This bibliography was created in November 2003. Many more books, stories,
and other resources could be added. Send your suggestions to Tina
Books | Internet
Sources | AppLit
Jean. Appalachian Gothic Tales.
Parsons, WV: McClain Printing, 1997. This
small collection contains six stories, five set in southern West
Virginia. They include tales of futuristic fantasy, science fiction,
horror, and metamorphosis. In "The Apple People of Johnnycake
Mountain," set in McDowell County, WV, isolated people turn into
apple trees when they die. (Beware of strong language. The book also
contains typographical errors.)
Stephen D. Haunted Houses of Harpers Ferry.
Illus. Joseph D. Osmann. Harpers Ferry, WV: The Little Brown House,
is said that ghosts and phantom figures roam where the gently rolling
hills of Western Maryland and Northern Virginia meet West Virginia's
craggy eastern borders at Harpers Ferry. The area is rich in history
with Civil War battlegrounds, old homes, and even older legends.
It is in this area that these tales or mysterious shadows, ghosts and
haunted houses are told" (Introduction 9). Includes seventeen
tales, all of which, according to the author, have been substantiated by
more than three living people (Introduction 10).
James, Linda J. Crider, and Peggy Kendrick. The
Cold, Cold Hand: Stories and Ghosts and Haunts from the Appalachian
Foothills. Nashville, TN: Rutledge Hill Press, 1997. Compiled
by the First Draft Writers Group.
Burchill, James, Linda J. Crider, and Peggy Kendrick. Ghosts
and Haunts from the Appalachian Foothills: Stories and Legends.
Nashville, TN: Rutledge Hill Press, 1993. "First
Draft Writers Group was formed in January 1987 out of the determination,
frustration, and need for support of two people in rural North Georgia.
. . .[They are a group of people] interested in keeping the old legends
of southern Appalachia alive and preserved for tomorrow's writers and
storytellers" (Introduction 9-10).
James, and Linda J. Crider. Specters and
Spirits: Stories and Legends of the Appalachian Foothills.
Nashville, TN: Rutledge Hill Press, 2002. Compiled
by the First Draft Writers Group. Does not contain a Contents
Connie. Ghosts of Marietta. Photo.
Mitch Casey. Marietta, Ohio: Marty's Print Shop, 1996. Connie
Cartmell, a journalist for The Marietta Times, wrote a four-part
series of ghost stories for the newspaper in October 1992, all about
Marietta, all based on at least two sources. Cartmell states, in the
Preface, "This book is the culmination of years of listening and
gathering. In a word, it is basic reporting, with a healthy dose of
embellishment not to be tolerated on the pages of your daily
Dennis. The Greenbrier Ghost and Other Strange
Stories. Charleston, WV: Mountain Memories Books, 1990.
addition to stories about the Greenbrier Ghost, Zona Shue, and other
ghost tales, this collection contains tales of the West Virginia
Turnpike, Premonitions, and Mediums. (Greenbrier Ghost Note: The
historical marker of the Greenbrier Ghost is located on Route 60 where
it passes over I-64 at the Sam Black exit. It reads,
"Interred in nearby cemetery is Zona Heaster Shue. Her death in
1897 was presumed natural until her spirit appeared to her mother to
describe how she was killed by her husband Edward. Autopsy on the
exhumed body verifies the apparition's account. Edward, found guilty of
murder, was sentenced to the state prison. Only known case in which
testimony from ghost helped convict a murderer.") Contains notes on
Sources, Tale Types, and Motifs.
Dennis. The Greenbrier Ghost #2 and Other
Strange Stories. Charleston, WV: Mountain Memories Books,
Deitz writes, "I am often asked, 'Are these stories true?' I can
only answer, the persons who gave me the story told me that they were
true and I believed them. My only rule was that I would publish them
only if I could use their name and sometimes their picture with their
story. Also, I asked that they talk to readers who wanted to discuss the
details of their story" (1). Contains notes on Sources, Tale Types,
Dennis. The Greenbrier Ghost #3:
Featuring Stories about the Braxton County Green Monster.
