Cabbagetown, Mothman’s Return, and Appalachian Spiritualism


This week, we travel to Cabbagetown, an Atlanta neighborhood that was home to Appalachian workers who migrated there for textile jobs.

We also accompany Coal, a dog with a big job at an elementary school in southern West Virginia.

And just in time for spooky season, we hear about Mountain Cove, a spiritualist community that came to West Virginia in 1850.

You’ll hear these stories and more this week, Inside Appalachia.

In this episode:


Atlanta, Georgia is not included in the Appalachian Regional Commission, but many Appalachians have moved to Atlanta for work, bringing their culture with them.

After the American Civil War, masses of Appalachian workers migrated to an industrial town in the middle of Atlanta, eventually called Cabbagetown.

A canine afternoon

Dogs are our constant companions. They protect us, keep us company, and even provide a pair of eyes when we can’t see. Now therapy dogs are going to schools to help counsel and comfort students who are under stress.

This year, West Virginia launched the Friends with Paws pilot project in public schools across the state. Liz McCormick takes us to Welch Elementary in McDowell County to meet the very first dog sent under this program.

The Mothman

There are many cryptids in Appalachia, but the most famous by far is the West Virginia Mothman.

Since its first sighting in 1966, the Mothman has become pop culture, appearing in books, comics and video games. A new movie, “Return of the Mothman”, is out now. Bill Lynch spoke with director Herb Gardner about why people are still interested in the Mothman.

Human hunger

The Mothman isn’t the only monster in the mountain state. Earlier this year, Folkways reporter Clara Haizlett reported on Hungry for Humans, a board game that pairs West Virginia’s favorite cryptids with some of her favorite places to eat.

Clara Haizlet


West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Jared Kaplan holds the game he designed with Chris Kincaid.

Psychics and Spiritualism in West Virginia and West Virginia

Spiritualism is a metaphysical idea that people can communicate with the dead. It first rose to prominence in America in the mid-1800s and went out of fashion over the generations.

Scott Worley collects scary stories and runs ghost tours in southern West Virginia. He told us about what Spiritualism was like in West Virginia in the 19th and early 20th century.


Our theme music is by Matt Jackfert. Other music this week was contributed by Lucero, Tyler Childers, The Company Stores, Larry Groce and Del McCoury.

Bill Lynch is our producer. Our executive producer is Eric Douglas. Kelley Libby is our editor. Our audio mixer is Patrick Stephens. Zander Aloi also helped produce this episode.

You can find us on Instagram and Twitter @In Appalachia.

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