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Tales of Kentucky Ghosts

Tales of Kentucky Ghosts

William Lynwood Montell
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 224
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  • Book Info
    Tales of Kentucky Ghosts
    Book Description:

    A good ghost story can make your hair stand on end, your palms sweat, and your heart race. The bone-chilling collection Tales of Kentucky Ghosts presents more than 250 stories that do just that. In his new book, William Lynwood Montell has assembled an entertaining and diverse array of tales from across the commonwealth that will keep you checking under the bed every night.

    The first-person accounts in this collection showcase folklore that Montell has drawn from archives, family stories, and oral traditions throughout Kentucky. The stories include that of the ghost bride of Laurel County, who appears each year on the anniversary of her wedding day; the tale of the murdered worker who haunts the Simpson County home of his killer and former employer; and the account of the lost mandolin that plays itself in a house in Graves County. These and many other chilling stories haunt the pages of Tales of Kentucky Ghosts.

    In the tradition of Montell's previous Kentucky ghost books (Ghosts across Kentucky and Haunted Houses and Family Ghosts of Kentucky), Tales of Kentucky Ghosts brings together a variety of terrifying narratives that not only entertain and frighten but also serve as a unique record of Kentucky's rich heritage of storytelling.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-7387-0
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[vi])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [vii]-[viii])
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    After enjoying my earlier collections of Kentucky ghost stories, numerous readers pleaded for more. I therefore began gathering additional tales in 2007 by driving around the state, making telephone requests, and contacting staff members at college and university archives. The oral stories recorded for this book, gathered from numerous counties across Kentucky, are all new.

    In earlier times, these interesting, sometimes scary, accounts were known as “ghost tales.” Some residents, especially in western Kentucky, called them “scary stories,” and others simply called them “haunt tales,” “haint tales,” or “ghost tales.” Back then, tale telling was a common social activity on...

  4. 1 Cemetery Ghosts
    (pp. 5-20)

    This is a true story that happened to me back in 2006. It’s about the time some friends and I decided to go ghost hunting. We had heard of a place in Elizabethtown called Casey Cemetery, located on St. John Road.

    It was a cool night when we got there. It’s a creepy place at night, and it’s old. No one has been buried there for years. We had some flashlights, a digital camera, and other things that might help us catch a ghost. Well, we had been there for about an hour when I and one of the others...

  5. 2 Return of Family Members as Ghosts
    (pp. 21-32)

    This story was told to me by a very dear and close friend of mine, Junice Robertson. She said that when she was a little girl living here in Glasgow back around 1970—before everyone had air-conditioning—back then, families sat outside in the shade of a tree. She and her mother were sitting outside during a beautiful summer day. There was not a cloud in sight, but suddenly her attention was drawn to a large tree a few yards from them.

    While she was watching, a little girl with blonde hair who was dressed in a white dress rose...

  6. 3 Haunted Houses and Public Buildings
    (pp. 33-68)

    Roadhouses were common back in the early years of pioneer Kentucky, on up until the early 1900s. This is a story of one such place where a person could get a room for the night; something to eat and maybe drink, or just unwind after many days of traveling. Most people would stay one night there, maybe two. However, in this story, as told to me by Junice Robertson, who lived in this house, someone decided to make it a permanent residence long after death.

    “In the winter of 1984–85, I moved into a house on the Glasgow–Park...

  7. 4 Civil War Ghosts
    (pp. 69-76)

    My uncle, Jeff Phairs, was in high school at the time here in Clinton County when this took place. One night he was in his room about 12:00 midnight, or 1 o’clock in the morning. He was lying in bed staring at the wall when something walked into the room and sat in a chair located near the foot of the bed. They just stared at each other.

    My uncle got out of bed and went to wake my mom, Katrina Phairs Collins, so she could come and look at this guy. He was dressed in a gray uniform with...

  8. 5 Roadside Ghosts and Odd Phenomena
    (pp. 77-96)

    Mamaw loved to tell ghost stories and sing scary songs as she played her guitar. She had many stories to tell and we never got tired of hearing them, especially this one.

    “When I was a little girl around ten years old here on Spring Cut Road in Laurel County, we didn’t have cars. Back then, wherever we went we had to walk or ride in wagons pulled by horses. One evening we were all going to church at a preacher’s house. His name was Caleb Lee Moore. We were riding in a wagon with another family, the Helton’s. There...

  9. 6 Headless Ghosts
    (pp. 97-110)

    My grandfather always told this story, and insisted that it happened on the L&N Railroad. It happened when two lovers had a quarrel and the girl ran off onto the ridge of the hill and the boy went after her with a flashlight when he met his unfortunate death.

    The L&N Railroad was going along this ridge right outside of town, and the brakes on the train’s back cars locked up. The engineer stopped to let one of the crew members get off to go back and release the brakes. And while he was working on the couplings between the...

  10. 7 Animal Ghosts and Animal Tales
    (pp. 111-124)

    As a child, about sixty-five years ago, we visited my grandparents often. And when we went to see them, always at night some people always came there [to visit]. They would tell all kinds of stories, and one of the ghost stories I will always remember was about sounds and other things.

    Out in the county, houses were fairly close to one another. So the young men always walked to see their girlfriends along a three- or four-mile road. On this road was an old house back off of the road. It was run-down. The windows were broke, and the...

  11. 8 Ghostly Lights and Screams
    (pp. 125-156)

    There is a community in Hart County known as Fisher Ridge. Back in the 1930s and 1940s there was a man that lived on a farm that had several acres in it. His name is John Bishop, and he is now deceased. He was a big man and ruled over his family with a strong hand. He ran his boys off from home as they reached their teen years. His wife never left the farm. I don’t remember ever seeing her. He claimed not to believe in anything, neither heaven or hell.

    Among his valuables was a prize pair of...

  12. 9 Strange Sounds, Lights, and Unexplained Events
    (pp. 157-180)

    Potter Hall, located on the campus of Western Kentucky University, is known for strange and unexplained happenings. Many people working in this building tell stories about their personal experiences of encountering the ghost of a young female who hanged herself in a ground floor dorm room, shortly after her boyfriend broke off their relationship. Today, Potter Hall houses administrative offices, and the ghost commonly known as Penny frequents every floor.

    One morning, the building service attendant began her day at 4:00 A.M. by vacuuming an area of carpet in the lobby. Upon completion of her task, she noticed several pennies...

  13. 10 Legends and Folktales
    (pp. 181-206)

    There was just a bunch a-having a party at a girl’s home one night. They just was making a bet, you know, what each one would be afraid to do. There was a graveyard right close by this girl’s home and some of the other girls and boys told her that they’d bet she wouldn’t go to that graveyard. And she said she would go, that she wasn’t afraid! So, one of them told her, says, “well, you take this butcher knife,” says, “You stick it in a certain grave over there,” says, “We’ll know then that you’ve been there.”...

  14. Index of Stories by County
    (pp. 207-211)