Charleston, WV: Mountain Memories Books, 2003. Includes
seven stories about the legendary Braxton County Monster, as well as
other ghost stories and country tales. Over forty new West Virginia
Hannah, Leslie D. In the Spirit of Tahlequah:
Ghost Stories from the Cherokee Nation. Tahlequah, OK: L.D. Hannah, 1998. 96 pp. Contains
"A Riderless Horse," "Always on Duty," "Coming
Home," "The Cry of the Wolf," "The Feral
Child," "The Legend of Bear," "The Trees,"
"The Old Fiddle Player's Bow," "The Oubliette,"
"The Lost Traveler's Best Friend," "The Ghosts of
Seminary Hall," and "Spirit of a Warrior."
James Gay. Appalachian Ghost Stories and Other
Tales. Parsons, WV: McClain Printing, 1975. Many
of the tales, most passed down from the oral tradition, include ghosts
and murders. Several involve both jealousy and murder: "Suffer Not
a Witch to Live," "Tragedy in Booger Hole," and "A
Gift for Angela." There are two Tall Tales that involve some form
of the supernatural: "Centralia's Headless Ghost" and
"Ramp Power." A story about snake handling, "What hath
Been Wrought?" and one about a club-footed character, "Spooks
and Ferrididdles," also lean toward the supernatural.
"Invasion of the Green Monsters" is a sci-fi story about an
alien monster. And in "Twins in the Whirlpool" the reader
learns the meaning of Kanawha: River of whirlpools. This
collection also contains the story of Zona Shue, the Greenbrier Ghost:
"The Ghost of Zona Shue." (See Deitz above.)
James Gay. Haunted Valley and More Folk Tales
of Appalachia. Parsons, WV: McClain Printing,
tales from Southern Appalachia, including "Caliban, the Monster
Twin," an interesting tale of twins, one normal and one hideously
ugly. While still unborn, one twin kills the other. Which
one dies and which one lives? And what happens to the mother who,
after years of absence, finally returns only to be enveloped in a rage
of fire? Jones' introduction to the collection provides "some
randomly chosen glimpses into the social and cultural background"
of the people of Southern Appalachia.
McNutt, Randy. Ghosts:
ís Haunted Landscapes, Lost Arts & Forgotten Places. Wilmington, Ohio: Orange Frazer Press, 1996. Tales
's ghost towns, legends, and local history, including stories about
tattooed chickens, swamp ghosts.
Monahan, Brent. The Bell Witch: An
American Haunting. St. Martin's Press, 1997.
William Lynwood. Ghosts Across Kentucky. Lexington: Univ. Press of KY, 2000. In
the Introduction, Lynwood notes, "Whether the ghostly part of the
story is true or false is not what is important. These narrative
accounts often contain historical information about people's
personalities, characteristics, and personal appearances, as well as
descriptions of old houses, roadways, cemeteries, cropping practices,
social occasions, and other topics that are generally not recorded in
formal historical records" (xx). Fittingly, Lynwood also
includes photographs of some of the people, places, and items a person
might read about in one of the many tales contained in this
collection. The collection also contains Notes, Index to Counties,
and Index to Cities, Towns, and Other Locations.
William Lynwood. Ghosts Along the
: Deathlore in the
Foothills. Knoxville: Tennessee UP, 1975. Folklore
collected during the '50's and '60s in the "Pennyroyal" area
Montell, William Lynwood.
Ghosts. Lexington: Univ. Press of KY, 1994. 58 pp.
Musick, Ruth Ann. Coffin Hollow and Other Ghost
Tales. Illus. Archie L. Musick. Lexington: Univ.
Press of KY, 1977. West
Virginia supernatural tales collected by Dr. Musick (1899-1974), faculty
member of Fairmont State College and founder, editor, and writer for the West Virginia Folklore Journal. The collection contains a
Foreword by William Hugh Jansen (University of Kentucky), Preface by Dr.
Musick (Fairmont, September 1973), Tales, Notes, and a
Ruth Ann. Green Hills of Magic: West Virginia Folktales from Europe.
Illus. Archie L. Musick. Lexington: Univ. Press of KY, 1970. Divided
into sections, this collection contains many supernatural tales. Some of the sections include Man Against the Devil; Efforts to Outwit
the Devil; Vampires and Werewolves; Evil Spirits, Curses, and
Witchcraft; Magic Objects, Elements, and Powers; and Spirits of the
Dead. There are also an Introduction, Acknowledgements, Notes,
Motif Index, Index of Tale Types, and a Bibliography.
