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Stories from the Haunted South (Book)

Often times when one finds a book of ghost stories, the details are ambiguous. The stories may well be spooky enough, but in many cases they are poorly researched and operate merely on legend and word of mouth. In Stories from the Haunted South, however, author Alan Brown provides not only meticulous research about the history of most of the haunted places but also incorporates the folklore into a well written travel guide for anyone touring the southern twelve states.

Contained in this volume are stories about places in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. While the sections on each state are by no means exhaustive, they are welcome in that many of the places discussed are not well known to anyone who doesn’t live near them. This is not simply a rehashing of tired old ghost stories that people have been hearing for decades. Although some stories may be familiar, most of the places mentioned, though not new, will probably be unheard of to most readers.

Alongside stories about such legendary places as Georgia’s 17-hundred-90 Inn and Restaurant and Virginia’s Bunnyman Bridge, lay stories about Alabama’s Homewood Public Library, The Morrison Flagler Museum of Florida, and many others that will give the reader shivery feelings.

Written from the point of view of a folklorist and historian, most of the stories give a brief, although well researched, history of the location. Those that don’t make no bones about being a retelling of folklore. When combined, the two approaches make for stories that are spellbindingly interesting and give a haunted edge to the already elegant South.

Most interesting in this volume is that the author has provided not only the city and state but also the street addresses of the haunted sites as well as directions on how to get there. In some cases Brown has even included the telephone number.

Stories from the Haunted South is a good addition to any collection of folklore and haunted tales. Well written and presented, it gives readers just the right amount of research to verify the facts and just the proper balance of good storytelling to keep them enthralled.

Stories from the Haunted South
Alan Brown
University Press of Mississippi, 2004
307 pages

3 ½ out of 5

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Jon Condit