Monday, May 9, 2011

Southern Spirit Resources

This blog is nearing the 10-month mark and I’m quite surprised that it’s lasted this long! Certainly an endeavor like this is not something that can be undertaken without some help from a variety of places. Before I started this, my companions were primarily the authors of the books of ghost stories lining my shelves, but as this has proceeded, I have gained some more active companions online. This post of is to acknowledge all those people who have had a hand, either directly or indirectly in the creation of this blog.

Personal Acknowledgements

Being just after Mother’s Day, I’d like to acknowledge my marvelous mother. As I get older, I find that I’m really becoming you in so many ways. You have always been an inspiration to live my life with kindness and creativity. Thank you Mom, I love you.

My father also deserves a great deal of credit. I’m eternally grateful for your love and support. Your studiousness and intelligence have led me to examine things intellectually and have contributed to the scholarly tone of this blog. I love you dearly.

My sisters have also lent love and support, thank you!

A number of friends deserve a mention: Daniel, Troy, Andrew, Conrad, Stephanie, Amber and my theatre friends at the LSPA who all share love, support and the occasional story.

And Quinn, seen here begging for attention.

Alas! If only I had more handsome boys vying for
my attention like this!

Marguerite DuPont Lee, Kathryn Tucker Windham and Nancy Roberts , the mothers of Southern Paranormal Folklore. These three ladies can be credited with building the foundation upon which all my work is based. In addition they were the first to document so many stories and legends. Marguerite DuPont Lee’s Virginia Ghosts published first in 1930 is one of the earliest works on Southern ghosts that I have seen. Nancy Roberts entered the scene on the advice of Carl Sandburg in 1958 with her Ghosts of the Old North State. She continued with a number of books covering the South until her death in 2008. Kathryn Tucker Windham began with her 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey in 1969 and followed with books covering Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi and other Southern states.

Alan Brown is current reigning monarch of Southern ghost authors. A professor of English at the University of West Alabama in Livingston, he has written books covering the South with a number on individual states. I’ve been quite excited to discover that he has just recently published books on the ghosts of Vicksburg and Natchez, Mississippi, nice additions for a state whose ghosts are under-documented. As a college professor, his references are cited and his writing is excellent, things that make me very happy!

Daniel Barefoot has been called the “Folklore Laureate” for the state of North Carolina. A lawyer who served in the state general assembly, Barefoot compiled a marvelous collection of the state’s folklore in his 3 volume series, North Carolina’s Haunted Hundred. In it, he tells one tale for each of North Carolina’s hundred counties. In Haunted Halls of Ivy, Barefoot relates the tales from many Southern colleges and universities.

David Domine, yet another college professor, has documented the history and hauntings of his beloved Louisville, Kentucky neighborhood, Old Louisville in three books. Not only are these books beautifully written, but they provide an incredible document of the hauntings of a single Southern neighborhood.

L. B. Taylor, Jr. is perhaps the most prolific of authors on Southern ghosts. A list of all his Virginia ghost books from a bookseller I purchased from recently, runs to 22 volumes and I only have 3 or 4 volumes (yikes!). His work has made the ghosts of Virginia some of the best documented in the South.

Individual Works

Haunted Places: The National Directory by Dennis William Hauck is the one book, besides Windham’s 13 Georgia Ghosts and Jeffrey, that has inspired my writing on ghosts. Hauck gathered most of what had been published at that time and created this magnificent directory from those. Though this source is almost a decade old, it can be used as a gauge to see how far paranormal writing has come since 2002. Hauck’s references have been most helpful in my own research.

The Haunting of Mississippi by Barbara Sillery, which I recently reviewed and finally finished, is an incredible source for the hauntings of Mississippi. Sillery not only captures the marvelous personalities of the states ghosts, but the personalities of some of the state’s living residents as well.

Florida’s Ghostly Legends and Haunted Folklore in 3 volumes by Greg Jenkins is a marvelous document for Florida’s numerous ghosts. For a state that has numerous books on very specific regions and cities, these volumes well document some of the best known and some of the lesser known hauntings across the state.

Haunted Theatres of the Carolinas by Cheralyn Lambeth receives the award for most unusual topic. Written by a fellow thespian, Lambeth covers an incredible number of haunted theatres across these two states.

Ghost and Haunts of Tennessee by Christopher K. Coleman ranks among one of the best treatments of the ghosts of a single state. Compellingly written, the book provides up to date information on hundreds of hauntings throughout this large state.


Clerisy Press of Cincinnati, Ohio has recently started a America’s Haunted Road Trip series. Each guide in its series highlights the hauntings of an entire state. Written by local experts, each book has been wonderfullly crafted. Those volumes covering Southern states include Ghosthunting Florida by Dave Lapham, Ghosthunting Virginia (which includes Washington, DC) and Ghosthunting Maryland by Michael Varhola, Ghosthunting Kentucky by Patti Starr and Ghosthunting North Carolina by Kala Ambrose (which will be released soon).


Jessica Penot of the Ghost Stories and Haunted Places Blog, the author of Haunted North Alabama (a fine resource on Alabama ghosts!) and an upcoming book on haunted Chattanooga, TN and Courtney Mroch of Haunt Jaunts. I’m grateful for the support both of these bloggers have given to my blog through comments and the Tweeting and posting of links.

Jessica’s blog covers ghost tales from around the world as well as associated mythology and other topics associated with the paranormal. As a resident of Huntsville, Alabama, she also posts on local hauntings and has acquainted me with quite a few hauntings from that region. Her recent posting on pregnancy and the paranormal was particularly insightful.

Courtney’s blog is not only a travel guide to the paranormal but a forum on paranormal culture. Also a resident of the South, this time Nashville, Tennessee, Courtney provides commentary on numerous Southern hauntings as well.

Ghosts and Spirits of Tennessee by John Norris Brown. Starting initially as a blog, John Norris Brown has laid out this site as a travel guide to Tennessee’s numerous haunted locales. Unfortunately, the blog has not been updated in a few years, though the information provided is excellent.

Ghost Eyes: Most Haunted Places in America excited me quite a bit recently by covering Birmingham, Alabama’s Lyric Theatre which is located directly across the street from the Alabama Theatre. When researching the Alabama, I had read about its older sister across the street and wondered if it was haunted. Ghost Eyes was able to confirm that. This marvelous blog concentrates on a specific location and has documented a number of hauntings throughout the South. by Jason Stone provides a cross section of North Carolina folklore organized by county. It’s a great starting point for research on the state of NC.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of resources I use. I’m grateful for the creators of so many good resources and wish them well as they add to the knowledge on Southern ghosts.

I’d like to add a special thanks to my readers. Without you, this blog would have died months ago. Thank you for reading!

1 comment:

  1. WOW. I love when bloggers take a moment to let us see another side of them. I loved reading all your comments about so many of the sources you use. (I happen to love and am attracted to your blog so much because you are a rarity who quotes sources at the end of your blogs, which I think is marvelous.) And I really enjoyed reading how they helped you or what you enjoyed most of all. I'm IMMENSELY flattered my name and blog made this list at all. You and Jessica delve into specifics where I deal with generalities. Your blogs and writing are far superior. I'm alwaysd humbled (and educated!) after visiting. Thank you so much again for the mention, but also to introducing me to the main meat of where you get your inspiration from. I now have a catalog of books I want to check into thanks to you!