Ruth Ann. The Telltale Lilac Bush and
Other West Virginia Ghost Tales. Illus. Archie L.
Musick. Lexington: Univ. Press of KY, 1965. This
collection contains an Introduction by Dr. Musick, Tales, Notes, and a
Bibliography. The tales are organized in the following
categories: Jealous Rivals, Wives Who Return, Ghostly Children,
Murdered Kinsmen, Omens of Death, Deadly Visions, Headless Ghosts,
Hidden Money, Haunted Places, Negro Slaves, Murdered Peddlers, Mine
Ghosts, Railroad Ghosts, Animals and Birds, Weird Creatures, and
Price, Charles Edwin. Haints, Witches,
and Boogers: Tales From Upper East Tennessee. Winston-Salem, NC: John F. Blair Publisher, 1992.
Price, Charles Edwin. Haunted
Jonesborough. Johnson City, TN: Overmountain
Press, 1993. (paperback edition)
Price, Charles Edwin. The Infamous Bell Witch of
Tennessee. Johnson City, TN: Overmountain Press,
Charles Edwin. More Haunted Tennessee. Johnson City, TN: Overmountain Press, 1999. (paperback
Russell, Randy, and Janet Barnett. The
Granny Curse and Other Ghosts and Legends from
East Tennessee. Winston-Salem
NC: John F. Blair, 1999. 112 pp. Twenty-five
Russell, Randy. Mountain
Ghost Stories and Curious Tales of
Western North Carolina. Winston-Salem, NC: J. F. Blair, 1988. Collection of true ghost stories as told in
families and communities.
native son Kevin Carpenter mixes some local Indian stories with a
contemporary murder mystery to create a chilling story. A group of three
present-day couples who are seeking adventure. A helpful stranger tells
them of a haunted hotel nearby that sounds exactly like the excitement
that they are looking for. Upon arrival, they find a very spooky hotel,
but to make matters worse once they enter they decide to have a sťance.
The sťance doesn't seem to have any effect until the group splits up to
explore the hotel. Then all hell breaks lose! Part of the group hears
something in the basement and upon investigation finds an undead,
murdering specter burying a corpse. Meanwhile, the loving couple of the
group finds a nice private room in the hotel. During their romantic
encounter they find themselves transported to the wilderness, only to be
hunted/haunted by a Native American spirit. All the while the third
couple witness a brutal bathtub murder in a time transformed hotel. All
and all we find out that the hotel is not only haunted but history may
have a little help repeating itself. Access: contact Kevin Carpenter, firstname.lastname@example.org.
World premiere October 2003. Website:
(Notes by Steve Fesenmaier)
Legend of Hillbilly John (1973) 89M
known as Ballad of Hillbilly John, My Name Is John, Who
Fears the Devil. Based primarily on the "Silver John" tales of
Manley Wade Wellman, this is the story of an Appalachian balladeer who encounters the devil, a
witch, and a voodoo overlord as he follows in the steps of his
Prophecies, The (2001)
by John A. Keel. The Mothman Prophicies is based on actual events
that occurred between November 1966 and December 1967 in Point Pleasant,
West Virginia. There are many internet sites devoted to the Mothman. The IMDB
has lots of interesting facts and links. X-Files
Detour: Mothman provides details of the episode that centered
around the Mothman. Rumor has it that another
full-length, feature film, also based on the events in Point Pleasant,
West Virginia, is now in the making, tentatively titled Point
for the Mothman (2002) 44M
Directed and written by David Grabias. Production connections to Sony
film The Mothman Prophicies, so viewers will see an obvious
attempt to interest potential audience of film. Nonetheless, there is
some interesting information in the short.
Investigations: Mothman (1996) 29M
Summary from IMDB: This documentary examines the sudden appearance of
Mothman, a flying creature purported to be seen by residents of Point
Pleasant, West Virginia, in 1966 and 1967. It also looks at connections
between the Mothman sightings and other mysterious phenomena throughout
history. On-location footage, interviews with local residents, and
recreations of the incidents tell the story. Summary written by email@example.com
For movie connections http://us.imdb.com/Mlinks?0265349).
