“Matewan is one of the oldest towns in Mingo County, ” Says Chris Faine, owner of Matewan West Virginia Ghost Tours, explaining how he started the Ghost Tours. “The history has been very well preserved. Almost every building that stood 100 years ago is still standing and operating today.”
Sharing the Dark History of “Bloody Mingo”
Chris started the tours because he wanted to bring something positive to the community and share the rich history of his small town. “What we’re planning to do with these tours is educate people about the area they live in, and bring more pride to our community,” he continues, “We plan on creating an educational experience by telling stories of scary events that have happened on our small streets, and talking about the dark histories that took place in the area.”
Many of the stories and histories associated with Mingo County come straight from Matewan, says Chris. “I strictly believe that Mingo County’s nickname, ‘Bloody Mingo’, is directly based off of the dark stories and histories that took place in the narrow streets of Matewan, West Virginia.”
Chris wants to create a tour in which folks can learn something new in a mildly spooky format he describes as similar to campfire stories. “This isn’t the type of tour where someone is going to jump out and make you scream,” he says. “This is a relaxed scenario where I can tell people stories of our community, similar to the campfire stories your friends told you when it was dark outside. Instead of creating jump-scares and shock value, I want the stories that we tell to truly stick in your heads, to keep the town alive and promote interest in the area.”
Showing Off Matewan
The tour will be a walking tour taking participants throughout the streets of Matewan, and it will last about an hour and forty five minutes. They’ll touch on some of the famous locations in the town’s history along the way, including the G.W. Hatfield Building, the Matewan Depot, the Old Matewan Theatre, and more.
Chris is looking forward to sharing his community and their history. Chris says, “What I look forward to the most is showing off my community to everyone. My personal favorite thing in Matewan to show off is either the Nenni Building or the covered up Underpass, it shows a sliver of what our town used to be.”
To learn more about the Ghost Tours and read about locations and admission prices, click over to their Facebook page! Take a second to watch their commercial video on their page too!
Photography and video credit for Matewan West Virginia Ghost Tours images and video credited to Seth Whitt.