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Ghosts across Kentucky

Ghosts across Kentucky

William Lynwood Montell
Copyright Date: 2000
Pages: 280
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  • Book Info
    Ghosts across Kentucky
    Book Description:

    "Lynwood Montell has collected ghost tales all over the state of Kentucky, from coal mining settlements to river landings, from highways to battlefields. He presents these suspense-filled stories just as he first heard or read them: as bona fide personal experiences or as events witnessed by family members or friends. There are over 250 stories in Ghosts across Kentucky that are set in specific places and times. They include tales of graveyards, haunted dormitories, animal ghosts, and vanishing hitchhikers. Montell describes weird lights, unexplained sounds, felt presences, and disappearing apparitions. Phantom workmen, fallen soldiers, young lovers, and executed criminals appear in these pages, along with the living who chance upon them. Though the focus is on the stories themselves, Montell also includes a chapter explaining our fascination with the supernatural and the deep truths these storytelling traditions reveal about our lives and our pasts.William Lynwood Montell, emeritus professor of folk studies at Western Kentucky University, is the author of several books, including Killings."

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-2784-2
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. viii-viii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. xi-xxii)

    Across the centuries, people have passed along from one generation to the next their cherished heirlooms, such as beliefs, traditions, and historically significant family and community stories. Sitting around fires or under a shade tree at night, older men and women told stories to entertain, also to explain the unexplainable. Children have always looked to parents, and especially grandparents, for insights into the mysteries of the world about them. Adults told stories about the things they had witnessed or experienced. They often embellished them with their own interpretation of the events described, perhaps even simply to make a good story...

  6. Chapter 1 Graveyard Ghosts
    (pp. 1-18)

    This friend of mine, Kay, grew up here in Bowling Green. After she got married, they continued to live here but moved out on the Old Morgantown Road after they had this little baby girl. The house that they moved into there on the Morgantown Road was an old three-story structure that was surrounded by a big lot. And, boy, you talk about a spooky place, that was it! I mean odd things took place there in this old house, such as doors slamming, lights flashing, and weird noises like the sounds made by spooks. Lots of times, things there...

  7. Chapter 2 Disappearing Ghosts
    (pp. 19-44)

    One evening, my four friends and I were sitting around talking. Earlier that evening we had been playing various card and dice games, which was somewhat of a tradition among us, and we had grown tired. A fellow in the group mentioned that he was anxious about an upcoming trip to some woods in the neighborhood. Another guy in the group commented that he would never hunt in those woods again. When he said this, he could easily detect the entire group’s curiosity, so he proceeded to tell us the story of the woman without a face.

    He told us...

  8. Chapter 3 Ghostly, Unnatural Sounds
    (pp. 45-61)

    There was an experience that happened to me back around 1973. Mom and Dad, Granddad, and I had moved into a house that belongs to Harry Richardson. This house is in Irvington on U.S. 60, real close to the Irvington Drive-in. This house belonged at one time to two brothers, Bob and Emmitt Smith. They lived there in the early 1900s before the addition to the house was built on, when it was only a cabin.

    Emmitt Smith’s room was upstairs, and Bob’s room was downstairs. In the process of their living together, and in the process of the passage...

  9. Chapter 4 Headless Ghosts
    (pp. 62-72)

    Not more than a half mile from where we’re sitting right now is a hollow. It goes by the name Benton Hollow. There’s a peculiar legend about this place, a legend called “The Headless Woman of Benton Hollow.” It seems to be that on certain nights, a headless woman appears and canters about, always within a certain vicinity and always looking for her head.

    I think that this legend originated decades ago, more than likely a hundred years ago. This part of Monroe County was still a little bit wild at that time.

    The legend claims that a young couple...

  10. Chapter 5 Animal Ghosts
    (pp. 73-94)

    My brother told me this story, which he claimed was a favorite of his scout troop. It’s a story about a pig woman of the woods.

    Many years ago there was this young lady who lived out in these woods with her parents, who raised hogs that were caught in traps in the woods. We’re not talking about the fat, tame pigs that people nowadays raise. We’re talking about big wild razorback pigs that were caught in the woods. There aren’t any pigs like these left in the woods, or very few at least, but in those days it was...

  11. Chapter 6 Scary Tales
    (pp. 95-117)

    There was this boy scout troop in Jefferson County that always camped out in wooded places near old mansions. There was a story that claimed that an old man who lived in a certain house would always come out on the full of the moon to place flowers on the grave of his dead wife. When he would do this, she would always come up out of the grave and kiss him. This was the only thing that kept the old fellow alive.

    Well, the scouts decided to explore the old house to see if this was really true. They...

  12. Chapter 7 Hanged or Murdered Persons’ Ghosts
    (pp. 118-154)

    After we moved out of the gray house in Brandenburg, we moved into another house owned by the same woman. It was a white house. Had no upstairs. It was also in Brandenburg, and still is.