Cures & Witchery: Appalachian Cosmology and Belief
Heritage Festival. Produced by Gerald Milnes. A glimpse of some
little-known Appalachian beliefs and practices among descendents of
early German pioneers. These
traditions merged in the New World with Anglo/Celtic influences.
The film traces Germanic belief systems from Europe to West
Virginia, from the fifteenth century to present practitioners.
It opens a window into our ancient past, revealing the courage,
resourcefulness and humor of people whose survival depended on their
ability to "read signs," cure their own ills, and find
explanations for life's mysteries. Who needs Harry Potter when we can
meet the devil in our own backyard? You can purchase a copy of it
(Notes by Steve Fesenmaier)
are more movies with supernatural elements listed in other AppLit
Fauster, Ted. Fauster's Supernatural Survival Guide: For the Appalachian Region. Parsons, WV: McClain Printing, 1997. 92 pp. A fictional supernatural guidebook that includes discussion of mythical animals, written by a fantasy author when he worked as a reporter.
Keel, John A. The Mothman Prophecies. Lilburn, Georgia: IllumiNet Press, 1991. The
Mothman Prophicies is based on actual events that occurred between
November 1966 and December 1967 in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.
Mushko, Becky. Stuck! Blumo Bluff, VA: Cedar Creek Publishing, 2011. "A middle-grade paranormal novel, in which an eleven-year-old girl—stuck in grief over her mother’s death—helps a ghost who’s stuck on earth until she finds her daughter" (author's summary). See author's web pages on this book, with background, links to reviews and articles, FAQ, etc., and author's blog.
Tom. Not Alone Out Here. Philadelphia, PA: Xlibris, 2003. To read an excerpt of the
first chapter, go to http://www2.xlibris.com/bookstore/book_excerpt.asp?bookid=17918. "A chilling tale of the supernatural featuring a young family's
encounters with pure evil, ghosts, some ancient Indian burial grounds,
and a touch of past life deja vu when they move into an old isolated
farm house. A story that is genuinely creepy on several levels" (Orrell,
Tom. Personal email to Judy A. Teaford. March 12, 2004).
Melissa. All That Lives: A Novel of
the Bell Witch. Warner Books, 2002.
Ellen Harvey. The Ghost of Tillie Jean
Stephen Gammell. Four Winds Press, 1978. The
mountains and hollows of Appalachia hide a mystery. Tillie Jean
Cassaway is an eleven-year-old girl who drowned. People say her
ghost haunts the hills. Is this the wild, young girl Hilary and
her brother Willy see in the woods?
Troy A. Season of the Witch. Whitechapel Productions, 1999. A novel about the Bell Witch of
are more novels with supernatural elements listed in other AppLit
Evans, Ron W. Grandpa's Tale. Illus. Jan Philpot. Cosby, TN: Creek Sound Books, (no pub.
date). Evans dedicates his book to "America's nomadic 'Hobo'
whose enduring image has so colorfully contributed to our national
heritage" (Dedication). The book is set during the fall of
the year, the perfect time to listen to Grandpa's headless Hobo
tale. The realistically detailed illustrations are the perfect accompaniment
to this scary tale.
Denvil. Soapy-Dope: The Monster Who
Lived in a Chuckhole. Illus. Carol Bates Murray.
Overmountain Press, 2001. "The
Soapy-Dope, a mean olí monster who lives in a chuckhole beside the
road, likes to scare happy little woodland animals. He jumps out of his
hole and startles everyone who happens to walk by. Well...what comes
around goes around, and the Soapy-Dope gets what he deserves. But, as
with everything in nature, he still serves a vital purpose."
Souci, Robert. The Boy and the Ghost. Illus.
