of Appalachia have a lot to offer this region. “Businesses like ours bring history and culture back to life,” she says. “We are tired of being known as the forgotten region because coal mining isn’t as productive as it once was.”
More than anything else, Ashley is ready to prove herself to skeptics. “I am most excited to show a group of die-hard skeptics that ghosts do in fact exist,” Ashley says. “Believers and on-the-fencers are welcome as well, but our main objective is to bring the spiritual realm a little closer to consciousness.”
Whether you’re a believer or a skeptic, this walk sure sounds fun and informative! If you’d like to learn more about Thursday night’s event and other upcoming events, check out their Facebook page.
Article photos from Spirit of Appalachia Facebook Page