We saved something special for our Halloween blog series today: a new book of ghost stories that we’re publishing in February of next year.
Christopher K. Coleman’s Ghosts and Haunts of Tennessee is a new collection of 28 tales of the supernatural. This compilation explores never-before-published legends that span the entire state of Tennessee, from the mysterious mountains of Appalachia to the haunted banks of the Mississippi River.
Those familiar with the state’s most famous apparitions will find new thrills in Ghosts and Haunts of Tennessee. Readers may have heard of the Bell Witch, but what of her sister, a vengeful spirit known to the folks on the eastern part of the Highland Rim as the Buckner Witch?
What about the phantoms of the Bijou Theatre in Knoxville, a restless troupe of ghosts who perform for unwitting audiences?
And what about Hampton, the well-dressed butler of Oakslea Place in Jackson? He often greets visitors, but he’s been dead for years.
Of course, this collection wouldn’t be complete without a look at the spirits of legends like Elvis Presley and the ghosts of famous music sites like Opryland and Music Row.
And lucky you–you don’t have to wait until February to read a story from this book. Enjoy a sneak preview right now, just in time for Halloween.
From all the Blair staff, have a happy, safe, and spooky Halloween!
In this week’s Halloween blog series, we’ve visited spirits from Tennessee and North Carolina. This time we’re taking you to Barbados with Stede Bonnet, a not-so-ferocious pirate of the Atlantic from Nancy Roberts‘s Blackbeard and Other Pirates of the Atlantic Coast. While it’s not strictly ghost stories, this collection is filled with romance, danger, suspense, adventure—everything you’d find on board the terrifying pirate ships of the Atlantic coast. You can also find “Stede Bonnet,” along with Tuesday’s “Trick or Treat” tale in Boogers and Boo-Daddies: The Best of Blair’s Ghost Stories.
The ghostly hand print of a child appears on a windowpane. A long-dead bootlegger leaves wet footprints on stairs. A pair of haunting eyes keeps watch in a costume shop. Think things like that don’t happen in an active, modern city like Charlotte? Think again!
These things certainly do happen, and they happened to Blair author Stephanie Burt Williams, who published Ghost Stories of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County: Remnants of the Past in a New South with us. Ghost Stories of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County is a collection of twenty chilling tales from the Queen City. And today we’re happy to share part two of this week’s Halloween blog series: a feature based on a recent interview with Stephanie in Today’s Charlotte Woman.
We’d like to pass on some tips that Stephanie shared with Today’s Charlotte Woman. She says ghosts follow a certain code of conduct, making it easy to spot supernatural activity. Here are a few of the Ghost Lady’s favorite habits to look out for this Halloween:
- Ghosts love water. They are prone to turn on faucets and flush toilets to make their presence known.
- Ghosts also love electronics. TVs tend to go snowy; radios will change channels; CDs skip to “meaningful songs.” Some experts say the energy drain caused by a ghost in the room affects electronics.
- Unlike vampires, ghosts love their reflections. Ghosts are often seen in mirrors, windowpanes, and in the reflection from a TV screen or pool of water.
- According to Stephanie, a “weak ghost” can’t completely manifest. Instead of appearing visually, a weak ghost often uses the sense of small to make itself known.
- A low-level haunting can also include the use of sound. Stephanie says, “I have experienced a huge crashing sound at a bed and breakfast. It sounded like there was a head-on collision outside the building, but when I ran to look out the window, there was nothing there. When I asked other guests if they heard it, they said no.”
- In addition to being attracted to places, ghosts can be attached to people as well. Buildings that have no past history of being haunted may suddenly become hotbeds of paranormal activity after a new set of people move in.
Read the full article from Today’s Charlotte Woman, (October 2010, pages 45-47) here. You can also follow Stephanie’s blog here.
Have you experienced any supernatural activity? We’d love to hear your story–leave us a note in the comments section.
Dogs can be as peculiar as people. Their relationship with humans is complex. In story after story from Southern homes, there is strong evidence that this relationship can extend beyond death.