J. Brian Pinkney. NY: Silver Burdett Press, 1990. Adaptation
of African American ghost story. Ages 2-7. The middle child of
seven children, hating to see his rural family working so hard, sets off
for the city to earn some money. After he shares his soup with a poor
man, the man tells him of the treasure in a haunted house everyone
fears. Thomas watches a giant red-haired ghost come down the chimney and
assemble the parts of his body. Since Thomas greets him without fear,
the ghost shows him where to dig up a pot of gold and thanks brave
Thomas for setting him free. As instructed, Thomas gives half the gold
to the poor on his way home. His family moves into the big house on the
hill and lives happily. This is a variant of The
Hainted House. Although neither the text nor the illustrations
emphasize a mountain setting, San Souci's sources are two short "negro
ghost stories," from western Virginia and southern Alabama,
published in 1898 and again in Journal of American Folk-Lore in
1906. San Souci notes that stories of ghosts guarding hidden treasure
are found around the world. (Notes by Tina L. Hanlon)
The Hired Hand: An
African-American Folktale. Illus. Jerry Pinkney. NY: Dial
Books, 1977. African
American tale collected in the 1870s from a Negro servant from
Petersburg, Virginia, who got it from his granny. This retelling is set
in an 18th-century town like Waterford, Virginia, one of the towns where
black craftspeople lived freely before the Civil War. The story about a
mysterious stranger, the New Hand, who changes old people into wooden
shapes, saws them in pieces, and then restores their youth with water,
is related to European tales about aged people being killed in order to
be returned to youth. When the wrong person tries this trick, he cannot
succeed. (Notes by Tina L. Hanlon.)
other picture books with supernatural elements are listed on other
Woods, Mysterious Visions." The Herald Dispatch: 4 Your
Info. Huntington, WV.
is a musical theater work for solo singer, puppets, masks and
synthesizer in two acts. It was premiered in February 1997 and features
comic and serious settings of Appalachian ghost stories, and original
material by the composer." (Western
Kentucky University Department of Music pages.)
The Moonlit Road: Ghost
Stories and Folktales of the American South. "Ghost
stories haunt the moonlit backroads of the American South. Their roots
in Southern culture and folklore are deep. Each month, The Moonlit Road
brings you these ghost stories and other strange Southern folktales,
told by the region's best storytellers." Check out the
Road Bookshop for books on ghost stories.
of Ghosts, Few Vampires in Virginia Lore." Very
short informative piece summarizing Jeff Mann's thoughts on ghosts in
and around Blacksburg, Virginia. Written October 14, 1996. (Virginia
contains "Serious Fiction," "Laughter in Appalachia"
(several written by Loyal Jones and Billy Edd Wheeler), and "Ghost
Stories." Tales about ghosts are listed below.
Christmas Carol -- Appalachian Version
Doorway to the Other Side
Against Wilma (Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned)
Crying Woman of Persimmon Valley
Ghost of the Number 4 Mine
Lynn's Kentucky Home and Ghost Stories. "Haunted
Country" contains comments and information on upcoming books. The
site also includes several ghost stories.
Stories." Huntington Quarterly Magazine. Huntington,
WV. No date. "In
Part I of a series, HQ explores some of the region's most infamous tales
of ghoulish ghosts and haunted houses."
Mountain Times. "Summer Times 2001," Boone, NC.
Lore section contains articles
Tales: Mountain Storytelling has Ancient Roots,"
Masters" by Jim Thompson (on Ray Hicks and others),
Hicks Keeps Alive Rich Tradition of Mountain Storytelling,"
Myths" by Scott Nicholson,
of the Mountains: High Country Haints, Legends, And Creepy Places"
by Scott Nicholson. Also a number of articles on colorful characters,
heroes, historical stories, myths, and folk beliefs. (Notes by Tina L.
Schlosser, S. E., reteller. Spooky South: Tales of Hauntings, Strange Happenings, and Other Local Lore. Illus. Paul G. Hoffman. Globe Pequot Press, 2005. Schlosser's web site American Folklore gives print and audio excerpts of some of the tales such as "Wait Until Emmett Comes" from WV; "The Wampus Cat" from Knoxville; "Jack-O'-Lantern" from Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in northern Alabama; "Chicky-licky-chow-chow-chow" from Maryville, TN. Other Appalachian tales include "The Death Watch" from Raleigh County, WV; "The Headless Haunt" from Madison, NC; "The Witch Bridle " from Albright, WV; "The Red Rag Under the Churn" from The Kentucky Mountains; "A Fish Story" from Farmville, VA; "Old Hickory and the Bell Witch" from Adams, Tennessee. The web site also contains folktales from every state, other American folklore (North America and Latin America), and teacher resources. (Notes by Tina L.
