Date: Sun, 09 Nov 1997 07:14:39 -0500
From: "Joe D. Whitt" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Eight Toes--warning --long
Ok,as I've said before,my family on my mother's side were moonshiners.They lived in a long dark hollow called Duncan fork on Trace Ck. of Mingo Co. West Virgina.Their's was a large family.It consisted of my great grandfather,his wife,and if I'm not mistaken,either 12 or 14 of their offspring along with the wifes and husbands of the ones that were married.All or most of them lived in Duncan fork and raised corn and sold moonshine to support their families.The time was around the late 1920s and/or early 1930s.My grandmother said that most of the women would work the fields and watch for the law,but there was always some of them on guard with rifles.
She said it started with one of my great uncles seeing something,while returning from making a delivery of shine.The deliveries were always made after dark.While coming back across the mountain between Bias,WV,and Duncan fork he heard a loud scream,like something dying or in great pain.When he stopped his wagon to see what it was,he saw a large dark animal of some kind on the oppisite side of the hill from him.He said it was not a bear or anything he had ever seen before.When it started to come across the little hollow towards him,he shot at it with his rifle.But it didn't seem to have any effect.It just screamed and ran away.
After this it was seen many times in the following two years or so around Duncan fork.It was shot at many times,but with no apprent affect.They started calling it "Eight Toes" because when its tracks were found,they always had eight toes.I can't remember if there were eight on each foot or only on one.
My grandmother told me about one time when my grandfather was bringing a load of suger across the hill,the thing suddenly jumped into the trail and swung a paw or arm at him.It missed him and he took off as fast as his horse could go.When he got home that night,there were four deep cuts across his horse's side and a 50 pound bag of suger had been torn open.Grandpaw said he'd shot at it with his pistol,but didn't know if he'd hit it or not,the way his horse was jumping around.
Grandma told him that the thing had been sent to punish them for the things they were doing.She said there had been 3 lawmen killed on Duncan fork the day the thing jumped grandpa.
There were many accounts of the thing getting after the men and tearing up their stills,while they were either making moonshine or bring stuff in to make it.But she said it never seemed to bother the women.
One time she and another woman were going to draw water from the well late at night when it stood up behind the well houseing.She said it was at least 7 to 8 feet tall and stood and walked away on two legs like a man.She said it was hard to tell what coler it was,but she thought it was a dark brown.
About two years after the thing was first seen,the law finally did get in to smash the stills in the head of the hollow (after killings on both sides).The thing was not seen after this.Maybe it was something sent by "whoever"to help stop all the things going on at the time in Duncan fork,who knows.---JOE