    When you walked into the front door of that house, you went into the living room. Off the living room was a kitchen, and the kitchen had a back door leading out onto a carport. Mom and Dad’s room was off the hallway on the left; the second room on the right was the bathroom. But before you got to the bathroom, there was...

  13. Chapter 8 Ghosts of Persons Killed Accidentally
    (pp. 155-165)

    It all started one dark evening. The janitor at this high school, located here in central Kentucky, was sweeping the dirty floors. All the people had been out of the building for hours, and no one was in sight except Carl, who was the janitor, and his “friend.” As Carl turned to go toward the back of the room that he was cleaning, he saw a girl sitting there. He asked her what she was doing there and told her that she should go home. The girl never said a word to him, yet she sat there. When Carl started...

  14. Chapter 9 Ghosts of Suicide Victims
    (pp. 166-172)

    There is an old story that goes around ‘til this day about the old fire tower that was located not far off Highway 56, going out of Morganfield. The tower was on one of the old abandoned gravel roads that used to run along through there.

    It is said that years ago a young teenage girl climbed to the top of the tower for reasons unknown to anyone, even her own family, and jumped to her death. That was a long time ago, so the story goes, but on occasion her ghost is still spotted by local teenagers who go...

  15. Chapter 10 Weird, Eerie, Ghostly Lights
    (pp. 173-186)

    Sometimes there are certain happenings that make you wonder about the possibility of ghosts. I’ve been down in a cave in Sloans Valley, a cave that they once called the Old Moonshiners Cave. It was located just at the north end of the Sloans Valley bridge.

    I’d stayed a little longer in the cave than I had intended, and when I came out it was beginning to get dark. It looked like it might rain, so I started down the railroad track towards the Sloans Valley tunnel.

    Everett Hilton was night watchman at the tunnel. And Everett and I always...

  16. Chapter 11 Haunted Spots on the Landscape
    (pp. 187-209)

    It was a rainy day on October 13, 1956. Back then, my grandfather, whom I shall call Cawood, drove a Greyhound bus. Early that morning, he was getting ready there in Harlan to run his route for the day. Like any other rainy day, it was just miserable and gloomy. Cawood’s first bus stop was in Pine Mountain, then on to Evarts and Baxter. He picked up passengers in those places and took them back to Harlan so that they could do whatever. Cawood then went to lunch but got an unexpected telephone call from his boss telling him that...

  17. Chapter 12 The Vanishing Hitchhiker
    (pp. 210-214)

    My grandmother never did say what she’d consider right-down lies. They’re either stories that she’s heard or things that actually happened to her, I’m just not sure. This story is one that her uncle had told her that happened back in the late 1800s. And there’d been some talk of haunted woods. The woods are still there. They’re along Kino Road in Barren County.

    What happened was that, even years before my grandmother’s uncle had lived in this area, a young doctor and his wife had moved there. The doctor caught her with another man, so the doctor took her...

  18. Chapter 13 Felt Presences of Ghostly Beings
    (pp. 215-219)

    My grandmother died in February 1988. She and my aunt lived together in a house that was extremely large for two older women. After my grandmother died, my aunt insisted on remaining in the house, even though it meant living alone.

    In May of that year, my mother moved in with my aunt due to some family problems. When I returned from school at the end of the spring semester, I lived with my mother and aunt for about two weeks, until our family problems were ultimately resolved. Following this, I moved back into my original home.

    One day late...

  19. Chapter 14 Civil War Ghosts
    (pp. 220-231)

    There’s an old haunted house near Ft. Boonesboro that has been the home of five generations of the same family since the Civil War era. The house is situated on a very tall hill. It has tall windows reaching from the floor to the ceiling, and doors with paneling that gives the impression of a cross.

    A family that moved there in 1956 reported numerous supernatural occurrences. That family felt that all the repair and renovation work they did to the structure caused a spirit, or spirits, to resist their structural activities. Numerous felt presences were reported, and some sightings...

  20. Chapter 15 Haunted Dorms, Fraternities, and Sororities
    (pp. 232-239)

    I went to this Lindsey-Wilson College in 1975. They had one girls’ dormitory and its kinda built in a square. It’s a large, two-story building, but the second story of the building had remained unfinished for several years. It was just a shell up there: just the walls, but no finish.

    I didn’t realize that no one lived upstairs at the time I moved into the dorm. I recall that as I was unpacking and getting all settled in, I heard a loud noise right above my room. I heard somebody dragging something across the floor up there. I didn’t...

  21. Notes
    (pp. 240-251)
  22. Index to Counties
    (pp. 252-255)
  23. Index to Cities, Towns, and Other Locations
    (pp. 256-259)