9621 Reed Mine Road
Midland, North Carolina
A visitor to the Reed Gold Mine this month was startled by a figure some distance away while touring the mine. According to an article from Charlotte’s CBS station, WBTV, Sandy Harrington captured the figure on her Flip Camcorder and realized the figure was a ghost when she downloaded the footage onto her computer.
It’s no surprise to find that someone actually captured something possibly paranormal within the precincts of this mine. There have apparently been stories told about the Reed Mine for some time. According to Troy Taylor’s Down in the Darkness: The Shadowy History of America’s Haunted Mines, Tunnels and Caverns, there is a legend about the mine. William Mills, a Welsh immigrant, arrived in Cabarrus County with his wife Eleanor to work in the mine. The relationship between William and his wife was quite tenuous and they fought a great deal. One evening, in the midst of a fight, Eleanor tripped on the hem of her dress and pitched head forward into a bench, hitting her head on the corner. William tried to revive his wife, but she was dead. Awakened from sleep and probably hoping that the events had been a bad dream, William checked his wife’s now cold body. He heard her voice begging him to take her back to Wales.
Even though her body was cold, William continued to hear her voice begging him. He wrapped her body up and threw is down one of the unused shafts, the Engine Shaft, at the Reed Mine. The legend continues that he continued to hear Eleanor’s voice and was driven to drink as a result. Meanwhile, others began to hear ghostly screams and cries emanating from the Engine Shaft.
The mine possesses a marvelous history beginning with Johannes Reith, a Hessian mercenary who moved with his family to the area and anglicized his name to John Reed. A different legend involves Reed’s 12-year old son, Conrad, who discovered an odd, yellow rock in Little Meadow Creek in 1799. The story tells that the odd rock served as a doorstop for a few years before Reed sold the rock to a jeweler for the princely sum of $3.50. When he discovered that he was literally sitting on a gold mine he began mining his land. The mine ran until 1912 when it was abandoned. The state of North Carolina acquired the mine later and has opened it as a historic site.
So far, I haven’t found much on the modern haunting of the mine. Harrington’s video, which can be viewed on YouTube, is very interesting. Judging from the stills taken from the video, the figure appears to be male, so it’s unlikely to be Eleanor Mills (who may have never even existed). Looking at the video, it can be difficult to determine precisely what you’re looking at as the shot is down a darkened hallway, but it does provide a tantalizing piece of evidence of what may exist in the Reed Gold Mine.
Harrington, Sandy (sandyh1223). “Real Ghosts caught on
video at Reed Gold Mine.” YouTube.com. 25 May 2011.
Knapp, Richard F. “The History of John Reed’s Mine.” Reed
Gold Mine. Accessed 29 May 2011.
Reed Gold Mine. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed
29 May 2011.
Rettig, Polly M. National Register of Historic Places Nomination
form for Reed Gold Mine. Listed 15 October 1966.
Rivenbark, Jeff. “Woman videotapes apparent ghost at old
gold mine in NC.” WBTV.com. 23 May 2011.
Taylor, Troy. Down in the Darkness: The Shadowy History of
America’s Haunted Mines, Tunnels and Caverns. Alton, IL:
Whitechapel Press, 2003.