Jim Lange Published

Eclectopia Ghost Story: The Playful Prankster

A man in a gray shirt stands in front of a sternwheeler.
JD Pauley and his beloved Hobby III.
Jim Lange/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This past July, my friend and I were walking around during Charleston’s newly returned Sternwheel Regatta. After making the rounds that hot day, we needed some refreshment and shade. Seated riverside, cold water in hand, she looked over and saw a sternwheeler that friends of hers owned. Soon we were aboard the Hobby III.

My old pal, and WVPB News Director Eric Douglas, was there and we all started chatting amiably about all sorts of things. Then I was introduced to the owner, JD Pauley, and his friend Brian Carr.

JD has a laid-back, engaging personality with a very funny dry wit. Sensing that my question would not be perceived as odd or crazy, I asked JD whether he had any personal experiences with ghosts. After all, boats and water seem to be a frequent paranormal setting.

To my utter surprise, he said that the Hobby III was being visited by the former owner, Harry Wilson.

Well, knock me over with a feather.