Do dogs return from the other side to comfort and aid their human companions? You bet your buried bones they do.
So today we’re kicking off our Halloween ghost blog series with Ghost Dogs of the South, by Randy Russell and Janet Barnett. This collection of twenty stories of man’s best friend “will not fail to charm even the most dour skeptics of supernatural phenomena,” according to Publishers Weekly. And to prove it, here’s one of our favorite tales from the book, as a little treat for you trick-or-treaters out there. It’s a little lengthy for a blog post, but well worth the read. Check back tomorrow (and every day this week!) for more spooks and ghosts.
Can’t get enough of Randy Russell? Check out his blog or Web site, or listen to Russell when he joined Big Blend Radio for this podcast, which aired last week.
I know, I know. We said we’d pick one winner for our Shenandoah Valley photo contest. But once the entries started rolling in, we couldn’t pick just one. So today, we at Blair are very happy to congratulate Anita, Janice, and Jay for their beautiful submissions below:
Photo by Anita: This image was taken on June 21, 2010 very near Brownsburg, VA in Rockbridge County from the front porch of a friend's house.
Photo by Janice: This photograph is of a hot air balloon landing in the yard at the historic 1830 house owned by the Headley family on the morning of August 28, 2010. The property is located just off Route 340/522 about 1 mile south of Double Tollgate.
Photo by Jay: This is a view to the west and of Jump Mountain on Swoope Lane just before it connects with Rt. 252 and the Sugar Maple corridor leading north to Brownsburg, taken in October 2009.
Thank you to everyone who participated! We loved browsing through photographs from our readers. Anita, Janice, and Jay–look for a message from us in your inboxes to claim your prize.
Photo by Lara Ellis via thedailygreen.com
Don’t forget about our Shenandoah Valley photo contest! It’s simple: just send us one of your favorite photos of the area for a chance to win a free, autographed copy of Touring the Shenandoah Valley Backroads by Andrea Sutcliffe or any other Blair title of your choice. You don’t have to send us fall scenes—any time of the year will do—and any shot you’ve taken of a site somewhere between Roanoke, Virginia, and Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, will count toward the contest.
Submit your photo to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Photo Contest” in the subject heading. Please include a short sentence or two about where and when the picture was taken. Our staff at Blair will select a winner and post the results on our blog on Monday, October 25.
Only four days left, so get those entries in now!
In Lexington, N.C., barbecue is legendary. That’s why the city has celebrated its famous fare every October since 1984. And this weekend, you can celebrate with them! Head to Lexington for the 27th Annual Barbecue Festival, filled with “Hogway Speedway” racing pigs, arts and crafts, performances by some great artists, and, of course, some fantastic barbecue.
If you can’t make it to the festival, you can make your own Lexington-style barbecue instead. Just roast your own pork shoulder (the crock pot is great for this) and follow this easy dip recipe straight from Blair author Bob Garner‘s North Carolina Barbecue: Flavored by Time.
3 cups apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup brown or white sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons Texas Pete hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons Kitchen Bouquet browning sauce
Combine all ingredients in large pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and stir until sugar melts. Let sit for several hours before serving over chopped or sliced pork shoulder. May be stored in tightly sealed container without refrigeration.
If you need a great hush puppy recipe to go with this, you’ll find it in North Carolina Barbecue. This books takes us on a delectable journey across the state in search of the best examples of this distinctive North Carolina delicacy. Along the way, Garner explores cooking with wood vs. electricity, the proper etiquette for a pig picking, and the differences between North Carolina barbecue and the stuff they serve in the rest of the country.
But if you want to know where to go and what to order when you’re looking for lip-smacking-good barbecue, read Bob Garner’s Guide to North Carolina Barbecue. In this book, Garner picks the 100 best barbecue restaurants in the state, ranging from well-known establishments to little-known holes in the wall.
Have a favorite barbecue joint or recipe? Share it with us in the comments section.