Sunday, March 4, 2012

Something in the Shadows--Reed Gold Mine

9621 Reed Mine Road
Midland, North Carolina

Last March, I posted an article about an odd video someone had taken in the famous Reed Gold Mine. While on a tour, a woman was startled to see a figure ahead of her in a corridor and captured it on video. She claimed the figure was a ghost and released the video on YouTube where it attracted a good deal of attention. The video has since been removed and some remarks, disparaging the video and the woman's actions, were posted on this blog by someone who was anonymous.

A few days ago, a reader from Lexington, NC who had seen the posting emailed me to let me know he may have captured an odd image in some photographs he had taken in the mine. In an email the reader explained that he, his son and some of his son's friends visited the mine last Saturday. He wrote, "It was roughly around 11:00 or so that morning, and the place was pretty much dead. We were the only people there on the self guided tour. We had actually wanted to go try our luck at panning for gold, but that part of the exhibit was shut down due to the troughs being reconstructed. Anyway, to make a long story short...we went into the mine shaft that you can tour, and I was taking some pictures with my iPhone, so I could show my wife when we got back home."

Quickly, let me remind you of the history of this location:


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.

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.

Besides the recent video, I've not seen much said of the modern haunting of the Reed Mine.

Our reader, upon pulling the photos up on his computer discovered that one had an odd figure in it. Standing at the end of a corridor is a pair of legs and what, to me, appears to be part of a torso. The rest of the figure is missing. Upon zooming in, the figure does appear to be three dimensional, but it remains strange. One odd detail that emerges is that there is a ray of light that seems to be shining onto the torso. Without having been present when it was taken, I cannot vouch for the photo myself, but it does appear very odd. Both myself and the photographer would like to hear what you think. 

The original photo. The figure is the faint and grey
in the center. Photo by Bobby Troxler, used with
permission.

Zooming in, the figure becomes more
distinct. Is it a figure or just something
that resembled one? Photo by Bobby
Troxler, used with permission. 

I'd like to thank Mr. Bobby Troxler for letting me post his picture.

Sources
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.
Taylor, Troy. Down in the Darkness: The Shadowy History of
     America’s Haunted Mines, Tunnels and Caverns. Alton, IL:  
     Whitechapel Press, 2003.

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