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April 23, 2021

Tis the season for spooky books and stories

By Laurie Robb

Rowan Public Library

Now that the leaves are starting to fall and the air has that certain chill, many a thought turns to ghost stories. To add an extra dose of scary to your stories, why not learn about ghosts in your own backyard?

Lucky for us, Rowan Public Library has an excellent selection of local spooky stories that will give the reader a little extra something to think about when roaming the streets of Salisbury or visiting neighboring towns.

One of the newer ghost story books, “The’Wettest and Wickedest’ Town: An Illustrated Guide to the Legends and Ghosts of Salisbury, North Carolina,” will reveal the spookier side of Salisbury. Written by local author Karen C. Lilly-Bowyer, stories about the Hall House, the former Brick Street Tavern, the Rail Walk Arts District, and the Empire Hotel, will thrill and chill. The book includes photos of Salisbury’s beloved landmarks, which will tantalize readers to experience these places for themselves.

Another locally produced jewel available online as well as in the DVD section is the “Ramble Through Rowan: Myths and Mysteries” video. To watch it online, go to the library’s website and then to the Edith Clark History Room link under History and Genealogy or search for it on YouTube. This 35-minute video features historian Susan Waller telling some of the colorful ghost stories of Rowan County.

Always a favorite stop for local historians, the History Room of the library holds eerie stories for those who dare enter. “Gold Hill Ghosts: and Other Legends” by Vivian Pennington-Hopkins as well as “Ghosts of the North Carolina Piedmont: Haunted Houses and Unexplained Events” by Frances Harding Casstevens haunt the shelves. Ask a library staffer to retrieve the ghost file to see clippings from the newspaper and other publications about haunted happenings in the area.

If Uwharrie ghost stories from neighboring Stanly County sound intriguing, then Fred T. Morgan’s “Haunted Uwharries” might just keep you up all night with stories of witches, lizards and beasts. Told in a folksy manner, these stories are a riot to read aloud. If you need more Uwharrie ghosts, then “The Revolt: And 28 More Original Uwharrie Ghost Stories” will ensure more sleepless nights.

Check the catalog for other titles such as “Ghost Tales from the North Carolina Piedmont” which includes stories about the Old Stone House, the National Cemetery and the Wrenn House.

“Triad Hauntings” tells of Lydia, the famous Jamestown ghost, and many other ghosts from the Greensboro area. Another spooky title is “Roadside Revenants and Other North Carolina Ghosts and Legends” by Michael Renegar.

“Spooky North Carolina” covers creepy creatures from the mountains to the coast as does “Ghosthunting North Carolina.”

Surprisingly, there is very little overlap in Tarheel stories in these books, as each writer finds different spooky stories to share. Daniel W. Barefoot’s three-volume set, “Seaside Spectres,” “Piedmont Phantoms” and “Haints of the Hills,” offers ghostly lore, county by county. Available as an electronic or print resource, “Piedmont Phantoms” has the story from Rowan County of Rufus Ludwig, who was hanged for murder but refused to die.

Don’t forget to check the juvenile section for classics such as “Tar Heel Ghosts” by John Harden and “Ghosts of the Carolinas” by Nancy Roberts. Both of these authors are legendary in North Carolina folklore. The library has a wonderful collection of Roberts’ extensive writings of North Carolina history.

If you prefer electronic books, try “Boogers and Boo-Daddies.” This is a collection of some of the best ghost stories published by North Carolina publisher John Blair. In fact, there are at least a dozen North Carolina ghost books available full-text through NCLive that are only a click away. Some of these are available in print in the library but others, like Nancy Roberts’ “The Gold Seekers: Gold, Ghosts and Legends from Carolina to California” are only online.

So if you can’t wait to hear things that go bump in the night, check out what the library has in store for you. Go online, visit your local branch, or venture to the History Room. There’s something spooky for everyone at the Rowan Public Library.

 

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