Virginia's True Ghost Stories. "Native
Americans believed West Virginia's dark hollows were haunted by evil
spirits. Is it surprising then that reports of supernatural encounters
have grown over time? Thousands of sightings, many reputable, have been
recorded by folklorists and parapsychologists in West Virginia since the
1960s. WVGhosts.com is dedicated to all the legends within West Virginia
and also to our ghostly visitors." As of November 23, 2003,
the site indicates that it has a total of 223 true stories. Ghost
Haunting on Mud Fork (Island Creek)
Curse Of The Blennerhassetts
Story - Hauntings Of Pentress
Published in online journal
A Review of Writing and Photography in Appalachia. Issue
1:01. Nov. 2001. A drama about love and jealousy,
revenge and witchcraft in the Blue Ridge Mountains. (Notes by Tina L.
Internet Sources of Interest
the early 1990ís, Feschino became involved in UFO and Crop Circle
research in West Virginia. He frequently visited a relativeís farm
located in Braxton County, where Crop Circles appeared over night [sic]
and UFO sightings were frequent. This is when Feschino learned about the
1952 'Braxton County Monster' Incident, which occurred in
Flatwoods, near his cousinís farm."
Ghost Town in the Sky. Western North Carolina's first theme
park, built 1960-61 on Buck Mountain in imitation of ghost town
attractions in the West, reopened in 2007 after resale and closing for
five years. An incline railway and chairlift take visitors over 3300
feet to the park constructed on top of the mountain near Maggie Valley.
Heritage Town Square at the park now includes a museum on the history of
the Wild West, Western NC, and the park, as well as crafts.
Towns of West Virginia Contains
information on Brink, Devon, Freed, Goodwill, Putney, Sewell, and
Towns USA Ė State by State Listing
Ghosts and Mysteries is a subject heading in the website of
The Jesse Stuart Foundation: A Regional Press and Bookseller.
Greenbrier Ghost: A Tale from Haunted West Virginia" in
Dead Men Do Tell Tales.
An excerpt from Troy Taylor's book, No Rest for the Wicked.
"The history of the Greenbrier Ghost may be one of the most unique
stories in the annals of ghostlore. This strange tale from rural West
Virginia is not only a part of supernatural history, but of the history
of the American judicial system as well. It remains a one of a kind
event.. the only case in which the word of a ghost helped to solve a
crime and convict a murderer!"
Parkersburg Ghost Tour is a haunted and historical walk of
downtown Parkersburg, West Virginia." The site contains information
(dates and times) for walking and trolley tours. There are also links to
other pages within the site that explain different supernatural events
and creatures, along with stories about them.
History & Hauntings Book Co.'s Ghosts of the Prairie. A
plethora of information for those interested in ghosts and the
Enigma of Point Pleasant.
Legend of the Greenbrier Ghost webpage created by Dr. Dave
Oester. The site contains several pictures of Zona Heaster Shue's
grave marker, the Greenbrier Ghost signpost, and Soule Chapel, along
with a short synopsis of the story.
Cry of the Banshee: Whitechapel Productions Press, 2004.
Detailed guide to hauntings in WV and along the Ohio River. Excerpt on
tales of Appalachian banshees available at WVGhosts.com.
West Virginia's True Ghosts Stories. A
web site for gathering information on ghosts and hauntings.
Virginia Hauntings. Links
to haunting locations, ghostly tours and events, and resources.
are many folktales that contain supernatural elements. Here are links to
AppLit pages on folktales that contain ghosts, murders, haunted houses,
and mysterious, scary creatures (from
Index of Appalachian Folktales).
The Cat and the Mouse
Girl Without Any Hands
Brave Women in The
and the Hainted House
Jack and King
and the Robbers
and the Sop Doll
Polly or Mister Fox
Jack or Wicked John and the Devil
Folktales in Children's Literature and Collections also contains
entries with supernatural elements.
Secret Life and Brutal Death of Mamie Thurman. (Excerpt
from a book about a legendary murder in Logan, WV.)
Hanlon, Tina L.
Uktena" bibliography (Cherokee
tales about serpent Uktena)
Virginia's Traditional Appalachian Music and Literature. A section on
includes "The Greenbrier Ghost" and "Molly Vaunder."