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Kentucky Ghosts

Kentucky Ghosts

William Lynwood Montell
Phyllis MacAdam General Editor
Copyright Date: 1994
Pages: 64
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  • Book Info
    Kentucky Ghosts
    Book Description:

    " Headless visions -- howls and moans -- ghostly ladies dressed in black and white -- a fiddling spirit dancing on the road. Such are the sights and sounds that inhabit the pages of Lynwood Montell's Kentucky Ghosts. This collection is representative of the rich tradition of ghost or "haint" tales passed on through the ages and across cultures as a way of dealing with death and the lore of the spirit world. In retelling the tales, Montell has included details about architecture, geography, and local culture. Each tale is told in the voice of the narrator who believe the story to be true. And, who knows... ?

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-4623-2
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. iii-iii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. iv-iv)
    Virginia G. Smith

    The Kentucky Humanities Council began its New Books for New Readers project because Kentucky’s adult literacy students want books that recognize their intelligence and experience while meeting their need for simplicity in writing. The first eight titles in the New Books for New Readers series have helped many adult students open a window on the wonderful world of literacy. At the same time, the New Books, with their plain language and compelling stories of Kentucky history and culture, have found a wider audience among accomplished readers of all ages who recognize a good read when they see one. As we...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. v-vi)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-3)

    This book contains eight scary stories. All of them are set in Kentucky, and all are told to be true. They tell about death and the return of the dead as spirits, or ghosts.

    Many readers may think that ghosts are not real. People may only imagine that they see, hear, or feel them. Whether ghosts are real or not, someone you know may believe that they are real. The main thing to keep in mind as you read these stories is that they were told as truth. The ghosts were very real to those who saw or heard them....

  6. Cries of a Dead Man
    (pp. 4-9)

    People around here used to tell old scary tales until bedtime. Wasn’t anything else to do back in early times here in southern Adair County except sit around the stove or fireplace after supper and talk. People told stories about Indians, about the Civil War, about the old people in the family and community who were already dead, about witches, and about signs of death in the family. Most of all, though, they liked stories about ghosts. People called them “hant tales” back then.

    These hant tales were filled with the different ways that ghosts made themselves known to people...

  7. The Skeleton Under the Old Fireplace
    (pp. 10-17)

    I'm an old woman, so I've had a long lifetime to hear all kinds of ghost stories. I've heard stories about ghostly coffins with dead people in them floating across the room. And people like to tell about hearing ghostly cries and screams in houses, and of seeing ghost-like lights. I've even heard tell of someone dressing in front of a mirror and seeing the spirit of a dead person staring at them over their shoulder.

    Let me tell you the story my Grandma used to tell about the night that the ghosts made all the chimney stones fall away...

  8. Popular Foot, the Dancing Road Haint
    (pp. 18-24)

    This county has never been remembered as a place with good roads. County roads, where there were any, always had deep ruts, mudholes, and big rocks or stumps. There was always something in the way to slow you down. But the roads that were haunted by ghosts held the biggest surprises! My Granny used to tell stories about the ghosts that haunted the road by the Baptist church graveyard. Granny was a Methodist, you know. But she never did believe the stories that used to be told about a dancing ghost called Popular Foot.

    Popular Foot was a ghost without...

  9. The Granny Harris Story
    (pp. 25-32)

    My family always told ghost stories when I was a child back during the Great Depression years. That was in the 1930s. Times were hard then. We had very little money to buy things. After supper, sometimes we’d just sit around and tell those old scary stories until bedtime.

    Seems as if every person on my father’s side of the family had seen strange lights or heard ghostly moans and groans. I can’t count the times that I’ve heard my Aunt Marie tell about things she had seen or heard. And there’s Uncle Fred, Daddy’s half-brother. He wasn’t afraid of...

  10. Dog Ghost Seeks Revenge
    (pp. 33-38)

    There’s a lot of old folk beliefs about dogs and the way they act. I recall hearing people talk about these things when I was a little fellow. For sure, my relatives here in Trigg County, now the Land Between the Lakes, believed that certain actions of dogs were signs of things that were about to happen. Some of these signs were good, others not so good.

    I’ve heard people in the community say that if you hear dogs howling late at night in an eerie, mournful way, a death in the family is sure to follow. Some said, too,...

  11. Bloodstains on Top of the Well
    (pp. 39-45)

    Hollis Thompson told me an interesting story. It was about a bloodstain on the water well at this old house his family moved into back in 1943. That was right in the middle of World War II. Hollis said that he was just a 5-year-old boy at the time.

    The house into which the Thompsons moved was very old. As a matter of fact, the house was so rundown that it had to have a lot of repair work done before they moved in. I’ve heard Hollis say that there was no overhead ceiling upstairs. The ceiling rafters had been...

  12. The Little Girl Ghost Who Adopted Us
    (pp. 46-51)

    The house that my family lived in looked pretty much the same as a lot of other country houses in Kentucky. When it was painted, which wasn’t real often, it was white. There was a big front porch, and, inside, it was a regular farmhouse. Two rooms were downstairs, kitchen on the right and sitting room on the left. There were two bedrooms upstairs.

    No one lives in that old house now. My folks, the Halleys, bought the house and farm about 1920, just after the First World War. Me and my wife Addie had a new brick house built...

  13. How Otto’s Ghost Saved Us from a Haunted House
    (pp. 52-57)

    I don’t know why anyone would want to live on a farm when they were not raised to it. But when our children were little, my husband Jack and I were determined to get out of town and buy ourselves a farm. Every weekend we would check the ads in the newspaper and go out driving around the back roads of Muhlenberg County looking for just the right place. We both wanted a big, old farmhouse with a huge front porch and a fireplace inside. I wanted a yard with lots of big trees and flower beds and shrubs. Jack...

  14. About the Author
    (pp. 58-60)