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February 01 , 2009

Haunted Houses and Family Ghosts of Kentucky


Kentucky has a rich legacy of ghostly visitations. Lynwood Montell has harvested dozens of tales of haunted houses and family ghosts from all over the Bluegrass state. Many of the stories were collected from elders by young people and are recounted exactly as they were gathered. Haunted Houses and Family Ghosts of Kentucky includes chilling tales such as that of the Tan Man of Pike County, who trudges invisibly through a house accompanied by the smell of roses, and the famed Gray Lady of Liberty Hall in Frankfort, a houseguest who never left. Montell tells the story of a stormy night, shortly before Henry Clay's death, when the ghost of the statesman's old friend Daniel Boone calls upon him, and then recounts the more modern story of the ghouls that haunt the rehearsal house of the band The Kentucky Headhunters.

Included are accounts of haunted libraries, mansions, bedrooms, log cabins, bathrooms, college campuses, apartments, furniture, hotels, and distilleries, as well as reports of eerie visitations from ghostly grandmothers, husbands, daughters, uncles, cousins, babies, slaves, Civil War soldiers, dogs, sheep, and even wildcats. Almost all of Kentucky's 120 counties are represented. Though the book emphasizes the stories themselves, Montell offers an introduction discussing how local history, local character, and local flavor are communicated across the generations in these colorful stories.

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